June, 2011 Newsletter — The Father’s Day Issue
Is Dad the grill master at your house? Take over the tongs for Father’s Day and show your appreciation for him with this easy-to-prepare menu. If he won’t surrender the control of the fire, then you can still show him how much you care by doing the shopping and prep work.
Fresno Barbecue Shrimp
Grilled shrimp are always a tasty treat, especially when you amp up the flavor with a little barbecue rub. Rings of Fresno chiles dress the shrimp, adding just the right amount of heat. I would call these medium on the spicy scale.
- 16 jumbo shrimp (10 to 15 count)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lime juice
- 6 medium-sized Fresno chiles
- 3 tablespoons if your favorite barbecue rub (I used 1 tablespoon Not-So-Basic Barbecue Rub combined with 2 tablespoons light brown sugar)
- Lime wedges for serving
Prepare the grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat (about 500 ºF). A charcoal fire is preferred.
Peel, de-vein and slightly butterfly the shrimp, leaving the tails on.
Whisk together the olive oil and lime juice and toss the shrimp in the mixture. Leave in the mixture for 5 minutes while you prepare the Fresno chile rings. Remove them after five minutes and discard the liquid.
Slice the chiles into 16 rings about 1/4 inch wide. You will likely not use the larger or smaller ends as they will not fit around the shrimp. Remove the ribs and seeds from each ring. Slide 1 ring around each shrimp, starting from the tail end. Choose chile rings that are appropriately sized for each shrimp.
Cover the shrimp in barbecue rub and let sit for about 10 minutes before grilling.
Grill the shrimp over direct heat, turning occasionally, until cooked through. The cut portion of the shrimp where they are partially butterflied will turn opaque when they are done. Be careful not to overcook the shrimp as they will become quite tough. Total cooking time should be between 6 and 8 minutes at the most.
Whiskey Short Rib Kebabs
I normally use tri-tip for beef kebabs, but a little experiment with boneless short ribs resulted in tender and juicy kebabs worth sharing with you.
The quick whiskey marinade lends a rich flavor. Add in sweet red onions, the bright flavor of red bell peppers and the mellow meatiness of crimini mushrooms and you have a winning main course.
- 1/4 cup whiskey (I used Maker’s Mark)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 pounds boneless beef short ribs, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and ribs removed, cut into 1 1/2-inch squares
- 2 red onions, ends removed and cut into 1 1/2-inch squares
- 12 medium-sized crimini mushrooms, stems removed
- Fine sea salt
- 4 long, flat-blade skewers
Whisk together the first 5 ingredients to make the marinade. Combine the beef and marinade in a zip-top bag, remove all the air and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Turn the bag over a couple of times along the way.
Prepare the grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat (about 500ºF). A charcoal fire is preferred.
Assemble the kebabs onto the skewers in whatever fashion you desire. The cooking time for the various ingredients is the same (if properly sized), so you can freely mix the ingredients on the skewers. I like to use double layers of the red onion. Season the assembled kebabs liberally with salt.
Grill over direct heat, turning to all 4 sides of each kebab, for about 10 minutes or until the meat is cooked medium to medium-well.
Loaded Baked Potato Salad
Usually baking potatoes on the grill requires some planning to make sure they are hot and ready at the same time as the rest of the meal. We’ve made it easier on you because this salad can be prepared ahead of time. Generous amounts of bacon, cheese, green onions and sour cream are used to create that awesome loaded baked potato flavor.
- 4 russet potatoes, cleaned and cut into thirds (I recommend keeping the skins on)
- 1 pound bacon (I prefer thick-cut, apple wood-smoked bacon for this recipe), cooked crisp and cut up
- Fine sea salt
- 3 green onions, sliced, green and light-green portions only
- 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika powder
- 1 tablespoon bacon drippings at room temperature (optional, see note)
- Freshly-ground black pepper
- Flat leaf parsley for garnish (optional)
Place the potatoes in a large pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, uncovered, over high heat. Once boiling, cook an additional 12 to 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender but not falling apart. Drain well and cool to room temperature.
Cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes and place them in a large bowl. Season with 1 teaspoon fine sea salt. Add the green onions, bacon and cheese.
Whisk together the sour cream, butter, paprika and bacon drippings in a separate bowl. Fold into the potatoes, being careful not to break up the potatoes too much.
Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours before serving. When ready to serve, season with black pepper and additional salt if needed. Garnish with parsley if desired.
Note: I normally cook bacon on the grill. However, when I want to reserve drippings for salad dressing and other uses, I cook it in the oven following Alton Brown’s instructions. Place a wire rack on a rimmed sheet pan. Place the bacon strips in a single layer on the rack and transfer the pan to the middle rack of a cool oven. Set the oven to 400ºF. Check the bacon when the oven reaches temperature. Continue cooking until crisp, checking every 2 to 3 minutes. Be careful not to spill hot bacon drippings when removing the pan from the oven.