Weekly Food for Thought with tips on grilling techniques, "Vegan Cooking for Carnivores: Over 125 Recipes So Tasty Your Won't Miss the Meat" by Roberto Martin and more.

If you're new to grilling, it's easy to make some wrong turns. Keep in mind a few tips from the pros from the WETSU BBQ Crew, a competitive barbecue team sponsored by Tree Top.


* Get to know your butcher. He can help you pick out the best cuts of meat for your intended use. For example, fat marbling is one of the most important things to look for when selecting a steak, but too much or too little can ruin the cut. Chicken and pork are leaner meat options. Be ready to answer questions about preparation and cooking, because this information will guide his or her suggestions.


* Think about spices. Once you have your meat, it's time to visit your spice rack. A harmonious blend of spices will bring out the natural flavor as it cooks on the grill. Some traditional grilling spices include paprika, salt, pepper and garlic, but more exotic spices like cayenne pepper and Cajun seasoning can be used too if you're feeling adventurous.


* Learn how to cook on a grill. Thin-cut meats cook better with direct heat like a charcoal or gas fire. Chicken, thinly-cut steak and pork chops will cook quickly and evenly. On a gas grill, use all the burners to ensure the heat is even throughout the grill, and grill with the hood down as much as possible. When turning meat, use a spatula or tongs. Don't poke it; this allows juices to escape.


-- ARA


Tip of the Week: A composed salad


There are two ways to make a salad. You can toss everything in a bowl, pour in dressing, mix it up and serve. Or you can make what is called a “composed salad.” Just layer and arrange ingredients neatly on each plate one at a time. Drizzle the dressing over it, and you’ve got a presentation that is sure to impress.


-- CookingLight.com


Easy recipe: Doc's Beef or Brisket Rub


2 tablespoons paprika


2 tablespoons garlic powder


1 tablespoon celery salt


1/4 cup kosher salt or sea salt


1 teaspoon cayenne pepper


1/4 cup light brown sugar


2 tablespoons chili powder


1 tablespoon oriental mustard (dry)


2 tablespoons onion powder


2 tablespoons course ground black pepper


Mix all dry ingredients well. Rub thoroughly on brisket or heavy beef. Use a fresh spray bottle with apple juice to spray down all dry ingredients on meat. Rub in thoroughly again because the apple juice activates the dry spices. Allow to marinate in refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours or overnight, if possible. Cook on smoker or any indirect heat for 6 to 8 hours or until internal temperature reaches 192 degrees.  Smoker or grill temperature 225 to 240 degrees.


-- ARA


Did You Know?


May is National Barbeque Month, Egg Month, Mediterranean Diet Month, Potatoes and Limes Month and Salad Month.


Food Quiz


This black mushroom grows on ears of corn. In many places it is destroyed, but in Mexico it is considered a delicacy. What is it?


A. Huitlacoche


B. Shitake


C. Porcini


D. Champignons de Paris


-- funtrivia.com


Answer is at bottom of column


Wise to the Word: barbecue sauce


A sauce used to baste barbecued meat; also used as an accompaniment to the meat after it's cooked. It is traditionally made with tomatoes, onion, mustard, garlic, brown sugar and vinegar; beer and wine are also popular ingredients.


-- epicurious.com


Number to Know


578: A white-rice sushi roll with salmon and cream cheese is 578 calories.


 -- calorieking.com


The Dish On …


"Vegan Cooking for Carnivores: Over 125 Recipes So Tasty Your Won't Miss the Meat" by Roberto Martin


Ellen DeGeneres' personal chef, Roberto Martin, shares over 125 delicious vegan recipes he's created for DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi that he hopes will make healthy vegan cooking accessible and easy for everyone. Featuring mouthwatering photographs by award-winning food photographer Quentin Bacon, this cookbook will appeal to die-hard carnivores and vegetarians alike.


-- Grand Central Publishing


Food Quiz Answer


A. Huitlacoche


GateHouse News Service