Chef's new cookbook offers grilling tips


POSTED: Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Chef Emeril Lagasse, who headlined the Kahala Hotel & Resort's Food and Wine Classic 2009 last week, has been touring to promote his latest cookbook, “;Emeril at the Grill,”; released April 28. Lagasse e-mailed from the road just before his arrival to discuss grilling and offer tips:

;  » “;When I was writing the book, I realized that a lot of people were intimidated by cooking seafood on the grill. I really wanted to add in some of those items that people saw at their local fishmarket, and make them easy and approachable. So we have recipes for swordfish, yellowfin tuna with grilled pineapple salsa and a great way to grill really fresh fish “;on the half shell,”; or fisherman style, with the scales on to keep it nice and moist.”;

» Advice for amateur grillers: “;Many cooks are afraid of undercooked meats, and it can sometimes be tough to control the temperature on a grill ... So I think a good thermometer is a griller's best friend. Once you know the proper range of temperatures for meats, poultry and seafood ... grilling can be almost foolproof. ... I advise people to take their proteins out of the refrigerator beforehand and bring it to room temperature before placing it on the grill, to prevent sticking.”;

» Advice for seasoned grillers: “;I hope to inspire these folks to grill something they might not have thought of before—Chipotle BBQ Oysters with Homemade Salsa Fresca or Grilled Banana Splits.”;

“;Emeril at the Grill”; features 158 recipes for indoor and outdoor cooking. A few of them are below.


Emeril Lagasse is all over the tube. He's a food correspondent for ABC's “;Good Morning America,”; and, of course, there's “;The Essence of Emeril”; on the Food Network and “;Emeril Live,”; now airing on both Fine Living Network and Food Network.

“;Essence”; airs at 7 and 7:30 a.m. Fridays and 5 a.m. Sundays.

“;Emeril Live”; airs on the Food Network at 7 a.m. Tuesdays to Thursdays and on Fine Living at 9 a.m., 1, 2 and 9 p.m. weekdays.

Lagasse also hosts “;Emeril Green”; on the Discovery Channel's new Planet Green channel (unavailable in Hawaii), wherein the chef tackles everyday folks' culinary challenges in an eco-friendly manner.


Grilled Sweet Potato Salad

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, or more to taste
1-1/2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup very thinly shaved red onion
1-1/2 tablespoons crumbled Cotija cheese (or other mild crumbly cheese, such as farmer's cheese)

Preheat grill to medium-high and oven to 350 degrees.

Place potatoes in a bowl. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss well, then place potatoes on grill and cook until nice grill marks develop, 2 to 3 minutes on each side.

Transfer potatoes to baking sheet, place in oven and bake until tender enough to easily pierce with fork, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Arrange on platter and drizzle with remaining olive oil and lime juice. Sprinkle with cilantro, red onion and cheese. Serves 4 to 6.

Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving (based on 4 servings): 350 calories, 24 g total fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, no cholesterol, 650 mg sodium, 34 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 13 g sugar, 3 g protein.

Thai-Style Beef Salad

1-3/4-pound flank steak
Emeril's Original Essence or Creole seasoning (recipe follows)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
4 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage (won bok)
2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
1 cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced on the diagonal, for garnish
» Dressing:
2 tablespoons jasmine rice
1/4 cup Vietnamese fish sauce (nuoc nam), or to taste
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, or to taste
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion tops
1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Season flank steak on both sides with Original Essence or Creole seasoning. Place in gallon-size sealable plastic bag, add olive oil and Worcestershire and seal. Marinate in refrigerator 4 hours to overnight.

Preheat grill or broiler to medium-high.

Remove steak from marinade (discard marinade). Grill 3 to 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Remove and let rest 10 minutes.

Thinly slice steak against the grain, reserving juices.

To make dressing: Place jasmine rice in small skillet and heat over medium-high, stirring constantly, until toasted golden brown and fragrant, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer to plate and let cool. When cool, place in clean coffee grinder or spice mill and process to fine powder. Combine ground rice with other dressing ingredients in a bowl. Whisk to combine.

In another mixing bowl, combine cabbages with 3 tablespoons of dressing. Toss well and arrange on platter.

Toss steak with remaining dressing and arrange slices atop cabbage. Garnish with cucumber and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving (based on 1 teaspoon Emeril's seasoning): 500 calories, 26 g total fat, 7 g saturated fat, 85 mg cholesterol, greater than 1,500 mg sodium, 19 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 47 g protein.

Salmon with Pineapple, Mango and Strawberry Salsa

4 6-ounce salmon fillets, skin on
4 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Emeril's Original Essence or Creole seasoning (recipe follows)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

» Pineapple, Mango and Strawberry Salsa:
3/4 cup diced pineapple
3/4 cup diced mango
1/2 cup diced strawberries
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

To make salsa: Combine all ingredients in medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until flavors have married, 20 to 30 minutes. Makes about 2 cups.

To prepare salmon: Preheat grill to medium. Brush both sides of salmon with olive oil and season with Creole seasoning, salt and pepper.

Place fish on grill skin side down and cook 3 minutes. Rotate 45 degrees and cook another 3 minutes. Turn fish over and cook 2 minutes or to desired doneness.

Transfer to platter or individual plates and spoon salsa over it. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Approximate nutritional analysis, salmon only: 350 calories, 23 g total fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, 100 mg cholesterol, 700 mg sodium, no carbohydrate, fiber, sugar, 34 g protein.

Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving, for salmon and salsa: 400 calories, 23 g total fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, 100 mg cholesterol, 850 mg sodium, 13 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 35 g protein.

Creole seasoning

2-1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Yields 2/3 cup.

Nutritional analyses by Joannie Dobbs, Ph.D., C.N.S.