Home Cooking: County Fair Makes Summer Grilling Easy

By Kristin Boza

Tom Baffes and his County Fair butchers work diligently to make summer grilling as easy as possible for their customers. Whether you’re looking for beef, pork, chicken or fish, County Fair offers pre-packaged but uncooked food, allowing customers to serve their families a home-cooked meal with a lot less prep work.

“Our pub burgers are always a big hit and not a lot of stores do it like we do,” Baffes said. The hand-packed pub burgers and mini burgers come ready-made in four different flavors: Bacon cheddar, jalapeno, bleu cheese and plain. “It’s best to sear both sides of the burgers before grilling. They’re so thick that you have to watch them on the grill, and cover them to ensure they’re evenly cooked.”

County Fair also stocks U.S. Choice steaks in filet, strip and porterhouse cuts. And if you’re looking for another food item that can be eaten on a bun, County Fair makes their own Italian sausage and bratwurst from their pork trimmings.

Baffes says that their shish kabobs are among their most popular pre-packaged items. Made with vegetables and either chicken, steak or salmon, they’re easy to throw on the grill and avoid the mess that comes with chopping and spearing the food at home.

Chicken breasts marinated in three flavors provide another grilling option. Besides the traditional lemon pepper and Italian seasoning options, County Fair offers a spicy buffalo chicken this year. “We always try to come up with a different flavor for the summer,” Baffes said. The butchers split the chicken breasts before marinating and packaging, which makes them really easy to cook, about 10 minutes on each side according to Baffes. All of the marinades are made in-house.

For seafood lovers, the shrimp scampi is a great option and grills quickly.

“Each of our butchers has his own specialty. Jeff makes a great shrimp scampi and ceviche; Greg is our pub burger specialist; Michael is our shish kabob guy; and Rocky’s specialty is steaks. While each of them has their own niche, they’re a good team. We’re lucky to have all of them!”

Besides the great meat options, a July 4th barbecue isn’t complete without sweet corn and black diamond watermelon, both of which will be on special at County Fair this month.