Barbecue Fare with a Local Flair
Jul 31, 2014 08:34AM
● By Linda Sechrist
The warm summer months are like mythic sirens beckoning families and friends to fire up the grill for a backyard barbecue and gather around the picnic table under the shade of swaying palm trees. Rather than wreaking havoc on a generally sensible eating plan, local sources such as Wynn’s Market, in Naples, and Ada’s Natural Market, in Fort Myers, offer a few suggestions for lightening up cookout fare that will still allow for plenty of savory enjoyment on a carefree summer day.
Ever since Wynn’s Market opened Naples’ very first refrigerated meat case in 1950, the store has offered high-quality cuts of meat. Today, grillmasters can choose from an array of meats that include grass-fed options, USDA Prime beef, certified Angus beef, organic and free-range Bell & Evans chicken and all-natural Chairman’s Reserve pork.
“It’s important to have good marbling in any cut of meat, because that’s what guarantees great tenderness and flavor,” advises Kevin Grimes, Wynn’s meat department manager. For grilling, he recommends New York strip, rib eye, porterhouse, sirloin and tenderloin steaks. For ground beef, an 80/20 lean-to-fat ratio or Kobe ground sirloin will make juicy hamburgers. For chicken and turkey, a lean-to-fat ratio of 93/7 is best for grilling.
Fresh seafood on the grill, Gulf shrimp, wild-caught salmon and freshly caught Gulf delicacies like grouper and snapper are always a hit. “A lot of our suppliers will call us when the boats come in, and that’s how we can offer the freshest selection possible” says Grimes. “We have one supplier of wild-caught salmon and halibut from the Columbia River in Washington and Oregon that overnights us some of the most beautiful, fresh products. Doesn’t get any better than that unless you catch it yourself.”
At Ada’s Natural Market, which specializes in a good selection of organic options, Winfield Lenz, executive chef and deli manager, makes an assortment of side dishes on-site that complement any type of grilled meat, poultry or seafood. “I fire-grill fresh veggies daily over applewood and beechwood chips,” she describes. “Then they are seasoned gently with olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs.”
Lentz also makes two varieties of quinoa salad. The Mediterranean-style version is seasoned with artichoke hearts and a mild olive oil dressing. Southwestern quinoa is oil-free and tossed up with salsa, onion, black beans and cilantro. Another great accompaniment is the Greek garbanzo bean salad, made with olives, feta cheese, artichoke hearts, peppers and onions and organic beans. The spinach/mushroom and the roasted red pepper chicken sausage is also made on-site using only cage-free, hormone- and antibiotic-free chicken.
Ada’s is prepared for summer. “We’re a convenient stop on the way to the beach,” says Lentz. The store has a special picnic case that has everything from cruelty-free, hormone-free, prepared pork ribs and uncured, nitrate-free hot dogs to potato salad. It’s a ready-to-go picnic. Anyone can stop by, make their selections and be on their way to a summer outing in the backyard or at the beach. The market even sells natural sunscreens without preservatives.
Wynn’s Market, 141 Ninth St. N., Naples, 239-261-7157. WynnsOnline.com.
Ada’s Natural Market. 7070 College Pkwy., Fort Myers, 239-939-9600. AdasMarket.com, Facebook.com/AdasNaturalMarket.