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Show 408:
Extreme Grilling

Grilling is the performance art of cooking. And in every great griller beats the intrepid heart of a showman. This show is designed to add theatrics to your next barbecue. The Professor leads off with Butter and Herb Spit Roasted Turkey served with flaming Hot Pepper Kebabs; And even veggies get the shock treatment in Grilled, Dilled, and Chilled Eggplant Dip roasted directly in the embers. Steven steers the show back to BBQ U basics with Ember-Roasted Sweet Corn, grilled right in the husks. Extreme barbecue cuisine…today at the U.

EGGPLANT DIP
With Dill

printer-ready version

BBQ USA  
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Source: BBQ USA by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing, 2003)
Method: Direct
Yield: Makes about 2 cups


2 long, slender eggplants (about 1 pound each)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons tahini
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt (kosher or sea), or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or more to taste
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus sprigs for garnish
1 scallion, both white and green parts, trimmed and finely chopped
Lemon wedges, for serving
Pita bread for serving

Set up a charcoal grill for direct grilling and preheat to high.

When ready to cook, prick the eggplants in a few spots with a fork. Place them directly in the embers and grill until the skins are charred all over and the flesh is very soft, 5 to 8 minutes per side (20 to 32 minutes in all). Transfer the grilled eggplants to a plate to cool.

Scrape any really burnt skin off the eggplants, but leave some of it on; the dark spots will add color and character. Coarsely puree the eggplants and garlic in a food processor (or chop them by hand or mash them with a fork). Add the tahini, if using, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and the lemon juice, salt, and pepper and pulse just to mix. Add the chopped dill and scallion and process in short bursts, just to mix (overprocessing will turn the dip green). Taste for seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, and/or lemon juice as necessary; the dip should be very flavorful. Transfer the dip to a shallow nonreactive bowl and drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over it. Garnish with the dill sprigs and serve with the lemon wedges and pita bread.

EMBER-ROASTED SWEET CORN
printer-ready version

Source: Adapted from BBQ USA by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing, 2003)
Method: Direct
Yield: Makes 8 ears

8 ears sweet corn in the husk
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
Freshly ground black pepper
Cayenne pepper (optional)

You’ll also need:
Insulated rubber gloves (optional)

Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to as hot as possible.

When ready to cook, place the soaked corn directly in the embers and grill until the husks are charred and blackened and the silk is burned off, 5 to 8 minutes per side (20 to 32 minutes in all).

Wearing clean gloves or using a stiff bristled brush, strip the charred husks off the corn. Roll each ear of corn in the melted butter, season with salt, black pepper, and cayenne, if using, and serve at once.

GRILLED PITA BREAD SALAD
printer-ready version

BBQ USA  
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Source: BBQ USA by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing, 2003)
Method: Direct
Yield: Serves 4 to 6


4 pita breads
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, cut in half
1 luscious, ripe red tomato, cut into 1/2 inch dice, with its juices
1 pomegranate, broken into seeds with its juices (see Notes)
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch dice
1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch dice
1/2 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch dice
8 romaine lettuce leaves, rinsed, spun dry, and thinly sliced crosswise
3 scallions, white and green parts, trimmed and finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh spearmint or other mint
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, or more to taste
Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper

1. Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to high.

2. When ready to cook, lightly brush the pitas with a little of the olive oil. Place the pitas on the hot grate and grill until toasted and browned on both sides, 1 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the grilled pitas to a platter and let cool. The recipe can be prepared to this stage up to 24 hours ahead.

3. Not more than 20 minutes before serving, rub the inside of a nonreactive salad or mixing bowl with the cut garlic. Rub the grilled pitas with the cut garlic. Break or tear the pitas into bite-size pieces and place in the bowl. Add the tomato, pomegranate, cucumber, bell peppers, lettuce, scallions, parsley, mint, lemon juice, vinegar, and the remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss to mix. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and/or vinegar as necessary; the salad should be highly seasoned. Serve the salad at once.

Notes:

-To remove the seeds from a pomegranate, cut the fruit in half lengthwise. Using your fingers, break the halves into sections, then remove the individual seeds. Work over a bowl to catch the juices.
-To seed a cucumber, cut it in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds with a melon baller or spoon.


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