SUMMER COOK OUT – STEAK AND POTATOES

SPICY STEAK AND BLACK BEAN SALSA ACCOMPANIED BY BBQ POTATO SALAD AND GRILLED CORN

steak and black bean salsa - BBQ Potato Salad (3)

PRONTO SPICY STEAK AND BLACK BEAN SALSA
2 steaks of your liking (I used New York Strip Steaks)

Salsa
1 (15oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp cilantro

Seasoning
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Combine seasoning ingredients in a small container.  Trim fat from beef and press seasoning mixture evenly into surface of steaks reserving about 1 Tbsp of the seasoning mix for the salsa.  Grill steaks to your liking (about 10 minutes each side).  Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, combine salsa ingredients and add reserved seasoning mixture.  Mix well.

**I USUALLY MAKE THIS MEAL IN THE MORNING AND PLACE THE STEAK IN A ZIP-LOCK BAG WITH THE SEASONING FOR LATER GRILLING.  REFRIGERATE THE SALSA AND THE FLAVORS MINGLE ALL DAY.

steak and black bean salsa - BBQ Potato Salad (1)

BBQ POTATO SALAD

1/3 cup your favorite ranch dressing (I will be posting a healthy version soon)
1/3 cup BBQ sauce (I used Kraft Mesquite flavor)
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
3 potatoes, diced and cooked – cooled (I usually microwave about 5-7 minutes and rinse in cold water)*
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup chopped green or red pepper
1/2 cup chopped red onion

Mix first 3 ingredients in a small bowl.  In a large bowl combine the remaining ingredients.  Add dressing and mix well. REFRIGERATE  UNTIL DINNERTIME.

*RED POTATOES WOULD ADD MORE COLOR; SWEET POTATOES WOULD ADD COLOR AND VITAMINS; SOMETIMES I ADD OSCAR MEYER REAL BACON CRUMBS TOO BUT THAT WILL INCREASE CALORIES AND FAT!

 GRILLED CORN

SHUCK YOUR CORN, SLATHER A LIGHT COAT OF BUTTER OVER THE KERNELS AND LIGHTLY SALT AND PEPPER.  WRAP IN FOIL AND GRILL WITH THE STEAK FOR THE LAST 10 MINUTES.  SOME PEOPLE PREFER TO SOAK THEIR CORN IN THE HUSK AND GRILL WITH THE HUSK ON – I JUST FIND IT HARDER TO SHUCK WHEN IT IS HOT SO I USE THE FOIL WRAP.

POUR THE SALSA OVER YOUR GRILLED STEAK AND HAVE A BIG FRESH SALAD TO ROUND OUT THE MEAL.

THE SALSA IS ALSO EXCELLENT ON IT’S OWN AS AN APPETIZER SERVED WITH TORTILLA CHIPS.

ENJOY!

FOODBORNE ILLNESS: THE TEN RISKIEST FOODS!

SEPTEMBER – FOOD SAFETY MONTH!

These 10 foods regulated by the FDA have accounted for 40% of all foodborne illnesses in the United States since 1990. These foods have cause 50,000 illnesses, some ending in death. However, many cases of foodborne illness are never reported.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that for every case of clinically diagnosed and reported salmonellosis, another 38 cases are never proven and/or reported. The list included the following foods.

1. Leafy greens

SPINACH LEAVES
Accounting for 24% of all illnesses in the FDA’s top 10 list, leafy greens most often are contaminated with either E coli, norovirus, or salmonella. Top reasons for contamination include unwashed hands of a handler, improper preparation, and cross-contamination. Contact with wild animals, manure, or contaminated water prior to harvest also is cause for concern.

2. Eggs

HARD BOILED EGGS
Most illnesses from eggs are caused by salmonella. Regulations for cleaning and inspecting eggs have helped matters considerably, but if chickens are infected with Salmonella enteritidis, the chicken’s ovaries become infected and eggs are contaminated before the shells are even formed. In July 2010, regulations were changed for producers with 50,000 or more egg-laying hens to include controls to prevent Salmonella enteritidis. Catered events, prisons, and buffets are where most cases of salmonella from eggs originate, likely because of improper holding temperatures.

3. Tuna


Many people have become ill from the scombroid illness after eating contaminated tuna. Fresh tuna decays quickly after it is caught, and if appropriate measures are not taken, tuna begins to release natural scombrotoxins. Cooking, freezing, smoking, curing, or canning cannot kill the toxin. More than 65% of illness related to tuna ingestion is tied to eating the fish at restaurants. Tuna also is linked to salmonella and norovirus.

4. Oysters

oysters
Oysters sometimes are harvested in water that is contaminated with norovirus. If oysters are eaten raw or undercooked, they can lead to gastroenteritis. The most dangerous pathogens found in oysters are vibrio, which can kill immunocompromised people.

5. Potatoes


Outbreaks from foodborne illness usually are linked to dishes such as potato salad, which contain many other ingredients. Most illnesses are caused by E coli or salmonella, making it obvious that cross-contamination is a common problem when preparing dishes that contain potatoes. Shigella and Listeria monocytogenes, which also are linked to potato-containing dishes, point to improper handling and preparation by infected food preparers and improper cleaning of surfaces, such as deli counters.

6. Cheese

cheese
Cheese can become contaminated, most often with salmonella, during production or processing. The vast majority of infections are caused by consumption of unpasteurized cheese. Pregnant women should avoid soft cheeses, which can carry Listeria monocytogenes, which frequently cause miscarriage even if the mother does not have any symptoms of illness. People who are immunocompromised and elderly people also are advised to avoid soft cheeses because of the risk of contracting listeriosis.

7. Ice cream

icecream
The most common reason for ice cream causing illness is people using undercooked eggs when making ice cream at home. Soft ice cream, like soft cheeses, can become a breeding ground for Listeria monocytogenes. The most famous case of contaminated ice cream, however, was caused by a truck that was used to haul both raw, unpasteurized eggs and pasteurized ice cream mix.

8. Tomatoes

tomatoes
Salmonella can enter tomato plants through the roots or flowers and then can easily enter the fruit. It is very difficult to kill the salmonella without cooking the fruit. Norovirus also is sometimes found in tomatoes. Seventy percent of all illnesses associated with tomatoes were contracted in restaurants.

9. Sprouts

sprouts
The CDC and the FDA strongly recommend that the elderly, children, and immunocompromised individuals avoid consumption of raw sprouts, which may carry E coli or salmonella because of a variety of reasons, including improper handling.

10. Berries

MICROBES 7
The most common cause of illness related to berry ingestion is the cyclospora parasite, which does not resolve itself without a round of antibiotics. A 1997 outbreak of hepatitis A, during which thousands of students became ill, was tied to consumption of frozen strawberries. The contamination may have occurred because of an infected farm worker from Baja, CA.

BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR OWN FOOD PREPARATION AND HANDLING.  WATCH OUT AT PICNICS AND FAMILY GET-TOGETHERS WHERE FOODS MAY BE LEFT AT ROOM TEMPERATURE FOR LONG PERIODS.  THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU ORDER WHEN EATING OUT TOO – KEEP THESE TOP TEN ILLNESS CAUSING FOODS IN THE BACK OF YOUR MIND!