Archive for September, 2011

Chipotle-Dusted Soft-Shell Crabs with Pineapple-Mint Salsa - BBQ And Grilling Recipes

Crustaceans, such as shrimp, lobsters, and crabs, have to shed their shells in order to grow. During the brief period that they are shell-less they are completely vulnerable to attack by other crustaceans, larger fish, and us. Soft-shell crabs have all of the succulence of blue crabs with none of the hassle. In this recipe the crabs are seasoned with chipotle pepper, a smoky spice that plays remarkably with their sweet, salty tang. Pineapple salsa is served alongside to help cool your palate.

TIMING
Prep: 20 minutes
Grill: 5 minutes.

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– Clean grill screen
– Long-handled tongs.

THE GRILL
Gas: Direct heat, medium-high (425° to 450°F)
Clean, oiled grate
Charcoal:
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Wood:
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch bed, 3 to 4 inches deep
Clean, oiled grate set 2 inches above the fire.

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 4 SERVINGS, 2 CUPS SALSA)
For the crabs:
8 soft-shell crabs, about 5 ounces each
1 lime, halved
¼ teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Oil for coating grill screen
No-stick spray oil
For the salsa:
1 cup (about 10 ounces) finely chopped fresh pineapple
1 cup finely chopped fresh tomato
¼ cup finely diced red onion
½ to 1 serrano chile (depending on how hot you like it), seeds and stem removed, finely chopped
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves.

DIRECTIONS
1. If the crabs have not been “dressed”, you will have to trim them yourself.
2. Heat the grill as directed.
3. Put the crabs on a plate; squeeze the lime juice over the top and flip them over several times to coat. Mix the chipotle and salt and sprinkle over both sides of the crabs. Refrigerate.
4. Mix all of the salsa ingredients in a bowl.
5. Put the grill screen on the grill and coat it with oil. Spray the  crabs on both sides with oil and grill for 3 minutes on the red side (top) and 2 minutes on the white side (bottom).
6. Serve topped with some of the salsa, with the remainder passed at the table.

SOFT SHELLS: DRESSED TO GRILL
To prepare soft-shell crabs for grilling, you must remove any hard, tough, or inedible parts. This sounds more distasteful than it is. Think of yourself as a culinary surgeon, and you should do just fine. Although the job can be done with a small, sharp knife it is easier and less messy with scissors.
1. Place the crab on a plate to catch the juices. Snip off the eyes, removing as little of the top shell as possible. Snip off the hard manacles of the mouth on the beige underside of the crab, again removing as little as possible of the tender regions surrounding it.
2. Snip off the “apron” on the underside of the crab. In male crabs the apron is pointed. In female crabs it is shaped like a shield.
3. Flip the crab over so that its red side is facing up, and snip off the spongy, finger-shaped gills that lie under the top “shell” on either side of the crab’s body.
4. Rinse the crabs and pat dry; discard all of the snipped-off parts.

Comments No Comments »

This scampi recipe is one of the best we know. It takes a little bit of time to marinate, but once that is done it cooks in minutes. You start by marinating large shrimp in wine, garlic, and olive oil. Then grill the shrimp and boil the remaining marinade until it reduces to a glaze, mount it with butter, garnish with parsley, and toss with the lightly crusted shrimp as they emerge from the flames. You can serve the scampi over pasta, but if you do, you should double the amount of sauce.

THE GRILL
Gas: Direct heat, medium-high (425° to 450°F)
Clean, oiled grate
Charcoal:
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Wood:
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch bed, 3 to 4 inches deep
Clean, oiled grate set 2 inches above the fire.

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 4 SERVINGS)
¼ cup white wine
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, or more to taste
1 pound colossal (U-15) shrimp, shelled and cleaned Oil for coating grill screen
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley.

DIRECTIONS
1. Mix the wine, 2 cloves of the garlic, the olive oil, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Add the shrimp, toss to coat, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Heat the grill as directed. Put the grill screen on the grill and coat it with oil.
3. Remove the shrimp from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Put the shrimp on the screen, cover, and cook until firm and slightly browned, about 6 minutes, turning halfway through.
4. While the shrimp are grilling, combine the reserved marinade and remaining garlic in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and swirl in the butter and parsley. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Toss the grilled shrimp with the sauce and serve.

MAKING SUBSTITUTIONS
– The same preparation is delicious with large sea scallops, or use a combination of shrimp and scallops.

Comments No Comments »

Choose the largest shrimp you can find for this recipe. The bigger they are, the longer they will take to cook, which means more time for them to absorb the basil fragrance from the pesto, and longer for the flame to singe their skins. The effect, as the parchmentcrisp crust cracks between the teeth, releasing a burst of basilscented juice across the palate, is ecstatic.

THE GRILL
Gas: Direct heat, medium-high (425° to 450°F)
Clean, oiled grill grate
Charcoal:
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Wood:
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch bed, 3 to 4 inches deep
Clean, oiled grate set 2 inches above the fire.

TIMING
Prep: 10 minutes
(plus 10 minutes for pesto)
Grill: About 8 minutes.

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– Four 15-inch metal skewers, preferably flat or square
– Long-handled tongs or grill mitts
– Long-handled basting brush

BASIL PESTO
Makes ¾ cup (about 12 servings)
4-ounce bunch fresh basil, stems removed
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup freshly grated imported Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste

Chop the basil and garlic finely in a food processor. Add the pine nuts, olive oil, Parmesan, salt, and pepper and process in pulses until well blended. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 4 SERVINGS)
12 colossal (U-15) shrimp (about 1 pound), shelled and cleaned
3 tablespoons basil pesto, purchased or homemade (recipe at right)
16 underripe grape tomatoes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
Oil for coating grill grate.

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat the grill as directed.
2. Slit the shrimp along their backs, to open up the center crevice slightly. Fill the opening in each shrimp with about ½ teaspoon pesto.
3. Arrange 3 shrimp on each skewer, alternating them with 4 grape tomatoes.
4. Mix the olive oil, salt, and peper with the remaining 1 tablespoon pesto in a small bowl. Brush the shrimp and tomatoes with some of this mixture.
5. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the prepared skewers on the grill, cover, and cook for 8 minutes, turning and basting with some of the pesto oil every 2 minutes. Baste with any remaining oil mixture and serve.

Comments No Comments »

The floral, lightly peppery scent of Szechwan pepper is a natural with tropical fruit. In this recipe, a Szechwan rub seasons quickly grilled shrimp that are served topped with a grilled fresh mango sauce. The vibrant colors (coral pink shrimp, sunset orange mango), disparate temperatures and textures (a pop of hot shrimp, a slurp of chilled sauce), and flavor (floral spice meets peppered fruit) are enough to cause swooning.

TIMING
Prep: 5 minutes
(plus 5 minutes for Szechwan salt and chutney)
Grill: 3 to 4 minutes.

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– Clean grill screen
– Long-handled tongs.

THE GRILL
Gas: Direct heat, medium-high (425° to 450°F)
Clean, oiled grate
Charcoal:
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals)
Clean oiled grate on lowest setting
Wood:
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch bed, 3 to 4 inches deep
Clean oiled grate set 2 inches above fire.

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 4 SERVINGS)
Oil for coating grill screen
1 pound extra-large (26–30 count) shrimp, shelled and cleaned
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon Sesame Szechwan Salt.
1 cup Grilled Mango Chutney.

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat the grill as directed. Put the grill screen on the grill and coat it with oil.
2. Toss the shrimp with the sesame oil in a bowl until coated. Spread the shrimp out on a sheet of foil and season with the Szechwan salt.
3. Grill the shrimp on the oiled screen, with the grill covered, 1 to 2 minutes per side, until firm and slightly browned.
4. Serve with the Grilled Mango Chutney as a dip.

Comments No Comments »

Skewered Grilled Shrimp with Lime, Honey and Mint - BBQ And Grilling Recipes

These shrimp are the perfect pick-up with drinks (mojitos come to mind). They can be prepared from start to finish in less than 10 minutes, ready in less time than it takes to preheat the grill.

TIMING
Prep: 5 minutes
Soaking the skewers: 10 minutes
Grill: About 4 minutes.

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– 8 long bamboo skewers
– 8 small pieces aluminum foil
– Clean grill screen
– Long-handled tongs or grill mitt.

THE GRILL
Gas: Direct heat, medium-high (425° to 450°F)
Clean, oiled grate
Charcoal:
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Wood:
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch bed, 3 to 4 inches deep
Clean, oiled grate set 2 inches above the fire.

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 4 SERVINGS)
6 tablespoons honey
Juice and finely grated zest of 1 lime
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound extra-large (26–30 count) shrimp, shelled and cleaned Oil for coating grill screen.

DIRECTIONS
1. Put the bamboo skewers in a roasting pan and add enough water to cover; soak about 10 minutes. Heat the grill as directed.
2. Mix the honey, lime juice, lime zest, and mint, salt in a small bowl. Toss about half of this mixture with the shrimp and reserve the remainder for serving.
3. Arrange 3 or 4 shrimp on each skewer. Wrap a piece of foil around the exposed end of each skewer.
4. Put the grill screen on the grill and coat it with oil; cover for a few minutes to get the screen hot. Put the prepared skewers on the hot screen and grill, covered, until the shrimp are lightly browned and firm, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a serving plate, drizzle with the remaining sauce, and serve.

Comments No Comments »

A paillard is a paper-thin fillet of meat that grills in seconds and is one of the quickest meals ever to slide onto a dinner plate. Preparing the meat is not difficult, but it does require some pounding. A wide, flat piece of meat (butterflied boneless chicken breast is a natural; see page 164 for butterflying instructions) is placed between sheets of plastic wrap and flattened until it spreads wide and thin (about 3/16 inch). If you don’t have a meat pounder or a flat-faced meat mallet, you can use the bottom of a heavy saucepan or skillet, but if you prepare boneless chicken breasts regularly (and who doesn’t?), you should consider buying a good meat pounder. Paillards can be pounded hours ahead and
stored in the refrigerator; they will be on the grill for no longer than 1 minute.

TIMING
Prep: 10 minutes
Grill: 1 minute.

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– Flat-sided meat pounder
– Long-handled spatula.

THE GRILL
Gas: Direct heat, high (500°F)
Clean, oiled grate
Charcoal:
Direct heat, red hot
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Wood:
Direct heat, red hot
12-by-12-inch bed, 4 inches deep
Clean, oiled grate set 2 inches above the fire.

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 4 SERVINGS)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, trimmed,
tenders removed
6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste
6 anchovy fillets, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Oil for coating grill grate.

MAKING SUBSTITUTIONS
– Although boneless, skinless chicken breast halves are the prime candidate for paillardization, anything that can be pounded thin enough can be turned into a paillard. Unsoaked sea scallops make elegant mini-paillards. Slices of boneless turkey breast and cross sections of pork loin, beef tenderloin, or veal leg are all viable options.

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat the grill as directed.
2. Coat the chicken breasts with 4 teaspoons of the olive oil. Put one of them on a large sheet of plastic wrap, season it with the ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper, top with another sheet of plastic wrap, and pound until uniformly 3/16 inch thick and the approximate dimensions of a dinner plate. This preparation is a paillard. Set aside. Repeat with the remaining breast halves, using new sheets of plastic for each one.
3. Mash the anchovies, garlic, parsley, red pepper flakes, black pepper to taste, and butter on a clean work surface with the back of a fork until well combined. Divide into 4 equal portions.
4. Brush the grill grate and coat it liberally with oil. Remove the plastic wrap from 2 of the flattened breasts and place them on the grill so that they are spread out flat. The easiest way is to support it with your open hand and flip it onto the grill. Grill until the chicken looks opaque, about 30 seconds. Flip with a spatula and grill for 15 seconds on the other side. Remove to a platter, cover to keep warm, and repeat with the other 2 paillards.
5. Top each paillard with a portion of anchovy butter; serve immediately.

Comments No Comments »

In this satay, Thai peanut sauce is used both as a grilling sauce for chicken and as the base for a salad dressing that is tossed with baby greens, cucumber, scallions, and red peppers. The chicken strips are marinated and grilled on skewers and then served on top of the salad.

TIMING
Prep: 10 minutes
(plus 5 minutes for sauce)
Soaking the skewers: 30 minutes
Grill: 6 minutes.

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– 12 long bamboo skewers
– Clean grill screen
– 12 small pieces aluminum foil
– Long-handled tongs or grill mitts
– Long-handled basting brush.

MAKING SUBSTITUTIONS
– This recipe can also be made with shrimp or pork..

GETTING CREATIVE
– Garnish the salad with toasted shredded coconut or chopped roasted peanuts.

THE GRILL
Gas: Direct heat, medium-high (425° to 450°F)
Clean, oiled grate
Charcoal:
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Wood:
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch bed, 3 to 4 inches deep
Clean, oiled grate set 2 inches above the fire.

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 4 SERVINGS)
1 cup Thai Coconut Peanut Sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 cups field greens or baby lettuce mix
½ small cucumber, cut into thin strips
2 scallions, roots trimmed, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, cut into thin strips
Oil for coating the grill screen

DIRECTIONS
1. Put the bamboo skewers in a roasting pan and add enough water to cover; soak for at least 30 minutes. Heat the grill as directed. Put the grill screen on the grill.
2. Combine the peanut sauce, vinegar, and lime juice in a small bowl. Cut the chicken into ¼-inch-thick slices (about 24 slices). Toss with ¼ cup of the sauce in another bowl; set aside.
3. Wash your hands well and toss the greens, cucumber, scallions, and red pepper in a large bowl.
4. Arrange 2 chicken slices on each skewer, threading the skewer through the length of each slice 2 to 3 times to secure it as flat as possible. Wrap a piece of foil around the exposed end of each skewer. Discard any sauce that has come into contact with the chicken.
5. Coat the grill screen with oil. Put the prepared skewers on the screen and grill, covered, until the chicken pieces are browned and firm, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
6. Toss 1/3 cup of the remaining sauce with the salad and divide among 4 plates. Put 3 skewers on each plate and top with a small amount of the sauce. Serve the remaining sauce on the side for dipping.

Comments No Comments »

Vietnamese Beef Satay Basted With Basil Butter

Satay is typically served with peanut sauce, and many people think the sauce itself is “satay,” when traditionally the name refers only to skewered marinated grilled meat. In this case the meat is beef and there is no dipping sauce at all. Rather, the meat is marinated in fish sauce and pineapple juice, which seasons and tenderizes the meat (pineapple contains bromelain, a natural meat tenderizer). After it is grilled, it is basted with basil butter, which glazes the crispy grilled beef with a delicate herbal perfume.

TIMING
Prep: 10 minutes
(plus 5 minutes for sauce)
Marinate: 1 hour
Grill: 6 to 8 minutes.

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– 12 long bamboo skewers
– 12 small pieces aluminum foil
– Long-handled tongs or grill mitts
– Long-handled basting brush.

THE GRILL
Gas: Direct heat, medium-high (425° to 450°F)
Clean, oiled grate
Charcoal:
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Wood:
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch bed, 3 to 4 inches deep
Clean, oiled grate set 2 inches above the fire.

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 4 SERVINGS)
1½ pounds boneless beef short ribs
¼ cup pineapple juice
2/3 cup Vietnamese Dipping Sauce (page 398)
2 tablespoons salted butter
½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves (about 20), preferably Thai basil
Oil for coating grill grate.

DIRECTIONS
1. Put the bamboo skewers in a roasting pan and add enough water to cover.
2. Cut the beef into ¼-inch-thick slices (about 24 slices). Toss with the pineapple juice and ¼ cup of the dipping sauce in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
3. Heat the grill as directed.
4. Arrange 2 beef slices on each skewer, threading the skewer through the length of each slice 2 to 3 times to secure it as flat as possible. Wrap a piece of foil around the exposed end of each skewer.
5. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the prepared skewers on the grill, cover, and grill until browned on one side, about 2 minutes. Turn and brush with a thin layer of the remaining dipping sauce; grill for 2 minutes. Turn and brush with more sauce; grill for 1 minute. Turn and grill for 1 minute more. Transfer to a serving plate.
6. As soon as the beef is done cooking, melt the butter in a small skillet. Add the basil leaves and stir until wilted, a few seconds. Brush onto the beef. Serve 3 skewers per person.

Comments No Comments »

Satay came to Thailand via Indonesia, and although Thai satay sauce is always made with peanut butter and coconut milk, Indonesian satay doesn’t always include coconut. This one is in the Indonesian style. It is made with pork, but you could just as easily use chicken or beef. Just make sure there is a generous amount of meat on the skewer so that it doesn’t dry out before it browns.

TIMING
Prep: 10 minutes
(plus 5 minutes for sauce)
Marinate: 1 hour
(soaking the skewers: 30 minutes)
Grill: About 6 minutes.

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– 12 long bamboo skewers
– 12 small pieces aluminum foil
– Long-handled tongs or grill mitts
– Long-handled basting brush.

MAKING SUBSTITUTIONS
– The pineapple juice used to marinate the pork adds flavor, but it also helps to tenderize the meat due to a protein-cleaving enzyme in pineapple (brome-lain). You can substitute papaya juice, which will give you a different flavor but a similar tenderizing effect, since papaya has its own protein-digesting enzyme (papain).

THE GRILL
Gas: Direct heat, medium-high (425° to 450°F)
Clean, oiled grate
Charcoal:
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Wood:
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch bed, 3 to 4 inches deep
Clean, oiled grate set 2 inches above the fire.

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 4 SERVINGS)
1 pound center-cut pork loin
½ cup pineapple juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons canola oil for coating pork
12/3 cups Indonesian Peanut Sauce. Oil for coating grill grate.

DIRECTIONS
1. Put the bamboo skewers in a roasting pan and add enough water to cover.
2. Cut the pork loin in half lengthwise. Cut into ¼-inch-thick slices (about 24 slices) and place in a bowl. Season with the pineapple juice, garlic, salt, and pepper, and coat with the 1 to 2 tablespoons oil. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
3. Heat the grill as directed.
4. Arrange 2 pork slices on each skewer, threading the skewer through the length of each slice 2 to 3 times to secure it as flat as possible. Wrap a piece of foil around the exposed end of each skewer.
5. Reserve 1 cup of the peanut sauce for serving.
6. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the prepared skewers on the grill and cook until the pork is browned on all sides and firm to the touch, about 6 minutes. After the first 2 minutes of cooking, turn and brush with a thin layer of sauce every 1 to 2 minutes.
7. Serve 3 skewers per person, with the reserved sauce on the side.

Comments No Comments »

These spectacular-looking kebabs are furred with coconut, fragrant with peanut sauce, and vibrantly colorful. Swordfish is a particularly meaty fish that holds up well on a skewer, but it could easily be replaced with tuna, salmon, or shark, if you wish. It is inevitable that some of the coconut will fall off as the fish grills. Don’t worry about it; the amount in the recipe assumes some loss.

TIMING
Prep: 10 minutes
(plus 5 minutes for sauce)
Marinate: 30 minutes
Grill: About 10 minutes.

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– Clean grill screen
– Four 15-inch metal skewers, preferably flat or square
– Long-handled tongs.

NOTE:
Do not use sweetened shredded coconut. It will burn within seconds on the grill.

THE GRILL
Gas: Direct heat, medium-high (425° to 450°F)
Clean, oiled grate
Charcoal:
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Wood:
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch bed, 3 to 4 inches deep
Clean, oiled grate set 2 inches above the fire.

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 4 SERVINGS)
1½ pounds swordfish steaks, skin trimmed, cut into 24 chunks
1 cup Thai Coconut Peanut Sauce
Oil for coating grill screen
20 grape tomatoes
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (see note)
No-stick spray oil
1 lime, cut into 4 wedges.

DIRECTIONS
1. Toss the swordfish chunks with ½ cup of the peanut sauce in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Heat the grill as directed. Put the grill screen on the grill and coat it with oil.
3. Arrange 6 pieces of swordfish, alternating with 5 grape tomatoes, on each of the 4 skewers, being careful to leave a little space between the pieces.
4. Spread the coconut on a sheet of foil in a thin layer. Roll the skewered swordfish in the coconut to coat it. Spray the coconutcoated fish liberally with oil.
5. Put the prepared skewers on the oiled grill screen and cook until the fish feels firm to the touch, about 10 minutes, turning once halfway through. Don’t worry if some of the coconut burns or sticks to the screen.
6. Serve drizzled with some of the remaining ½ cup peanut sauce and a wedge of lime.

Comments No Comments »