UP IN SMOKE
SUPER BOWL SUNDAY EDITION
Dear Up in Smoke Subscriber,
If you’re a football fan, you know that Super Bowl XLIV will be played on February 7 in Miami, Florida, my adopted hometown. (For you trivia buffs, this is the tenth year Miami has hosted the annual contest between the best teams in the NFL.)
Just for grins, I went to the website this morning of an online ticket broker to determine what it would cost to trade a spot in front of the television for one of the 75,540 seats in Dolphin Stadium. Well, folks, the answer stunned me: The cheapest seat, in the uppermost section of the end zone, would set you back $2202; the most expensive, $386,750, would clinch a catered luxury suite for you and 31 of your best friends.
Neither option, incidentally, includes parking. Spaces range in price from $202 to $1190.
My internet fact-finding mission confirmed this: You can throw an incredible party for family and friends for a fraction of the cost of a Super Bowl ticket…or even a parking space! Heck, you can even buy a new grill and still come out ahead. Host a Super Bowl Party at home and you’ll have a better view of the action (accompanied by those all-important instant replays and edgy commercials), ringside seats for the halftime show, and way better food than the stadium vendors will be hawking.
In my opinion, the best food, the only proper Bowl food should come hot off the grill. It should be fast, sizzling, hearty, and finger friendly.
The menu at my house will have an international twist this year in deference to my new book, Planet Barbecue (Workman, May, 2010) and the fact that the game is aired in 175 foreign countries.
Below are my all-new recipes for reinterpretations of Super Bowl stalwarts like wings, brats, and “sliders.” They’ll score big at your party, too.
Oops. My snow-beleaguered, mostly Ohio-based assistant, Nancy Loseke, reminded me your grill could be buried under three feet of white stuff. (As I write, the current temperature in Miami is an almost unprecedented 36 degrees. Back when I lived in New England, we used to ask a simple question to separate the men from the boys: When it snows, what do you shovel first, the path to your car or the path to your grill?) If bad weather has shut your outdoor operation down, don’t worry. These recipes can be adapted to the kitchen. For others, check out Indoor Grilling (Workman, 2004).
PERI PERI CHICKEN WINGS
No Super Bowl party is complete without a bowl of a different sort—filled with smoky, fiery wings. Here’s how they do it in South Africa. I think you’ll like how the lemon-chile-herb sauce electrifies the flavor.
Though I like to serve the wings hot off the grill, you can make them before game time, then reheat in a 325 degree F oven.
Source: Planet Barbecue (Workman, 2010)
Method: Indirect grilling
Serves: 4 as an appetizer
Advance preparation: 6 to 24 hours for marinating the wings
For the marinade:
1/2 cup South African peri peri sauce (see Note below), Brazilian piri piri sauce,
Crystal, Tabasco, or other hot sauce
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
One 3-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons coarse salt (kosher or sea)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 pounds large chicken wings
For the glaze:
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) salted butter
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoon peri peri sauce or one of the other hot sauces mentioned above
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1. Make the marinade: If using a blender, add the peri peri/hot sauce, garlic, onion, ginger, cilantro, oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and puree until smooth. If using a food processor, puree the solid ingredients first, then work in the liquids. Transfer to a large nonreactive bowl, roasting pan, or large resealable plastic bag.
2. Cut the chicken wings in half, discarding the wing tips. Stir them into the marinade and marinate for at least 6 hours, or as long as overnight—the longer, the richer the flavor—stirring every few hours.
3. Make the glaze: Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the cilantro and garlic and cook over medium-high heat until sizzling and aromatic, about 2 minutes. (Do not let the garlic brown.) Stir in the peri peri sauce (or other hot sauce) and lemon juice and simmer for 2 minutes.
4. Set up your grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium (350 degrees F). Brush and oil the grill grate. Arrange the chicken wings on the grate and indirect grill until crisp and golden brown on the outside and cooked through, 30 to 40 minutes. Make a small cut in the thickest part of one of the wings: There should be no traces of red or pink at the bone.
5. Transfer the wings to a platter and pour the hot glaze over them. Toss to mix and serve at once.
NOTE: Nando’s Peri-Peri Sauce can be purchased online from www.southafricanfoodshop.com.
CURRYWURST: BRATWURST WITH CURRY SAUCE
Currywurst is German comfort food, invented (or so the story goes) when a resourceful street vendor dropped a box containing ketchup and curry powder. What matters on Super Bowl Sunday is that currywurst gives you a whole new approach to bratwurst.
Source: Planet Barbecue by Steven Raichlen (Workman, 2010)
Method: Direct grilling
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus 1 tablespoon for grilling the brats
1/4 cup white onion, minced as fine as sand
1 teaspoon mustard seed or mustard powder
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon anise seed
1 cup ketchup (preferably Heinz)
1. Make the sauce: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in medium saucepan. Add the onion and mustard seed and cook over medium heat until the onion just begins to brown. Stir in the curry powder, pepper, nutmeg, and anise seed and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the ketchup and gently simmer the sauce until thick and richly flavored, 3 to 5 minutes. The sauce can be made several days ahead of time, but it should be warmed for serving.
2. Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to medium. Brush and oil the grill grate.
3. Arrange the brats on the grill and grill until the casings are crusty and brown on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes per side, 16 to 20 minutes in all, turning frequently with tongs and moving to dodge hot spots or flare-ups.
4. Transfer the brats to a cutting board. Cut each brat crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices. Mound the slices in a shallow serving bowl and spoon the curried tomato sauce on top. Serve with toothpicks.
“KOBE” BEEF SLIDERS
Despite the recent burger frenzy, the slider (or slyder, as it was originally called) originated in the 1920s at the White Castle chain in Wichita, Kansas, in 1921. To make upscale, off-the-charts sliders, use wagyu beef (the cattle breed that gives the Japanese Kobe)—available via mail order from www.allenbrothers.com. Or use regular ground beef, but make sure you have a fat content of at least 15 percent.
Source: Planet Barbecue by Steven Raichlen (Workman, 2010)
Method: Direct grilling
Serves: 8 as an appetizer
For the caramelized shallots:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or more butter)
1 pound shallots, peeled and thinly sliced crosswise
Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
For the sliders:
1-1/2 pounds ground waygu or Kobe-style beef, or substitute ground chuck (ideally
between 15 to 20 percent fat)
12 small brioche rolls or Parker House rolls
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Your choice of condiments, including pickles, mustard, ketchup, etc.
1. Make the caramelized shallots: Melt the butter with the oil in a heavy saucepan. Add the shallots. Cook over medium heat until the shallots have been reduced to a thick, sweet paste. This will take about 15 minutes and you’ll have to stir often. Lower the heat as needed to keep the shallots from burning. (Add a tablespoon or two of water as needed.) Add salt and pepper to taste. The shallots can be caramelized several hours or even a day ahead.
2. Make the burgers: Divide the beef into 12 portions. Lightly wet your hands and mold each into a square patty about 2 inches square and 1/2 inch thick. Arrange on a plate and chill, covered with plastic wrap, until you’re ready to grill the sliders.
3. Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. Brush and oil the grill grate.
4. Generously salt and pepper the sliders and arrange on the grate. Grill until cooked to taste, 2-1/2 to 3 minutes per side for medium, turning with a spatula. Meanwhile, brush the cut sides of the rolls with melted butter and grill them until golden brown. (Watch closely.)
5. To assemble the sliders, place a spoonful of caramelized shallots on the bottom section of each bun. Top with a slider and the top bun half, and serve at once with condiments.
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