How times have changed!
Today, most of us get our news and information via Google or Yahoo, and when we need facts or explanations, we consult not an encyclopedia, but Wikipedia. We form communities not only with our neighbors, but thanks to online forums, with people with similar interests all over the world. Websites have become our front porches and town squares and the Internet has brought Planet Barbecue! to our laptops and cell phones.
When I wrote The Barbecue Bible, I did my research the old-fashioned way—in libraries and archives, via telephone and fax. Today, when I need to know more about Balkan burgers (like pork and veal cevapcici) or South African sosaties (kebabs made with apricot, lamb and pork), I simply reach out to our Barbecue Board or Facebook or Twitter followers. As New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman often observes, the world has become flat and interconnected in ways that just 20 years ago we would never have dreamed.
Which brings me to some of the most exciting news in my barbecue world: the complete redesign and relaunch of our website: barbecuebible.com.
Our team at Workman Publishing has worked hard to bring you a dynamic new site with more smart conversation and information, more up-to-the-minute barbecue news, more profiles of the people and restaurants you care about, more tips and techniques you need now, and of course, more recipes and hunger-inducing photos.
The first thing you’ll see on the site is a clean new look and color scheme—with a lot more photos and visuals. Two new blog posts each week with several you can view at one time.
The second thing you’ll notice is the new prominence of our Barbecue Board. Our moderators and contributors are the soul of this community, so we’re featuring them front and center on the home page. In the coming months we’ll be profiling our more active members, starting with the formidable Brad Olson (nom de flame “Screaming Chicken”), whose more than 60,000 (!) posts have delighted and edified all of us.
So what else is new?
One of ironies of being an author is that you’re always thinking so hard about your next project, you rarely return to the earlier books. So since I started this issue of “Up in Smoke” with The Barbecue Bible, I thumbed through a first edition: I’d like to share with you two of my all-time favorite recipes from that book.
Adapted from: The Barbecue Bible (Workman, 1998)
Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer
1-1/2 pounds jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
For the marinade/glaze:
2 cloves garlic, minced
One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
2 trimmed scallions, finely chopped (set 2 tablespoons scallion greens aside for serving)
3 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons rice wine, sake, or dry sherry
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1-1/2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Sriracha (Thai hot sauce), or to taste
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
You’ll also need: bamboo skewers
1. Wash the shrimp and blot dry.
2. Prepare the marinade: Combine the garlic, ginger, scallions, sesame oil, rice wine, soy sauce, honey, hot sauce, sesame seeds, and five-spice powder in a mixing bowl and whisk to mix. Stir in the shrimp and marinate for 30 minutes.
3. Skewer the shrimp on bamboo skewers. Transfer the marinade to a saucepan and boil until thick and syrupy, about 3 minutes. Let cool.
4. Preheat the grill to high.
5. Grill the shrimp until cooked, 2 to 3 minutes per side, basting with the boiled marinade. Transfer the shrimp to a platter and sprinkle with the reserved scallion greens. Serve at once.
Adapted from: The Barbecue Bible (Workman, 1998)
4 New York strip or sirloin steaks (each about 1 inch thick and 8 to 10 ounces)
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons dry mustard, such as Colman’s
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (1 to 2 limes, cut in half)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1. Place the steaks on a baking sheet and season generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Sprinkle half the dry mustard on one side, patting the steaks with the flat part of a fork to spread the mustard evenly over the meat. Pour half the Worcestershire sauce on top and pat in with the fork. Squeeze lime juice on top and pat in with the fork. Drizzle the steaks with half the olive oil and pat in with the fork.
2. Turn the steaks over and season the other side with the mustard, Worchestershire sauce, lime juice, and olive oil the same way. Let the steaks marinate for 20 to 30 minutes while you preheat the grill.
3. Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. Brush and oil the grill grate.
4. Grill the steaks until cooked to taste, 4 to 6 minutes per side for medium rare. Give each steak a quarter turn after 2 minutes to lay on a crosshatch of grill marks. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let rest for 2 minutes.
6. Thinly slice the steaks on the diagonal, as you would london broil. Let the slices marinate in the meat juices for a minute or two, then serve at once.
Yours in righteous grilling,
Steven Raichlen's official newsletter, Up in Smoke, is available exclusively on barbecuebible.com. Culled from experiences on the barbecue trail and beyond, Steven brings you reviews you can use, recipes, answers to your questions, special BBQ store discounts, and more. The newsletter is FREE and comes out every week. It is available first only to subscribers to the newsletter and then posted a month later in the newsletter archives. Sign up today!