Grilled Lobster Tails With Zesty Butter

Serves 8.

Note: You’ll need to soak wooden skewers for at least 30 minutes. Adapted from “Williams-Sonoma’s Grill Master: The Ultimate Arsenal of Back-to-Basics Recipes for the Grill,” by Fred Thompson.

• 16 tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter

• 2 garlic cloves, minced

• 1 tbsp. finely chopped shallot

• 1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh tarragon

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus lemon wedges for serving

• Kosher salt

• 8 lobster tails (about 4 oz. each)

Directions

Prepare the grill for indirect heat. If using a gas grill, preheat to medium-high (450 degrees). If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal; when the coals are ready, distribute them evenly on one side of the cooking area. For a medium-hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for 3 or 4 seconds. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in the garlic, shallot, tarragon and lemon zest. Remove from the heat and season lightly with salt.

Cut away and discard the thin undershell from each lobster tail (to expose the meat), leaving the hard outer shell. Run a skewer down the length of each lobster tail (to keep them from curling on the grill). Place the tails, meat side down, on the indirect-heat side of the grill; this will help eliminate flare-ups when you add the butter. Cook, uncovered, for about 3 minutes, then turn them over.

Spoon some of the butter over the meat of each lobster tail, using a total of about half of the butter. Cook, uncovered, for 4 or 5 minutes or until the meat turns a creamy white and feels firm-springy to the touch.

Transfer the tails to a platter and gently slide them off the skewers. Spoon some or all of the remaining butter over the tails. Serve right away, with the lemon wedges.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 300 Fat 24 g Sodium 516 mg Carbohydrates 1 g Saturated fat 15 g Calcium 113 mg

Protein 20 g Cholesterol 215 mg Dietary fiber 0 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 3 lean meat, 3 fat.

Perfectly Smoked Pork Loin

Serves 6 to 8.

Note: Stay fairly close to the grill in order to adjust the vents and help maintain a steady temperature. You’ll need to prepare a perforated aluminum-foil packet of soaked/drained hickory wood chips (placed on the burners or in the coals). The meat needs to marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Adapted from “Virgil’s Barbecue Road Trip Cookbook,” by Neal Corman with Chris Peterson.

4-lb. center-cut pork loin

• 15 garlic cloves

• 1 tbsp. kosher salt

• 1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. dried Mexican oregano

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper

1/4 c. fresh orange juice

• Juice of 2 lemons

• 2 tbsp. sherry

• 2 tbsp. olive oil

1 medium yellow onion

Directions

Use a sharp knife to cut 15 slits all over the pork loin that are each 1/2 inch long and 1/2 inch deep. Insert a clove of garlic in each one.

Combine the salt, cumin, oregano, black pepper, cayenne pepper, orange juice, lemon juice, sherry, oil and onion in a food processor; pulse to form a blended marinade.

Place the loin in a large plastic zip-top bag, then pour the marinade over the meat. Seal, pressing out as much air as possible, and massage to coat evenly. Refrigerate for 24 hours.

Prepare the grill for direct heat. If using a gas grill, preheat to medium (375 degrees). If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal; when the coals are ready, distribute them evenly under the cooking area. For a medium fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for 5 or 6 seconds. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames.

Place the foil packet of hickory wood chips in the coals or on the burner.

Remove the loin from the marinade; it’s OK to leave some marinade on the meat. (Discard the remaining marinade.) Place the loin on a sheet of heavy-duty foil or in a shallow aluminum baking pan then place on the grill. Close the lid and cook for 20 minutes, then open and reduce the temperature to 325 degrees. Cook (covered or uncovered, as needed) for 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the pork registers 150 on an instant-read thermometer.

Let the meat rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. It slices easily when completely cooled and refrigerated overnight.

Nutrition information per each of 8 servings:

Calories 410 Fat 20 g Sodium 200 mg Carbohydrates 4 g Saturated fat 7 g Calcium 27 mg

Protein 52 g Cholesterol 150 mg Dietary fiber 0 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 7½ lean meat.

Stuffed Red Peppers With Potato Mash

Serves 6.

Note: Freeze the cheeses for 15 to 20 minutes; it will make them easier to shred with a box grater. Serve with short ribs or barbecued brisket. Adapted from “Fire & Smoke: A Pitmaster’s Secrets,” by Chris Lilly.

4 extra-large potatoes

3 medium stem-on red bell peppers

1 3/4 c. regular or low-fat sour cream (do not use nonfat)

• 1/4 c. whole milk

4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

• 1 oz. Gouda cheese, shredded (1/4 c.)

1 oz. Muenster cheese, shredded (1/4 c.)

2 green onions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated

• 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Prepare the grill for indirect heat: If using a gas grill, preheat to medium-high (400 degrees) for 10 minutes with the lid closed. If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or wood briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them on one side of the cooking area. For a medium-hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for 3 or 4 seconds. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames. Brush the grill grate.

Scrub the potatoes and wrap each one in aluminum foil. Arrange them on the indirect-heat side of the grill. Close the lid and cook for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, until tender. Transfer to a plate to cool (still wrapped) for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the bell peppers in half from top to bottom (through or beside each stem, to preserve them). Discard the ribs and seeds. Trim a little off the underside of each bell pepper half to help it sit evenly.

Unwrap the potatoes and scoop the flesh into a mixing bowl. Discard the skins. Add the sour cream, milk, butter, shredded cheeses, whites of the green onions, salt and pepper; mash and blend well.

Fill each bell pepper half with the potato mixture. Arrange the stuffed pepper halves on the indirect-heat side of the grill. Close the lid and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the peppers just start to blister but have not collapsed. The stuffing will be browned.

Transfer to a platter; garnish each one with the onion greens. Serve warm.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 434 Fat 24 g Sodium 580 mg Carbohydrates 47 g Saturated fat 15 g Calcium 173 mg

Protein 8 g Cholesterol 66 mg Dietary fiber 4 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 3 bread/starch, 5 fat.

Smoked Bone-In Beef Short Ribs

Serves 2.

Note: These ribs do not fall off the bone and aren’t meant to. They are juicy and a little chewy, providing a primal and enormously satisfying eating experience. This recipe calls for 2 short ribs, but you can add more to feed a crowd. The instructions remain the same: about a teaspoon of coarse kosher salt and cracked black pepper per rib and 2 cups of hardwood chips for smoking, and the same cooking times as listed below. You’ll need to soak 2 cups of soaked hardwood chips or 8 fist-size chunks (preferably oak, but apple, pecan or cherry may be used) in water for 1 hour. These ribs don’t need sauce, but feel free to serve them with your favorite one. After the ribs have been seasoned, they can sit uncovered in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Bring to room temperature before putting on the grill. From Jim Shahin.

2 meaty bone-in beef short ribs, 4 to 5 in. long and about 12 oz. each

• 2 tsp. coarse kosher salt

• 2 tsp. cracked black pepper

Directions

Prepare a charcoal grill for indirect heat. Liberally coat each short rib with about a teaspoon each of salt and pepper. You may find that your short rib needs a little less to be fully coated; that’s fine. Let the ribs rest at room temperature until the fire is ready. Once the coals are ashen, dump them onto one side for indirect grilling.

Drain the wood chips and scatter them onto the coals. Close the grill lid, leaving the vents slightly open. After the wood catches (about 5 minutes), place the ribs on the indirect-heat side of the grate. After about 1 hour, add a half-dozen more coals.

About 30 minutes later, check the ribs for doneness. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the meaty part of a rib should register 180 degrees. The ribs should be dark brown, and the meat should have shrunk to reveal about 1/4 inch of bone.

If using a gas grill, preheat the grill with all burners on high. When it reaches a temperature of 500 degrees, adjust for indirect grilling and reduce the temperature to 300 to 350 degrees. For a two-burner grill, turn off one of the burners; with three or more burners, turn off the center unit. Place a smoke box filled with the drained wood chips onto a grate over a lit burner. If you don’t have a smoke box, you can wrap the wood chips loosely in an aluminum foil packet and poke some fork holes in the top to allow smoke to escape. Close the grill lid. When smoke begins rising from the packet or box, place the ribs on the cool side of the grate, away from the fire. Close the lid. The ribs will take about 3 hours to cook.

Let the ribs rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 270 Fat 18 g Sodium 1,820 mg Carbohydrates 1 g Saturated fat 7 g Calcium 28 mg

Protein 24 g Cholesterol 88 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 3 medium-fat meat, ½ fat.

Dandy Little Hens

Serves 4.

Note: The hens can be cooked in a charcoal or gas grill, but be sure the rig can maintain a steady low temperature (200 to 220 degrees). The hens are going to cook slowly, over the course of 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 hours, so prep charcoal accordingly. The hens need to marinate in the refrigerator for 4 to 12 hours. Adapted from “Smoke & Spice: Cooking With Smoke, the Real Way to Barbecue,” by Cheryl and Bill Jamison.

For the marinade and hens:

• 1 1/2 c. tequila

• 1 c. fresh lime juice

• 1/4 c. triple sec or other orange liqueur

• 1/4 c. minced onion

• 1/4 c. vegetable oil

• 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

Pinch ground cayenne pepper or ground chile de arbol

• 4 Cornish hens (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lb. each)

• Kosher salt

• Freshly ground black pepper

• 1 lime, cut into 4 wedges

• 1 small orange, seeded and sliced

For the mop

• 2 tbsp. unsalted butter

• 1 tbsp. triple sec or other orange liqueur

Directions

For the marinade and hens: Whisk together the tequila, lime juice, liqueur, onion, oil, Worcestershire sauce and cayenne or chile de arbol in a liquid measuring cup.

Place the hens in a large zip-top plastic bag, then pour the marinade over them. Seal, pressing out as much air as possible. Massage through the bag so the hens are well coated. Place the bag in a mixing bowl; refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours, turning the hens a few times.

Prepare a smoker or grill for indirect heat: If using a gas grill, preheat to low (200 to 220 degrees) with the lid closed. If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or wood briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them on one side of the cooking area. For a low fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for about 10 seconds. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames. Brush the grill grate.

Lift the hens out of the marinade; pour the marinade into a small saucepan. Season the birds all over with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity of each bird with a lime wedge and orange slices. Let the hens sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.

For the mop: Bring the marinade in the saucepan to a boil over high heat. Cook for about 4 minutes, then stir in the butter and orange liqueur. Reduce the heat to low to keep warm.

Arrange the hens in the smoker or on the indirect-heat side of the grill, breast side down. Close the lid and cook for 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 hours, turning them over halfway through the cooking. Use the mop to baste the birds every 30 minutes or so. The birds are done when the internal temperature, taken away from the bone, registers 180 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Their legs should feel loose at the joints.

Transfer the hens to a cutting board to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Discard the skin, if desired, before serving.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 816 Fat 57 g Sodium 210 mg

Carbohydrates 8 g Saturated fat 16 g Calcium 59 mg

Protein 58 g Cholesterol 344 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: ½ other carb, 8 medium-fat meat, 3 ½ fat.

Plank-Smoked Burrata Cheese

Serves 4 to 6.

Note: The mozzarella-like cheese with the creamy center typically is served at room temperature. But we like this quick treatment, served with grilled bread and fruit, even better. The original recipe called for 2 ripe peaches or nectarines. Until those become available, use a fruit you like best. Mango worked well for us. You’ll need to soak a maple grilling plank (12 by 8 by 1/2 inches) in water for at least 1 hour. Keep the cheese chilled until just before it goes on the grill. Adapted from “Gastro Grilling: Fired-Up Recipes to Grill Great Everyday Meals,” by Ted Reader.

• 1 ripe mango

• 1 ripe Bosc pear

• 1/2 orange

• 2 tsp. chopped fresh mint

• Kosher salt

• Freshly ground black pepper

1 (8-oz.) ball or 2 (4-oz.) balls burrata cheese

• 4 to 6 slices rustic Italian bread, cut in half

• Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Directions

Prepare the grill for direct heat. If using a gas grill, preheat to medium-high (450 degrees). If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal; when the coals are ready, distribute them evenly under the cooking area. For a medium-hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for 3 or 4 seconds. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames.

Cut the mango and pear in half, discarding the pit, the core and seeds. Place the fruit, plus the orange half, cut side down on the grill. Close the lid and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, then turn the fruit over. Close the lid and cook for a few minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; peel off and discard the skin, then cut the fruit into slices, placing them in a mixing bowl as you work. Add the mint and season lightly with salt and pepper, tossing gently to incorporate.

Place the soaked maple plank on the grill and close the lid so the wood heats up. Once you see smoke and hear a little cracking, open the grill and flip over the plank; this process should take 5 or 6 minutes.

Transfer the burrata straight from the refrigerator to the plank. Season the cheese lightly with salt and pepper. Close the lid and cook/smoke the cheese on the plank for 8 to 10 minutes; the cheese will take on a smoky almond color and will be warm throughout. Transfer the cheese to a plate.

Immediately grill the bread, uncovered, to the desired doneness on both sides.

Spoon some of the hot smoked burrata onto each piece of grilled bread. Top each portion with some of the fruit mixture and a drizzle of oil. Serve warm.

Nutrition information per each of 6 servings:

Calories 220 Fat 11 g Sodium 175 mg

Carbohydrates 21 g Saturated fat 6 g Calcium 240 mg

Protein 7 g Cholesterol 25 mg Dietary fiber 2 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 fruit, ½ bread/starch, 1 high-fat meat, ½ fat.