Learning the basics is important step for young adults as they begin cooking. Even the best cooks sometimes have to get back to their roots. Many of the recipes in this Will on the Grill are the basics. They’re recipes I learned from the many cooks in my life, from my mother, father, grandmother, uncles, aunts and the occasional girlfriend. They anchored me in the world of cooking and trained my sense of taste. As you learn to cook you’ll do what suits you and modify them to taste.

These are all low-fat recipes so they are healthy for you.


Swiss Steak

Always a favorite and I usually serve it on a bed of rice.

2 lbs (1 kilo) round steak

Garlic cloveflour

1 teaspoon salt or salt substitute 1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 cups tomatoes

1 cup boiling water

Optional: chopped carrots and/or celery

Trim all fat from steak and rub with half of the garlic.

Pound flour into both sides of the steaks combined with salt and pepper. Then cut steaks into cubes.

Pan brown it in a seasoned skillet. Pour off all drippings.

Add onions, tomatoes and water and cover. Put it in the oven (275 degrees F) for two or more hours.


Herbed Fish

A nice taste. Recommended side dishes include broccoli and asparagus.

2 lbs fish

3/ 8 cup bulling water 2 chicken bouillon cubes 1 tablespoon grated onion Juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon salt or salt substitute 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1/2 teaspoon marjoram

1 tablespoon minced chives or green onion

2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

Dissolve chicken cubes in boiling water. Mix with all ingredients except fish.

Put fish on a broiling pan and pour half of the sauce over fish and put under broiler (oven set to broil).

Broil 6 to 8 minutes. Turn over fish and pour remaining sauce over it.

Return to broiler and broil about 6 to 8 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.


Chili Burgers

Any fool can make a hamburger but it takes a special kind of fool to make a good chili burger. These are great on the BBQ and make an impression. Try this recipe first before adding more or less chili sauce or powder.

1 lb lean mean hamburger

1 tablespoon minced onion

2 tablespoons chili sauce

1 teaspoon chili powder

2 tablespoons water

Mix all ingredients, holding back 1 tablespoon chili sauce.

Form into patties and lightly coat with chili sauce.

Toss onto the BBQ until done.


Roast Duck

Given that hunting season has just passed more than a few people with have ducks to spare. Please send one my way. In return here’s a basic recipe for diabetics, low-fat and no-salt diets.

2 1/2 pound duck, quartered with visible fat trimmed off 1 teaspoon grated orange peel 1/ 2 cup chicken bouillon

3 tablespoons white wine

1/ 2 teaspoon salt substitute

1. Put duck quarters skin side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan and sprinkle with orange and salt substitute.

2. Put in oven preheated to 425 degrees F and roast for 20 to 25 minutes (when it’s nicely browned).

3. Drain fat from pan.

4. Combine bouillon and wine and spoon over duck quarters. Cover pan with tinfoil and reduce oven to 325 degrees F. Return to oven and bake for another hour.

5. Remove foil, brush duck with sauce (from bottom of pan) and return to oven for another 15 minutes.


BBQ Pork Chops

Since we were doing the BBQ thing above I decided to give you one more basic recipe. This is more of a BBQ sauce and marinade than anything else and can be used for more than chops but is great with them. Corn and baked potatoes are nice side dishes.

4 lean pork chops 1/2 cup water 1/ 4 cup chicken bouillon 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 tablespoon onion finely chopped 1 teaspoon mixed herbs 1/ 8 teaspoon cayenne 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1. Mix all ingredients except pork chops.

2. In a container put chops and sauce. Leave overnight in fridge or at least three hours after trimming fat from the chops.

3. Put chops over a medium BBQ. Turn every five minutes and once the meat is light brown baste with the sauce each time you turn the meat.


White Wine Clams

People along the coast going clamming. I did it when I was younger and there is nothing better than the taste of fresh clams on the beach. Here’s a simple recipe that is one of the basics for shellfish.

About 30 or more clams cleaned and scrubbed well

1/2 to 1 cup white wine

1 teaspoon basil

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon oregano

1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley

1. Place clams in a large sauce pan with a cover with all ingredients. Steam for ten minutes or until the clam shell open.

2. Remove and serve.