My husband says that there are things I don’t do simply because I refuse to — not because I can’t but because I won’t. Grilling used to fall high on that list. For a long while, I hid behind not knowing how to (read: not wanting to know how to) light the thing up.
Not so anymore. Several years ago (um, by several I probably mean closer to 6 years), I sucked it up and started grilling because, well, I write a food blog. It seemed stupid to continue refusing to grill when it’s an important part of the American cooking experience.
These days I grill a lot and love to.
Recently, I was contacted by Kitchen PLAY who asked if I would be involved in a Progressive Party with the theme “Make This Recipe…Safer,” sponsored by the Ad Council. Of course, I agreed.
This campaign, headed by the USDA, is all about food safety — a topic that’s important for anyone spending time in or out of the kitchen. There’s even a Food Safety website dedicated to these crucial cooking reminders
Basically, the four tenets of safe cooking are clean, separate, cook and chill. What do these things mean?
Clean: Keep your cooking surfaces, utensils and hands clean while cooking by washing them with soap and water. Personally, I am obsessed with keeping my cooking area clean, as well as my hands. I keep soap next to the sink just for this.
Separate: Keep raw meats away from other foods, including using separate cutting boards. I always use different boards for meat, veggies and bread.
Cook: Always be certain to cook meats and seafood to the proper temperature before serving. You can use a food thermometer to ensure that the inner temperature of the food meets minimum safe temperatures.
Chill: Finally, foods should be chilled — both raw, perishable items and cooked foods. Leftovers should be wrapped up and stuck in the fridge shortly after eating to ensure that they remain safe.
If desired, serve with Basil Chimichurri Sauce over rice (as shown).
Disclosure: I was compensated for my time creating and publicizing this post, but all opinions expressed are my own.