Foodie Friday: Keep The Joint Clean!

Cleaning as you prep and cook makes the post-meal cleanup easier, and also keeps things going smoothly in the kitchen

By Alan Clemons, Managing Editor

During my lunch breaks I’ll sometimes flip around to the Food Network to see who’s on or what’s being cooked, and maybe to pick up a tip for the kitchen.

I can’t remember who it was – maybe Rachael Ray? – a few years ago who said “cook clean,” meaning clean as you go when you’re cooking. It makes perfect sense.

If you’re prepping meat, especially chicken, then you dang sure don’t want to use the same cutting board for slicing and dicing veggies. So after cutting up the meat, unless you have two boards or cutting surfaces then quickly wash the board, dry it and get to work on the celery, onions and other stuff.

When things are on the grill and stove or in the oven, if possible, wash up those bowls and utensils. Keep an eye on everything, of course, so it doesn’t burn. If nothing else, rinse everything well, stack it in the sink or on the counter and then be ready to load the dishwasher or hand-wash in the sink.

Why? For one, it reduces your post-meal cleanup time so you can have more time to relax with family and friends. Another is that it reduces clutter on the counters and in the kitchen. If you have some veggies and rice on the stove, maybe some chicken or chops in the oven and will be tossing in some rolls or cornbread … you don’t want bowls, utensils and such cluttering up the joint.

Cook clean. Makes sense.

Here’s a cool recipe from Montana Outdoors:

Quick Sautéed Venison Steak with Port Sauce

2 sirloin or top rump steaks (8 oz. each),
or 4 inch-thick loin medallions
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil or clarified butter
¼ cup ruby port
1 tablespoons cold butter

In a frying pan, heat clarified butter or olive oil over high heat. Meanwhile, lightly season both sides of steaks with salt and pepper.

Add meat to pan and brown on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side depending on thickness. Remove meat to cutting board.

Lower heat to medium. Deglaze pan with port, scraping up cooked bits from the pan bottom, for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in juices from resting steaks. Add cold butter and whisk as it melts.

Place steaks on heated plates and pour sauce on top. Serves four.

If you need a great cookbook, look no further than this one from Deer & Deer Hunting!