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Guerrilla Grilling, Global Style PDF Print E-mail
 

Bobby Flay

Bobby Flay: 
Guerrilla Grilling,
Global-Style

By Molly Wales

Recipes:

Grilled Swordfish with
Lime-Basil-Jalapeño Vinaigrette

Grilled Shrimp with Orange-Cilantro Vinaigrette

Avocado-Tomatillo Sauce

Lamb Tenderloin with Serrano-Mint Glaze

Grilled Tuna with Red Chile, Allspice,
and Orange Glaze

Coffee Spice-Rubbed Ribeye with
Smoky Tomato/Red Chile Salsa

Before opening his restaurant Mesa Grill in 1991, Bobby Flay was quoted as saying, "I’m going to put a new and colorful twist on Southwestern cuisine." Thirteen years later, by way of cookbooks, TV shows, award-winning restaurants and an insatiable appetite for culinary adventure, Flay has gone far, far beyond Southwestern cuisine, serving his fans and audiences a never-ending spread of insights, twists, and real-life ideas. Now, with the introduction of his new book, Boy Gets Grill, 125 Reasons to Light Your Fire!, co-authored with writer Julia Moskin, Flay teaches us to re-conceptualize The Grill: as an everyday cooking tool, versus a weekend barbecue machine; and as a passport to the flavors of the whole world, not just the meat market.

Bobby Flay's new book, Boy Gets Grill, 125 Reasons to Light Your Fire

Where He’s From, Where He’s Going

Bobby Flay is perhaps best known for his various cooking shows on the Food Network, including "Boy Meets Grill," "Food Nation," and "Hot Off the Grill." But his love of cooking began long before there was any celebrity involved, when, at 17 years old, he got a job at Joe Allen’s restaurant in New York. His talent was obvious and impressive, and Mr. Allen paid Flay’s tuition to The French Culinary Institute (in 1993, he received the first-ever Outstanding Graduate Award). Flay continued to learn and to shine after graduating in 1984, and in 1991 was given the opportunity to open Mesa Grill, as Executive Chef. The restaurant received unprecedented acclaim, and two years later Flay was voted the James Beard Foundation’s Rising Star Chef of the Year, honoring the country’s most accomplished chef under the age of 30.

Since then, Flay has opened Bolo, a Spanish-inspired restaurant also in New York City, has starred in multiple TV shows and is the Food Correspondent of "The Early Show on CBS," and has authored five cookbooks. In a recent interview with editor Dave DeWitt, Flay said that he spends 90 percent of his time on restaurant projects. His shows are taped in bunches, he ex-plained, and books are weekend projects, when he’s cooking at his country house for friends, for example.

What’s next for the seemingly unstoppable Bobby Flay? Demonstrative of his consistent, career-long movement towards grilling, "My new show is ‘Barbecue America’ which we’re taping in Memphis, Kansas City, and Miami, among other cities. It’s about ‘real’ barbecue and the cookoff circuit." The show will begin airing this summer.

Grilling, The Next Generation

Flay told DeWitt that "Grills are for more than just grilling." For example, he uses a cast-iron skillet to cook scrambled eggs on the grill, and he roasts turkeys using indirect heat. The possibilities are truly endless. In Boy Gets Grill, he explains, "Grilling in America used to be about hot dogs, hamburgers and lighter fluid. But now anything goes on the grill—if you like it, you can grill it. The question isn’t ‘Can I grill this?’ but ‘Is there any reason not to grill this?’"

And, he pointed out, whereas grills used to be specific to backyard barbecues, these days more and more New Yorkers are grilling on their balconies, even though it’s illegal. Maybe this is because, as he says in the new book, "Grilling is the simplest, most basic cooking method there is. All you really need is food and fire." It doesn’t have to be complicated, or time-consuming. With this new batch of simpler, quicker recipes, and Flay’s thorough explanations of techniques and tips, grilling can accommodate—and even facilitate—a busy weekday schedule.

Secret Ingredient: Chiles

When asked about chile peppers, Flay explained to DeWitt that his goal is to help the American public learn more about eating and cooking with chiles. So, in Boy Gets Grill, Flay tries to "incorporate chiles into as many recipes as possible," sharing his love of the earthy and smoky flavor of dried chiles, and the fruity flavors of the fresh ones. In the section titled "Basic Procedures and Ingredients," Flay explains the attributes and possible uses of a variety of chiles, including jalapeños, habaneros, New Mexican chiles, and more. He even gives Chipotle Puree its own heading, along side other mandatory ingredients like Oils and Yogurt. Flay is obviously a Chilehead, of the gourmet variety—and the recipes do, as he intended, teach the reader how to eat and cook with chiles (see recipes below).

Buy Locally, Grill Globally

"I find those extra-long grilling tongs hard to use—I feel like the food is too far away from me." This is a man who feels attached to his food, who nurtures and respects every meal. And just as he insists on physical proximity to whatever he is cooking, Flay draws his ingredients from his immediate surroundings. Lucky for his readers that he lives in New York City, where the flavors of China, Greece, Italy, India, Argentina, Jamaica, etc., are right outside his door. As he says, "Everywhere I go, grilling is there."

The book is full of pictures of Flay at different markets and restaurants, and his street-seasoned knowledge of ethnic cuisines is proven in almost every recipe. The flavor combinations are wise, unusual, and exciting. For example: Portuguese-Style Chicken with Spicy Sausage and Mussels; Grilled Octopus-Sweet Onion Salad with Oregano Vinaigrette and Grilled Lemons; or Grilled Nectarines with Blue Cheese, Honey, and Black Pepper. As he says in that last recipe’s header, "Between New York City’s cheese shops, farmers’ markets, restaurants and wine bars, I’ve learned so much about blues [cheese] from Denmark, Spain, Italy, France, and even Iowa—all without ever leaving the city!"

In other words, Bobby Flay has the whole world on his grill. And now his readers do too.

The following is a selection of spiced-up recipes from Boy Gets Grill, 125 Reasons to Light Your Fire!


Recipes

Grilled Swordfish with Lime-Basil-Jalapeño Vinaigrette

Grilled Shrimp and Swordfish

Top left: Grilled Shrimp with
Orange-Cilantro Vinaigrette

Bottom: Grilled Swordfish with Lime-Basil-Jalapeño Vinaigrette

 

 

 

Ever since I discovered the fish taco, a Cal-Mex specialty that originated around San Diego and Baja, it’s been one of my favorite summer dinners, especially for a crowd. The real thing is a soft tortilla wrapped around fried fish, but grilled fish is even better to my taste.

  • 1 1/2 pounds swordfish steak,

  • 1 inch thick

  • Grated zest of 1 lime

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

  • 2 jalapeño chiles, seeded and chopped

  • 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves

  • 1/2 cup mild vegetable oil, such as canola

For the tacos:

  • Avocado-Tomatillo Sauce (see recipe below)

  • Iceberg lettuce, thinly shredded

  • Red cabbage, cored and thinly shredded

  • Red onions, thinly sliced

  • Scallions, thinly sliced

  • Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

  • Hot sauce

  • Mexican crema

  • 7-inch tortillas, flour and/or corn, grilled on high for 20 seconds
    on each side, just until warm and lightly charred

Place the fish in a large dish. Combine the lime zest and juice, chiles, and basil in a blender and blend until smooth. With the motor running, slowly pour in the oil and blend until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper, pour over the fish, turn to coat, and marinate for 10 minutes.

Heat your grill to high.

Grill the fish until lightly browned and firm on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the dish over, reduce the heat to medium or move to a cooler part of the grill, and grill until just cooked all the way through, 3 to 4 minutes more. Remove the fish from the grill and slice 1/2 inch think. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately with tortillas and garnishes listed above.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Heat Scale: Medium


Grilled Shrimp with Orange-Cilantro Vinaigrette

This recipe accompanies Grilled Swordfish with Lime-Basil-Jala-peño Vinaigrette (see above) and others in the chapter titled "Fish Taco Party."

  • 24 medium shrimp, shelled and deveined

  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest

  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion

  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and chopped

  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

  • 1/2 cup mild vegetable oil, such as canola

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 24 wooden skewers, soaked in cold water for at least 30 minutes

Arrange the shrimp in a single layer in a large dish. Combine the orange zest and juice, onion, chile, and cilantro in a blender and blend until smooth. With the motor running, slowly pour in the oil and blend until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper, pour over the shrimp, and marinate for 10 minutes.

Heat your grill to high.

Spear the shrimp by pushing the skewer through the head and the tail, then smoothing the shrimp along the skewer to help it lie flat. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Grill the shrimp until pink, opaque, and just cooked through, 1 1/2 seconds to 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately with tortillas and garnishes listed above in the Grilled Swordfish with Lime-Basil-Jala-peño Vinaigrette recipe.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Heat Scale: Mild


Avocado-Tomatillo Sauce

Tart tomatillos, hot jalapeños, fresh lime, and sweet honey, all bound together with the creaminess of avocado, make this one of my favorite sauces. Try it with any rich fish, like swordfish (see recipe above), salmon, mackerel, or bluefish.

  • 8 tomatillos, husked and rinsed

  • 2 jalapeño chiles

  • 1/2 cup mild vegetable oil, such as canola, plus extra for brushing

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 4 ripe Hass avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, and cut into

  • 1/2-inch dice

  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Heat your grill to high.

Brush the tomatillos and chiles with oil and season all over with salt and pepper. Grill the tomatillos and chiles, turning, until blackened on all sides. Remove from the grill and coarsely chop the tomatillos. Stem, seed and chop the chiles.

Combine the tomatillos, chiles, lime juice, and honey in a blender

and blend until smooth. With the motor running, gradually pour in the oil and blend until emulsified. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the avocados, onion, and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Yield: 2 cups

Heat Scale: Medium

Note: The sauce can be made 2 hours in advance, covered, and kept refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.


Lamb Tenderloin with Serrano-Mint Glaze

Lamb Tenderloin

Lamb Tenderloin with
Serrano-Mint Glaze

 

 

 

This is a great idea for a Skewer Party, when you want your guests to be able to wander around, stay clean and look cool. Burgers and tacos are a two-handed operation, but skewers can be eaten with one. You can put a cocktail glass in your guest’s other hand!

  • 2 cups red wine vinegar

  • 2 cups white wine vinegar

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 2 serrano chiles, chopped

  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves

  • 2 (1-pound) lamb tenderloins, or 2 pounds lamb loin cut into

  • 1-inch pieces

  • 6-inch wooden skewers, soaked in cold water for at least 30 minutes

  • Olive oil

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the vinegars and sugar in a medium saucepan (not aluminum or cast-iron) and bring to a boil. Boil until reduced to 1 cup. Let cool slightly, transfer to a blender, add the serrano chiles and mint, and process until smooth. Pour into a bowl.

Heat your grill to high. Set aside a few tablespoons of the glaze to use after cooking.

Spear 3 pieces of lamb onto each skewer, keeping them together at one end of the skewer (this will make them easier to hold). Brush

the lamb on both sides with oil and season with salt and pepper.

Grill the lamb, brushing with the glaze every minute or so, until medium-rare, 2 to 3 minutes on both sides.

Remove to a platter and brush with the reserved glaze. Let rest for 2 minutes before serving.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Heat Scale: Medium

Note: The glaze can be made a few days in advance, covered, and kept refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before using.


Grilled Tuna with Red Chile, Allspice, and Orange Glaze

Grilled Tuna with Red Chile, Allspice, and Orange Glaze

Grilled Tuna with Red Chile,
Allspice, and Orange Glaze

 

 

 

Anchos are the dried chiles I use most for they have the best balance of fruity, spicy and earthy flavors. Ancho powder gives this glaze its appealing brick-red color and warm—not fiery—flavor. I definitely find that tuna needs intense flavors, like orange and allspice, to lighten it up and show off that meaty texture.

The Glaze:

  • 3 cups orange juice

  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice

  • 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder

  • 1/2 cup mild vegetable oil, such as canola

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the orange juice in a medium saucepan (not aluminum or cast-iron) and boil until reduced to 1/2 cup.

Transfer the orange syrup to a blender, add the vinegar, allspice, and ancho powder, and blend until combined. With the motor running, slowly add the oil and process until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Note: The glaze can be made a few days in advance, covered, and kept refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before using.

The Tuna:

  • 4 (8-ounce) tuna fillets or steaks, 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick

  • Mild vegetable oil, such as canola

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat your grill to high.

Set aside a few tablespoons of glaze for brushing the cooked fish. Brush the fish on both sides with oil and season with salt and pepper. Put the fish on the grill with the top side down (in other words, the side that will face up when you serve, so it should be the best-looking side). Grill the fish until crusty and browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn the fish over and grill, brushing the top frequently with the glaze, until medium-rare, 2 to 3 minutes longer.

Remove the fish from the grill and brush on both sides with the reserved glaze. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings; can be doubled for 6 to 8 (no need to double the glaze)

Heat Scale: Mild


Coffee Spice-Rubbed Ribeye with Smoky Tomato/Red Chile Salsa

Roasted coffee beans can be just as intense and flavor packed as the fresh spices I use in barbecue rubs, like cumin and peppercorns. Ground with a whole pack of spices, coffee adds richness and a toasty bitterness to this rub, my new favorite for beef and lamb. And roasted coffee and smoky chipotle together have as much jolt as a double espresso.

The Rub:

  • 1/4 cup ancho chile powder

  • 1/4 cup finely ground espresso-roast coffee beans

  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika

  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano

  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander

  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger

  • 2 teaspoons chile de arbol powder

  • Combine all the ingredients in a bowl or a jar with a tight-fitting lid and mix well.

Note: The rub keeps well for months, stored at room temperature in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.

The Salsa:

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons chipotle puree

  • 3 ripe large tomatoes, diced

  • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced

  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

  • 2 teaspoons honey

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Whisk together the vinegar, oil and chipotle puree in a medium bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Note: The relish can be made a few hours in advance, covered, and kept refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before using.

The Steaks:

  • 2 (24-ounce) bone-in or (20-ounce) boneless ribeye steaks, cut 2 inches thick

  • Salt and coarsely ground black pepper

Heat your grill to high.

Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Rub 2 tablespoons of the coffee rub onto one side of each steak. Grill the steaks rub side down, until lightly charred and crusty, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the steaks over, reduce the heat to medium or move to a cooler part of the grill, close the grill hood, and grill until medium-rare, 8 to 10 minutes more.

Remove the steaks from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes.

Cut the steaks into 1-inch-thick slices and serve immediately, topped with tomato salsa.

Yield: 4 servings; can be doubled for 6 to 8 (no need to double the rub)

Heat Scale: Medium

 

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