Nashville chef Matt Bolus of The 404 Kitchen doesn’t mess around when it comes to summer cooking. Here, he shares three ultra simple tips to improve any backyard cookout, from salad to vegetables to meat.
1. Get your salad nominated for the award of Best Dressed. "The easiest way to make an emulsified salad dressing (or Hollandaise sauce) is to put all the ingredients in a large Mason jar, or something of similar size and height. Submerge an immersion blender all the way to the bottom, turn it on high and slowly pull it upwards. You’ll have a perfectly emulsified dressing at a fraction of the time it normally takes to make."
2. Simplify shucking. "The best way to shuck corn is to cut the bottom (the round side) off about an inch in. Holding the top of the greens, pull the cob out. No corn strings will remain."
3. Master your meat. "Use a cake tester to assess when your proteins are cooked to the desired temperature. Pierce the protein at its center, roughly an inch deep, and hold the cake tester there for a couple of seconds. Remove the cake tester and carefully touch it to your bottom lip. When the cake tester is barely warm, the protein is medium rare; very warm, it is medium; hot, it is medium well to well done."