The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

October 10, 2012

Cheryle Finley: Fall best time of year for grilling

By Cheryle Finley
Globe Columnist

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:

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!

Ribeyes with mushrooms

8 green onions, sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup beef broth

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 (8-ounce) ribeye steaks

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

In a small bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Place steaks in large resealable plastic bag; add half the marinade. Seal the bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade.

Drain and discard marinade from steaks. Broil 4 to 6 inches from heat for 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until meat reaches desired doneness. Meanwhile, place remaining marinade in a small saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 1 minute.

Stir in the mushrooms and serve with the steaks.

Yields 2 servings.

Chocolate spice roll-up

2 squares (2-ounce) semisweet chocolate

3 eggs

1/3 cup water

1 tablespoon cooking oil

1 small box two-layer spice cake mix

Sifted confectioners’ sugar

1 (8-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

1/2 cup canned chocolate frosting

Line 15-by-10-by-1-inch jelly roll pan with foil or wax paper; grease well. Melt chocolate in double boiler or microwave; cool.

In a small bowl, beat eggs on high speed about 5 minutes or until thick and lemon-colored. Gradually add water and oil, beating until well-combined. Add the dry cake mix and beat for 1 minute on low speed. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until cake tests done.

Immediately loosen edges of cake from pan and turn out onto a towel sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar. Peel foil or waxed paper off cake. Starting with the narrow end, carefully roll the warm cake and towel together loosely. Cool, seam side down, on a wire rack.

Stir melted chocolate into dessert topping. Unroll cake; spread chocolate mixture to within 1 inch of edges. Roll up filled cake. In a small saucepan, heat the frosting over low heat until pouring consistency, stirring frequently. Pour over top of cake roll allowing frosting to drizzle down sides.

Yields 10 servings.

Quick chocolate pie

1/2 cup canned chocolate frosting

1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 9-inch graham cracker pie shell

Chopped peanuts (optional)

Beat frosting and cream cheese until fluffy. Fold in whipped topping. Turn into pie shell. Chill several hours or overnight. Sprinkle with chopped nuts before serving, if desired. Cover and chill to store.

Makes 8 servings.

Address correspondence to Cheryle Finley, c/o The Joplin Globe, P.O. Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802.