"Best Barbecue On Earth"

Chef and pit master Rick Browne recently went around the world, seeking the best grilling recipes and methods on the planet.

He put the mouthwatering results in his latest cookbook, "The Best Barbecue on Earth."

But is he up to The Early Show's "Chef on a Shoestring" challenge of preparing a three-course meal for four on our measly budget of $40?

Viewers found out Saturday!

His menu started in England, moved to Jamaica, and wound up back in the United States.

His menu: Stilton-Stuffed Mushrooms with Herb Butter; Taxi Stand Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Mango Salsa, and Brown Bag Apple Pie, baked on the grill.

Browne created, hosts, and is the executive producer of public television's "Barbecue America," now in its fourth season.

"Grilling is a much more refined culinary art than, say, throwing your meat on the hot barbecue grill and turning it once or twice so it doesn't burn," Rick writes in the introduction. "A better way to grill is to use a combination of direct grilling - the aforementioned throwing the food on a hot grill - and indirect grilling, moving the food away from the hottest part of the grill, cooking it slowly, and thereby keeping it juicy, tender, and loaded with flavor."

TAKE-HOME TIPS

  • When barbecuing, be patient! Don't open grill lid unnecessarily.
  • All grills have hot and cold spots; use a good meat thermometer.
  • Substitute any soft fruit into the salsa, such as apples, kiwi or peaches.

    INDIRECT HEAT GRILLING

    Indirect grilling makes it possible to have a greater control over the heat of the grill, making it possible to cook things that normally wouldn't work on the grill. To set up the grill, place the briquettes or wood pieces on one side only, at the bottom of the barbecue. Leave the other side empty and start your fire as you normally would. When the briquettes have a think film of white ash, use barbeque mitts to set a nine-by-twelve-inch metal pan on the bottom of the empty side. Fill the pan with one-to-two inches of water. The steam helps keep the food above it moist, making it possible to cook things like stuffed mushrooms and apple pie.

    FOOD FACTS

    Stilton Cheese

    Stilton cheese is a type of blue cheese made in England, and is sometimes referred to as the "King of Cheeses." Stilton has been made since the 1700s, and has earned a protected origin designation, which means that only Stilton meeting a set of exacting standards can be labeled and sold as Stilton. It's a popular cheese, with a flavor more mild than that of other blue cheeses.

    Jerk Marinade

    The word "Jerk" is a Jamaican term used to describe a seasoning applied primarily to grilled foods. It's generally a mixture of chiles, thyme, cinnamon, ginger, garlic and onions.

    Scotch Bonnet

    The Scotch Bonnet is a variety of chili pepper similar to the habanero. A the habanero, it is one of the hottest peppers in the world. Found mainly in the Caribbean islands, it is named for its resemblance to a Scotsman's bonnet. Most Scotch Bonnets have a heat rating of 150,000-325,000 Scoville Units. For comparison most jalepenos have a heat rating of 2,500 to 8,000 on the Scoville scale.

    Rick used Lokkii environmentally-friendly barbecue briquettes on the show.

    GO TO PAGE TWO FOR RICK'S RECIPES

  • RECIPES

    Stilton-Stuffed Mushrooms with Herb Butter

    1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
    5 shallots, chopped
    6 slices white bread, torn
    4 ounces Stilton cheese, crumbled
    1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
    2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    12 large open cap mushrooms, such as shiitakes or portobellos, stems removed
    Paprika

    Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for indirect grilling (it is not necessary to use a drip pan with this recipe.) Preheat to 375°.

    Cover the grill rack with heavy duty aluminum foil.

    Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the shallots, and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes.

    Place the bread in a food processor and reduce to crumbs.

    Add the shallots, Stilton, sage, parsley, and garlic. Process briefly until well combined.

    Press the stuffing lightly into the caps.

    Transfer the mushrooms to the prepared grill, cover and cook over indirect heat until the mushrooms wilt and the stuffing begins to brown, 14 to 18 minutes.

    Remove the mushrooms from the foil with a spatula, sprinkle with paprika, and serve as an appetizer with a chilled white wine (optional)

    Taxi Stand Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Mango Salsa

    This recipe for jerk sauce is courtesy of Ray's Hideaway Restaurant and Taxi Stand, Montego Bay, Jamaica. It's fiery, but not incendiary, full of flavor, and worth the effort to make it. There are as many Jamaican recipes for jerk as there are Jamaicans; I settled on this as the best of the best. Serve with big, iced bottles of Jamaican Red Stripe beer.

    1/3 cup shallots, coarsely chopped
    4 green onions, green and white parts chopped
    1/2 cup olive oil
    1/2 cup water
    Juice of 2 limes
    1/4 cup soy sauce
    1/2-to-1 Scotch bonnet chile, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
    3 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
    1 cup ketchup
    2 tablespoons allspice
    1 teaspoon nutmeg
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    2 tablespoons ground ginger
    1 teaspoon dried thyme
    4 (4-6 ounces) skinless bone-in chicken breasts
    1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped
    1 cup fresh mango, chopped
    2 tablespoons onion, chopped
    1 tablespoon jalapeno, minced
    1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
    1/4 cup lime juice
    Salt
    Pepper

    In a food processor or blender, combine the shallots, green onions, oil, water, lime juice, soy sauce, Scotch bonnet, garlic, ketchup, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and thyme and process until a smooth paste forms. Set aside.

    Wash the chicken breasts and pat dry. Using rubber gloves cover each breast with the jerk paste.

    Place the chicken in a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate for 4 to 8 hours.

    Prepare a charcoal or gas barbecue for indirect grilling, placing a drip pan under the cool side of the grill rack. Preheat to 350ºF.

    Make sure the grill rack is clean and oil it thoroughly with nonstick cooking spray.

    Remove the chicken from the bag and transfer to the prepared grill rack over direct heat.

    Cook for 5 minutes per side, then move the chicken to the cool side of the grill and cook for 10 to 15 minutes longer per side, until the internal temperature reaches 160ºF.

    Remove the chicken from the grill and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
    Meanwhile, prepare the salsa by combining the pineapple, mango, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice in a food processor and pulsing 3 or 4 times until the ingredients are chopped, but still chunky.

    Remove to a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

    Serve each breast topped with a generous portion of salsa.

    Brown Bag Apple Pie

    This pie is cooked over a cookie sheet or several sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil, in a large grocery store brown paper bag. I like to bring the bag right to the table on a serving tray, tear open the bag, and enjoy the reaction. Dole out succulent slices with a slab of extra-sharp Cheddar alongside each serving.

    3 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup shortening
    5 tablespoons ice water
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/8 teaspoon cloves, ground
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    8 cups apples, sliced
    1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
    2/3 stick butter, unsalted
    Vanilla ice cream (optional)
    Extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, sliced thickly (optional)

    Preheat a charcoal or gas grill to 400°F.

    In a mixing bowl, combine 2 ½ cups of the flour, salt, and shortening.

    Using an electric mixer, beat until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the water a little bit at a time, until the dough forms a ball.

    On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to an 11 or 12-inch round and fit into a 9-inch pie pan, fluting the edges.

    In a large bowl, combine the sugar, 2 tablespoons of the flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and lemon juice.

    Add the apples, stirring to coat. Transfer the apple mixture to the pie pan, smoothing out the filling; set aside

    To prepare the topping, in a bowl, combine the brown sugar and the remaining ½ cup of flour.

    Using 2 knives or a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

    Sprinkle the topping evenly over the apple filling.

    Place the pie in the brown paper bag and transfer the bag to a baking sheet; loosely fold the top of the bag under the pie.

    Transfer to the grill rack over direct heat.

    If you don't have a cookie or baking sheet, cut 3 large pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil and cover the grill with this triple layer of foil.

    Close the grill lid and cook the pie until the apples are tender, 50 to 60 minutes.

    Carefully remove the pie from the bag, avoiding the hot steam when you open the bag.

    Serve with generous scoops of ice cream and slices of cheese, if desired.

    HOW DID RICK DO WITH OUR $40 BUDGET?

    1ST COURSE

    shallots .78
    white bread $2.59
    Stilton cheese $3.59
    sage $1.49
    parsley .60
    garlic .39
    mushrooms $1.89
    Paprika .79

    2ND COURSE

    green onions .55
    limes .90
    soy sauce $2.29
    scotch bonnet .10
    allspice $2.39
    nutmeg .99
    ginger .97
    thyme $1.49
    chicken breasts $5.18
    pineapple $1.89
    mango $1.50
    onion .40
    jalapeno.20
    cilantro .89

    3RD COURSE

    flour .99
    shortening $2.49
    cloves $1.19
    lemon .75
    apples $2.58

    FINAL COST: $39.86!