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        MV Times spoke with Steven Raichlen, a global barbecue authority, seasonal Chappaquiddick resident, and author of the novel Island Apart (out in paperback this month). He shares the do’s and don’ts when it comes to grilling.
        What tools are needed for the perfect grill? When it comes to a general purpose gas or charcoal grill, there are three tools you can’t live without. Start with a long, stiff-handled brush to clean your grill grates. Next are spring-loaded pliers with a long handle for turning meat. Do not pierce meat with a BBQ fork!
        Full disclosure: I make some of the tools I’ll mention. My product line (www.grilling4all.com) has a set of lighted pliers. Often when you stand near a barbecue at night, the light is behind you and difficult to see. The pliers will tell you what you are doing.
        The third item is an instant read heat thermometer. You might want to check the doneness of meats like ribs, but last night we cooked a piece of salmon and stuck a thermometer in to check.
        Some other tools I recommend are charcoal grill starters. It allows you to light the coals without splashing oil, and they all ignite evenly. Another tool for working with charcoal is a charcoal hoe, which you can use to rake out the coals to create a three-zone fire.
        Are there tools that are suitable for a specific type of grill? Yes, some are only suitable for one dish. One is a rib rack that allows you to cook four portions of ribs on one grill, or a cedar plank for grilling fish, or a jalapeño popper rack for popping popcorn. Although you only use it once, it is very useful. Another type is the clam rack. It allows you to bake clams and oysters on the half shell and keeps the shell stable so you don’t lose the juices. Last night we did just that – smoked some Katama Bay oysters and boy were they delicious.
        One of my mantras is keep it hot, keep it clean, keep it oiled. So how you grill is important. If you have a hot grill, clean it with a stiff wire brush. Next, oil the grate by dipping a tightly rolled paper towel into the oil and wiping it off.
        What ingredients are needed to make shish kebab? If you were stuck on Chappy for two weeks, what would you stock up on for the BBQ? First, stock up on good salt. I like coarse crystal sea salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, lemon (preferably Meyer). With their help you can cook almost anything. Also, having a basic barbecue rib is very important. I’ll give you my recipe: equal parts salt, pepper, paprika and brown sugar.
        Is there anything that is not suitable for grilling? One of my mantras is that you can grill anything. Grilled food tastes best when it’s well grilled, pan-seared and seared. I would say sushi, but these days the sushi chef goes upstairs with a blow torch. This is cooking over a fire, what I call grilling. ice cream? And toasted coconut ice cream!
        I like to keep an eye on local things. I would say the more fragile fish to grill is flounder or what we call flounder (not Dover flounder). You can grill it in a basket, but this delicate fish is best pan-fried.
        God, that’s like answering, “Who’s your favorite child?” Tough meats such as lamb chops, veal and even pork shoulder are cooked slowly. I love grilled fish. Nothing showcases salty juiciness quite like this. Vegetables cook great on the grill. The beauty is that you caramelize the plants, giving the roasted vegetables an uncanny sweetness and smoky flavor.
        a lot of. A common mistake when grilling is that people let the fire control them rather than letting them control the fire. The first step to becoming a good griller is learning how to control your fire. This guy throws chickens into a roaring fire and hopes they cook well… but that just takes the religion out of it all.
        Another mistake is overcrowding the grill. Use the 30% rule. This way, one third of the grill is food, so you have some wiggle room to move food that’s cooking too quickly to a safe place away from the fire and let the fire go out.
        I never wear an apron. Personal choice. I don’t wear gloves either, although I think it’s a good idea to have a set of durable suede gloves with long sleeves. You are working with hot food.
        When you’re at Raichlen’s, everything you eat is grilled. Appetizers, main courses, side dishes, vegetables. But as far as pure additives go, it depends on what part of the world you’re grilling in. In North America it is potatoes. Italy, polenta. Southeast Asia, fig. It’s hard to go wrong with salad.
        Someone put a grill on the wood porch, and did the Stanford White-designed Chappie Island house burn down? Do you have any suggestions for grills? I didn’t hear that! Well, one unique feature of the vineyards is the many grills on wooden decks. Diversitec is a cushion that you can lay on your deck and put live coals on it. But no matter what, it’s always a good idea to have a fire extinguisher on hand. I actually hose down the deck before grilling. Another thing to keep in mind is that even if you think your grill is broken, there will still be embers burning the next morning. I recommend closing the charcoal grill’s vents to extinguish the fire.
        This is one of those delicious foods that you can burn. Like eggplants – you make the flesh smoky. Makes an excellent baba nush.
        Gazpacho, the lifeblood of Spanish cuisine, is a refreshing vegetable puree that blurs the line between soup and salad. Grilling imparts a smoky flavor that takes this warm soup from refreshing to memorable. If you are using a food processor, chop the vegetables first and then add the liquid.
        4 shallots, white and green parts, peeled 2 cloves garlic, peeled 1 medium red onion, peeled and quartered (roots intact) 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 2 slices (every 3/4 inch) white country bread or French bread 5 medium ripe tomatoes (about 2 ½ pounds) 1 medium red bell pepper 1 medium green bell pepper 1 medium cucumber, peeled ¼ cup mixed chopped fresh herbs such as basil, oregano, tarragon and/or flatbread parsley 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or another ½ to taste; 1 cup cold water, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
        1. Chop the green onions and set aside for garnish. Arrange the green onions crosswise on the skewers and add the garlic cloves. Thread a quarter of the onion onto the second skewer. Lightly coat the scallions, garlic and onions with about a tablespoon of olive oil.
        3. When ready, brush the grill grate with oil. Place the skewed vegetables on the hot grill, covering the ends of the skewers with foil. Cook, turning with tongs, until lightly browned, 4 to 8 minutes total. Transfer vegetables to a plate to cool. Place the bread slices on the grill and cook until lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Set the bread aside. Grill tomatoes and bell peppers until skins are charred, about 8 to 12 minutes for tomatoes and 16 to 20 minutes for peppers. Transfer the tomatoes and bell peppers to a plate to cool. Using a paring knife, scrape charred skins and browned bits from tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers (don’t worry about getting all the bits off). Remove the core and seeds from the pepper.
        4. Cut green peppers, garlic, onions, toast, tomatoes, green peppers and cucumbers into 1-inch thick slices. Place the pieces in a blender or food processor, first adding the tomatoes, mixed herbs, wine vinegar and remaining olive oil. Process into a smooth puree. If necessary, dilute the gazpacho with cold water to a runny consistency and season with salt and black pepper.
        5. The gazpacho is now ready to serve, but it will taste even better if you refrigerate it for an hour or so to allow the flavors to meld. Before serving, taste for seasonings and add more vinegar and/or salt if necessary. To serve, divide the gazpacho into bowls and top with chopped green onions.
        We all have our obsessions. My wife Barbara’s blueberries are small, sweet, wonderfully flavorful low-growing berries harvested in Maine in late July and early August. I have a grill, of course.
        So, marriage is an exploration of the art of compromise, so I created a blueberry crumble that satisfies Barbara’s passion for blueberries and my passion for cooking over a fire. A little wood smoke brings out the delicate blueberry flavor.
       3 pints blueberries 3/4 cup flour 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 2 ounces shortbread or gingerbread, coarsely chopped (1/2 cup crumbs) 1/2 cup tightly packed brown sugar 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces 1 pinch salted vanilla ice cream (optional) for serving
        One 8-by-10-inch aluminum foil pan, vegetable oil spray, 1 cup wood chips or chunks (apples are best) soaked in water to cover for 1 hour, then drain. Select blueberries, removing all stems, leaves and damaged berries. Mrs. Raichlen rinsed and dried them – I wouldn’t bother. Place the berries in a large non-reactive bowl. Add 1/4 cup flour, granulated sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice and stir gently.
        Place biscotti, brown sugar and remaining 1/2 cup flour in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and process until coarse flour forms. Add the butter and salt and beat until the mixture is coarse and crumbly. Spread the filling on top of the blueberry filling.
        Set grill to indirect grill (see page 23 for gas or page 22 for charcoal) and heat to medium-high. If you are using a gas grill, place all wood chips or chunks in the smoker or smoking bag (see page 24) and turn the grill on high until smoking appears, then reduce the heat to medium-high. If you’re using a charcoal grill, preheat it to medium heat and throw wood chips or chunks onto the coals.
        When ready, place the pan of blueberries in the center of the hot grate, away from the heat, and cover the grill. Cook the crumble for about 40 minutes until the filling is bubbly and the top is lightly browned.
        Variations: To make these shortbread even more delicious, replace half the blueberries (3 cups) with diced ripe peaches. Tips: There are blueberries and then there are blueberries. To get the best experience from this dish, you must use wild blueberries, collected from low bushes and sold at farm stands in midsummer. You can make very tasty shortbread cookies from ordinary blueberries, just don’t think about serving them to Mrs. Reichlen.
        Allow me a little native chauvinism. The best smoked oysters in the world are right here at my summer island home: Martha’s Vineyard. To be more specific, you can find them at the Water Street Restaurant at the Edgartown Harborview Hotel. Water Street’s chefs wisely start with high-quality shellfish from Katama Bay, grilled smoky and with a touch of sweet butter. The result is a smoky, salty and juicy shish kebab on a half shell. Makes 12 oysters; 2–3 are served as a snack, 1–2 as a light dish.
       12 large oysters on the shell, 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces of crusty bread, to serve
        Oyster knife to shuck oysters; 1½ cups hickory, oak, or applewood chips or cubes, soaked 1 hour in water to cover, then drain; clam rack (optional; see information on this page).
        1. Set grill to indirect grill, place drip pan in center, and preheat grill to medium-high heat. For best results, use a charcoal grill. If you are using a gas grill, add wood chips or cubes to the smoker or place them in a smoking bag under the grate (see page 603).
        2. Before grilling, shuck the oysters, discarding the outer shells (see notes). Run a knife under the oyster to loosen it from the shell below. Be careful not to let the juice leak out. Place oysters on a clam rack and brush each oyster with oil, if using.
        3. When you’re ready to cook, if you’re using a charcoal grill, throw wood chips or chunks of wood onto the coals. Place the oysters on the clam rack (if using one) in the center of the grate over the drip pan, away from the heat, and cover the grill. Grill the oysters until the butter has melted and the oysters are cooked through, 5 to 10 minutes or to taste (I like them warm but still raw in the center). If desired, serve the oysters with crusty bread.
        NOTE. To shuck oysters, insert the tip of a knife into the bivalve’s hinge (the narrow end where the shell meets). Gently twist the blade to loosen the shell. Then slide the blade under the top sheath to cut the muscle. Then slide the blade under the oyster to free it from the shell.
        It helps to cook the oysters on a clam rack, which holds the bivalves flat so you can grill them without spilling the juices. Two models are the Great Grate (www.greatgrate.com) and my own shell stand (www.barbecuebible.com/store).
        This dish is close to my home and my heart because Barbara and I make it as often as possible during swordfish season. Whenever I go to Planet BBQ, just the thought of it makes me homesick. We chatted quickly – thirty minutes tops from start to finish – but the charred fish and tart and salty fried caper sauce immediately exploded off the plate. Use the freshest swordfish you can find. I’d rather you replace it with another, fresher fish than use swordfish that looks tired or stale (tuna or salmon steaks cooked this way are great). Service 4
       4 swordfish steaks (each at least 1 inch thick and weighing 6 to 8 ounces) Kosher salt (kosher or sea salt) and freshly ground or crushed black pepper 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 lemons, 1 sliced, for eating
       4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced ​​3 tablespoons dried capers
        1. Prepare the fish: Rinse the swordfish steaks and pat dry with paper towels. Place swordfish in a non-reactive baking dish and season generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Drizzle olive oil on both sides of the fish and use your fingertips to rub the olive oil, salt and pepper into the fish. Cut the entire lemon in half and squeeze the juice over the fish, then flip to coat both sides of the fish. Cover the fish and marinate in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
        3. When ready, brush the grill grate with oil. Drain the swordfish. Ideally, you’ll be grilling over a wood fire (see page 603 for instructions). Alternatively, you can use wood chips or chunks to add a smoky flavor. If you’re using a charcoal grill, throw wood chips or chunks of wood onto the coals. If you are using a gas grill, add wood chips or cubes (if desired) to the smoking box or place them in the smoking bag under the grate (see page 603). (You want a light woody flavor—so don’t soak the wood.) Place the swordfish on the hot grate, lining it up diagonally from the rod. Fry the fish until cooked through, 3-4 minutes on each side. The swordfish will then fall apart into hard flakes when pressed with your fingers. If desired, give each swordfish steak a quarter turn after 1 minute to leave nice cross marks on the grill. Transfer steaks to a plate and cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm.
        4. Prepare the sauce (you can start while the fish is grilling): melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the garlic and capers and cook over high heat for about 2 minutes until the garlic begins to brown and the capers are crisp. Immediately pour the sauce over the swordfish steaks and serve with lemon slices.
        Despite the widespread use of charcoal as a cooking fuel, Trinidadians are not particularly fond of barbecues. Corn is an exception. Take a walk at dusk through the Royal Savannah Park in Port of Spain and you’ll see a line of people lining up at the corn stand to buy the crisp, ripe ears of corn that most Americans consider too big, too old and too old, dry. and inedible. But these imperfections are what make corn so chewy and delicious.
        Traditionally, the cooked ears are brushed with ghee and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Inspired by a popular Trinidadian herb, I came up with a more interesting ingredient: chadon beni oil. Shadon beni (literally false coriander) is a dark green thumb-shaped herb with jagged edges that tastes similar to coriander. It is commonly sold in North America under the Spanish name “culantro” (look for it in Spanish and West Indian markets). But if you can’t find chadon beni, don’t despair: cilantro makes an equally delicious oil. By the way, Shadon Beni oil can be used as an excellent topping for other simple fried vegetables and seafood.
       8 ears of corn (the bigger and older the better) 8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter, room temperature 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro 2 shallots, white and green parts, trimmed and minced 1 clove garlic, minced
        2. Place the oil, coriander, scallions and garlic in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Season the oil with pepper and transfer to a bowl. Alternatively, if the herbs and garlic are finely chopped, you can mix them directly with the oil in a bowl.
        4. When ready, clean the grill grate. Place corn on hot grate and grill, turning with tongs, until lightly browned, 8 to 12 minutes. While the corn is cooking, brush the saton beignets with butter from time to time.

Post time: Jan-18-2024
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