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If you have a question for Doctor John, send an email to moc.oohay@nevarkeerc

Dateline: May 1, 2007

Here we are in the merry month of May already. Every trip I make to the supermarket I see new fast food items. There is little you can think of that is not available in a plastic pouch ready for the microwave. I know it is quick and easy to cook (this is cooking?) this way, but the end product just cant match the flavor of home cooking. I have a couple of old family recipes that call for something to be scorched a bit. You just cant get that flavor from a plastic pouch.

I do on occasion buy some of these pouched products, but its because Im OLD and I tire a lot easier than I once did. If you are young and healthy, there is no reason for you to not do all your own cooking. Not only is it better tasting and more nutritious, its less expensive. End of sermon, Amen.

Dug writes:
I am told I should to marinate the chicken breasts I'm cooking for a barbecue this weekend. I'm new to cooking, and I don't know where to start. What is marinating and how do I do it? We like our chicken really, really hot.

Hey DUG: Mix this up:

  • 1/2 cup oil (vegetable or olive)
  • 1/2 cup thawed frozen orange juice concentrate
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon or more Tabasco (for the heat)
Wash your chicken and pat it dry with paper towels. One hour before you get ready to cook, put the chicken and the marinade mix in a big enough zip-lock plastic bag. Squish it around so it gets all over the chicken. Let it set at room temperature for the hour.

Remove the chicken and put it on the grill. Put the marinade in a little saucepan and bring it to a boil for about a minute. Every time you turn the chicken, give it a brushing with the marinade.

The marinade tenderizes the meat with the acid and adds flavor. In the future you may want to experiment with different spices in the mix. Thanks for writing.
Dr. John

Steve writes:
My name is Steve and I need a barbecue recipe for an eye of round beef roast. I can't eat roasts from the oven anymore. It has to be barbecue.

Steve: Sorry about being so long in getting back to you. Tourist season just opened, and I'm trying to bag my limit before they get spooky.

That round is on the lean side, so you are going to have to apply a baste as you barbecue it. Start off seasoning it up as you like. About every 45 minutes give it a good mopping with the following:
  • 1 cup water or stock
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons spices, your choice
  • 1 cup oil
Mix this all together in a non-reactive pot and simmer about 30 minutes. Keep it warm.

This ought to do it. Good luck. Thanks for writing.
Dr. John

Mary writes:
My family just loves beef jerky. Can I make my own? The little packages of it just seem overpriced.

Hey Mary: Of course you can make jerky in the privacy of your own kitchen. Its not difficult.

You start with lean beef. Trim off all the fat. If you dont, it will go rancid on you and ruin everything. The beef should be cut into strips about one-half inch square and four or five inches long. You take a needle and thread and make a hanger for each piece of jerky. Dip the beef on the string in boiling water until it turns white. When its cool enough, give it a good coating of spice. A mix of equal parts, coarse grind black pepper, garlic salt and onion powder with about a half measure of salt should get you started.

Now, you set your oven on 150°F. Tie a toothpick or similar device to each jerky string. You want the string about six inches long. Now you take a rack out of the oven. Insert the toothpick end of the string through the bars in the rack so the jerky will hang down underneath. When you get them all hanging, put the rack on the top slide in the oven. Put a cookie sheet lined with foil at the bottom of the oven to catch any drippings. Leave the door ajar slightly. In six or eight hours the jerky should be black and leathery. Store it in tightly sealed containers in a cool place. Thanks for writing.
Dr. John

Chuck writes:
When a recipe calls for chopped green peppers, what kind of peppers are they talking about? Bell peppers or chili peppers?

Hi Chuck: For Southwestern recipes, Anaheims are the preferred green peppers. You can get them in a can (I think one brand is Herdz) labeled "chopped green chiles". If you use the fresh ones, you will have to skin them. You can also add a little canned jalepeño for zip. Go easy with them to start.

As for other than Southwestern recipes, if it calls for green pepper, it more than likely means bell pepper.
Dr. John

If you have a question for Doctor John, send an email to moc.oohay@nevarkeerc
end article

Traditional Texas Food Articles
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