Jump-start your next party with a quartet of pass-arounds hot off the grill. The episode leads off with a twist on a pu-pu platter classic: Pancetta-Grilled Diver Scallop Rumaki. Next up in the starter category, Summer Sausage Smores, think-out-of-the-box grilled sandwiches topped with cheese and jalapeños. And finally, Stevens barbecued version of Chinatown Ribs; they're sizzling, sweet, salty, aromatic with ginger and scallions, and the quintessential hand-to-mouth food.
PANCETTA-GRILLED DIVER SCALLOP RUMAKI
On Rosemary Skewers
Method: Direct grilling
Source: Adapted from How to Grill by Steven Raichlen (Workman, 2001)
Yield: Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer, 4 as a light main course
1-1/2 pounds diver scallops or large sea scallops
28 to 32 fresh rosemary sprigs (each 3 to 4 inches long, for skewers)
3 ounces pancetta sliced paper-thin
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, cut in wedges, seeded
Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
Prepare the scallops. Remove the small crescent-shaped muscle from the side of any scallop that has one. Rinse the scallops under cold running water, then drain and blot them dry with paper towels. Strip the bottom leaves off the rosemary sprigs. Cut the pancetta into strips just large enough to wrap around the scallops, about 3/4 by 3-1/2 inches.
Place a scallop flat on your work surface. Wrap a piece of pancetta around it and skewer it with a rosemary sprig. Wrap the remaining scallops the same way. Place the scallops in a nonreactive baking dish. Arrange the scallops on a plate or in a nonreactive baking dish. Drizzle the oil over both sides of the scallops, squeeze lemon juice over them, and season with salt and pepper (go easy on the salt as the pancetta is fairly salty). Let marinate for 15 minutes while you light the grill.
Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. If you have a fish or vegetable grate, place it on top of the grate and preheat it as well. You can also cook the scallops directly on the grill grate.
When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Place the skewered scallops on the hot grate and grill until just cooked, 2 to 3 minutes per side. The scallops are done when they turn white and feel firm (but just barely; they shouldnt feel hard). Serve at once.
Source: Adapted from Raichlen on Ribs (Workman Publishing, 2006)
Method: Indirect grilling/ smoking
Yield: Serves 4
For the marinade/ sauce:
1 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
3 tablespoons Asian (dark) sesame oil
5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed with the side of a cleaver
5 slices ginger (each 1/4-inch thick), peeled and crushed with the side of a cleaver
3 scallions, trimmed, white part brushed with the side of a cleaver, green part minced
2 racks of St. Louis-cut spare ribs or baby back ribs (4 to 5 pounds)
You'll also need: 2 cups wood chips or chunks (preferably cherry), soaked for 1 hour in water to cover, then drained
Make the marinade/sauce. Place the hoisin sauce, sugar and five spice powder in a non-reactive mixing bowl and whisk to mix. Add the soy sauce, rice wine, and sesame oil and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and scallions.
Remove the membrane from the backs of the ribs.
Place the ribs in a nonreactive baking dish just large enough to hold them. Pour 2/3 of the marinade over the ribs, turning to coat both sides, spreading the marinade all over the ribs with a rubber spatula. Reserve the remaining marinade for serving. Cover the ribs and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or as long as overnight. Note: the ribs can also be marinated in large resealable plastic bags.
Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium. Brush and oil the grill grate.
Drain the ribs well and arrange on the grate, bone side down, over the drip pan away from the heat. Toss half the wood chips on each mound of coals. Cover the grill and cook the ribs until dark brown and very crisp on the outside, yet tender enough to pull apart with your fingers, 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours. Replenish the coals as needed. When ribs are cooked, the meat will have shrunk back from the ends of the bones by about 1/4 inch.
Meanwhile, transfer the reserved marinade to a saucepan and gently simmer for 3 minutes over medium heat. Let the resulting sauce cool to room temperature, then strain it into an attractive serving bowl.
Transfer the ribs to a large platter or cutting board, and cut the racks in half, widthwise (or into individual ribs). Brush or drizzle the ribs with some of the reserved marinade/sauce and sprinkle with scallion greens. Serve at once.
(Bacon, Chicken Liver, and Water Chestnut Kebabs)
Source: BBQ USA by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing, 2003)
Yield: Makes about 16 rumaki
Advance Preparation: 1 hour for marinating the chicken livers
1 lb. chicken livers (about 16 livers)
1/2 cup soy sauce (Kikkoman's preferred)
1/2 cup rice wine or cream sherry
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 - 4 cloves garlic, peeled and gently crushed with the side of a cleaver
3 slices peeled fresh ginger (each 1/4-inch thick), gently crushed with the side of a cleaver
2 whole star anise
8 drained peeled canned water chestnuts, cut in half lengthwise
8 slices bacon, cut in half crosswise
You'll also need:
About 16 small (6-inch) bamboo skewers
1. Trim any sinews or bloody or green spots off the chicken livers. Combine the soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and star anise in a nonreactive mixing bowl and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Add the chicken livers and let them marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for 1 hour.
2. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken livers from the marinade and blot them dry with paper towels. Set the marinade aside. Wrap each chicken liver, along with a water chestnut half, in a piece of bacon, securing it with a skewer.
3. Strain the marinade into a nonreactive saucepan over high heat, let it come to a boil, and boil until thick and syrupy, 3 to 5 minutes.
4. Set up the grill for direct grilling using a three-zone fire and preheat one zone to high and one zone to medium; leave the third zone unlit.
5. When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Tear off a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil that is roughly as long as the grill is wide. Fold the piece of aluminum foil in half lengthwise. Place the folded aluminum foil flat on the grate and the edge closest to you so that it covers part of each heat zone. Place the rumaki on the grate so that they are over the high zone but the exposed ends of the skewers are on top of the foil shield. Depending on the size of the grill, you may need to cook the rumaki in batches. Grill the rumaki until the bacon is crisp and the livers are cooked (I like them pink in the center), 2 to 4 minutes per side, basting them with the boiled marinade. To test for doneness, squeeze a rumaki between your thumb and forefinger; it should be gently yielding, not soft and squishy. Or, cut into a rumaki with a paring knife. Only the center should be pink. Be ready to move the rumaki to the medium or cool zone of the grill should the dripping bacon fat cause flare-ups.
6. Transfer the grilled rumaki to a platter and serve at once, preferably with a flamboyant Polynesian drink.
SUMMER SAUSAGE S'MORES
Source: Recipe courtesy of Steven Raichlen
Method: Direct Grilling
Yield: Serves: 6
1/2 cup butter, melted
36 slices French bread (each slice about 3/8 inch thick)
18 slices summer sausage, cut into 1/4 inch slices
18 slices pepper Jack cheese (roughly the same size as the sausage)
Pickled jalapenos slices
Sundried tomatoes in oil, drained
Fresh jalapeno slices
Set up the grill for direct grilling. Brush melted butter on the slices of French bread with a pastry brush. Lightly toast the bread on the grill until it is a golden brown; remove to a platter. Grill the slices of summer sausage until they are sizzling and just beginning to brown; turn over. Top with a piece of Jack cheese, and either pickled or fresh jalapeno slices, or sundried tomatoes. Cover the grill to encourage the cheese to melt. (This will only take a minute or so.) Place the summer sausage and cheese stack on a slice of bread, top with another slice of bread, and serve immediately.