A New Flame

Grilling goes glam

By Amelia Rasmus

Ranking right up there with fresh-cut grass and cocoa-butter sunblock, a smoky grill is one of summer’s greatest smells.

This time of year, Triangle neighborhoods are aglow with backyard barbecues firing up all the seasonal favorites.

Stand out and declare your independence. Charcoal can do more than plain ‘ol burgers and dogs.

With sophisticated flavors and surprising twists, the following recipes from six recent cookbooks take outdoor cooking to a whole new level:

Les Burden’s Awesome Shrimp and Scallops
Tofu Steaks With Pineapple-Mango Salsa Web Extra!
Hot Peppered Steaks With Horseradish Sauce
Herb Burger Web Extra!
Turkey Tenderloin With Mole Rub
Sugarcane-Skewered Pork Tenderloin Strips With Costa Rican Coffee Glaze Web Extra!
Buttery Rosemary-Orange Chicken Halves
The Chicken Champ’s Sunny Chicken Breasts Web Extra!
Herbed Pizzas With Prosciutto, Basil and Goat Cheese
Grilled Portobello Mushrooms With Basil Oil Web Extra!
Beer-Simmered Bratwurst With Grilled Onions and Red Sauerkraut
Grilled Salmon With Crunchy Sweet Mustard Vinaigrette Web Extra!


“Grilling America”
By Rick Browne
Published by ReganBooks

Les Burden’s Awesome Shrimp and Scallops


1/4 cup canola oil
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons peeled and minced, fresh ginger
3 tablespoons chopped, fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons minced, fresh garlic
3 green onions, sliced very thinly (green, top portion only)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 pounds (16- to 20-count) shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 pounds (20-count) scallops


Mix all the ingredients except the shrimp and scallops.

Pour the mixture over the shrimp and scallops in a shallow dish and refrigerate at least 30 minutes but no more than 4 hours.

Preheat the grill and barbecue griddle plate on the grill about 2 minutes over high temperature (500 to 600 degrees).

Pour off the excess marinade from the seafood and discard.

Dump the shrimp and scallop mixture onto the hot griddle plate.
Stir constantly and remove from the grill when the shrimp have just turned pink.

With the scallops, watch closely, as they won’t change color but will go from being translucent to being opaque. Remove them immediately.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.


Tofu Steaks With Pineapple-Mango Salsa


1 bunch fresh cilantro
2/3 cup vegetable stock
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup minced, fresh ginger
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
5 garlic cloves
Black pepper to taste
1-1/4 pounds firm tofu, drained, cut lengthwise into four 1-inch-thick steaks
1 small, fresh pineapple
2 mangoes


Chop the cilantro to make 1/2 cup and set aside 1 tablespoon for the salsa.

In a medium baking dish, combine the chopped cilantro and the stock, lemon juice, red pepper, ginger, brown sugar, molasses, garlic and black pepper.

Stir and add the tofu. Marinate 2 hours at room temperature.

Peel the pineapple and mangoes, then finely chop, discarding the pineapple skin and core and the mango skin and pit.

In a medium serving bowl, combine the fruit and 1 tablespoon of the reserved, chopped cilantro.

Set it aside at room temperature to let the flavors combine.

Prepare an outdoor grill for medium heat.

Drain the tofu, reserving the marinade.

Lightly oil the grill and place the tofu on it. Grill the tofu 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned, brushing frequently with the marinade and turning once.

Serve the steaks with the pineapple and mango mixture.

Makes 4 servings.

Return to top.

“The Essential Barbecue Cookbook”
Published by Thunder Bay Press

Hot Peppered Steaks With Horseradish Sauce



4 medium-sized boneless sirloin steaks
1/4 cup seasoned, cracked pepper

Horseradish sauce

2 tablespoons brandy
1/4 cup beef stock
1/3 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon horseradish cream
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste


To make horseradish sauce, combine the brandy and stock in a pan.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat.

Add the cream, horseradish and sugar and stir until heated through.
Season to taste.

Prepare and heat the grill, and lightly grease the grate.

Trim the meat of excess fat and sinew and coat both sides with pepper, pressing it firmly into the meat.

Cook the meat over a high heat 2 minutes each side to seal, turning once.

For a rare result, cook another minute each side. For medium and well done, move the meat to a cooler part of the grill and cook another 2 to 3 minutes each side for medium and 4 to 6 minutes for well done.

Serve with horseradish sauce.

Makes 4 servings.

Herb Burger


1 pound lean ground beef or lamb
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh thyme
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup stale bread crumbs
1 egg
Pinch salt
Pinch pepper
2 long, crusty baguettes
Lettuce leaves
2 tomatoes, sliced


Prepare and heat the grill.

Place meat in a bowl and combine with the herbs, juice, bread crumbs, egg, salt and pepper. Mix with your hands until well combined.

Divide mixture into 8 portions.

Shape the portions into thick, rectangular patties, about 6 inches long.

Cook on an oiled, hot barbecue grill 5 to 10 minutes on each side until well browned and just cooked through.

Cut each baguette stick into four sections.

Cut each piece in half, horizontally.

Top each half with lettuce, tomato, herb burger and ketchup.

Place the remaining half of bread on top and serve immediately.

Makes 8 servings.

Return to top.


“Douglas Rodriguez’s Latin Flavors on the Grill”
Published by Ten Speed Press

Turkey Tenderloin With Mole Rub


6 turkey tenderloins
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 tablespoons Mole Rub (see recipe below)


Rub the tenderloins with the oil, then with the mole seasoning to completely cover.

Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours.

Prepare a medium-low fire in the grill.

Place the tenderloins on the hot grill grate 10 to 12 minutes, turning frequently.

Transfer the cooked turkey to a cutting board and slice into 1/4-inch-round slices.

Fan out the turkey slices on serving plates to serve.

Makes 6 servings.

Mole Rub


1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup salt
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
2 tablespoons finely ground, roasted peanuts
1 tablespoon ground pepper
1 tablespoon ground New Mexican red chile
1 tablespoon ground ancho chile
1 tablespoon ground chipotle chile
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground star anise
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1-1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground, dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground, dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice


Thoroughly mix together all the ingredients.

Use immediately or store in an airtight jar at room temperature.

Makes about 1-1/3 cups.

Sugarcane-Skewered Pork Tenderloin Strips With Costa Rican Coffee Glaze


2 sticks sugarcane (each about 12 inches long)
2 (1-pound) pork tenderloins, silver skin removed, sliced into long, 1/2-inch-thick strips
1 cup Costa Rican Coffee Glaze (see recipe below)


Prepare a medium fire in the grill.

To prepare the sugarcane, position a sugarcane stick standing upright, vertically, on a cutting board.

With a sharp chef’s knife, carefully cut the sugarcane in half lengthwise from top to bottom, and again in half lengthwise to make 4 quarters.

Cut each quarter in half again to achieve 8 thin, long pieces of cane. Repeat with the second stick to make a total of 16 skewers.

With the tip of your knife, fashion a point on one end of each skewer.
Beginning at the tip of the loin strip, insert the point of the skewer through the meat, loosely threading the pork onto the cane in a ribbonlike fashion.

Repeat with the remaining meat until all pieces are threaded onto the skewers.

Oil the grill grate.

Place the skewers on the hot grate and grill 2 minutes on one side, then brush with the glaze.

Turn the skewers, grill 2 more minutes and brush well with the glaze.
Arrange on a platter and serve at once.

Makes 6 servings.

Costa Rican Coffee Glaze


3 tablespoons Anise-Vanilla Oil (see recipe below)
1 cup diced, white onion
2 tablespoons grated, fresh ginger
2 serrano chiles with seeds, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons light molasses
1 cup dark rum
2 tablespoons ground coffee
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
8 cups brewed coffee
3 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature


Heat the oil in a medium-size saute pan over high heat.

Add the onion and saute until caramelized, about 5 minutes.

Add ginger, chiles and garlic. Continue to cook about 3 minutes, then add molasses.

Remove from heat and add the rum, being careful that it does not flare up. Stir and cook about 2 minutes.

Add the ground coffee, cocoa, cinnamon and 2 cups of the brewed coffee.

Reduce the liquid by half and again add 2 cups of the brewed coffee. Reduce by half again and add the remaining 4 cups coffee.

When the liquid is reduced to 3 cups, remove the pan from the heat and let cool.

Puree in a blender and swirl in the butter. Add salt to taste.

Use at once or transfer to an airtight container and store, refrigerated, up to 2 weeks.

Makes 3 cups.

Anise-Vanilla Oil


2 cups vegetable oil
25 pieces star anise
3 cloves
3 vanilla beans, split and scraped


Combine all the ingredients in a medium-size saucepan and heat over medium heat 10 minutes to infuse the flavors.

Remove from the heat to cool. Do not strain.

Use at once or store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator.

Makes about 2 cups.

Return to top.

“Chicken on the Grill”
By Cheryl & Bill Jamison
Published by William Morrow

Buttery Rosemary-Orange Chicken Halves


Seasoning paste

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup minced, fresh rosemary
Minced zest of 1 large orange
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons coarse salt (kosher or sea salt)
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper


2 (3 to 3-1/4 pounds) chickens
1 large orange, cut into 6 to 8 wedges, or 4 to 6 thick slices
Juice of 1 large orange
Rosemary sprigs


The night before you plan to grill the chicken, prepare the paste.

Combine the ingredients in a small bowl. Transfer about 2 teaspoons of the paste to a small cup and refrigerate.

Using kitchen scissors, cut each chicken in half down the back, cutting along each side of the backbone. Discard the backbone.

Cut the chickens in half on the breast side, cutting down along each side of the breastbone and then discarding the breastbone.

Cut off the wing tips, the outermost wing joints.

Press down on each chicken half’s breast area with medium pressure to flatten it a bit for more even cooking.

Coat each chicken half thoroughly with a quarter of the remaining seasoning paste, rubbing it inside and out and working it as far as possible under the skin without tearing it.

Place the chickens in one or more large, zippered, plastic bags, seal and refrigerate.

When ready to grill, remove the chickens from the refrigerator and let sit, covered, at room temperature about 30 minutes. Blot any excess moisture from the chicken before grilling.

Fire up the grill, bringing the heat to medium.

Rub the orange wedges with the reserved seasoning paste.

Transfer the chicken halves, skin-side down, to the cooking grate, stretching them out fully.

Grill the halves a total of 35 to 45 minutes, uncovered, turning every 5 to 10 minutes.

After you have turned the chicken twice, begin brushing it with the orange juice.

Then, tuck the orange wedges onto the grill, too, keeping them away from any raw edges of the chicken.

Grill the wedges on all sides 5 to 8 minutes, or until they have a few grill marks and charred spots. Transfer them to a serving platter.

Toward the end of grilling, turn the chicken skin-side-down for a final crisping.

The chicken skin should face the grill long enough to render fat and brown gradually without burning. Watch for flare-ups and shift the chicken away from the flames as necessary.

When the chicken halves are done, they will have crispy, golden-brown skins, the legs will wiggle freely, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of a thigh will register 170 to 175 degrees.

Arrange the chicken more or less in a single layer on a platter, skin-side up so the skin stays crisp.

Tuck the grilled oranges and rosemary sprigs in around the edges and serve.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

The Chicken Champ’s Sunny Chicken Breasts


Dry rub

1-1/2 tablespoons dried dill
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
2 teaspoons coarse salt (kosher or sea salt)
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
2 teaspoons freshly milled pepper


4 medium to large, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded 1/2 inch thick
2 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
4 (1/8-inch-thick) lemon slices, cut into half-moons
Vegetable oil spray
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, diluted with 1 tablespoon water


Prepare the dry rub: Stir together ingredients in a small bowl.

Cut a pocket in each chicken breast (this is easiest when the meat is very cold). Use a small, sharp knife to cut a slit horizontally into each breast from one of its long sides, keeping the cut only about 3/4 inch wide and wiggling the blade back and forth inside the breast. The pocket should be at least a couple inches wide.

Cut the butter into 4 pieces and dunk each piece into the dry rub.
Nudge a pat of butter into each breast, followed by 2 lemon half-moons.
Set aside 2 tablespoons of the dry rub and rub the breasts thoroughly with the rest of the rub. Spray the chicken lightly with oil.

Mix the reserved rub with the sugar.

Let the chicken sit at room temperature about 20 minutes, while the grill heats.

Fire up the grill, bringing the heat to medium.

Grill the chicken, uncovered, 10 to 12 minutes total.

Turn onto each side twice, rotating the breasts each time to get crisscross marks.

Sprinkle with a bit of the dry rub-sugar mixture after each turn, and drizzle with the lemon juice mixture.

The chicken is ready when it is white throughout but still juicy.
Serve hot.

Makes 4 servings.

Return to top.

“Williams-Sonoma Grilling”
By Denis Kelly
Published by Simon & Schuster

Herbed Pizzas With Prosciutto, Basil and Goat Cheese


Herbed Pizza Dough (see recipe below) or precooked pizza rounds 10 inches in diameter
Olive oil for coating
Cornmeal for sprinkling
2 red or yellow bell peppers
1 cup tomato sauce (see recipe below)
1/4 pound sliced prosciutto, cut into fine shreds
1/4 pound fresh goat cheese
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried
Salt and freshly ground pepper


Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for indirect cooking over high heat.

If using a charcoal grill, arrange the coals around the perimeter to fit 2 round pizzas in the middle.

For gas grills, turn on all eyes except those where the pizzas will be. Shape the dough to fit the unheated portion of the grill or trim precooked pizza rounds as necessary.

Oil the grill rack.

If using homemade dough, roll each ball out on a lightly floured board into a 10-inch round.

Whether using homemade or precooked rounds, brush both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with a little cornmeal.

Place the rounds on the unheated portion of the grill. (If your grill has a widely spaced grid, you may need to use a grill basket for homemade dough.)

Cook, turning once, until grill-marked and cooked or heated through, about 5 to 8 minutes each side for uncooked pizza rounds, 3 to 4 minutes each side for precooked rounds.

Transfer to a work surface.

Grill the bell peppers directly over high heat, turning to char and blister them on all sides, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Transfer to a paper bag, close the bag and let cool 10 minutes.
Peel and cut open the peppers to remove the seeds and stems. Chop and set aside.

Spread half of the tomato sauce on each pizza round. Top each round with half the bell peppers and half the prosciutto. Dot each pizza with half the goat cheese and sprinkle with half the basil.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and drizzle a little olive oil on top.
Place the pizzas on the unheated part of the grill, cover the grill and bake over indirect high heat until the topping is thoroughly heated through, about 10 minutes.

Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Herbed Pizza Dough


1 package (1-1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt


Mix yeast with warm water and sugar and let sit a few minutes, until foamy.

Combine flour, olive oil, basil and salt in a bowl.

Stir in the yeast mixture.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured board until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

Place in an oiled bowl, turn, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 to 2 hours.

Divide in half and form into 2 balls.

Makes 2 (10-inch) pizzas.

Grilled-Tomato Sauce


4 large or 8 small tomatoes
Olive oil for brushing
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh basil
Salt and pepper


Brush tomatoes with olive oil. Grill directly over medium-high heat, turning often, until they are grill-marked on all sides and starting to soften, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Don’t worry if they char, but take care not to overcook.

Transfer to a cutting board, cut out the stems and chop the tomatoes coarsely.

Put the tomatoes in a bowl and stir in the garlic, basil and salt and pepper to taste.

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms With Basil Oil


4 portobello mushrooms, brushed clean and stemmed
Basil oil, other flavored oil or olive oil for coating
2 teaspoons minced garlic
4 hamburger buns, split (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper


Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct grilling over high heat.

Put the portobello mushroom caps on a platter and brush both sides with basil oil.

Grill the caps, top-side down, directly over high heat until liquid forms in the gills and the top is grill-marked, about 2 to 4 minutes.

Turn over, emptying any liquid into the fire. If flareups occur, move the mushrooms to a cooler part of the grill.

Grill 1 to 2 minutes longer and turn again.

Spoon 1/2 teaspoon garlic into each mushroom, along with a little more basil oil. Cook 1 to 2 minutes longer.

For the last 2 to 3 minutes of cooking, toast the hamburger buns (if using), cut side down, on the grill over high heat.

Put the mushrooms on the buns or transfer them to a plate, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Serving tips: Grilled mushrooms make a wonderful side dish or vegetarian entrée with a salad or vegetable skewers.

Makes 4 servings.

Return to top.

“Boy Gets Grill”
By Bobby Flay with Julia Moskin
Published by Scribner

Beer-Simmered Bratwurst With Grilled Onions and Red Sauerkraut



2 cups red wine vinegar
1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 large head red cabbage, cored and thinly shredded
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


3 large onions, thinly sliced
3 pounds precooked bratwurst, pricked with a fork
6 (12-ounce) bottles dark beer
2 cups water
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
Hot dog buns, hoagie buns or bratwurst buns
Various mustards (spicy brown, sweet-hot and coarse-grain)


For the sauerkraut, combine the vinegar, water and sugar in a large saucepan (not aluminum or cast iron), bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the sugar has dissolved.

Add the remaining ingredients and simmer until the cabbage is soft, about 20 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the bratwurst, arrange the onion slices on the bottom of a medium-size stockpot. Place the bratwurst on top and add the beer, water, coriander, caraway, mustard seeds and ginger.

Bring to a simmer and cook about 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and set aside for at least 10 minutes and up to 1 hour.

When ready to serve, heat the grill to high.

Lift the sausages out of the pot. Remove the onions with a slotted spoon and place in a serving bowl. Discard the remaining liquid and aromatics.

Grill the sausages until crisp and golden brown on all sides, about 10 minutes total.

If you like, grill the buns until lightly toasted. Serve the bratwurst on the buns with sauerkraut, onions and mustard.

Makes 6 servings.

(Note: The sauerkraut can be made up to 2 days in advance, cooled, covered and kept refrigerated. Bring to room temperature and drain before serving.)

Grilled Salmon With Crunchy Sweet Mustard Vinaigrette



3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons coarse- or whole-grain Dijon mustard
1 small shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


4 (6- to 8-ounce) salmon fillets, 1 to 1-1/2 inches thick, with the skin
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the vinaigrette, whisk the vinegar, mustard and shallot together in a medium-size bowl.

Gradually whisk in the honey, then the oil, until the dressing is emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Heat a grill to high.

Brush the fish on both sides with oil and season with salt and pepper.

Grill the salmon, skin-side down, until the skin is lightly charred and crisp, 4 to 5 minutes.

Turn the fillets over, reduce the heat to medium or move to a cooler part of the grill, and cook until just cooked through but not falling apart, 2 to 3 minute more.

Remove the fish to serving plates or a platter and spoon a few tablespoons of vinaigrette over each fillet.

Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

(Note: The vinaigrette can be made a few hours in advance, covered, and kept refrigerated. Bring to room temperature and whisk or shake well before serving.)

Return to top.