Happy Father’s Day to the King of the Grill!
It is widely believed that prehistoric man learned to build a fire to stay warm. They’re wrong. Man developed fire so he could barbecue. Today one lucky grill-happy Dad is going to win a copy of Grill to Perfection: Two Champion Pit Masters’ Recipes and Techniques for Unforgettable Backyard Grilling, a new cookbook by award-winning grillmasters Andy Husbands and Chris Hart with Andrea Pyenson, published by Page Street Publishing. To enter the drawing, just leave a comment below, and tell us – what is your favorite food to grill?
In Grill to Perfection, Husbands and Hart break the mold by offering a wide range of new recipes for the grill, along with tips, techniques and tools of the trade that will make anything cooked on a grill perfection. “Grilling to us is more than a way to cook, it’s a way of life,” the authors state,. “Technique is the key. Because temperatures can vary dramatically across a grill, it’s important to develop a feel for the fire. Once you master the temperatures and timing on a grill, the sky’s the limit.”
In Grill to Perfection the authors cover such topics as:
- Our Go-To Cooking Methods
- How to build a Two-Zone Fire in a Gas Grill
- The Tools We Always Have When We Grill
Husbands and Hart have won a number of prestigious national barbecue titles, including the Jack Daniels Invitational. Recipes in the book feature beef, fish, pork, poultry, vegetables, drinks and desserts. Here’s one sample, reprinted by permission:
Grilled Shrimp, Romaine and Radicchio Salad
Makes 4 to 6 servings
Grilling lettuce is a fantastic way to add those great char flavors to a salad. The key is to sear the leaves without wilting them too much. Leave this for the last moment, and they will still be tender and crisp—and charred. A perfectly grilled shrimp should have a slight snap to it and be sweet and juicy. Pay attention to the sides of the shrimp to see when they change from translucent to white. They will continue to cook a bit even after they’re off the grill, so just before they are totally white, pull them off, let stand for a few seconds, then serve.
Juice of 2 lemons
⅓ cup/80ml olive oil
1 shallot, minced
¼ cup/20g chopped fresh parsley leaves
4 leaves fresh basil, roughly chopped
1 tsp red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Olive oil, for grilling
8 to 12 shrimp (U-12), peeled and deveined
1 head romaine, outer leaves removed, quartered through the core (no need to cut off the end)
1 small head radicchio, loose leaves removed, quartered through the core (no need to cut off the end)
1 wedge (about 4 oz/113g) Parmesan or your favorite hard cheese, for garnish
Build a hot direct fire. Spread an even layer of unlit charcoal in the bottom of the grill. Fill a chimney with charcoal. Stuff two sheets of newspaper in the bottom of the chimney and light it. When the coals are fully engaged—you should see flames peeking over the top—pour them over the unlit charcoal. If using a gas grill, light the gas and adjust the temperature on both sides to high.
Make the vinaigrette: In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, shallot, parsley, basil and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
When you can hold your hands over the fire for no more than 3 to 5 seconds, clean the grill grate. Lightly oil the shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 1 minute, rotate 90 degrees and then flip. Continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes more until the outer skin is pinkish red with a slight char on it and the split side has just
turned from translucent to white. Remove the shrimp from the grill, place in the vinaigrette bowl and toss.
Make the salad: Lightly oil the romaine and radicchio and season with salt and pepper. Place the romaine quarters on the grill and cook for 1 minute per side (there are 3 sides), until it is slightly charred and lightly warmed. Transfer to a cutting board and roughly chop the leaves; discard the cores. Scatter the leaves over the serving plate. Repeat with the radicchio, and scatter the leaves over the romaine. Spoon the shrimp in the vinaigrette evenly over the lettuces. Using a vegetable peeler, shave some Parmesan over the salad. Serve immediately.
GRILL TO PERFECTION:
Two Champion Pit Masters’ Recipes and Techniques for Unforgettable Backyard Grilling
by Andy Husbands and Chris Hart, with Andrea Pyenson
April 2014 / Page Street Publishing – Retail Price: $21.99