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Show 409:
Southwest Revisited

Steven Raichlen brings the high-voltage flavors of the American Southwest to the grill with a take-no-prisoners menu. Oven-Grilled Tortilla Chips with Pineapple and Jalapeño Salsa start things off, followed by Green Lightning Shrimp Kebabs, assertively spiced and just this side of incendiary. Millionaire Brisket, a Texas-size slab of meat, gets the royal treatment with a savory rub, a coffee and beer mop sauce, and a long, slow smoke over oak.

With Grilled Pineapple Salsa
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Makes 64 chips

8 corn tortillas, each cut into 8 wedges
Cooking spray
Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
Grilled Pineapple Ginger Salsa (recipe follows)

Preheat grill to medium and grill tortilla wedges until crispy and just beginning to brown. (Alternatively, Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange tortilla wedges single layer on nonstick baking sheets. Spray lightly on both sides with cooking spray. Bake or indirect grill until lightly browned and crisp, 8 to 12 minutes.) Transfer to wire rack to cool. Sprinkle with salt.

Grilled Pineapple Salsa

Makes 3 to 4 cups

1 ripe pineapple
1 red bell pepper
1 bunch scallions, trimmed
2 jalapeño peppers
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced candied ginger
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (1 to 2 limes)
1 tablespoon brown sugar

1. Peel and core pineapple. Cut into 1/2-inch slices.

2. Set up grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. Brush grate with a stiff wire brush and oil with a tightly folded paper towel dipped in a small bowl of Crisco Vegetable Oil. (Hold the oiled towel with tongs and run it across the bars of the grate.) Or remove grate with heatproof gloves, and away from the fire, spray grate with Crisco No-stick Cooking Spray. Return grate to grill. Do not spray oil directly at the fire.

3. Lightly brush pineapple slices, bell pepper, scallions, and jalapeños with Crisco Vegetable Oil. Grill until nicely browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

4. Transfer vegetables to a cutting board and let cool. Place grilled pepper and jalapeños in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Let cool to room temperature (about 20 minutes). Scrape burnt skin off peppers and scallions. Core and seed peppers.

5. Cut pineapple, bell pepper, jalapeños, and scallions into 1-inch pieces. Transfer to food processor. Add ginger and mint. Coarsely chop by pulsing machine. Add lime juice, brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons Crisco Vegetable Oil. Pulse again. Adjust seasonings, adding more lime juice, brown sugar, or salt as desired. Can be made several hours ahead.

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Source: BBQ USA by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing, 2003)
Method: Direct
Yield: Serves 6
Advance Preparation: 30 minutes for marinating the shrimp

2-1/2 pounds jumbo shrimp
1 bunch cilantro, rinsed, stemmed, and coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
4 to 8 jalapeno peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped (for hotter shrimp, leave
the seeds in)
1 bunch scallions, both white and green parts, trimmed and coarsely chopped
5 cloves garlic (3 cloves coarsely chopped, 2 cloves minced)
1-1/2 teaspoons coarse salt (kosher or sea)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter
Lime wedges, for serving

You’ll also need:
About 12 long (10- to12-inch) metal or bamboo skewers

1. Rinse the shrimp under cold running water and then drain and blot them dry with paper towels. Peel and devein the shrimp. Thread the shrimp onto 2 parallel skewers, using 2 skewers for each kebab. Arrange the kebabs in a nonreactive baking dish.

2. Set aside 3 tablespoons of the cilantro for the garlic cilantro butter. Place the remaining cilantro, the jalapenos, scallions, chopped garlic, salt, black pepper, and cumin in a food processor and finely chop. With the machine running, add the olive oil and lime juice through the feed tube and puree to a bright green paste. Pour this marinade over the shrimp and let them marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for 30 minutes, turning the kebabs several times so they marinate evenly.

3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and the 3 tablespoons of reserved cilantro and cook until the garlic is fragrant and sizzling, but not browned, about 2 minutes. Keep the garlic cilantro butter warm until ready to use.

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

5. When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Drain the marinade from the shrimp kebabs and discard the marinade. Place the shrimp kebabs on the hot grate and grill until just cooked through, 1 to 3 minutes per side, basting with the garlic cilantro butter. When done, the shrimp will turn pinkish white and feel firm to the touch. Transfer the grilled shrimp to a platter or plates, pour any of the remaining butter sauce over them, and serve with the lime wedges.

With Coffee and Beer Mop Sauce

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Source: BBQ USA by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing, 2003)
Method: Indirect
Yield: Serves 8 to 10
Advanced Preparation: 4 to 24 hours for marinating the brisket

1/4 cup coarse salt (kosher or sea)
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup sweet paprika
2 tablespoons pure chile powder
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 center-cut piece beef brisket (5 to 6 pounds)
1 cup beer
1 cup apple cider
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup coffee
1/3 cup beef or chicken stock (preferably homemade)
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce or another hot sauce
2 teaspoons coarse salt (kosher or sea), or more to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 slices bacon (optional)
Jim’s Really Easy and Really Good Barbecue Sauce (recipe follows)

You’ll also need:
4 to 6 cups wood chips or chunks (preferably hickory or maple), soaked for 1 hour in water to cover, then drained

1. MAKE THE RUB: Place the salt, brown sugar, paprika, chile powder, pepper, onion and garlic powders, and oregano in a small bowl and stir to mix.

2. in the unlikely event your brisket comes covered with a thick layer of fat, trim it to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Place the brisket in a roasting pan and generously sprinkle both sides with the rub, using about 3 tablespoons per side and patting it onto the meat with your fingertips. (You’ll have about 3/4 cup more rub than you need for the brisket. The leftover rub will keep for several months in a jar.) You can cook the brisket right away, but it will be better if you let it cure with the rub in the refrigerator, covered, for several hours, or even a day ahead.

3. MAKE THE MOP SAUCE: Place the beer, cider, vinegar, coffee, stock, oil, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, salt, and pepper in a nonreactive bowl and whisk to mix. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt as necessary.

4. Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium-low. 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-low. If using a charcoal grill, place a large drip pan in the center, preheat the grill to medium-low, then toss 1 cup of the wood chips or chunks on the coals.

5. When ready to cook, place the brisket in the center of the hot grate, fat side up, over the drip pan and away from the heat. Drape the bacon slices, if using, over the top of the meat, then cover the grill. Cook the brisket until very tender, 5 to 6 hours (the cooking time will depend on the size of the brisket and the heat of the grill). To test for doneness, use an instant-read meat thermometer: The internal temperature should be about 190 degrees F. Generously mop or baste the meat on both sides with the mop sauce once an hour for the first 5 hours. If the brisket starts to brown too much, generously baste it with mop sauce, wrap it in aluminum foil, and continue cooking until done. If using a charcoal grill, every hour you’ll need to add 12 fresh coals and 1/2 cup of wood chips or chunks to each side.

6. Transfer the grilled brisket to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Thinly slice across the grain, using an electric knife or sharp carving knife. Transfer the sliced meat to a platter. Spoon the barbecue sauce over the meat, or better yet, serve it on the side.

Jim’s Really Easy and Really Good Barbecue Sauce

Yield: About 3-1/2 cups

2 cups of your favorite commercial barbecue sauce, such as KC Masterpiece or Bull’s-Eye
1 to 2 cups commercial salsa, mild or hot–your choice
1/4 cup cider vinegar, or more to taste
Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the barbecue sauce, salsa, and vinegar in a nonreactive saucepan over medium heat, bring to a simmer, and let cook until thick and flavorful, 5 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. The sauce can be served hot or at room temperature and may be refrigerated, covered, for up to 48 hours. Bring to room temperature before serving.

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