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Cook's Corner

  • Grandparents build business around pie
    Sue Couch, 68, and her husband, Roger, 73, opened Grandma Sue's Pies and More Inc. in 2010, in downtown Roanoke on North Main Street. The business offers frozen homemade pies that cooks can take home and bake themselves.
  • Grandparents build business around pie
    Sue Couch, 68, and her husband, Roger, 73, opened Grandma Sue’s Pies and More Inc. in 2010, in downtown Roanoke on North Main Street. The business offers frozen homemade pies that cooks can take home and bake themselves.
  • Competitor enjoys creating recipes
    Kent Castleman will make recipes from family cookbooks and those found online but what he and his wife really like to do is create new dishes.

Classic dishes perfect for summer cookouts

– Well, as of 7:09 p.m. June 20, summer had officially arrived. It’s the perfect time of the year for families and friends to gather and celebrate the warm weather.

It’s also the time of the year when cooks across the country will hear, “So, can you bring (you fill in the blank) for the potluck/cookout?”

To help cooks everywhere, today’s Cook’s Corner is going back into the archives to resurrect some tried and true summer recipes that are sure to please young and old alike.

Just remember, because many counties are under a burn ban take extra precautions when grilling. Enjoy the summer – safely.

Asian Grilled Salmon

1 side fresh salmon, boned but skin on, about 3 pounds


2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons soy sauce

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon minced garlic

Light the grill and brush the grilling rack with oil to keep the salmon from sticking. While the grill is heating up, lay the salmon skin side down on a cutting board and cut it crosswise into 4 equal pieces.

Whisk together the mustard, soy sauce, olive oil and garlic in a small bowl. Drizzle half of the marinade onto the salmon and allow it to sit for 10 minutes.

Place the salmon skin side down on the hot grill; discard the marinade the fish was sitting in. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.

Turn carefully with a wide spatula and grill for an additional 4 to 5 minutes. The salmon will be slightly raw in the center, but it will keep cooking as it sits.

Transfer the fish to a flat plate, skin side down, and spoon the reserved marinade on top. Allow the fish to rest for 10 minutes. Remove the skin and serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 5 (8-ounce) servings.

– John Ceruti, Fort Wayne (March 10, 2010)

Honey-Spice Pork Chops

4 garlic cloves, minced

3/4 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon ginger

1 tablespoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon salt

4 to 6 pork chops

Mix all ingredients except pork chops and whisk well. Pour over pork chops. Let marinate for at least 6 hours.

Place chops on the grill for 15 to 20 minutes or until done. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

– Mike Miller, Bluffton (July 16, 2008)

Spinach Salad

2 (10-ounce) packages spinach, torn up

4 hard-boiled eggs, sliced

8-ounce can water chestnuts, thinly sliced

14 1/2 -ounce can bean sprouts, drained

1 pound bacon, diced and fried

Fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced (use as many as you like)

Red onion, thinly sliced, optional

14 1/2 -ounce can rice noodles


1 cup salad oil

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup ketchup

1/4 cup vinegar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon minced onion

Mix spinach, eggs, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, bacon, mushrooms and red onion together in a large bowl. Mix the dressing ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Pour dressing on salad just before serving; mixing well. Top with the rice noodles. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

– Kathie Kipfer, Payne, Ohio (June 8, 2005)

Grilled Asparagus

1 pound asparagus

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (may substitute red wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar)

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil

1 to 2 tablespoons soy sauce

3 cloves garlic, crushed

Salt, to taste

Black pepper, to taste

Dried or fresh herbs like basil, thyme and oregano, optional

Cut off tough ends of asparagus. Combine all ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal and marinate for 30 minutes to 6 hours (the longer you marinate, the more flavor that results).

Remove asparagus from bag and reserve the marinade for basting. Place asparagus on grill and cook, turning frequently and brushing with the leftover marinade.

Cook 5 to 10 minutes or until it reaches desired doneness. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

– Dan Atkinson, Fort Wayne (March 8, 2006)

Cool Pie

1 (6-ounce) container peach yogurt

1 (8-ounce) container non-dairy whipped topping

1 (3-ounce) package peach gelatin

3/4 cup pecans, chopped

2 cups strawberries, cut up

1 graham cracker crust

Mix yogurt and whipped topping. Sprinkle gelatin into this mixture and fold in. Add chopped nuts and strawberries.

Fill crust and chill until firm. Garnish with additional strawberries. Makes 6 servings.

– Kathleen Cummins, Fort Wayne (July 8, 2009)

Banana Split Dessert

2 cups reduced-fat graham cracker crumbs (about 32 squares)

5 tablespoons margarine

12 ounces cold reduced-fat evaporated milk

1/4 cup cold fat-free milk

2 (3-ounce) packages sugar-free instant vanilla pudding

2 medium firm bananas, sliced

1 (20-ounce) can unsweetened crushed pineapple, well drained

8 ounces reduced-fat or sugar-free frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed

3 tablespoons chopped walnuts

3 tablespoons chocolate syrup (sugar-free, if available)

5 maraschino cherries, quartered, rinsed and blotted dry

Combine cracker crumbs and margarine; press onto the bottom of a 13-by-9-by-2-inch dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. In a bowl, whisk the evaporated milk, fat-free milk and pudding mixes for two minutes or until slightly thickened.

Spread pudding evenly over crust. Layer with bananas, pineapple and whipped topping. Sprinkle with nuts, drizzle with chocolate syrup and top with cherries. Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting. Makes 15 servings.

– Lois Neuenschwander, Ossian (June 3, 2009)

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