June 30, 2011 at 8:56 a.m.

Fire up the grill for these entrees

Fire up the grill for these entrees
Fire up the grill for these entrees

The 4th of July is around the corner and it's flag flying time. We often think of "Uncle Sam" being connected with the U.S. Army poster, as he was a real person. This is what I learned about him.

Well, Uncle Sam was a meat packer named Samuel Wilson. In 1789 he opened a meat packing company in Troy, New York, where he quickly became known as Uncle Sam because of his good nature and upright business practices. During the war of 1812, he won a military contract, and stamped his crates with beef and pork "U.S." for United States.

When a government inspector asked a company employee what U.S. stood for, the employees joked that the initial must stand for his employer. The "joke" took. Before long, soliders referred to all government issued supplies as the property of "Uncle Sam".

Cartoonists started depicting him. Originally he was dressed in a black coat; next he got red pants. Uncle Sam received his present face and attire during World Ware I, when he painted by James Montgomery Flagg and reproduced for posters saying, "I want you for the U.S. Army."

So today it's recipes you might want to serve at your 4th of July celebration with family and friends. Many of you grill the main part of your meal so I have recipes using the grill today.

ORIENTAL STEAK

1/4 c. each, sherry or rice wine (mirin) and soy sauce (can use "lite" soy sauce)

3 T. sesame or olive oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/4 t. cayenne pepper

1 top round steak (London broil, about 1-1/2 inch thick, 1-3/4-2 lbs.

Mix first 5 ingredients in shallow baking dish large enough to hold meat. Prick meat with fork every 2 inches to allow marinade to permeate meat. Put meat in dish and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Heat grill for 10 minutes before ready to grill. Grill meat over hot heat 12-15 minutes each side for rare to medium rare. Let stand 5 to 8 minutes; cut diagonally into thin slices. Transfer to serving platter and pour juices over meat.

Makes 6 servings.

+++++

GRILLED SALMON WITH CITRUS SAUCE

Citrus sauce, recipe follows

1-1/2 lb. fresh or frozen salmon fillet with skin on

1 T. finely shredded orange peel

1/4 c. orange juice

2 T. finely shredded lemon peel

2 T. lemon juice

2 T. snipped fresh basil

1 T. snipped fresh thyme (or 1/4 t. ground thyme)

1 T. snipped fresh chives

1/2 t. salt

1/8 t. pepper

1 T. olive oil

Citrus sauce in a small saucepan combine 1 T. thin strips orange peel and thin strips of lemon peel, 1/2 c. lemon juice and 3 T. lemon juice. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium. Simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until mixture is reduced by half and slightly syrupy. Set aside.

Thaw salmon if frozen. Rinse fish; pat dry. Measure thickness of fish. Put fish in a self sealing plastic bag set in a shallow dish. Set fish aside. For marinade, in a bowl combine first 9 ingredients. Pour marinade over fish in bag; seal bag. Marinate in fridge for 1 hour; turning bag occasionally. Remove fish from marinade; saving marinade. Pat fish dry; brush with oil. Lightly grease or coat with nonstick cooking spray an unheated grill rack.

Preheat grill on high for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Put fish on greased grill rack over heat. Cover; grill 4-6 minutes per 1/2-inch thickness or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, brushing with marinade and gently turing halfway through grilling. Discard any remaining marinade. Use a large spatula to remove fish from grill, leaving skin behind; discard skin. Transfer fish to serving platter. Reheat sauce until hot over medium heat. Pour sauce over fish.

Makes 6 servings.

+++++

RED, WHITE AND BLUE DESSERT

1 c. each, sliced strawberries, blueberries, shredded coconut, miniature marshmallows, sliced banana

3/4 c. sour cream

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

In a large bowl gently combine first 5 ingredients. In a medium bowl, gently whisk together sour cream and cream cheese. Fold into fruit mixture. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Makes 6-8 servings.

TFD: In 1777 Independence Day/the fourth of July was celebrated much as we do today, with fireworks, bonfires, church bells ringing and music. However, it was officially made a state holiday in Massachusetts in 1781. That's a lot of years between then and now. Have fun and be safe!

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