It’s another edition of What Ya Got Cookin'? -- our occasional series featuring some of Baltimore’s best chefs and foodies, who take time away from their steamy kitchens to share with Midday listeners all manner of cooking tips. With July 4th looming, we’re zeroing in on that most American category of summer holiday cooking: the backyard barbeque. What should you grill? And how, exactly should you grill it? Whether you’re a seasoned backyard cook or a newbie to the summer outdoor cooking scene, we’ve got your back.
Our guests are John Shields a chef, an author and the proprietor, along with John Gilligan, of Gertrude’s Restaurant at the Baltimore Museum of Art; and Damian Mosley, chef and proprietor of Blacksauce Kitchen, a catering and mobile food business specializing in biscuits and barbeque. We livestreamed this conversation on the WYPR Facebook page. To watch the video, click here.
Here are some of the great grilling recipes they mentioned on the show:
Mediterranean-Style Grilled Blue Crabs
In the seafood cafés of Greece during the summer months, one finds grilled crabs smaller than Chesapeake blues. John Shields says, "My Greek-Chesapeake cooking expert Maria, tried a similar, pardon the expression, “execution,” on the blue crab of the Chesapeake with outstanding results. This is a great idea for a Greek themed cookout that could include a hearty feta cheese and Kalamata olive salad, loaves of crusty bread and chilled bottles of retsina." Serves 3 – 4
12 large male blue crabs (#1 jimmies)
1 ½ cup olive oil
juice of 3 lemons
Light a fire in a charcoal grill. In a steamer pot, or a large heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid, pour water to a depth of 2 – 3 inches.
Put a raised rack in the pot that is tall enough to clear the water. Bring to a good strong boil.
Place the live crabs on the rack, cover, and steam over moderately high heat until about half cooked.
Remove the crabs and allow to cool until you can handle them. With a sharp chef’s knife, cut the body down the middle lengthwise, right through the shell, resulting in 2 halves with legs. Pull off the top shell and discard. Clean out the gills and the “devil.”
In a small bowl mix together the olive oil and the lemon juice. Pour off 1/3 of that mixture to use for basting. Brush the crabs with the basting mixture and place on the hot charcoal grill. Cook, turning frequently, until the shells are bright red and the meat has turned form opaque to white.
Serve with the reserved olive oil and lemon mixture for dipping the meat.
John Shields adds, "Barbecuing oysters may seem an odd way to cook Chesapeake oysters, but take my word: It is an absolutely delicious method and well worth the effort.
There is no barbecuing involved. Rather, a tangy barbecue sauce is spooned over the shucked oysters and topped with a piece of hickory-smoked bacon." Serves 4 to 6
1 ½ to 2 cups Jimmy’s Barbecue Sauce (recipe follows)
24 pieces (2 inches square) bacon
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Shuck the oysters, keeping the oyster meat in the deep part of the shell. Place about 1 tablespoon of the barbecue sauce on each oyster. Top with a bacon piece. Make a layer of rock salt on a heatproof tray and arrange the oysters on it. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the oysters begin to curl at the edges and the bacon begins to brown slightly. Serve at once.
Jimmy’s Barbecue Sauce (Makes about 2½ cups)
1½ cups ketchup
½ cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons dry mustard
2 tablespoons grated onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
Mix all the ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes. Let stand for at least 1 hour to let the flavors mingle.