Play With Fire
Blazin’ eats for girls who grill

Want to get to know your neighbors? Go outside and fire up the grill.

Nothing draws a crowd like the smoky scent of cooking over an open flame.

Whether you’re a regular Jane who likes burgers and brats or a connoisseur who relishes steak and Cornish game hen, there’s something for everyone to barbecue.

The following recipes from eight cookbooks offer dishes hot off the coals.

Pepper Steaks With Horseradish Sauce
Margarita Chicken Web Extra!
Grilled Mushrooms
Grilled Prosciutto and Basil-Wrapped Shrimp With Garlic Dipping Sauce Web Extra!
Grilled Eggplant, Goat Cheese and Sundried-Tomato Burger
Barbecued Hamburgers for a Crowd Web Extra!
Moonlight Drunken Chicken
Dobe's Skewered Steak and Mushrooms Web Extra!
Packer John’s Super Burger
Salmon Potato Campfire Bake Web Extra!
Tailgate Bratwursts
Grilled Marinated Game Hens Web Extra!
J.W.’s Cedar Plank Salmon With Brown Sugar Rub
Grilled Pork Citrus Steaks Web Extra!
Hong Kong-Style Ribs
Grilled Pork Kebabs Web Extra!

“BBQ Food”
by Kay Scarlett, Published by Laurel Glen

Pepper Steaks With Horseradish Sauce

4 sirloin steaks
3 tablespoons seasoned, cracked black pepper
Horseradish sauce
2 tablespoons brandy
3 tablespoons beef stock
4 tablespoons cream
1 tablespoon horseradish cream
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Coat the steaks on both sides with pepper, pressing it into the meat.

Cook on a hot, lightly oiled barbecue grill or flat plate 5 to 10 minutes or until cooked to your taste.

To make the sauce, put the brandy and stock in a pan. Bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat. Stir in the cream, horseradish and sugar and heat through.

Serve with the steaks.

Makes 4 servings.

Margarita Chicken

4 chicken breasts, skins left on, tenderloin and any excess fat removed
1/4 cup tequila
1/4 cup lime juice
2 small chilies, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon olive oil
Lime wedges, for serving

Put the chicken, tequila, lime juice, chili, garlic, cilantro and olive oil in a nonmetallic bowl and mix it all together so that the chicken is coated in the marinade.

Cover the bowl and refrigerate at least 1 hours or, preferably, overnight.

Preheat a barbecue grill to medium-high heat.

Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade, season them with salt and pepper, and grill 7 to 8 minutes on each side, or until they are cooked through.

Slice the chicken breasts diagonally and serve with lime wedges.

Makes 4 servings.

“BBQ Queens’ Big Book of Barbecue”
by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig,
Published by The Harvard Common Press

Grilled Mushrooms

1-1/2 pounds fresh Portobello or shiitake mushrooms
3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil, as needed
Fine kosher or sea salt to taste
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh
herbs, such as Italian parsley,
chives, rosemary, thyme or oregano
1 loaf crusty bread, sliced

Prepare a hot fire in a grill. Place an oiled grill wok, iron skillet or grill rack directly over the fire. Heat the cooking vessel until very hot.

Brush any dirt off the mushrooms with a paper towel. Trim off any dry or ragged ends.

Remove the stems from the mushrooms. If necessary, cut the mushrooms so that they are a uniform size.

Place the mushrooms in a large bowl, add the olive oil and toss to coat. Season with salt.

Transfer the mushrooms to the cooking vessel over the hot fire. Cook about 8 minutes, tossing them several times lest they burn.

Remove from the grill.

If you wish, toss the mushrooms with the vinegar and herbs, then serve hot and sizzling with the sliced bread.

Makes 4 servings.

Grilled Prosciutto and Basil-Wrapped Shrimp With Garlic Dipping Sauce

24 fresh basil leaves
12 thin slices prosciutto, each cut in half lengthwise
24 extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined, or large sea scallops
24 bamboo skewers, soaked in water at least 30 minutes before grilling

Garlic Dipping Sauce

1/3 cup red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1 cup olive oil

Place one basil leaf at the short end of a slice of prosciutto and a shrimp on top of the basil. Roll the shrimp in the prosciutto, then thread lengthwise onto a skewer.

Repeat with the remaining basil, prosciutto and shrimp. Place the skewers on a baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill. Grill the shrimp, turning often, until opaque, about 6 minutes.

Arrange the cooked skewers on a platter and serve with the dipping sauce on the side.

Makes 8 servings.

“The Gourmet Burger”
by Paul Gayler
Published by Gibbs Smith

Grilled Eggplant, Goat Cheese and Sundried-Tomato Burger

4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices firm chevre (goat cheese) log
3 tablespoons flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
1 cup panko crumbs mixed with 1 tablespoon honey
Vegetable or sunflower oil (for deep-frying)
8 (1/2-inch-thick) slices eggplant
Olive oil (for brushing)
Cooked Tomato Relish (see recipe below)

Coat the goat cheese slices as follows: Dust the slices of cheese with the flour, mixed with a little salt and pepper.

Dip them in to the egg wash and then again into the panko. Press the panko into the goat cheese firmly.

Dip again into the egg wash and then again into the panko. It is important to double coat to prevent the cheese from oozing into the fryer oil.

Chill in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes.

Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer or large saucepan to 350 degrees.

Heat a grill until very hot. Brush the eggplant slices with olive oil and grill them until cooked to a golden color, about 3 minutes each side.

Fry the goat cheese burgers 3 to 4 minutes until golden, then drain well on kitchen paper.

Toast the buns on both sides.

To assemble the burgers, spread the bun bases with mayonnaise, then top each with 2 slices of eggplant, then with sundried tomatoes.

Place a goat cheese burger on top, then the cooked tomato relish, then a few salad greens tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette. Serve with more relish on the side.

Makes 4 servings.

Cooked Tomato Relish

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
1 pound ripe but firm plum tomatoes, blanched, peeled,
seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the shallots and garlic and cook 3 to 4 minutes, until soft but with no color.

Add the sugar and vinegar and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes.

Combine the tomatoes, tomato ketchup, cornstarch and cumin, and add to the pan. Reduce the heat and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened to a relish consistency.

Remove and let cool before adding the mustard and salt and pepper to taste.

Kept well covered, this relish will keep in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Barbecued Hamburgers for a Crowd

6 pounds ground beef
1 pounds lean ground pork
1/2 cup freshly chopped yellow onions
1-1/2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon cayenne
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Combine all the ingredients except the oil in a very large mixing bowl. Mix well and form into about 32 evenly sized patties and brush with the oil.

Heat a chargrill and grill to desired doneness.

Just before taking the patties off the heat, brush them liberally with barbecue sauce. Toast the small buns, place the burgers in them and serve.

Makes 32 burgers.

“The All-American Cowboy Grill: Sizzlin’ Recipes From the World’s Greatest Cowboys”
by Cheryl Rogers-Barnett, Ken Beck and Jim Clark
Published by Rutledge Hill Press

Moonlight Drunken Chicken

1 medium-size whole chicken
Lemon pepper or barbecue rub
1 (12-ounce) can good beer or soda

Wash the chicken thoroughly. Drain. Do not dry.

Rub heavily with the lemon pepper or barbecue rub inside and out.

Open the can of beer and drink half.

Place the chicken upright on the can of remaining liquid. Place in a closed barbecue pit at average heat (325 degrees) 2 to 2-1/2 hours, or until the wing breaks off easily and the meat inside is not pink.

Makes 2 servings.

Dobe's Skewered Steak and Mushrooms

Harry Carey Jr., nicknamed Dobe, starred in such classics as "The Rare Breed," "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" and "The Undefeated."

1/2 cup Burgundy
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cove garlic, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup salad oil
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon vinegar
Marjoram and rosemary or a grilling mixture
1-1/2 pounds sirloin steak
12 or more large mushrooms

Mix the Burgundy with the Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oil, ketchup, sugar, vinegar and herbs.

Cut the meat into squares. Wash the mushrooms.

Allow the steak and mushrooms to marinate in the wine mixture 2 hours or longer.

Alternate the meat and mushrooms on skewers. Grill and enjoy.

Makes 4 servings.

“Camp Cooking”
by the National Museum of Forest Service History
Published by Gibbs Smith

Packer John’s Super Burger

1/4 pound hamburger
Salt and pepper
1 slice onion
1/3 cup fresh, sliced mushrooms
1 hamburger bun, buttered
1 slice cheese
1 slice tomato

Prepare hamburger patty, place on a square of aluminum foil. Salt and pepper the patty to taste.

Place the onion and mushrooms on the patty, fold the foil and seal the ends.

Cook on the campfire (or in a 375-degree oven) approximately 20 minutes.

Remove the burger from the foil, place it on the bun, and add cheese and tomato.

Makes 1 burger.

Salmon Potato Campfire Bake

4 medium red potatoes, washed and sliced thinly
3 tablespoons flour
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup smoked salmon, flaked (or 1-1/2 cups cooked, flaked salmon)
1 medium onion, chopped (or 3 green onions)
1 (10-3/4 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup water
1 cup grated cheese of your choice

Place half the potatoes in lightly greased Dutch oven (or line Dutch oven with aluminum foil, shiny side in, for easy clean-up). Sprinkle with half of flour, salt and pepper.

Cover with half of flaked salmon and onion. Repeat layers of potatoes, flour spices, salmon and onion.

In a bowl, combine soup and water, stirring until smooth. Pour over the top of the mixture. Do not stir.

Sprinkle with cheese and cover with the lid.

Pile hot coals around the sides and on top of the Dutch oven and cook 40 to 45 minutes, or until potatoes are done (the thinner the slices, the faster they cook).

Makes 4 servings.

“A Return to Family Picnics”
by Russell Cronkhite
Published by Multnomah Gifts

Tailgate Bratwursts

1 quart water
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
8 fresh bratwursts, separated
Vegetable oil
8 bakery-fresh hard rolls

Bring the water, onion and butter to a boil in a large pot. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.

Drop the brats into the simmering water and cook 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove the brats and pat them dry with paper towels before transferring them to a platter.

Lightly brush the brats with vegetable oil.

Prepare the coals for grilling, then raise the rack 6 inches above the coals. Grill the brats 20 minutes, turning from time to time, until they are evenly browned, plump and juicy.

Place a grilled brat on fresh hard roll. Garnish with spicy brown mustard, ketchup, onions, pickles, grilled peppers or grilled onion.

Makes 8 brats.

Grilled Marinated Game Hens


1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup olive oil
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon orange zest

Game Hens

2 Cornish game hens
Coarse salt for seasoning

To make the marinade, combine the orange juice, olive oil and mustard in a small bowl. Whisk in the garlic, fennel, mint, oregano, red pepper and orange zest.

For the hens, remove the giblets and discard.

Rinse the game hens under cold, running water, inside and out, and pat dry with paper towels.

Remove the backbones and cut into halves.

Rub the marinade all over the hens. Transfer them to resealable plastic bags. Press the air out of the bags and seal tightly. Refrigerate 8 to 24 hours.

Remove the hens from the bags and season with coarse salt.

Grill directly over high heat, skin-side down, until nicely browned, 5 to 7 minutes.

Turn the hens over and move to indirect, medium heat and continue grilling 30 to 40 minutes.

The hens are done when an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees, or when the juices flow clear when a knife is inserted into the thickest part of the thigh or breast.

Makes 4 servings.

“101 Things to Do With a BBQ”
by Steve Tillett, Published by Gibbs Smith

J.W.’s Cedar Plank Salmon With Brown Sugar Rub

1 (2 to 3 pound) salmon fillet
Cedar plank
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt or seasoning salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

Soak a cedar plank (try an untreated fence board) in cold water at least 15 minutes.

Preheat a grill to medium heat. Mix together brown sugar, salt and pepper. Coat the salmon with olive oil, and then liberally rub with the mixed dry ingredients.

Place the salmon on the cedar plank, and then put the plank directly on the grill.

Cook 20 to 30 minutes, or until the fish flakes and is no longer translucent.

Makes 3 to 5 servings.

Grilled Pork Citrus Steaks

3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream or half and half
4 to 5 pork chops

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and add the lemon juice. Heat until garlic is tender.

Add the cream and heat through. Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat a grill to medium-high heat, lightly oil the grate, and then reduce the heat to medium.

Place the chops on the grill and sear 1 minute per side, then coat the sides with the cream mixture.

Cover and grill 3 to 5 minutes more per side, brushing both sides again with the cream mixture during the last 2 minutes.

Grill until done, when internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

Makes 3 to 5 servings.

“Bruce Aidells’s Complete Book of Pork”
with Lisa Weiss
Published by Harper Collins

Hong Kong-Style Ribs

1-1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground fennel seeds
1 tablespoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 slabs (about 2-1/2 pounds each) St. Louis- style spareribs, 2 slabs spareribs (about 3 pounds each), or 3 slabs back ribs (about 1-1/2 pounds each)

Hoisin Dipping Sauce

1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced, fresh ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon brown bean paste
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped, roasted peanuts

Combine the rub ingredients.

Build a fire on one side of a covered grill, or if using a gas grill, only light one burner.

Put the meat opposite the fire so there is no heat directly underneath the meat.

If you’re grill-roasting more than 2 slabs, put them in a vertical rack specially designed for cooking several rib racks at one time.
Cover the grill and try to maintain a temperature of 300 degrees to 350 degrees.

When the meat begins to pull away from the bone, the ribs are done. This could take anywhere from 1-1/4 to 2 hours, depending on the temperature maintained in the grill.

If you like a smoky flavor, add some wood chips or chunks to the coals from time to time. If you want more of a grilled flavor or caramelized exterior, grill both sides of each slab briefly over a hot fire 2 to 3 minutes per side after they’re cooked. (You may need to add more coals.)

Make the dipping sauce. In a small saucepan, combine all the sauce ingredients except for the green onions, cilantro and peanuts.

Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Stir in the green onions, cilantro and peanuts. Serve warm.

Makes 6 servings.

Grilled Pork Kebabs

Apple Cider Marinade

2 tablespoons minced red onion or shallot
1/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons Calvados or other apple brandy or regular brandy
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil

1-1/2 pounds Boston butt, blade-end loin (also called country spareribs) or rib loin, cut into 1-1/2 -inch cubes
2 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup (1-inch) squares red onion
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil

To make the marinade, combine all the ingredients in a bowl.

Put the pork cubes in a 1-gallon, zip-lock plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Seal the bag and refrigerate 16 to 24 hours, turning the bag from time to time to redistribute the marinade.

To prepare the kebabs, remove the meat from the bag, discard the marinade and pat the meat dry.

Set up a charcoal or gas grill with a medium-hot fire.

Thread the meat onto the skewers and the apples and onion pieces on separate skewers.

Combine the lemon juice and olive oil and brush the mixture all over the fruit and onion kebabs.

Grill the skewers until the pork is firm to the touch and the apple and onions are lightly colored and beginning to soften.

Turn the kebabs frequently to prevent burning.

The meat skewers will take about 10 to 12 minutes, and the apple and onion skewers about 7 to 10 minutes, but remember that time and temperatures vary a great deal, so pay attention to the visual cues. If you're not sure if the meat is done, cut into a piece. It should be faintly pink.

If not, cook a minute or two longer.

To serve, remove the apples and onions to a platter and lay the pork kebabs on top.

Makes 4 servings.