Add sauces last so your goose won't be cooked when you grill

WHAT'S COOKING?

August 03, 1994|By Rita Calvert | Rita Calvert,Special to The Sun

Q: When grilling, how can I prevent flare-ups and charred chicken skin or meat?

A: The best way to avoid high flames that burn the grilled item to a crisp, is to eliminate the fat that is causing the flare-up. Chicken and ribs can be parboiled for a few minutes to remove most of the fat and then grilled. Or remove the skin and trim all the fat from the item. Be aware that the oil in marinades and sauces will also cause extra flaming. So keep the oil to a minimum. Because sugar causes the item to brown and crisp, it is best to add the sweetened barbecue or any other sweet sauce towards the end of the grilling time.

Some grilling pros keep a water spritzer near the grill to extinguish the flames.

Q: How does one make herb- and fruit-flavored vinegars?

A: The simplest procedure for making herb and fruit vinegars is to place the herbs, spices and fruits of choice into a container of red or white wine vinegar. For making basil vinegar, for instance, start with a 32-ounce container of vinegar, add two good-sized bunches of basil -- about 2 loosely filled cups -- and four fresh cloves of garlic, peeled. Cover and let the flavors meld for about three weeks in a dark, cool spot. Then remove garlic and basil. If garnish is desirable, add a few sprigs of basil.

For fruit vinegars, such as raspberry vinegar, you'll probably need about a pint of raspberries and 2 tablespoons of sugar for a 32-ounce container of vinegar.

To speed up the process and infuse the flavors more quickly, you can heat the vinegar with the flavoring to just about boiling. Cover and let steep overnight. Remove the original flavoring, place the vinegar in the desired bottle and add the new garnish.

Q: What is an insulated baking sheet?

A: An insulated baking sheet is actually two sheets of aluminum with an air pocket sealed between for even heat circulation. These baking sheets do not brown baked goods very well, so you need to use different style baking sheets when you want something browned, such as a crispy cookie. Wash these insulated sheets carefully and do not submerge in water for the water can become trapped inside.

We'd like to hear from you. Send your questions to: What's Cooking, c/o Food & Home, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278. Or leave your questions by phone by calling Sundial, The Sun's telephone information service, at (410) 783-1800 (268-7736 in Anne Arundel County, 836-5028 in Harford County, 848-0338 in Carroll County). Using a touch-tone phone, punch in the four-digit code 6180 after you hear the greeting. Although personal replies are not possible, questions of general interest will be answered in this column.

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