The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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October 10, 2012

Cheryle Finley: Fall best time of year for grilling

JOPLIN, Mo. — About this time of year, we start thinking about putting away the lawn furniture cushions and getting ready to stay inside more.

I actually think this is the best time of year to do grilling. Cool weather means no sweat running down your face. On the deck at our house we have to dodge falling walnuts and drifting leaves, but the cooler weather makes the effort worth it -- especially after grilling.

What’s the best steak to choose for grilling at an end-of-summer party? According to celebrity chef Curtis Stone, there are five cuts from which to choose:

  • The filet is the most tender but also the most expensive cut. It’s boneless with little if any fat, which means you give up a little flavor.
  • The sirloin exhibits a thick band of fat around the edge, which adds to the flavor, but it’s still very tender.
  • The T-bone is a mix of filet and sirloin with the bone still in, so you get some good cuts of meat with the bone, which we all know is going to boost the flavor.
  • The flank is a boneless oval cut with very little fat that’s best cooked slow and long. It can be grilled, but it’s best suited for braising or marinating in a salt-based liquid such as soy sauce.
  • The ribeye is top dog among beef cuts, according to Curtis. Marbled and tender, it’s the chef’s choice for the perfect dinner steak.

Consider the price range and the option of boneless vs. bone-in when picking your steak. There’s something for everyone to enjoy as we say goodbye to hot weather.

Lunch last week at Hackett Hot Wings was extra special because I got to share it with my friends Lori Langerot and Robin McCallister. Hackett has many varieties from which to choose, but you can’t go wrong with the seasoned and the Greek. While I prefer the dry rubs, they also offer fabulous wet rubs. There’s something to please everyone’s preference, and the wings have plenty of meat. Thanks to Ed Scorse, I got an early introduction to a delicious new barbecue sauce Hackett will later be offering. More on that later.

Tomorrow is a big day on my calendar. Hospice Compassus is hosting a chocolate extravaganza. The sound of those two words together means I probably won’t sleep much tonight in anticipation of sampling chocolate creations from almost 40 vendors.

From 1 to 7 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Convention Center, the cost is only $10 per person, which entitles you to try 20 chocolate offerings. Bring a friend, and they get in for half price. From 5 to 6 p.m. there’s singing by Duke Mason. Illusionist Kyle Prisock will also be there to entertain. Carol Parker and I hope to see you there.

From the Taste of Home cookbook, we have a great ribeye recipe. It calls for broiling, but you could choose to grill these steaks. For medium-rare temperature, the meat thermometer should read 145 degrees; medium, 160 degrees; well-done, 170 degrees. Remember to plan ahead for marinating time.

In celebration of chocolate, I turned to Better Homes and Gardens Chocolate Cookbook for a couple of yummy desserts. The chocolate spice roll-up is easier than the pumpkin roll I tried 20 or so times to make, but never conquered. For some reason, this roll-up actually turns out looking like a roll. The quick chocolate pie lives up to its name, too. This is a good week to make both desserts so you can use up the entire can of chocolate frosting.

Happy chocolate tasting and happy eating!

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