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Fulfilling grilling

Grilling is high and fast, barbecuing is low and slow, or so the old saw goes about the differences between these two outdoor cooking styles. But grilling can also mean low temperatures and slow cooking times if you plan and grill-roast accordingly.

"You should think about grill-roasting because you can. The greatest invention in grilling is the lid," says David Joachim, co-author of "Fire It Up! More than 400 Recipes for Grilling Everything," with Andrew Schloss, a fellow Pennsylvanian, food writer and cookbook author.

Joachim is right. Grilling gives terrific flavor and can speedily cook small items of food. Big items, however, are problematic without a lid to trap the heat.

The grill essentially becomes an oven, he notes, allowing you to use indirect heat — cooking away from hot coals or gas jets — to cook the food slowly to a perfect doneness.

When it comes to big cuts, like beef brisket, pork shoulder or leg of lamb, you have to let them cook until they're fork-tender, Joachim says.

Little or no special equipment is needed: disposable aluminum pans to capture juices released while cooking (boil down to make a sauce) and a brush or baster with which to apply a flavorful mop (or grilling sauce) while the meat cooks. That's it.

In the brisket recipe here, coffee is the surprising flavor agent. "It's such a powerful combination," says Joachim.

While you can get a great coffee and beef flavor with almost any meat cut, Joachim thinks the pairing works particularly well with brisket because the cut boasts so much meaty, beefy flavor. Coffee bolsters that flavor at each crucial step: a rub before grilling, a mop while cooking and a sauce for serving.

More traditional recipes for pork and chicken also will help make this Memorial Day weekend memorable.

Espresso-Powered Barbecue Brisket

Espresso rub:

2 tablespoons finely ground dark-roast coffee

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons coarse salt

2 tablespoons ground black pepper

1 tablespoon ground ancho chili

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

Espresso grilling sauce:

1 cup brewed dark-roast coffee

1 cup ketchup

1/4cup dark brown mustard

1/3cup honey

2 tablespoons citrus juice (lemon, orange or lime)

2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

2 teaspoons coarse salt

Brisket:

Juice of 2 lemons

2 cups strong brewed coffee, preferably espresso roast

1/4cup molasses

2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons coarse salt

3/4cup espresso rub, see recipe

1 flat or center-cut beef brisket (3-4 lbs.), trimmed, with 1/4-inch fat on one side

1 cup espresso grilling sauce, see recipe below

Make rub: In a bowl, mix together all ingredients. Store in a tightly closed container in the refrigerator up to 1 week. Makes 3/4 cup.

Make grilling sauce: In a saucepan, mix together all ingredients. Heat to a boil. Lower heat; simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Refrigerate in a tightly closed container up to 1 month. Makes 2 1/3 cups.

Make brisket: Mix lemon juice, coffee, molasses, balsamic vinegar, salt and 1 tablespoon espresso rub in a small bowl. Set this espresso mop aside. Rub the remaining espresso rub all over the brisket. Cover tightly with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 8 hours.

Rest the meat at room temperature before grilling, about 1 hour. Prepare grill for indirect medium-low heat, about 250 degrees. Coat grate with oil.

Put the brisket, fatty-side up, on the grill away from the heat; cover the grill. Cook until severely browned and blackened in spots or very well-done (about 170 degrees on an instant read thermometer), 4 to 6 hours total. Mop or drizzle the brisket with the espresso mop on both sides whenever the surface looks dry, every 45 minutes during the entire cooking time.

After 2 hours of cooking, put the brisket in an aluminum foil pan, fatty side up; return brisket to the grill away from the heat. Cover the grill; continue cooking. You only need to mop the top, fatty side of the brisket once the meat is in the pan. If your grill has a temperature gauge, it should stay about 250 degrees during the entire cooking time. If using charcoal, add fresh coals about once an hour.

Remove the pan from the heat; let rest 20 minutes. Trim any excess fat; slice brisket across the grain. Serve with the grilling sauce. Makes 6 servings.

Adapted from "Fire It Up!" by Andrew Schloss and David Joachim.

The Wichita Eagle—05/25/11

Soda-Brined Pork Loin With Cherry-Chipotle Glaze

This recipe also works great with pork tenderloin. Sear the tenderloin 1 minute on all sides and then grill about 20 minutes or until it reaches 145 degrees.

4 cups Dr Pepper (not diet)

1/2cup kosher salt

1 boneless center-cut pork loin, 3 to 4 pounds

Glaze:

1 jar (9 oz.) tart cherry preserves

1/2cup Dr Pepper

1/2cup water

1 to 2 tablespoons minced canned chipotle in adobo

4 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Vegetable oil

Pour the soda into a large glass measure and slowly add the salt (the mixture may foam up quite a bit). Stir until the salt dissolves completely, 1 to 2 minutes. Place a large, disposable plastic bag inside a large bowl and carefully pour the brine into the bag.

Trim excess fat and silver skin from the pork. Submerge the pork in the brine, seal the bag, place in a large bowl and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

In a small bowl, combine the glaze ingredients.

Remove the pork from the bag and discard the brine. Pat dry with paper towels. Lightly coat the pork with the vegetable oil and let stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before grilling. Prepare the grill for direct and indirect cooking over high heat.

Brush the cooking grates clean. Sear the pork over direct high heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until the surface is well marked but not burned, 8 to 12 minutes, turning once.

Place a large disposable foil pan over indirect high heat and pour the glaze into the pan. Carefully transfer the pork to the pan and turn to coat with the glaze. Grill the pork over indirect high heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until barely pink in the center and the internal center temperature reaches 145 degrees to 150 degrees, 25 to 30 minutes, turning in the glaze every 8 to 10 minutes. If the glaze gets too thick or starts to scorch, add a little water or more soda to the pan. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let rest for about 5 minutes. Cut the pork crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices and serve with the remaining pan sauce on the side. Makes 6 servings.

From "Weber's Way To Grill" by Jamie Purviance

The Wichita Eagle—05/25/11

Grilled Chicken With Black Bean, Corn and Avocado Salsa

4 small boneless, skinless, chicken breast halves (5 to 6 ounces each)

3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil

6 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 ears sweet corn, husked (or 1 cup thawed frozen corn kernels)

2 teaspoons minced jalapeno or serrano chile

2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

1/2cup rinsed and drained canned black beans

1/2cup chopped red onion

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

About 20 grape tomatoes, halved

1 ripe Florida avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and diced

1/2teaspoon coarse salt

Freshly ground pepper

4 oz. baby arugula

Lay chicken flat on a cutting board and cover with plastic wrap. Pound each piece with the flat side of a meat mallet or the bottom of a small pan until an even thickness. Combine chicken with 2 tablespoons each oil and lime juice. Marinate in refrigerator for 1 to 3 hours.

Heat grill or grill pan to medium-high. Grill chicken, flipping once, about 5 minutes per side, until cooked through. Set aside.

Stand an ear of corn on one end in a large bowl and use a serrated knife to cut off kernels; repeat with other ear. Add chile, ginger, beans, onion, cilantro, 4 tablespoons lime juice and 1 tablespoon olive oil; toss to combine. Stir in tomatoes and avocado, and season with salt and pepper.

Toss arugula with remaining 2 teaspoons each oil and lime juice, and divide among 4 plates. Top with chicken and avocado-corn salsa. Makes 4 servings.

The Wichita Eagle—05/25/11

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