Stir Crazy: Ready for summer? Let these 2 recipes help you get there

News-DemocratMay 26, 2014 

Ah, summer cooking is under way, even if the official date is June 21. Full of bright colors, rich but light flavors and bold accents, it's a good time to do a little experimenting: Think a grilled steak with a spicy salad. Pulled chicken with tangy barbecue sauce.

Whether you're entertaining or just fixing a week-night dinner, these two recipes shape the beginning of the season.

Peggy Malec of Belleville sent along this recipe she found at "If you like the mustard barbecue sauce at Smoky Bones, you will love this recipe," she said.

And while the recipe originally called for white vinegar, Peggy prefers apple cider vinegar because it adds more flavor. And, like many sauces, it tastes even better the next day after the flavors have melded together.

No-Cook Barbecue Sauce

1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons ketchup

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup prepared yellow mustard

2 tablespoons white sugar

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon chili powder

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Mix ketchup, vinegar, mustard, salt, sugar and spices together in a bowl with a small whisk. Allow to sit overnight for best flavor.

The folks at QVC have been busy lately sending food editors a variety of summer recipes from cookbook author David Venable, who called this side dish "a perfect balance of bright, fresh flavors and smoky-sweet corn."

Note: If you are not a fan of jalapenos, omit the hot pepper.

Grilled Corn Salad

6 ears of corn (husked per directions below)

1 medium red onion, diced

1 large red pepper, diced

1 jalape(*150*)o, seeded and minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 avocado, diced

1/3 cup cilantro leaves, chopped

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

4 tablespoons lime juice

3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat a barbecue or indoor grill to medium.

Carefully peel back the corn husks, leaving them attached at the bottom. Remove the silk. Rewrap the corn in the husks and secure with string. Completely submerge the corn in cold water for 15-20 minutes; drain.

Grill the corn 20-25 minutes, or until tender, turning often. Allow them to cool and then remove the husks completely.

To prepare the salad, cut the corn from each cob and place it in a medium-size mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and fold to combine.

Here's how to reach me: Phone, 239-2664; e-mail,; or write, Suzanne Boyle, Belleville News-Democrat, P.O. Box 427, 120 S. Illinois St., Belleville, IL 62222-0427.

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