by Sheridan Lane, director, culinary program and operations, Lincoln Land Community College
The flower pots are growing, the garden is in, the pool is open and the weekend that kicks off the official start of summer is in the books. Now is the time to do some prep work for the next summer shindig so that we, as hosts, are ready to enjoy it to the max. The best part of the menu below is that most of the preparations can be done the day before so that you can focus on the long overdue quality time with your friends and family. I also want to use fresh herbs out of my garden to give these dishes an extra punch of flavor. Here are some traditional cookout favorites with a touch of creativity.
Grilled Corn on the Cob with Herb Butter
Thai Marinated Pork Chops
Mint Ice Cream with Fresh Strawberries
Grilled Corn on the Cob with Herb Butter
½ lb butter softened
¼ c. parmesan cheese, grated
3 T. chives minced
2 tsp. garlic, minced
1 T. fresh thyme leaves, chopped fine
1 T. fresh parsley leaves, chopped fine
1 tsp. fresh rosemary leaves, chopped fine
Juice of 1 lemon
Beat all ingredients in a mixing bowl until well incorporated. Add kosher or sea salt to taste.
8-12 ears of corn
½ c. coarse ground kosher or sea salt dissolve in 1 c hot water
1 qt. ice water
In a small cooler place ears of corn, salt water and ice water. Let soak for 1-2 hours before cooking.
Grill corn in husks on top rack of grill heated to 350-400 degrees for 15-20 minutes turning occasionally. Serve with softened herb butter.
Whisk together the following ingredients:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Juice of 2 lemons
2 T honey
1 T dark brown sugar
2-4 T (depending on your spice preference) canned adobo sauce or 1-2 chipotle chilles pureed
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. Coarse ground pepper
In large bowl place 6 cups each packed shredded green cabbage. Add 1c. fresh chives chopped. Pour on dressing and incorporate all ingredients well. Refrigerate overnight, stirring occasionally.
Add 2 c. shredded red cabbage to coleslaw and garnish with 1 c. chopped fresh cilantro leaves. *(If you feel your coleslaw is a bit spicy, add equal parts lime and honey until heat is reduced.)
Thai Pork Chops
Marinade pork chops:
1 small shallot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 c. (packed) dark brown sugar
¼ c. fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
¼ c. soy sauce
2 T unseasoned rice vinegar
2 T fresh ginger, minced
Juice of 2 limes
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a heavy Ziplock freezer bag or sealable bowl, and add 8, 1-inch, thick-cut, bone-in pork chops.
Heat grill to 400 degrees. Wisk together ¼ c. honey and ¼ c. melted margarine to make a glaze for chops. Remove pork chops from marinade and pat dry. Grill porkchops 4 minutes per side, brush on honey glaze and grill 1 more minute each side. Do not overcook. Garnish with ¼ c. chopped peanuts, lime wedges, & ¼ c chopped cilantro/ Thai basil leaves (for serving).
Mint Ice Cream
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 ounce fresh mint leaves
5 large egg yolks
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
1 whole Madagascar vanilla bean, scraped or 3 T. pure vanilla extract
Combine the milk and mint leaves (tear into small pieces to release as much oil from the leaves as possible to infuse maximum flavor) in a medium saucepan. Place over medium-low heat and heat until just steaming. Remove from the heat, cover with a lid and allow the fresh mint to infuse in the milk mixture for at least one hour.
Strain the mint leaves and discard leaves. Put steeped mint milk, sugar, heavy cream and egg yolks back into the saucepan. Whisking constantly, bring mixture to simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Cool ice cream base and add the scraped vanilla bean or the vanilla extract to the mixture. Chill overnight.
Churn the ice cream in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions and freeze the ice cream for a minimum of 4 to 6 hours, or until firm enough to scoop. In a small bowl, slice 2 pints of fresh strawberries, add 2/3 c. sugar, 2 T. Triple Sec and zest of ½ lemon. Stir gently and let set for 1 hour. Serve over mint ice cream.