Kicking Off The Summer Grilling Season With Chef Kathy Gunst

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Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer, and time to haul out the grill. Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst joins us in the studio, chicken in tow, to describe some of her favorite rubs and marinades, all taken from the book "Stonewall Kitchen Grilling," by Kathy Gunst, Jonathan King and Jim Stott. See recipes for spice rubs, Asia-inspired marinade and grilled, butterflied lamb below.

Kathy Gunst’s Best Barbecue Sauce

Chef Kathy Gunst's Best BBQ sauce, slathered on chicken. (Anna Miller/Here & Now)
Chef Kathy Gunst's Best BBQ sauce, slathered on chicken. (Anna Miller/Here & Now)

Kathy's Note: This sauce is silky smooth, and a perfect balance of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy. Spread it on Barbecued Chicken, Dry-Rubbed Pork Ribs, Slow-Smoked Texas-Style Brisket , grilled sausages, steaks or tofu, etc... Make a double batch; it will keep in the refrigerator for at least a week.

Makes about 3 cups.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
About 1 teaspoon Chinese chile paste (see Notes)
About 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha hot chili sauce or hot pepper sauce (see Notes)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 1/2 to 3 cups ketchup
3/4 cup maple syrup or honey
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

In a medium pot, heat the oil over low heat for 1 minute. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the chile paste and chili sauce and stir; let cook for 1 minute. Add the vinegar, soy sauce, and Worcestershire and bring to a gentle simmer; cook for 3 minutes. Add 2 1/2 cups of the ketchup and the maple syrup and let simmer on low for 10 minutes, whisking to create a smooth sauce. Taste for seasoning. If you want a sweeter, more tomato-flavored sauce, add the additional 1/2 cup ketchup. If you want a spicier sauce, add more chile paste and chili sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let cool; cover and refrigerate.

Additional Notes: Chinese chile paste and Sriracha hot chili sauce are available at Asian food markets and in the specialty food section of many grocery stores. The chile paste is a thick, bright red mixture of ground chile peppers. Sriracha hot chili sauce is a blend of chilies, sugar, salt, and garlic and comes in a bottle with a rooster on the label.

Kathy Gunst’s Spice Rubs: Three Master Recipes

Spice rubs for the summer grilling season from chef Kathy Gunst. (Anna Miller/Here & Now)
Spice rubs for the summer grilling season from chef Kathy Gunst. (Anna Miller/Here & Now)

Kathy's Note: Dry spice rubs are one of the simplest, fastest ways to add flavor to meat and fish before grilling (particularly good when there’s no time for wet marinades). Make a double batch and keep the rub sealed in a small glass jar in a cool, dark spot for several weeks. Try one of these three master combination or experiment and create your own version.

Smoked Spanish Paprika–Cumin-Chili Rub

Smoked paprika, called pimentón picante, comes from Spain and adds a gorgeous red color and smoky, slightly spicy flavor to foods. Here we mix it with light brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, and sea salt. There’s enough rub here for 3 pounds of meat; we particularly like it on steaks (especially skirt, flatiron, or flank steak), ribs, pork (chops or tenderloin), and shrimp. Be sure to coat the meat or fish thoroughly and let the rub set for about 20 to 30 minutes before grilling.

Makes about 1/3 cup.

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons Spanish smoked paprika (pimentón picante)
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder

Combine all the ingredients and seal in a small glass jar.

Rosemary-Coriander-Fennel Rub

This rub is particularly good on pork roasts and chops, chicken, ribs, or salmon. This makes enough for about 2 pounds meat, poultry, or fish.

Makes about 1/3 cup.

2 tablespoons dried rosemary
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Generous grinding black pepper

In a mortar and pestle, grind the spices until coarse. Seal in a small glass jar.

Chili-Fennel-Rosemary Rub

We love this rub on boneless pork, ribs, lamb, or chicken. The recipe makes enough rub for 3 to 4 pounds of meat.

Makes about 3/4 cup.

2 tablespoons fennel seeds
2 tablespoons dried rosemary
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoon mild chili powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Coarsely ground black pepper

In a spice grinder or using a mortar and pestle, grind the fennel and rosemary until fine. Place in a small bowl and mix with the remaining ingredients. Cover and seal in a glass jar in a dark cool spot for several weeks.

Grilled Butterflied Lamb

Kathy's Note: There are few grilled foods as deeply satisfying as a grilled butterflied leg of lamb. Ask your butcher to do the butterflying (they will remove the bone; you should freeze it and keep it to make a soup or stock this winter) and then marinate it for a few hours and throw it on the grill.

Serves 10.

One 4 1/2- to 5-pound leg of lamb, butterflied and trimmed of excess fat
1 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup whole yogurt
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint, plus sprigs for garnish
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Place the lamb in a large, nonreactive bowl or a tightly sealed plastic bag. Pour the wine, yogurt, soy sauce, vinegar, mint, Worcestershire, garlic, salt, and pepper on top and coat thoroughly. Let the meat marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours.

Remove the lamb from the marinade, placing the marinade in a small saucepan. Preheat the grill for high direct heat, about 400 degrees F.

Place the lamb on the grill and cook, covered, for 12 to 15 minutes per side. You can test the meat for doneness by placing an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the meat; it should read about 140 degrees F for medium-rare meat. Let the lamb sit off the heat for about 5 minutes, lightly covered in foil, before cutting into slices.

While the meat is cooking or resting, simmer the marinade over low heat for 10 minutes. Add the butter off the heat and stir until smooth. Spoon a few tablespoons over the meat and serve the rest on the side. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs.

Asian-Inspired Marinade

Kathy's Note: Use this marinade for flank steak, flatiron steak, pork, chicken, or shrimp.

1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
1 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Chinese chile paste or hot pepper sauce to taste
3 scallions, finely chopped, white and green parts

Place al the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer 5 minutes. Cool and add to the food you want to marinate. Let marinate for 15 minutes and up to 24 hours. Remove from the marinade before grilling. You can add the juice of 1 lime to the marinade during the last 15 minutes.

The marinade can be simmered for 10 minutes and served as a sauce on the side while the food is grilling.

Recipes from" Stonewall Kitchen Grilling" by Kathy Gunst, Jonathan King and Jim Stott.

This segment aired on May 26, 2011.


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