Powell: Hurrah for Labor Day!
August 27, 2012 1:24PM
Updated: September 30, 2012 6:02AM
Labor Day is the last “hurrah”— as in, “Hurrah!
Labor Day is an official holiday dedicated to American workers’ social and economic achievements, and for many parents, it marks a much-needed break as the kids return to school. It’s also the last big grilling holiday of the year, so all-in-all, “hurrah” for a great day to relax and grill out.
You may say, “But I’m not going to quit grilling after Labor Day,” and you’re right.
“Over 60 percent of Americans are grilling year-round and nearly half grill during winter months,” according to a report from the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association.
The USDA urges that no matter what time of year you’re cooking out, do it safely. And that begins with keeping food at safe temperatures.
• Thaw meat and poultry in the refrigerator before grilling or smoking it, but never thaw food at room temperature.
• Use the microwave oven for rapid thawing, but smoke or grill the meat immediately because some areas may begin to cook during the defrosting.
• Always marinate food in the refrigerator, not on the counter.
• Keep meat and poultry in the refrigerator until time to place it on the grill. Keep everything clean.
• Wash hands with soap and warm water before and after handling meat and poultry products.
• Be sure there are plenty of clean utensils and platters.
• Separate don’t cross-contaminate. When taking food off the grill, use a clean platter. Don’t put cooked food on the same platter that held raw meat or poultry. Any harmful bacteria present in the raw meat juices could contaminate safely cooked food.
• Cook food to a safe minimum internal temperature. Use a food thermometer to ensure that meat and poultry reach a safe minimum internal temperature.
• Beef, veal and lamb steaks, roasts, and chops may be cooked to 145 degrees.
• All cuts of pork to 160 degrees.
• Ground beef, veal, and lamb to 160 degrees.
• All poultry should reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees.
• Chill leftovers promptly. Refrigerate any leftovers promptly in shallow containers.
• Discard any food left out more than 2 hours (1 hour if temperatures are above 90 degrees).
Above all, have a safe, relaxing holiday!
2 large green peppers, cut into 1-inch squares
2 medium onions, quartered, separated into sections
4 small zucchini cut into 1-inch pieces
4 small yellow squash, cut into 1-inch pieces
12 whole mushrooms
1 bottle fat-free Italian salad dressing
Place vegetables in a non-metal dish, pour Italian salad dressing over all and mix. Marinate vegetables in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Drain vegetables and thread alternately on skewers. Grill kabobs 15-20 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Additional Italian salad dressing can be used to brush over kabobs while cooking. Makes 4-6 kabobs.
3 pounds potatoes, skinned and cut into quarters
1 cup green onions, sliced thinly
4 tablespoons cooking oil
4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped or
11/2 tablespoons dried
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped or
1 tablespoon dried
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
Cook potatoes in boiling water until tender. Drain and cool. Place potatoes into bowl add oil and toss. Toss in remaining ingredients. Place potatoes on large piece of aluminum foil and fold using the “Drug-store” wrap. Bring longer sides of foil together over food. Fold down loosely in locked folds, allowing for heat circulation and expansion. Fold up short ends; crimp to seal. Serves 4.