Fast and fabulous dinners on the grill in about 30 minutes. Try our pork tenderloin or salmon recipes below for quick weeknight grilling. Or even better, invite some friends over for a weekend party and spend minimum time on the grilling so you can enjoy your own party, too:
Sesame Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Orange-Fennel Salad
The flavor of orange infuses this meal, adding sweetness to balance the hot ingredients in the rub. And the orange contrasts beautifully with the slight bitterness of the fennel. The Sesame Spice Rub is also good on chicken.
2 pounds pork tenderloin
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large fennel bulbs, ends and feathery tops trimmed
2 large oranges, peeled and segmented
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Coarse kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 ounces Asiago cheese, freshly shaved, for garnish
Sesame Spice Rub
Makes 1 cup
1/2 cup sesame seeds
3 tablespoons dried orange peel
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon ground anise
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1. Prepare a medium-hot fire in your grill.
2. Place the pork on a doubled baking sheet. Lightly brush both sides of the pork with the 2 tablespoons olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
3. Thinly slice the fennel and place in a large bowl with the orange segments. Combine the lemon zest and juice with the extra virgin olive oil and stir to blend. Pour about 4 tablespoons over the fennel salad. Reserve the rest of the lemon–olive oil mixture to drizzle over the grilled pork.
4. Combine the spice rub ingredients in a small bowl. Stir to blend. Sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons of the mixture over the tenderloin. The rest of the rub will keep in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid for several weeks.
5. Grill the pork for about 10 minutes per side, until an instant-read thermometer registers 145°F.
6. Let the pork rest for 3 to 4 minutes, slice into 1-inch-thick slices. Place an equal amount of slices on each of 4 dinner plates and drizzle with the remaining lemon–olive oil mixture. Add a serving of the fennel salad topped with shavings of Asiago cheese.
Char-Grilled Salmon and Baby Squash with Quick Aioli
Wild salmon is often a gorgeous ruby red. Get it if you can. Otherwise, farm-raised salmon will do just fine and is kinder to your pocketbook. An assortment of baby squash, such as zucchini, pattypan, and yellow crookneck, grill at the same time with the fish and are divine served with the aioli and a crisp Pinot Grigio or earthy Provençal rosé. Offer good, crusty bread at the table to help mop up the luscious aioli. Save any leftovers for a grilled salmon and vegetable salad topped with the aioli or your favorite vinaigrette. If you can’t find whole baby squash, buy regular zucchini and yellow summer squash, cut them into 2-inch chunks, and thread them onto skewers to cook for the same amount of time.
Six 6-ounce salmon fillets, skin on
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon seasoned black pepper, such as Lawry’s
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 pound assorted whole baby squash, such as zucchini, pattypan, and yellow crookneck
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Makes about 2 cups
2 cups mayonnaise
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh basil
To make the aioli, in a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and garlic and mix thoroughly. Add the basil, stir, and chill until ready to serve.
2. Prepare a hot fire in your grill.
3. Lightly coat the salmon fillets with about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, then sprinkle the flesh side with the peppers and garlic salt. In a bowl, toss the baby squash with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the salt and pepper. Place everything on a doubled baking sheet and take out to the grill.
4. Grill the salmon, flesh side down, for about 5 minutes. Turn once and grill for another 5 minutes. (Or grill 10 minutes per inch of thickness, turning once, until the fish flakes easily.) At the same time, place the squash on a perforated grill rack and grill, turning, until the squash have browned slightly and are crisp tender, 6 to 8 minutes total. Transfer to the clean baking sheet.
5. Serve hot, with a dollop of the aioli on top of the fish or on the side.
BBQ QUEENS’ BIG BOOK OF BARBECUE
Offers everything from planking to rotisserie, grilling to slow-smoking, rubs to sauces, side dishes to desserts. Here are some favorite recipes from this book:
Grilled Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
Sometimes the seemingly simplest things to grill can be the most difficult. Take the boneless, skinless chicken breast, for example. When you look at a chicken breast, you’ll see that it’s very thin at the ends and thick in the middle. How do you grill it so that every part stays tender and juicy? By turning it into a paillard, a French term for a boneless piece of meat that has been flattened to an equal thickness. The easiest way we’ve found to do this with chicken is to use the rim of a saucer. Simply pound the chicken breast, starting in the middle and working your way out to the sides, until the chicken is of an even one-quarter- to one-half-inch thickness. This technique—and these recipes—also works for veal paillards (also known as scallops, or scaloppine in Italian), usually cut from the leg and pounded thin.
On a hot grill or in a grill pan over high heat, a chicken or veal paillard will take a total cooking time of 10 minutes per inch of thickness. Grill a one-half-inch-thick paillard for 2 1/2 minutes per side, or 5 minutes total. A one-quarter-inch paillard will take only about 1 1/4 minutes per side, so it makes sense to serve it with equally fast side dishes, such as Haricots Verts with Lemon, Garlic, and Parsley (page 000).
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded to a 1/2-inch thickness
Fine kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Prepare a hot fire in a grill.
2. Brush or spray the paillards on both sides with olive oil. Grill for 2 1/2 minutes per side, turning once. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
So once you’ve mastered the art of grilling perfect chicken paillards, here are additional recipes that embellish mealtime with a tiara touch!
Grilled Chicken Lemonata: Usually served with veal scaloppine, this easy sauce is a wonderful last-minute glaze for grilled chicken paillards as well. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice for about 30 seconds, then swirl in 2 tablespoons cut-up unsalted butter and 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley until the butter has melted. Grill the chicken as described above. Spoon a little sauce over each grilled paillard and serve. Serves 4.
Cubano Grilled Chicken with Picadillo Olive Salsa: After applying the olive oil to each paillard, dust or sprinkle both sides with your favorite Caribbean or jerk seasoning, then grill as directed above. For the salsa, in a medium-size bowl combine 1 chopped medium-size onion, 1 seeded and chopped large red bell pepper, one 10-ounce can Ro-Tel diced tomatoes with green chiles (with their juice), 3/4 cup drained and chopped pimento-stuffed green olives, 1/2 cup golden raisins, 1 tablespoon drained capers, and 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce. Grill the chicken as described above. Serve each grilled paillard with a topping of salsa. Serves 4.
TURKEY ON THE ROTISSERIE
Every year, magazine and newspaper food editors ask the same question: what can we do differently with the holiday bird for our readers?
The BBQ Queens have the answer: rotisserie that turkey!
You’ll free up your oven, give a rambunctious or annoying relative something to do (keep an eye on the turkey outside), and serve a bronzed, delicious, juicy entrée worthy to be the centerpiece of your feast. Our only reservation is that most rotisserie units are not placed high enough above the grill grate to allow you to twirl around a big bird, although you can probably manage an 10- to 12-pound whole turkey or a turkey breast or two. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions before you head to the store.
Also check the maximum weight your rotisserie motor can handle before you buy your turkey. Our recipe gives directions for a traditional rotisserie setup with an electric motor over a gas grill. If you have a fancy-schmancy setup with infrared technology, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for cooking times, as your turkey will take less time.
Our essential rotisserie turkey recipe is similar to the one for chicken —slathered with a paste made from fresh tarragon, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil, then grilled rotisserie style. (Remember to check both cavities of the turkey to remove the giblets and neck.)
Instead of gravy, try this with our scrumptious The Doctor Is In Apricot-Bourbon Barbecue Sauce from the BBQ Queens’ Big Book of Barbecue. However, if you add water, the giblets and neck, a bay leaf, and an onion to the drip pan—and keep it full of hot water—you can make that traditional turkey gravy (see below).
Rotisserie turkey is wonderful served with mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry relish, and all the traditional trimmings for a holiday meal.
1 cup chopped fresh tarragon
6 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 4 lemons
1 cup olive oil
One 10- to 12-pound turkey, giblets and neck removed
Kosher and sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. In a medium-size bowl, combine the tarragon, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. With a brush, slather the mixture all over the turkey, inside and out. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
2. Set up your grill for rotisserie cooking according to the grill directions. Prepare a medium fire (around 350°F).
3. Season the turkey with salt and pepper, inside and out. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Attach a clamp to each end of the turkey. Push the rotisserie rod through the clamps and the center of the turkey so the bird is balanced. Attach the clamps to the spit and place a drip pan under the turkey. Cover and cook until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of a thigh registers 170 to 175°F or a skewer inserted in the thickest part of a leg produces clear juices, about 4 hours.
4. Transfer the turkey to a serving platter and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm. Let rest for 15 minutes before carving and serving.
Serves 8 to 10
Traditional Rotisserie Turkey Gravy:
When you set up your drip pan under the turkey, place 1 halved large onion, the giblets and neck, and a bay leaf in it. Add 2 cups water and keep replenishing the water during the time the turkey cooks. You want the onion and giblets to brown some but not dry out. When the turkey is done, bring the drip pan indoors and discard the giblets, neck, bay leaf, and onion. Transfer the liquid to a saucepan. Try to scrape as many of the browned bits into the pan as you can. You should have about 2 cups liquid. (If not, add canned chicken broth to make 2 cups.) In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, place 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour and 1 cup cold water. Secure the lid and shake to blend well. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Slowly pour in the flour mixture, whisking constantly, until the gravy thickens. Season with kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and serve hot. Makes about 3 cups.
SMOKING A TURKEY
Traditionally, people smoke turkeys for the holidays. But when you fall in love with the exquisite kiss of smoke, how can you wait another year for moist and succulent smoked turkey?
Turkey smokes best at 225 to 250°F. The cooking time is about 30 minutes per pound, or until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted in the meatiest part of the thigh registers 175 to 180°F. Apply these guidelines whether you are smoking a whole turkey or a whole turkey breast with the bone in.
The turkey can be slathered with mustard, chutney, or preserves, or seasoned or marinated. It adapts well to many flavors, so sprinkle with just about any rub you like. Our recipe is foolproof and produces a luscious and juicy bird.
Suggested wood: Apple, oak, maple, mesquite, or hickory
One 10- to 12-pound turkey, giblets and neck removed
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil, as needed
3 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
2 tablespoons fine sea salt
2 tablespoons lemon pepper seasoning
1. Rinse the bird and pat dry. Place in a disposable aluminum pan and coat lightly with oil.
2. In a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the paprika, salt, and lemon pepper. Shake to blend, then sprinkle on the turkey inside and out. Set the bird aside for about 20 minutes.
3. Prepare an indirect fire in a smoker.
4. Place the turkey in the smoker, cover, and smoke at 225 to 250°F until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 170 to 175°F, 4 to 5 hours. The smoked turkey will be golden brown on the outside and the meat will have a slightly pinkish color. Serve hot.
Crowning Glories: Smoked turkey is delicious served with all the traditional Thanksgiving trimmings, or with oven-roasted potatoes and butternut squash wedges seasoned with olive oil and fresh rosemary. Or try one of these delicious recipes in our BBQ Queens’ Big Book of Barbecue: Smoked Tomato Grits, Warm Asian Eggplant Salad, Savory Breads on the Grill, or Smoky Chipotle Corn Pudding.
Serves 8 to 10
©2006 Weeknight Grilling with the BBQ Queens by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig
©2005 The BBQ Queens’ Big Book of Barbecue by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig