Grilling up a festive summer feast
Summer is filled with family picnics and barbecues, but you need to make sure that those burgers and pasta salads aren't served with a side of bacteria.
Celebrity Chef Cat Cora is an expert at overcoming the complexities of cooking with exotic ingredients, including ostrich, oysters and venison; but even working with everyday staples, like chicken, beef, eggs and fresh vegetables, can present cooking challenges. These foods can carry common bacteria, such as E. coli, salmonella and staph--all of which can thrive throughout the cleanest kitchen. To help spread awareness about better kitchen practices, Chef Cora partnered with Ultra Palmolive Antibacterial Dish Liquid, offering tips and providing simple solutions to help prevent cross-contamination in your kitchen.
Research shows that bacteria can easily spread to kitchen surfaces while preparing even the most simple of meals. Studies have found that:
--Bacteria on a cutting board can double after ten minutes of use, whether cutting raw meat or vegetables.
--Ten percent of bacteria on a cutting board can transfer to lettuce during chopping.
--E. coli that remains on washed and dried dishes can survive up to three days.
"Like all moms, I want to provide the best for my family while creating memorable meals at home," said Cora. "Cleaning throughout the cooking process gives me peace of mind that I'm doing all I can for my family."
For a perfect barbecue, try Cat Cora's new summer recipes, and follow her simple food preparation tips, by visiting www.palmolive.com.
Greek Burger Sliders with Avocado Tzatziki
1 pound lean ground beef
Stir together all avocado tzatziki ingredients (see recipe) and chill in fridge at least one hour or longer. With your hands or a wooden spoon, mix ground beef, olives, feta, dill, breadcrumbs, onion, scallions, salt, pepper, garlic and oregano until all ingredients are evenly distributed. Shape the meat mixture into four 1/2-inch-thick patties. Grill over medium-hot coals or pan grill over medium heat for 5 minutes per side. The burgers should no longer be pink in the center. To serve, place each burger on a roll, spoon on a little tzatziki, and top with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and onion slices to your taste. Serves 4.
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Add lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and salt to the yogurt. Add grated cucumber, diced avocado and mix well. Chill for at least one hour. Makes 2 1/2 cups.
Grilled Vegetables and Ginger Citrus Mayonnaise
2 each crookneck or summer squash, baby zucchini, large whole carrots, large fennel or 3 medium fennel bulbs
Preheat grill for vegetables. To make the mayonnaise, squeeze all the juice out from 5 of the 6 citrus halves into a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. When juice begins to boil, lower heat to medium-high and reduce juice until thick and syrupy, being careful not to let it burn. Remove from heat, pour into a bowl, and allow to cool slightly. (At this point you can grill the vegetables). Whisk in mayonnaise, ginger, and cayenne pepper until smooth. Squeeze in juice from last remaining citrus half, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cut all veggies in half lengthwise, rub all sides sparingly with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Grill, cut side down first, for 4 to 6 minutes if small, 5 to 8 minutes if large pieces. Flip so skin side is down, and grill all an additional 1 to 2 minutes, until all veggies are firm but easily sliced with a knife. Serve on platter alongside bowl of ginger citrus mayonnaise or drizzled on top of vegetables. Serves 6 to 8.
Cat Cora's Tips
During the summer, and throughout the year, use Cat Cora's simple tips to reduce cross-contamination in your kitchen:
--Keep mayonnaise-based foods, fresh meat and seafood at 40 F or freeze it. Bacteria may grow more quickly when items are stored at the wrong temperature.
--Thaw frozen meat and seafood in the refrigerator on a paper towel-lined plate, not on the countertop.
--Use a glass cutting board when slicing raw meats and vegetables. The surfaces of plastic and wood cutting boards can be cut by knives during food preparation, and bacteria may hide in these porous areas.
--Clean as you go, washing prep tools and the sink after each use with a dish liquid such as Ultra Palmolive Antibacterial Dish Liquid to help kill bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella and Staph when used as directed.
Simple cooking tips to create a delicious barbecue