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Grilling Goes Semi-Homemade
With Sandra Lee

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Saucy White Hots
Grilled Pears and Pound Cake With Rum-Caramel Sauce
Grilled Sausage-and-Summer Vegetable Pasta

(Family Features) - Grilling is more popular now than ever. According to NPD Foodworld's Grilling in America survey, three out of four U.S. households own a grill. More than 84 percent of Americans agree that grilled food tastes better and is quicker and easier than other cooking methods.

Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, Sandra Lee, New York Times best-selling author and host of Food Network's Emmy-nominated "Semi-Homemade Cooking," along with Johnsonville Sausage, have some quick tips that will take the guesswork out of grilling bratwursts. "Brats are an all-time favorite, and my simple tips will have you serving up fast and fabulous flame-seared recipes in no time," Lee said.

  • LOW AND SLOW: Low and slow is the only way to go when grilling brats. Wait until the coals are coated with white ash before placing the brats on the grate. If you are grilling with gas, start the flame at medium, then reduce to low when the brat juices start to flow.

  • HEAT THE MEAT: Watch the brats closely, turning them every few minutes. Rotate the links from hotter to cooler portions of the grill as they cook.

  • NO POKING PERMITTED: To retain juices and flavor, always use tongs instead of a fork when turning brats, to avoid piercing the casing.

  • ALL FIRED UP: Consider brats done when casing is evenly browned, a bit crisp and they've been on the grill for about 25 minutes, or when the internal temperature reaches 180ºF.

Meat isn't the only thing good for the grill. Fruits, veggies and even desserts take on a uniquely delicious flavor when grilled. And it's not as tricky as you might think. Sandra's 30 percent homemade, 70 percent store-bought philosophy partners perfectly with grilling, letting you effortlessly create delicious recipes that will become all-time family favorites.

"Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Grilling 2," out now, is the follow-up to her original grilling book, which was one of the top selling grill books of 2006.

For more recipe ideas and grilling tips, visit www.semihomemade.com and www.johnsonville.com.

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Saucy White Hots

For Meat Sauce
  • 8 ounces lean ground beef
  • 1 can (14-ounce) lower-sodium beef broth
  • 1/2 cup chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons frozen chopped onions, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon spicy steak seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For White Hots
  • 4 bratwursts, Johnsonville
  • 4 French rolls, toasted

    1. In large skillet, combine ground beef, beef broth, chili sauce, onion, steak seasoning and cinnamon. Cook over medium heat, stirring to break up meat into fine pieces. Reduce heat; simmer gently for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until liquid is evaporated.
    2. Set up grill for direct cooking over medium heat. Oil grate when ready to start cooking. Place bratwursts on hot, oiled grill. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until done (180°F), turning occasionally. Serve hot on toasted rolls. Top with meat sauce and additional chopped onion.

Preparation Time
15 minutes

Cook Time
45 minutes | Grill: 12 minutes

Grilled Pears and Pound Cake With Rum-Caramel Sauce

  • 1 loaf (16-ounce) frozen pound cake, thawed
  • 1/2 cup dark rum butter, softened
  • 1 cup caramel ice cream topping
  • 2 cans (29 ounces each) pear halves, drained
  • Nonstick vegetable cooking spray
  • Whipped topping

    1. Prep: 15 minutes | Grill: 2 minutes
    2. 1. Set up grill for direct cooking over medium heat. Oil grate when ready to cook. Using a wooden skewer, poke holes all over top of pound cake. Drizzle 1/4 cup of rum, 1 tablespoon at a time, over pound cake. Trim ends off pound cake; cut pound cake crosswise into 8 slices. Butter both sides of each slice.
    3. 2. Place pound cake slices on hot, oiled grill. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side or until lightly toasted; set aside.
    4. 3. For Rum-Caramel Sauce, in small skillet or pan, heat remaining 1/4 cup rum over medium heat until reduced to 1 tablespoon. In small bowl, stir reduced rum into caramel topping. Set aside.
    5. 4. Cut pear halves in half. Pat dry with paper towels. Lightly spray pear pieces with nonstick vegetable cooking spray. Place pears on hot, oiled grill. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side or until warm and marked on all sides. Toss pears with 2 tablespoons Rum-Caramel Sauce. On each of 8 dessert plates, place 1 slice of grilled pound cake and 4 pear pieces. Drizzle with additional sauce and top with whipped topping.

Makes 8 servings

Grilled Sausage-and-Summer Vegetable Pasta

  • 1 package (16-ounce) penne pasta
  • 8 ounces fresh asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 yellow squash, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
  • 1/2 of a red onion, thickly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 4 Johnsonville hot Italian sausages
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Italian salad dressing mix
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese

    1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Set aside. Set up grill for direct cooking over medium heat. Oil grate when ready to start cooking. In large bowl, toss asparagus, bell pepper, zucchini, yellow squash, and onion with 1 tablespoon oil. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
    2. Place sausages and vegetables on hot, oiled grill (use a vegetable grilling basket if desired). Watch for flare-ups when putting vegetables on grill. Cook for 18 to 20 minutes or until sausages are done (180°F) and vegetables are al dente, turning sausages and vegetables often.
    3. Remove sausages and vegetables from grill. Carefully slice sausages diagonally. In a large bowl, combine sliced sausages, vegetables, and cooked pasta.
    4. In small bowl, stir together remaining oil, salad dressing mix and garlic. Pour over pasta and toss. Serve hot with Parmesan cheese.
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Preparation Time
25 minutes

Cook Time
Grill: 18 minutes

Makes 6 servings
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SOURCE: Sandra Lee

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