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Cook's Corner

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Tidbits
I still want to learn …
A. To be a better baker. I’m not very good at that.
I can’t wait to …
A. Go on my next outdoor adventure.
Diana Parker | The Journal Gazette
Dave Walter made grilled salmon with fish he caught which fishing in Michigan.

Area outdoorsman no stranger to kitchen

– An outdoorsman is how Dave Walter of Kendallville can be described.

Walter and his wife, Chris, spend their free time canoeing, fishing in the Great Lakes or riding around on their ATVs.

“Up around Kendallville there’s lots of lakes and we canoe,” Walter says.

He continues, “I’m not someone who watches TV. It’s not what always you get being out there. It’s a way for me to check-out and unwind a little.”

Walter, 48, is employed by ITT Exelis in purchasing. He has worked at the Fort Wayne company for a little more than 26 years.

“It’s been a fantastic place to work,” he says, enthusiastically.

Walter is a member of the Northeast Indiana Pheasants Forever Chapter 182. Twice a year, the group has hunter education courses.

According to Walter, anyone born after 1987 must complete a hunter education course before being able to obtain a hunting license in Indiana.

“What our folks did when we were hunting was to carry an empty gun,” he says. “We could take a shot when they took a break. I look back at how spot-on my dad and uncle were. When you’re hunting there’s a whole lot to think about.

“When in doubt, don’t (shoot). If you don’t know where your hunting partner is – stop. Don’t.

There are no take-backs when hunting. I’m protective of the core group I’m with. I’ve got a strong tendency to go with the same group I grew up with.”

Q. Who does most of the cooking at home?

A. Predominantly me. My wife has her specialties.

Q. What’s your favorite cookbook?

A. Funny, my sister bought me a Betty Crocker cookbook. She signed it, “Enjoy. May 1988.” She bought that as an apartment warming gift. I’m not a person that usually uses a cookbook. I get Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever magazines. We probably have about a dozen (cookbooks). I find myself gravitating toward Betty Crocker.

Q. Who’s your cooking idol?

A. I go back to simple and effortless. I would say my mother-in-law. She’s passed away. She was someone who made her own noodles.

Q. What’s something people would not find in your refrigerator?

A. Tofu.

Q. If you were stuck on a deserted island, what’s one food you would have to have?

A. If I could have one seasoning, it would be salt. If you don’t have it, you know it.

Q. What advice would you give beginner cooks?

A. Just try it. I’ve done some things in my smoker that I wouldn’t even eat. I’ll never try to make jerky in a smoker. It’s doesn’t work. You sometimes have to make a mistake – be willing – before you learn. It made me a better person in the end. My mom passed when I was 14. It was just me and my father.

Grilled Salmon

4 (6-ounce) pieces salmon, 4 to 5 -inches wide

2 teaspoons olive oil

Juice of 1/2 lemon or lime

Lawry’s seasoning salt, to taste

Lemon pepper, to taste

Place aluminum foil (either one ply of the heavy-duty kind or two ply of the regular kind) over half the grill. Heat the grill to 400 degrees. Turn the burner off that is directly under the foil. Place salmon piece skin/scale side down on the foil. Do not put any oil on the foil before setting the salmon in place. Position fish quickly as the skin/scales will stick to the aluminum foil almost immediately. Drizzle olive oil all over the top side of salmon piece; follow with lemon or lime juice (depending on your preference) liberally squeezed on piece. Sprinkle with Lawry’s seasoning salt and lemon pepper. Be generous on the seasonings. Leave the one remaining burner on high and close the grill.

Do not check it for at least 20 minutes. Try to keep the temperature close to 400. After 20 minutes, open the grill and squeeze more lemon or lime on fish. At that point, depending on the thickness and how you like your salmon cooked, the salmon will need to cook for 5 to 10 minutes longer.

Turn burner off and let it rest for 5 minutes (30 minutes total) on the grill with the lid down. To remove salmon from the grill, slide spatula between the meat of the fish and the skin/scales. When done properly, the skin/scales will remain on the foil.

Flip each piece of salmon upside down on a plate after taking it off the grill. You may squeeze more lemon or lime on each piece right before serving.

Old Time Vanilla Ice Cream

2 eggs

1 (14-ounce) sweetened condensed milk

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar, unpacked

1 pint heavy whipping cream

1 pint half and half

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 tablespoons real vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs, add sweetened condensed milk and whisk until thoroughly combined. Mix in sugars; add heavy whipping cream, half and half, salt and vanilla extract. Add to ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s directions. Makes 2 quarts.

Note: For the best result, let the mix chill in the refrigerator for about 4 hours, allowing the flavors to meld, before freezing with ice cream maker.

Smoked BBQ Baby Back Pork Ribs 2-1-1 Method

4 racks of baby back ribs, about 2 to 3 pounds

1 (18-ounce) bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce

Dry rub:

2/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup paprika

1 1/2 tablespoons black pepper

1 1/2 tablespoons salt

1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

1 1/2 tablespoons onion powder

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Prepare ribs for cooking by rinsing with cold water and removing the membrane from the inside (internal cavity side) of rack of ribs. Do not skip this step or ribs will not turn out to be “fall off the bone” good. Rinse again, pat dry and cut each full rack of ribs in half so you are left with eight half racks.

Combine ingredients for dry rub and apply to both sides of each half rack of ribs. Use all of the rub even if you have to go back and reapply. Next, introduce smoke to your pre-heated smoker. When smoke starts rising from smoker (usually about 10 minutes), position the ribs on all racks to limit the time the smoker door is open. After the smoker door is closed, the ribs will need to cook for 2 hours during this step. If smoker has a vent, close it almost completely for the first hour and then open it up slightly for the remaining hour.

After the first 2 hours have expired, remove the ribs from the smoker and stop the generation of smoke. Wrap each half rack in heavy duty aluminum foil. Then, put each foil-wrapped half rack of ribs back on the smoker with heat and no smoke and cook for one more hour. This is the tenderizing step. Walter usually does one rack at a time during this step.

After one hour in the foil (third hour of cooking) has expired, remove ribs from the smoker and remove and discard the foil. Discard foil and drippings. Put the unwrapped half racks of ribs back on the smoker to cook for an additional hour. At the 30-minute point, remove one rack at a time and apply favorite barbecue sauce with a brush and put back in the smoker for the final 30 minutes. At this point, ribs will have smoked/cooked for 4 hours. Makes 8 servings.

Cook’s Corner is a weekly feature. If you know of someone to be profiled, write to Cook’s Corner, The Journal Gazette, P.O. Box 88, Fort Wayne, IN 46801-0088; fax 461-8648 or email dparker@jg.net.

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