It's no secret most meals taste better on the grill. Betty Rosbottom says it's time to take outdoor eating to a whole different level. She puts a new spin on old recipes in "The Big Book Of Backyard Cooking."
Her 250 recipes cover such classics as steaks, but her finished dishes have so much more going for them. Instead of just grilled sirloin, she offers Garlic-Scented Sirloins with Red and Yellow Pepper Relish. A simple pork chop becomes Butterflied Pork Chops with Tarragon Mustard Butter. Cole slaw becomes Cole Slaw with Spanish Olives or Sesame and Ginger Coleslaw.
She visits The Early Show to demonstrate the following recipes from her book:
Barbecued Shrimp In Their Shells
This dish has been among my family's all-time favorites for years. I've lost track of where the original recipe came from, but over many summers I've fine-tuned the directions. I always use large unshelled shrimp and marinate them in a cooked mixture of butter, white wine, garlic and green onions. Later, the marinade is reheated, strained, and reserved for use as a sauce. The shrimp, grilled until coral pink and curled, are served piled high on a platter. They are peeled at the table; then dipped into the warm butter sauce.
18 Green onions (3 bunches), divided
12 Tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
12 Medium cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/3 Cups dry white wine
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 Pounds large shrimp in the shell, legs removed (see note)
1 Cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
Vegetable oil for oiling grill rack
1/2 Teaspoon Tabasco sauce, plus more if needed
1 Lemon, cut into 6 wedges for garnish
- Chop the green onions, including 2 inches of the green stems, and reserve 2 tablespoons for the garnish.
- Melt the butter in a heavy non-reactive casserole over medium-low heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Add the wine and simmer 15 minutes to blend flavors. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and pepper. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Using a paring knife, cut the shrimp down the back of the devein, but do not peel. Toss the shrimp and 3/4 cup of the parsley in the cooled butter mixture. Refrigerate, covered, 6 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.
- When ready to grill shrimp, oil a grill rack and arrange 4 to 5 inches from heat source. Prepare grill for a hot fire (hot temperature).
- Meanwhile, remove the shrimp from the marinade. Heat the marinade in a medium, heavy saucepan to liquefy, then strain. Return the strained liquid to the pan, bring it to a boil; then cook over medium-high heat 5 minutes. Stir in the Tabasco sauce. Taste, and if desired, add more hot sauce for a spicier flavor. Salt mixture to taste. Cover the sauce to keep it warm.
- When grill is ready, add the shrimp. (If you have a grill basket or a cooking grate, spread the shrimp on that and then place on the grill). Grill until shrimp curl up and turn pink, 4 to 5 minutes total, turning once. Do not overcook, or the shrimp will become tough and the shells will be hard to remove.
- Mound the shrimp on a warm serving platter. Garnish with the lemon wedges. Pour the sauce into 6 individual ramekins, then sprinkle remaining chopped parsley and reserved green onions over the sauce. Serve immediately.
Variation: For a smoked flavor, add the prepared grill eight 2-inch hickory chunks, soaked in water for 15 minutes and then drained.
*Note: Here's a guideline for unshelled shrimp sizes:
Medium - 31 to 40 per pound
Large - 21 to 30 per pound
Extra Large - 10 to 15 per pound
Chili-Rubbed Sirloins With Guacamole Salsa
Hot juicy sirloin steaks and homemade guacamole salsa are a match made in heaven. These boneless steaks, coated with a cumin and chili dry rub, are grilled until lightly charred, but still pink inside, then garnished with a mound of chunky guacamole.
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
2 Teaspoons chili powder
1/2 Teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 1-pound boneless sirloins, 1 inch think, trimmed of excess fat
Vegetable oil for oiling grill rack
Chunky Guacamole Salsa (see below)
Mix together cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Rub both sides of each steak with this mixture. Let stand at cool room temperature 15 minutes.
When ready to cook, oil a grill rack and arrange 4 to 5 inches from heat source. Prepare grill for a hot fire (high temperature). Grill steaks until charred outside and pink inside, 4 to 6 minutes per side for medium-rare. (Internal temperature should be 145 degrees F). Halve each steak and mound each portion with a generous serving of Guacamole Salsa. Pass extra salsa in a bowl.
Chunky Guacamole Salsa (For Chili-Rubbed Sirloins)
Homemade guacamole far surpasses store-bought varieties. In this enticing version, coarsely chopped avocados and plum tomatoes are tossed in lime juice and sprinkled with cilantro. Hot peppers and shallots add heat and texture. The salsa makes a delicious garnish for juicy hamburgers, or it can be used as a dip with crispy tortilla chips. You could scoop out summer tomatoes, fill them with this guacamole, then serve them as a side dish. Or, you might like to top soft flour tortillas with grilled shrimp, shredded lettuce, and some guacamole before rolling them into burritos.
Makes 2 1/2 cups
2 ripe avocados, soft but not mushy
2 large (about 6 ounces) ripe plum tomatoes
1 3-inch-long jalapeno pepper, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
11/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
Halve, seed, and peel avocados, then cut into 1/2-inch dice. Place in a medium non-reactive bowl. Halve tomatoes, seed them, and cut into 1/2-inch dice. Add to medium bowl along with minced jalapeno.
In a small bowl, mix together lime juice, shallots, cilantro, cumin, and salt. Whisk in oil. Pour over the avocados and tomatoes and mix gently so that avocados do not get mashed. Taste and add more salt, if needed. Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for up to 1 hour. (The salsa can also be covered and refrigerated for 4 hours. Bring to room temperature 30 minutes before serving).
Pepper Jack Corn Pudding
A generous amount of grated pepper Jack cheese gives this corn pudding its heat and distinguishes it from others. It can be made ahead and reheated.
Butter for greasing pan
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Cup chopped leeks (white and light green parts only)
4 Cups fresh corn kernels (7 to 8 ears of corn)
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/4 Teaspoon ground nutmeg
Generous 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 Large eggs
2 Cups half-and-half
8 Ounces pepper Jack cheese, grated
- Arrange an oven rack at center position and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a shallow 2-quart ovenproof baking dish.
- Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat until hot. Add leeks and sauté, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add corn and cook, stirring, 5 minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in salt, nutmeg, and cayenne. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk eggs and half-and-half together until blended. Stir in corn mixture and cheese, and mix well. Transfer to the baking dish.
- Bake until a knife or tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, and top is slightly brown, 35 to 45 minutes. Remove and cool 5 minutes. (The pudding can be prepared1 day ahead. Cool, cover, and refrigerate. Reheat in a preheated 350-degree F oven for 25 minutes or longer). Serve Warm.
Chocolate Mint Brownies
These unusual brownies are composed of three layers-a dense chocolate cake-like layer, a peppermint-scented white chocolate icing, and a dark chocolate glaze. With their unmistakable, refreshing mint taste, these brownies are perfect to offer after a filling meal. They take a little longer to prepare than those whose batters are simply mixed and poured into a pan, but the extra effort yields special little morsels, which keep well for several days when refrigerated.
Makes 16 brownies
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature, plus extra for greasing pan
1/2 Cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for flouring pan
2 Ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 Cup sugar
2 Large eggs
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 Ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 Tablespoons heavy cream
3/4 Teaspoon peppermint extract
4 Ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 Cup heavy cream
- Arrange an oven rack at center position and preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8-inch square baking pan, tapping out excess. Line the pan with a sheet of parchment paper, cut so it extends 2 to 3 inches over 2 sides of the pan. Butter and flour the parchment paper, tapping out the excess.
- To make the cake: Melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler (or in a heat-proof bowl) set over but not touching simmering water. Stir until melted and smooth. Set aside.
- With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter in a medium bowl until smooth, 1 minute. Add sugar gradually, beating until mixture is light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Stop mixer and scrape down sides of bowl with a spatula if necessary. Lower speed and add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in melted chocolate and vanilla. Add flour and cinnamon and beat just until incorporated, stopping machine to scrape down sides of bowl if necessary.
- Pour batter into pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Bake until a tester comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
- To make the icing: Melt chocolate and cream in the top of a double boiler (or in a heatproof bowl) set over but not touching simmering water. Stir until melted and smooth. Stir in peppermint extract. Spread icing over cake layer. Refrigerate until cool and set, about 30 minutes.
- To make the glaze: Melt chocolate and cream in top of a double boiler (or in a heatproof bowl) set over but not touching simmering water. Stir until melted and smooth. Spread over white chocolate layer. Refrigerate until glaze is set, 30 minutes or longer.
- Run a knife around the edges of pan to loosen brownies. Then, using the parchment paper extending over the sides of the pan as an aid, lift the brownies from the pan. Cut into 16 squares. Store brownies in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature 15 minutes before serving. (Brownies can be made 5 days ahead).
Sangria is one of those quintessentials. Like the little black dress, Cole Porter, or a VW Beetle, it never seems to go out of style, and we never tire of sipping it. The following is a classic version made with wine, brandy, oranges, and lemons, plus soda water. For an extra touch, try adding sliced fresh peaches, when in season, as part of the garnish.
Serves 6 to 8; makes 1 1/4 quarts
1 750-milliliter bottle dry red wine, preferably a Spanish wine such as rioja
1 1/2 cups fresh or bottled orange juice (not from concentrate)
1/4 Cup fresh lemon juice
3 Tablespoons sugar
3 Tablespoons brandy
1 1/2 Tablespoons orange liqueur such as Cointreau, curacao, or Grand Marnier
1 1/2 Cups soda water
1 Orange, sliced into thin rounds
1 Lemon, sliced into thin rounds
1 Peach, peeled and sliced (optional)
- Combine wine, orange juice, lemon juice, sugar, brandy, and liqueur in a large non-reactive bowl. Stir well so that sugar is completely dissolved. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
- When ready to serve, transfer mixture to a large, glass pitcher, and add soda water, sliced orange and lemon, and sliced peach, if desired. Serve in wine glasses.
- *The red-wine-and-fruit-based drink sangria is named for its dark red color. It is derived from the word sangre, which means "blood" in Spanish.
One hot summer day, my husband and I lunched in Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. I ordered a Raspberry Lemonade, expecting that the drink would be made from commercial concentrates. What a surprise to discover from my first inviting sip that the icy cold beverage had been prepared with fresh ingredients. A courteous waitress was kind enough to tell me how the lemonade was made.
1 1/2 Cups sugar
1 1/2 Cups fresh raspberries, plus 6 raspberries for garnish (optional)
1 Cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, strained (6 to 7 lemons)
Thin lemon slices for garnish
- Combine 2 1/2 cups water and the sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 1/2 cups raspberries.
- Pour into a food processor or blender and process until raspberries are completely pureed into the liquid. Remove and stir in lemon juice. (You don't need to strain this mixture to remove the raspberry seeds). Taste, and if you want a tarter flavor, add up to 1 tablespoon of additional lemon juice.
- Transfer to a non-reactive pitcher, cover, and refrigerate until chilled. (Lemonade can be made 1 day ahead; keep refrigerated).
- To serve, fill six 8-ounce glasses with ice and pour in lemonade. Slit each lemon round halfway through and slip onto rim of a glass. If desired, float a raspberry in each glass.