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Holiday Weekend Feast From The Grill

When July Fourth weekend rolls around, people look forward to two things: fireworks and barbecuing.

And The Early Show's "Chefs on a Shoestring" Saturday - yes, we said chefs, as in plural! - were two of the best.

David Joachim and Andrew Schloss have collaborated on more than 35 cookbooks, and their latest, "Mastering the Grill: The Owner's Manual for Outdoor Cooking," is considered one of the best grilling books out there.

Since it was a holiday weekend - and we did, after all, have two chefs! - The Early Show gave them twice the usual shoestring budget. They has $80 to throw a barbeque party for eight guests.

Were they up to the challenge?!

Their menu: Pesto-Stuffed Jumbo Shrimp, Sicilian-Style Pulled Pork Sandwich, and Grilled Fruit Skewers.

Take-Home Tips

  • Shrimp cooks in only a few minutes; stay close to the grill.
  • Spiced rubs are the best and cheapest route to instant flavor.
  • Heat from the grill caramelizes the sugar; fruits take on a new flavor.

    FOOD FACTS

    Grape Tomato: A grape tomato is half the size of a cherry tomato, which makes it easier to distribute in salads and eat as a snack. The lower water content cuts down on the "'quirt" factor experienced by many cherry tomato eaters. The flavor of a grape tomato is noticeably sweeter than a Roma or cherry tomato. Some bars in Asia offer customers bowls of grape tomatoes instead of the usual salted peanuts.

    Pork Shoulder: Meat from this section is relatively fatty, which makes for juicy, tender, and flavorful roasts - as well as clogged arteries! Pork shoulders and the related cuts are relatively inexpensive, and the meat itself is very forgiving. Under-cook it (within the limits of safety), and it might be a little tough, but it will still taste great. Over-cook it, and you can still serve it with a smile. Because of the fat marbling, pork shoulder won't dry out like other pieces of meat. You can skip all the traditional rubs, mops and sauces and it will stand alone on the flavor of the meat and smoke. Pork enables you to practice and still eat your mistakes. Brisket and ribs aren't as forgiving.

    Blood Oranges: Blood oranges are juicy, sweet, have a dark red interior, and are slightly less acidic than regular table oranges. Originally from Sicily, the blood orange has gained in popularity in the U.S. and can be found fresh or in juice form in many grocery stores. Not only is the inside of the orange darkly pigmented but, depending on the variety, the outside may also have dark washes of red.

    RECIPES

    Pesto-Stuffed Jumbo Shrimp Skewered with Grape Tomatoes

    Choose the largest shrimp you can find for this recipe. The bigger they are, the longer they'll take to cook, which means more time for them to absorb the basil fragrance from the pesto, and longer for the flame to singe their skins. The effect, as the parchment-crisp crust cracks between the teeth, releasing a burst of basil-scented juice across the palate, is ecstatic.

    Makes 8 servings:

    24 colossal (U-15) shrimp (about 2 pounds), shelled and cleaned
    6 tablespoons basil pesto, purchased or homemade (see recipe below)
    32 under-ripe grape tomatoes
    4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
    1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
    Oil for coating grill grate

    Basil Pesto (makes 3/4 cup, about 12 servings):

    4-ounce bunch fresh basil, stems removed
    2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
    2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
    1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    1/3 cup freshly grated imported Parmesan cheese
    Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste

    METHOD:

    For Basil Pesto: Chop the basil and garlic finely in a food processor. Add the pine nuts, olive oil, Parmesan, salt and pepper and process in pulses until well blended. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

    For Shrimp: Heat the grill as directed.

    Slit the shrimp along their backs, to open up the center crevice slightly.
    Fill the opening in each shrimp with about ½ teaspoon pesto.

    Arrange 3 shrimp on each skewer, alternating them with 4 grape tomatoes.

    Mix the olive oil, salt, and pepper with the remaining 1 tablespoon pesto in a small bowl. Brush the shrimp and tomatoes with some of this mixture.

    Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil.

    Put the prepared skewers on the grill, cover, and cook for 8 minutes, turning and basting with some of the pesto oil every 2 minutes.

    Baste with any remaining oil mixture and serve.

    FOR MORE RECEIPES, GO TO PAGE 2.