Wednesday, June 30, 2010



Quesadillas are a popular crew snack on the set of Primal Grill—easy
to make, easy to adapt to ingredients you have on hand, and very
satisfying any time of day. (We even make breakfast quesadillas with
scrambled eggs, cheese, chorizo, and roasted and peeled poblano

Source: Planet Barbecue by Steven Raichlen (Workman, 2010)
Method: Direct grilling
Serves: 4

4 large (8 to 10 inches across) flour tortillas
1 cup shredded smoked chicken
2 cups shredded cheese, such as a half-and-half mixture of pepper Jack
cheese and sharp cheddar
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
2 scallions, both white and green parts, trimmed and finely chopped
2 fresh or pickled jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced crosswise (or for a milder
outcome, seed the fresh jalapenos)
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
Salsa, pico de gallo, guacamole, or sour cream (optional) for serving

1. Place a tortilla on a work surface. Sprinkle one half of the
tortilla with a quarter of the chicken, cheese, cilantro, scallions,
and jalapenos. Fold te other half on top to make a half-moon-shaped
quesadilla. Assemble the remaining quesadillas the same way. Lightly
brush both sides of each quesadilla with the butter, turning them
carefully. The quesadillas can be prepared to this stage up to 30
minutes ahead.

2. Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat it to medium-high.

3. When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate well. Arrange the
quesadillas on the hot grate and grill them until the bottoms are
golden brown, 1 to 3 minutes. Using a spatula, turn the quesadillas
and grill the second side the same way. Keep an eye on
them—quesadillas burn easily. Serve the quesadillas at once with the
optional condiments.


Source: Adapted from Planet Barbecue by Steven Raichlen (Workman, 2010)
Method: Grateless grilling or tandoor grilling
Advance preparation: 3 to 4 hours for marinating the fish.
Serves: 4

1-1/2 pounds salmon steaks

For the garlic water:

4 cloves garlic, rough chopped
A 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and rough chopped
2 cups water

To finish the marinade:

4 cloves garlic, peeled and rough chopped
A 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and rough chopped
1 small onion, rough chopped
2 teaspoons coarse salt (kosher or sea)
2 teaspoons black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons ajwain (carom seeds) or caraway seeds
2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 cup thick (strained) plain yogurt (2 cups yogurt if omitting the egg
and chickpea flour)
1 egg, lightly beaten with a fork (optional)
1 cup chickpea flour (optional)
3 tablespoons oil or unsalted butter, melted for basting

1. Place the salmon steaks in a large bowl or nonreactive baking dish.

2. Make the garlic water. Place the garlic, ginger, and water in a
blender and blend just to mix. Strain the garlic water over the fish.
Marinate, covered, in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Drain the fish,
discarding the liquid.

3. Make the marinade. Place the garlic, ginger, onion, salt, pepper,
ajwain (or caraway seed), turmeric, and cumin in food processor and
grind to a smooth paste. Add the 1 cup yogurt and egg and chickpea
flour, if using, and process to a smooth paste, running the machine in
short bursts. If omitting the egg and chickpea flour, add the
additional 1 cup yogurt and run the processor just to mix. The mixture
should be thick but pourable: you may need to add a couple tablespoons
of water. Pour the marinade over the fish steaks, turning them to coat
evenly. Use a spatula to coat the steaks thoroughly on both sides.
Marinate, covered, in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours.

4. Remove the steaks from the marinade. If you own a tandoor, thread
the steaks on a tandoor skewer (they have hooks on the end for hanging
cooked food on a rack to cool); impale a whole onion on the end to
keep the steaks from slipping off the end into the embers. Plunge the
skewer into the tandoor, resting the skewer end on the bottom of the
tandoor. The cooking time will be short, 5 to 8 minutes. Turn once as

5. Alternatively, set up your grill for grateless grilling by
arranging bricks or other fireproof supports opposite each other on
the grill grate; the idea is to suspend skewers between them. Preheat
the grill to high. Thread the fish steaks onto flat metal skewers, two
to a skewer, and suspend between the two supports. Grill for 3 to 5
minutes per side, or until cooked through and golden brown. Let rest
for a couple of minutes before carefully removing from the skewers.
Serve immediately.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010



Note: Retsina is a Greek wine flavored with pine resin. (Resin was
once used to seal wine skins—the Greeks retained a taste for it.) Look
for retsina in a good liquor store or Greek market or use an aromatic
dry white wine, like Spanish verdejo.

Source: Recipe courtesy of Steven Raichlen
Method: Direct grilling
Serves: 4

2 pounds fresh shrimp with the heads on or 1-1/2 pounds peeled and
deveined shrimp
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, preferably Greek, in a spray bottle
1/4 cup Greek retsina or other dry white wine in a spray bottle (optional)
Large crystals of sea salt for sprinkling

You'll also need: Best of Barbecue Marinade Spray Bottle, or other spray bottle

If using whole shrimp, peel the tails, using kitchen scissors to open
the shells. Leave the heads intact. Scrape out the veins with the tine
of a fork. If using shrimp tails, peel and devein.

Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to medium-high.
Brush and oil the grill grate.

Spray the shrimp on one side with olive oil. Arrange oil side down on
the grate. Lightly spray the tops with more olive oil and retsina.
When the bottoms of the shrimp are sizzling and browned, turn over.
Lightly spray this side with oil and retsina. The cooking time is
brief, 1 to 2 minutes per side.

Transfer the grilled shrimp to a platter or plates and sprinkle
generously sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Serve at once and get ready
for some of the best shrimp of your life.


Source: Adapted from Seven Fires by Francis Mallmann (Artisan, 2009)
Method: Direct grilling
Serves: 4

Here's a dessert of such startling simplicity and bold in-your-face
flavors, just to hear about it is to want to try it. It comes from the
rock star of South American live-fire cooking, Francis Mallmann.

4 large juicy navel oranges
2 o 3 sprigs fresh rosemary (2 to 3 tablespoons leaves)
3/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups crème brulee ice cream or plain Greek yogurt, divided
between 4 shallow bowls

Cut off both ends of each orange. Using a sharp paring knife, remove
the peel and white pith in strips. Cut each orange in half widthwise
and remove any seeds with a fork. Arrange the oranges on a plate cut
side up.

Sprinkle the oranges with rosemary leaves, pressing the leaves into
the flesh. The recipe can be prepared up to 1 hour ahead.

Set up your grill for direct grillingand preheat to high. Ideally,
you'll be grilling over wood.

If you have a plancha, preheat it screaming hot. If working directly
on the grill, brush and oil the grill grate.

Just before serving, sprinkle the cut part of each orange with sugar.
Invert the orange halves onto the metal plate or onto the grill. Cook
until the sugar caramelizes, that is, turns dark brown, 2 to 4
minutes. Do not let burn or the sugar will taste bitter.

Using a spatula, arrange the orange halves, sugar side up, on the ice
cream. If using a pan, spoon any juices over the oranges and serve at


Source: Planet Barbecue by Steven Raichlen (Workman, 2010)
Method: Caramelizing with a crème brulee iron or fire-heated cast iron skillet
Advance preparation: Make the custard at least 3 hours in advance, and
up to 24 hours; must be thoroughly chilled
Serves: 6

For the custard:

1 quart whole milk
1 cinnamon stick (or 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
1 vanilla bean, split (or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract)
3 strips lemon zest (the oil-rich outer rind—remove it with a vegetable peeler)
12 egg yolks
1-1/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons honey
About 1 cup Sugar In The Raw (known as castor sugar in England or
cassonade in French) or granulated sugar, or as needed

You'll also need: 6 crème brulee dishes (each about 4 inches across
and 3/4 inch deep—tradition calls for earthenware); a crème brulee
iron (see description above) or a kitchen blowtorch

Make the custard. Place the milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and lemon zest in
a heavy saucepan and simmer over the lowest possible heat for 10

Meanwhile, place the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and honey in a
large heavy heatproof bowl. Whisk the mixture until smooth and creamy,
2 minutes. Very slowly (you don't want to cook the egg yolks) strain
the hot milk into the egg mixture in a thin stream, whisking
constantly. Return the pan to a medium heat, and bring the mixture to
a boil, whisking steadily. The crema will thicken. Reduce the heat to
the barest simmer and cook the mixture for 3 minutes, whisking

Spoon the mixture into the crème brulee dishes, shaking and tapping
each to smooth the top. Let the mixture cool to room temperature, then
refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or until serving. You can make the
Catalan creams up to 24 hours ahead and refrigerate, but if you do,
press a piece of plastic on top of each to keep it from drying out and
let warm to room temperature before serving.

Just before serving, heat the brulee iron or cast iron skillet
screaming hot—ideally in a wood-burning fireplace, or alternatively in
the embers of your charcoal grill or laid flat on the grate of your
gas grill. (You can even heat it on one of the burners of your stove.)
Evenly sprinkle the top of each Catalan cream with 3 tablespoons
sugar. Press the hot iron into the surface of the Catalan creams to
caramelize the sugar—this will take a few seconds and a puff of
fragrant smoke will rise as the sugar darkens. Note: the sugar should
be topaz-colored to a dark golden brown, not black. Burned sugar
tastes, well, like burned sugar.

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