Spend your Labor Day Grilling Like a Champion

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Just in time for Labor Day (but let’s face it, we’re going to be grilling deep into the fall, if not into winter itself) comes Grilling Like a Champion (Schiffer Publishing, June, 2014), a comprehensive guide for how to grill, what to grill, and the best way to grill it from editor Rudolf  Jaegar.

91TDHxD3voLFor 15 years, Jaegar has been informing and entertaining the barbeque world online. Now, he’s gathered all of his most indispensible information on the grilling arts in the pages of one book. Are you a beginner? No problem. Jaegar spends the first chapters of the book reviewing different grilling methods, types of grills, fuels for grilling and smoking, and all the accessories you’ll need to fire up a perfect meal. He also covers important considerations for buying meat, fish and spices, and he takes us around the world for a look at grilling in other cultures.

Just as Grill Daddy has offered a choice of entrees this week, there is a dazzling array of wines that will complement these dishes perfectly.

If you’re a fan of Rosé wines, a Côtes du Rhone from 2011 or 2012 would work well, as would a Chinon from 2012 or 2013. White wine lovers will enjoy a Sancerre (2012 or 2013) or a Muscadet “sur lie” (also from 2012 or 2013). If you prefer red, try a Shiraz from Australia (2011, ‘12, or ’13) or a Pinot Noir from Oregon (2011 or ’12). And, as we’ve seen with several of our recipes this summer, a pitcher of Sangria will match quite well, too.

Of course, the heart of any good grilling book is its recipes and Grilling Like a Champion provides plenty of mouth-watering dishes that are easy to prepare and are certain to impress your guests. From Pork Tenderloin Roulades with Bread Dumplings to Tri-Tip Steak in Fajitas to Beer-Braised Lamb Shoulder, the book has meat lovers covered. Poultry fans will love the Buttermilk Beer Can Chicken and Duck Breast with Citrus-Flavored Sauce and Corn Froth (and when was the last time you made something that came with “froth”?). If you’re a fan of fish, there are recipes for Salmon Fillet on a Beech Plank and Trout with Tomato Sauce. Grilling Like a Champion also presents an assortment of side dishes and desserts to make your feast complete.

The book offers so many tempting dishes that we couldn’t pick just one as our featured recipe. Here are two of our favorites, based on their incredible flavor, their impressive presentation and their ease of preparation. The Tuna Steaks with Sesame-Wasabe Crust and Fried Rice is a dramatic departure from the usual grilling fare, and the Curry Fruit Skewers blend bananas and pineapples with exotic spices to form a taste explosion that will dazzle your family and guests.

As the summer season draws to an end, it’s time to take up your spatula and tongs and show everyone why you’re a champion at the grill. Grilling Like a Champion will help you do just that—and by the time the dishes are clean and put away, your dinner guests will be ready to award you first prize.

TUNA STEAKS with SESAME-WASABE CRUST AND FRIED RICE

Ingredients (serves 4)

4 tuna steaks, approximately ¾- to 1-inch thick

  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup light soy sauce
  • ½ tsp. wasabi powder
  • 1 2/3 cups Thai rice
  • 1 small container saffron
  • 2 tbsp. peanut oil
  • 1 tsp.  sesame oil
  • ½ cup light soy sauce
  • 7 tbsp. sesame seed
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 6 mushrooms
  • 2 onions, finely diced
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 3 scallions
  • ¼ cup soybean sprouts

Preparation:

Evenly mix the honey, soy sauce and wasabi powder (green horseradish). Brush the tuna with the sauce and marinate in the refrigerator for half an hour.

Cook the Thai rice with saffron.

Fry the rice in a wok with the peanut oil, a dash of sesame oil and the light soy sauce. Wash the peppers, mushrooms, onions, celery and scallions and cut into small strips. With the soybean sprouts, add to the rice in the wok and steam at moderate heat for 10 minutes.

Take the tuna from the marinade, pat dry, and coat with sesame seeds on both sides.

Grill for three minutes on each side covered at full heat.

Serve with the fried rice.

 

CURRY FRUIT SKEWER

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1lb. chicken breast
  • 2 large slices of pineapple (from a can)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 bananas
  • 5 apricots (fresh or dried)
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 3 tbsp. pineapple juice
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp. curry paste or powder
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. ginger

 

Pour the coconut milk and the curry paste into a bowl. If you do not have curry paste available, curry powder is also suitable. Add the soy sauce and ginger and stir. Pour the marinade into a plastic zip-top bag.

Cut the chicken fillets into cubes and place in the marinade. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator. The marinating time can be shortened but the chicken fillet will not absorb as much flavor.

Cut the pineapple and peeled banana into bite-sized pieces. Remove the pits from the apricots and cut the fruit into quarters.

Stir the heated honey and pineapple juice into a sauce. Skewer the meat and fruit in turns. Grill for five minutes and coat once more with the sauce.

 

 

 

Here’s to a wonderful meal!

Grill Daddy is a pro with tongs who has been cooking up summertime feasts for family and friends for more than 20 years. The Big Chill is our libations expert. An international wine importer and expert by day, by night he helps friends, such as you, get their chill on—big time.

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