Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible

Holidays

Fire It Up for Passover

Fire It Up for Passover

At sundown on April 14, Jews all over the world will celebrate the start of Passover. I’ll be one of them. This eight-day holiday—my favorite in the Jewish calendar—commemorates the escape of the ancient Hebrews from slavery in Egypt and the settling of what would become Israel. It’s a bigger-than-life holiday full of cinematic events: building the pyramids, Pharaoh’s daughters finding baby Moses floating on the Nile, Moses transforming his staff into a serpent, the ten...

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Barbecue University

Steven Raichlen’s Barbecue Birthday Menu

Steven Raichlen’s Barbecue Birthday Menu

Call it a busman’s holiday. When my birthday rolls around in this blustery month of March (don’t try to guess when or how old), I’ll celebrate with, what else, a barbecue. And being the hands-on, DIY, control freak kind of guy I am, I’ll probably cook it myself. Oh, I’ll have help from son-in-law Gabriel, the master mixologist of the family. I’m thinking something smoky, like an Oaxacan Manhattan—made with mezcal. (Gabriel also grills...

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Just in Time for Mardi Gras—Gumbo Gets Smoked

Just in Time for Mardi Gras—Gumbo Gets Smoked

Little known fact about me: Long before I wrote Planet Barbecue or taped Primal Grill; long before I founded Barbecue University and launched the Best of Barbecue line of grilling accessories; long before I reviewed restaurants for Boston Magazine and penned a wine and spirits column for GQ, I majored in French literature and studied medieval cooking in Europe. One of my favorite paintings then—and now—was The Fight Between Carnival and Lent...

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Valentine’s Day with Heart

Valentine’s Day with Heart

Today is Valentine’s Day. I’m giving my wife a heart-shaped card (or at least a card decorated with hearts). If I’m smart, I’ll throw in a heart-shaped box of chocolates. The one thing I won’t do is serve her a dish that’s a barbecue icon in Peru and Bolivia, and that’s turning up grilled, or otherwise, served at an increasing number of cutting-edge restaurants in North America. I’m referring to beef, veal, lamb, and chicken hearts. Exhibit #1. The grilled lamb heart salad served at Portland, Oregon’s new temple...

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Chocolate Meets Grill

Chocolate Meets Grill

If the way to someone’s proverbial heart is through the stomach, an even faster route is with chocolate. As a spouse, partner, or parent, you probably know this already. If not, learn it fast. When I was growing up, chocolate was, well chocolate. Today, you have to choose between dark chocolate and milk, bar chocolate and cocoa, single estate chocolate and 90 percent. And what the heck are cocoa nibs? All chocolate derives from the seedpod of a tropical fruit appropriately named Theobroma...

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Grilling in the Chinese New Year

Grilling in the Chinese New Year

Two men celebrating with bak kua (grilled pork jerky) While many of us were preparing for Super Bowl parties last weekend, the Chinese welcomed a bronco of a different sort: the Year of the Horse. Fortunately, it’s not too late to celebrate the Chinese New Year: Festivities last for 15 days, making this the longest holiday on the Chinese calendar. Perfect for guys like me, who despite the best intentions, don’t always post holiday cards on time. My first impulse is to celebrate...

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Super Bowl Showdown: Seattle Planked Salmon vs. Denver Bison Burgers

Super Bowl Showdown: Seattle Planked Salmon vs. Denver Bison Burgers

Sometimes it helps not to have skin in the game. When the crowds converge on MetLife Stadium in New Jersey this Sunday, neither of my “home” teams (the Miami Dolphins or the New England Patriots) will be playing. That leaves me free to focus on what really matters on Super Bowl Sunday—without nail-biting partisanship—the food. But I’m rooting for both contenders with my menu, which features two dishes inspired by the Seahawks and the...

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Barbecue University

Grilled Dips for the Super Bowl

Grilled Dips for the Super Bowl

Hunger Game? That would be Super Bowl Sunday. Apparently, it involves football and no shortage of statistics (like carries and passing yards). But the stat that matters most to me is 62 percent. That’s the number of American grill owners who will fire them up on Super Bowl Sunday, making this the busiest grilling day of the winter. (Yes, there’s actually an organization that keeps track of our grill usage. Not the NSA, but the HPBA—Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue...

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Winging It on Super Bowl Sunday

Winging It on Super Bowl Sunday

Quick: What’s the second biggest eating holiday after Thanksgiving? Memorial Day? July 4th? Labor Day? Actually, it’s Super Bowl Sunday, which is coming at us faster (February 2) than a Peyton Manning pass. According to the National Restaurant Association, 63 percent of Americans consider chicken wings a “must-have” in their annual mash-up of food and football. We ate nearly 1.23 billion wings during last year’s game—enough to encircle the earth twice. Chicken wings make the perfect Super Bowl food. Infinitely customizable. Easily...

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Barbecue University

Hors d’Oeuvres Meet Grill—Finger Food for the Holidays

Hors d’Oeuvres Meet Grill—Finger Food for the Holidays

Russians call them zakuski. The French term is hors d’oeuvres. Italians ask for antipasti. In Turkey and other eastern Mediterranean countries, they’re known as meze. In America, we use the macabre expression finger food, and no self respecting holiday party would be complete without them. But if your notion of cocktail party fare runs to cheese balls and stuffed celery, you’re in need of a Barbecue! Bible makeover. Sure,...

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