Summer Eating & Grilling - What’s your favorite?

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Well, it’s Memorial Day weekend, so this is a good time for this repeat post.

The following is a favorite YouTuber’s take on backyard barbecue potato salad. There are lots of variations of potato salad; my mother marinated her cooked potatoes in pickle juice (think bread & butter) before finishing hers:

To be honest, I’m not much of a griller these days, but I do like grill-type food in the summer, with lots of fruits and vegetables. These are a couple of things that I fix.

I really love bison/buffalo burgers. Honestly, I usually just season with salt and pepper and pan fry them, and I like them a little pink. Bison is mostly grass fed and pretty lean, so it can be dry if cooked too well done. I don’t eat them on a bun, but as a main protein accompanied by other things like sauteed mushrooms, green veggies or salad, and a baked potato.

My local supermarket has just started carrying bison and put it on sale, so I stocked the freezer with the ground and some steaks. It is much lower in fat and calories than beef, but very delicious.

I do mushrooms two different ways that are fairly similar. Slice 1/2 pound of mushrooms and cook them with scallions in olive oil (I like it better than butter in this case) until mostly cooked through (did you know that you can’t overcook mushrooms; see video below), add about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of either dry white or red wine and about a tablespoon of Dijon mustard. Cook down to reduce the liquid and alcohol. If I’m adding white wine, I splash in some heavy cream and cook down to a sauce consistency.

Another grill-type food I do is St. Louis style pork ribs. I usually buy mine in a 3-rack Swift Premium package from Costco, cooking one right away, and freezing the other two for later. The 3-rack package is about ten pounds. I remove any silver skin, and cut the ribs into serving size pieces (1 to 3 ribs), rub them all over with lemon juice, then coat them with a dry rub that I make. This is just about the right amount for a rack of St. Louis style ribs:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder (not powdered chili)
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves (not ground oregano)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

You could spice this up a bit, if you wanted to, with a little cayenne or other dried chile.

Put the ribs meat-side down in a large baking pan (I use an old lasagna pan, which holds them snugly) and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake in a 300 degree oven for two hours, or until the meat is tender. I have also done this part of the cooking in a crock pot, but I honestly don’t remember how long I cooked them.

Drain the liquid from the pan, but don’t throw it away immediately, as you can mix some of the liquid with thick barbecue sauce to make a thinner glaze. At this point, you can finish the ribs either in a very hot oven/broiler, or on your gas or charcoal grill. Glaze the ribs and grill on one side, then turn and glaze again. Watch that they don’t burn, but turn and glaze until they are finished the way that YOU like them! I don’t usually make my own barbecue sauce, but here is a recipe to try. This is not spicy:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons spicy mustard (like Guldens’ Spicy Brown Mustard)
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder (NOT powdered chili pepper)


  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat and sauté onion & garlic for 2 minutes until golden brown.
  2. Add everything else and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes. Sauce will thicken as it cools.

I love steak, and I like it rare. Any kind will do, but I’m partial to Ribeye. Grilling is great, but I also like a steak cooked in a hot cast iron skillet, and simply seasoned with salt and pepper.

My favorite sides? Simple vegetables and salads – and potatoes. I love fresh sweet corn, any kind of salad, and green vegetables prepared very simply. A good salad to try is a Caprese salad:

  • Sliced tomato fresh from your garden or farmer’s market
  • Thinly sliced red onion
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • Fresh basil leaves

Layer ingredients on a plate, and dress very simply with good olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.

I know that some of you have really good recipes to share, so let’s hear about them (even if you have shared them before.)

Now is the season for really great produce and what is better, really?

Now, here is that video about mushrooms that I was talking about:

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