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Show 405:
Louisiana Tribute

Mindful of the suffering of New Orleans in the last year, this show pays tribute to Louisiana’s rich culinary traditions. You know Raichlen's rule: If something tastes good baked, boiled, or deep-fried, it probably tastes even better grilled. Case in point: Grill-Top Shrimp "Boil" jazzed up with grilled bratwurst–this isn't like any shrimp boil you've ever tasted. And never mind that deep-fried turkey was invented in Louisiana: Steven cooks Big Easy Barbecued Turkey with plenty of wood smoke after literally injecting it with a spice-scented marinade. Cajun Tuna Pipérade combines the "Holy Trinity"--onion, celery, and bell pepper--with tomato, spicy andouille sausage and fire-licked sushi-grade tuna steaks for flavor that just won’t quit.

BIG EASY BARBECUED TURKEY
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BBQ USA  
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Source: BBQ USA by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing, 2003)
Method: Indirect
Yield: Serves 8 to 10

FOR THE INJECTOR SAUCE:
1/3 cup chicken stock (preferably homemade), at room temperature
1 tablespoon bourbon
1 tablespoon Cajun Rub (see recipe below)

FOR THE TURKEY:
1 turkey (8 to 10 pounds), thawed if frozen
4 tablespoons Cajun Rub (see recipe below)
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil

You'll also need:
Kitchen syringe; 3 cups wood chips or chunks (preferably hickory or oak), soaked for 1 hour in water to cover, then drained

MAKE THE INJECTOR SAUCE: Combine the stock, bourbon, and Cajun Rub in a bowl and whisk to mix.

Remove the packet of giblets from the neck or body cavity of the turkey and set aside for another use. Remove and discard the fat just inside the cavities of the turkey. Rinse the turkey, inside and out, under cold running water, then blot dry, inside and out, with paper towels. Season the inside of both cavities with 2 tablespoons of the Cajun Rub.

Fill the kitchen syringe with the injector sauce. To do this, push the plunger all the way down, place the tip of the needle in the sauce, and slowly draw the plunger up: The syringe will fill with sauce. Inject the sauce into the turkey breast, thighs, and drumsticks. Don't be surprised if a little sauce squirts out; this is OK. Truss the turkey; this is optional, but it will give the bird a more dignified appearance. Rub the outside of the turkey with the oil and sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of Cajun Rub all over it, patting it onto the skin with your fingertips.

Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium. If using a gas grill, place all of the wood chips or chunks in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch and run the grill on high until you see smoke, then reduce the heat to medium. If using a charcoal grill, place a large drip pan in the center, preheat the grill to medium, then toss 1 cup of the wood chips or chunks on the coals.

When ready to cook, place the turkey, breast side up, in the center of the hot grate, over the drip pan and away from the heat. Cover the grill and cook the turkey until the skin is nicely browned and the meat is cooked through, 2-1/4 to 2-3/4 hours. To check for doneness, insert an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of a thigh but not so that it touches the bone. The internal temperature should be about 180 degrees F. If the wing tips start to burn, cover them loosely with aluminum foil; if the skin starts to brown too much, cover the bird loosely with aluminum foil. If using a charcoal grill, every hour you'll need to add 12 fresh coals and cup wood chips or chunks to each side.

Transfer the grilled turkey to a platter, cover it loosely with aluminum foil, if you have not already done so, and let it rest for 10 minutes. Untruss the turkey, if necessary, carve, and serve.

CAJUN RUB
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Yield: Makes about 1 cup

1/4 cup coarse salt (kosher or sea)
3 tablespoons sweet paprika
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons dried thyme (preferably ground)
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon freshly ground white pepper
2 teaspoons ground dried sage leaves
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

Combine the salt, paprika, garlic and onion powders, thyme, oregano, black pepper, white pepper, sage, and cayenne in a small bowl and whisk to mix or place in a jar, cover it, and shake to mix. Store the rub in an airtight jar away from heat and light; it will keep for at least 1 year.

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COUSIN DAVE'S GRILL-TOP SHRIMP "BOIL"

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BBQ USA  
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Source: BBQ USA by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing, 2003)
Method: Direct
Serves: 8
Advance Preparation: 1 hour for marinating the shrimp

3 pounds extra-large or jumbo shrimp in the shell
3 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
3 tablespoons Cajun Rub (see recipe below) or your favorite commercial rub
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon cracked black peppercorns
1 to 3 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 bottle or can (12 ounces) beer
1-1/2 cups heavy (whipping) cream
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
6 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 thin slices lemon (with rind), seeds removed
3 to 4 tablespoons hot sauce (such as Crystal, Louisiana, or Tabasco)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, peeled and gently crushed with the side of a cleaver
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
Crusty bread or Grilled Garlic Bread for serving (optional; recipe below)
Grilled corn as an accompaniment (optional; recipe below)

You'll also need:
Kitchen shears; 3 cups wood chips or chunks (preferably hickory or
Pecan), soaked for 1 hour in water to cover, then drained; 2
Aluminum foil pans (8 by 12 inches)

Rinse the shrimp under cold running water, then drain and blot them dry with paper towels. Using kitchen shears, make a lengthwise cut through the shell, down the back of each shrimp. Use the tine of a fork or the tip of a bamboo skewer to pull out the vein if you see one. Remember, not every shrimp has a visible vein. Place the shrimp in a large bowl.

Place the Old Bay seasoning, Cajun Rub, coriander, black peppercorns, and cayenne in a small bowl and stir to mix. Set 1-1/2 tablespoons of this rub aside for the sauce. Sprinkle the remaining rub over the shrimp and toss to mix. Stir in the olive oil and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and stir to mix. Let the shrimp marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for 1 hour.

Place the beer in a heavy nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Let boil until reduced to about 1/3 cup, 6 to 10 minutes. Add the cream and let boil until the mixture is reduced by half, 7 to 10 minutes more. Add the corn syrup, Worcestershire sauce, lemon slices, hot sauce, brown sugar, and garlic, and the remaining 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1-1/2 tablespoons of the reserved rub. Let boil until thick and syrupy, to 6 minutes. Whisk in the butter, piece by piece, and let the sauce boil until heated through and well-combined, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste; the sauce should be highly seasoned. Keep the sauce warm at the edge of the grill. Do not let it return to a boil.

Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. If using a gas grill, place all the wood chips or chunks in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch and run the grill on high until you see smoke. If using a charcoal grill, preheat it to high, then toss all of the wood chips or chunks on the coals.

When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Place the marinated shrimp on the hot grate and grill until just cooked through, 1 to 3 minutes per side. When done, the shrimp will turn a pinkish white and feel firm to the touch (see Note).

Transfer the grilled shrimp to aluminum foil pans and place the pans on the grill. Pour the sauce over them and cook for a minute or so to warm the shrimp in the sauce. Serve the shrimp at once with the sauce slathered over them and crusty bread and grilled corn on the side.

Note: To speed up the grilling process, skewer the shrimp on bamboo skewers. You'll need about 8. Use skewers that are 10 to 12 inches long and place about 6 shrimp on each. When you thread the shrimp on a skewer, insert it near the head and tail ends so that the shrimp looks like the letter C. It's a lot faster turning 8 kebabs than all those individual shrimp.

CAJUN RUB


Yield: Makes about 1 cup

1/4 cup coarse salt (kosher or sea)
3 tablespoons sweet paprika
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons dried thyme (preferably ground)
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon freshly ground white pepper
2 teaspoons ground dried sage leaves
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

Combine the salt, paprika, garlic and onion powders, thyme, oregano, black pepper, white pepper, sage, and cayenne in a small bowl and whisk to mix or place in a jar, cover it, and shake to mix. Store the rub in an airtight jar away from heat and light; it will keep for at least 1 year.

CAJUN TUNA PIPERADE
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BBQ USA  
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Source: BBQ USA by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing, 2003)
Method: Direct
Yield: Serves 4
Advance Preparation: 30 minutes for marinating the tuna

FOR THE PIPERADE:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut lengthwise into thin slices
1 small yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut lengthwise into thin slices
1 small green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut lengthwise into thin slices
1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and thinly sliced (for a hotter piperade, leave the seeds in)
2 ounces tasso or andouille sausage (see Note) cut into matchstick slivers
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoons sweet, hot, or smoked paprika
1 large luscious, ripe red tomato, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch dice
Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper

FOR THE TUNA:
4 sushi-quality tuna steaks (each about 1 inch thick and 6 ounces)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Cajun Rub (recipe follows) or your favorite commercial rub
2 cloves garlic, minced,
4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, or 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

You’ll also need:

2 cups wood chips or chunks (optional, preferably oak), unsoaked

1. MAKE THE PIPERADE: Heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet over high heat. Add the onion, bell peppers, jalapeno(s), and tasso and saute until the onions and peppers are lightly browned, 4 minutes, tossing or stirring the ingredients to ensure even browning. Add the sliced garlic and paprika after 2 minutes. Add the tomato after 2 more minutes, and cook over high heat until most of the tomato juices have evaporated, about 2 minutes longer. Season with salt and black pepper to taste; the piperade should be highly seasoned. The piperade can be prepared up to 48 hours ahead and kept refrigerated, covered.

2. Trim any skin or dark or bloody spots off the tuna steaks. Rinse the tuna under cold running water, then blot it dry with paper towels. Lightly brush the tuna steaks on both sides with about 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Sprinkle the tuna on both sides with the Cajun Rub and minced garlic, patting the seasonings onto the fish with your fingertips. Let the tuna marinate for 30 minutes.

3. Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. If using a gas grill, place all of the wood chips or chunks, if desired, in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch and run the grill on high until you see smoke. If using a charcoal grill, preheat it to high, then toss all of the wood chips or chunks, if desired, on the coals.

4. When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Brush the tuna steaks with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Arrange the tuna on the hot grate, placing it on a diagonal to the bars. Grill the fish until cooked to taste, 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare, 4 to 6 minutes for medium, rotating each steak a quarter turn after 1-1/2 minutes on each side to create an attractive crosshatch of grill marks. Test for doneness using the poke method: A medium-rare tuna steak will be gently yielding; a medium steak will be firm. Reheat the piperade on the side burner or on an empty area of the grill.

5. Transfer the grilled tuna steaks to a platter or plates and spoon the piperade over them.

Garnish or sprinkle with parsley, if using, and serve at once.

Note: Tasso, cured pork shoulder, is a spicy, smoky Cajun specialty. As an alternative, you could use the smoky Cajun sausage called andouille. Both are available at gourmet shops.


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