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The Grill of Your Dreams

Nothing matches the smoky taste of meat right off the grill, especially when it’s been marinated and basted with a full-flavored sauce as it cooks over coals peppered with mesquite wood.

Put the meat on the table along with young ears of corn, a huge mixed salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions and Romaine lettuce and a warm crusty loaf of bread. This is a perfect summer meal.

The following recipes reminds me how good meat can be. They’re not fat-laden either.The pork chops marinate overnight in a thin barbecue sauce and are grilled over a medium fire until they are cooked through but moist and tender.

This is easy grilling at its best, but these barbecue basics should be kept in mind:

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* Always start with a clean grill rack. This is best done by cleaning the grill just after using (keep it hot until after the meal). Many long-handled wire grill brushes, when dipped in water, make fast work of removing the food particles on the rack. Wear oven mitts to protect your hands from the hot steam.

* Oil the clean rack before starting the fire. Cooking oil spray is the easiest way to do this, but you can also moisten paper towels with oil.

* Preheat the grill so that the fire is at the right temperature for the meat when you are ready to start grilling. Mesquite chunks add great flavor. Soak a few chunks in water and toss them on the fire while it preheats.

* Keep a small paring knife and platter close to the grill so that you can easily check on how the meat is cooking. When you think the time is right, just insert the knife into the thickest part and see if it suits your taste.

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FISHING CAMP PORK CHOPS

4 (1 1/4-inch) pork chops, about 1/2 pound each, trimmed of all but thin layer of fat

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup ketchup

1/3 cup vinegar

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon celery seeds

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1 teaspoon paprika (preferably, Hungarian)

Salt

1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Freshly ground pepper

A medium fire is right for these chops--they should cook slowly to stay juicy. They are marinated and basted with a thin barbecue sauce that gives them a perfect finish. The chops are one of the favorites at our family fishing camp.

Put pork chops, sugar, ketchup, vinegar, vegetable oil, minced garlic, celery seeds, paprika, 1 teaspoon salt and hot pepper sauce in plastic food bag. Combine ingredients through bag. Close bag, leaving very little airspace. Marinate at least 2 hours or as long as overnight, refrigerated.

Oil clean grill rack. Prepare medium barbecue fire with few water-soaked mesquite chunks. Remove meat and reserve marinade. Season meat with salt and pepper to taste.

Grill meat over medium fire until just cooked through, about 18 minutes. Turn twice during cooking, baste until sauce is used. Serve hot.

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Makes 4 servings.

Each serving contains about:

445 calories; 370 mg sodium; 80 mg cholesterol; 28 grams fat; 23 grams carbohydrates; 27 grams protein; 0.18 gram fiber.


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