After the chill, let’s hit the grill

Caption: Alex Martinezgabe hopkins | Sur La Table Smokin' With Myron Mixon, from Random House Publishing, includes tips for rubs.Sur La Table's new barbecue cookbook, Everyday Grilling, includes the recipe for these hickory grilled baby back ribs.

Lots of rain and cool temperatures this spring might have kept you indoors and away from your grill.
But by the time Memorial Day rolls around, the weather should be warmer, and we’ll be ready for grillin’.
Cooks who are looking for new ideas can find plenty in this spring’s crop of barbecue cookbooks. Here’s a look at five of them.
Weber’s Time to Grill: Get In. Get Out. Get Grilling (Sunset, $24.95) by New York Times best-selling cookbook author Jamie Purviance, a 2010 James Beard Award nominee, is aimed at those who love to grill outdoors but don’t have hours to be creative with recipes.
Time to Grill uses a common set of easy-to-find supermarket ingredients, and the “easy” recipes can be prepared in about 15 minutes or less. Most prep times for “adventurous” recipes take about 30 minutes. Purviance has an easy recipe for New York strip steaks topped with a vinaigrette of chopped tomatoes and blue cheese. He then creates a more adventurous counterpart, using tomatoes to marinate the steaks, and blue cheese is featured in a creamy gorgonzola sauce.
Myron Mixon, the breakout star of TLC’s BBQ Pitmasters and his team, Jack’s Old South Competition Bar-B-Que Team, have won more than 180 grand championships, 30 state championships and 11 national championships. They’ve taken three first-place whole-hog awards at the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue competition, and they have been crowned the grand champion at the World Championship in Memphis three times.
Mixon shares tips and recipes in Smokin’ With Myron Mixon: Recipes Made Simple From the Winningest Man in Barbecue (Ballantine Trade, $22). He also offers tips for the home-barbecue enthusiast to use whether they plan to compete at a contest or just want to impress their friends on Memorial Day. He explains how to choose the right wood, describes perfect ways to cook a variety of meats, and gives formulas for his award-winning marinades, rubs, injections and sauces.
Instead of burgers and steaks on the grill, you can learn to make recipes from patagonian asado to Yucatecan barbecue with Miami native Lourdes Castro, author of Latin Grilling (Ten Speed Press, $22). Castro celebrates traditional Latin-American grilling with country-by-country party plans and menus that include beverages, starters, entrees, sides and desserts.
Lourdes outlines tips and notes on ingredients, flavor variations, techniques and entertaining ideas.
Australian celebrity chef Peter Evans offers “no-mess and no-stress” recipes in My Grill, Outdoor Cooking Australian Style (Weldon Owen, $30). His definition of barbecuing is: anything cooked outdoors over direct heat.
His recipes include Japanese pancakes with scallops and shiitake mushrooms; crab and sweet corn cakes; and tuna with raisins, pine nuts and radicchio.
Sur La Table’s latest cookbook, Everyday Grilling (Andrews McMeel Publishing, $15) is full of ideas for grilling the entire meal. Recipes include appetizers (grilled tomatillo salsa), salads and sandwiches (grilled eggplant and mozzarella panini), vegetables (grilled leeks), main dishes (lamb burgers) and desserts (tropical fruit kebabs).

Dry seasoning: Here’s the rub

A great way to change the flavor of meat, poultry and seafood is to spice them up with a rub before grilling. A rub is a mix of spices, herbs and other seasoning (often including sugar) that can quickly boost flavors before grilling, according to Jamie Purviance in Time to Grill. “If you leave a rub on for a long time, the seasonings intermix with the juices in the meat and produce more pronounced flavors, as well as a crust. This is good to a point, but a rub with a lot of salt and sugar will draw moisture out of the meat over time, making the meat tastier, but drier,” he said.

Here are some guidelines from Purviance for how long meat should stand, covered with a rub, before grilling.

No more than 15 minutes: Small foods, such as shellfish, cubed meat for kebabs, and vegetables.

15 to 30 minutes: Thin cuts of boneless meat, such as chicken breasts, fish fillets, pork tenderloin, chops and steaks.

30 minutes to 11/2 hours: Thicker cuts of boneless or bone-in-meat, such as leg of lamb, whole chickens and beef roasts.

2 to 8 hours: Big or tough cuts of meat, such as racks of ribs, whole hams, pork shoulders and turkeys.

Recipes

Herb rub for pork tenderloin

2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 teaspoons salt, divided

1/4 cup olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

2 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Using a mortar and pestle or the flat side of a knife, mash garlic with 1 teaspoon salt until it forms a paste. Transfer garlic paste to a small bowl. Whisk in olive oil, vinegar, sage, rosemary, thyme, pepper and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Smear mixture all over pork. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight before grilling meat.

From The Deen Bros. Get Fired Up

Basic chicken rub

2/3 cup chili powder

1/2 cup sugar

4 tablespoons kosher salt

4 tablespoons onion powder

4 tablespoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients thoroughly. You can store this rub in an airtight container indefinitely.

Makes 2 cups.

From Smokin’ with Myron Mixon

Chile rub

3/4 cup chipotle chile powder

1/4 cup ancho chile powder

4 teaspoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons dried oregano

4 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Place all rub ingredients in a bowl and mix well. The rub can be prepared in advance and will keep in an airtight container for months. It goes well with fish and shellfish. It’s best to apply the spice rub to fish about 5 minutes before grilling. The salt in the rub might dry out the fish if you leave it on longer.

From Lourdes Castro Latin Grilling

Magic rub

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon granulated onion

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a small bowl, mix the ingredients. Makes 2 tablespoons. Good on beef, pork, chicken, fish or vegetables.

From Time to Grill

Hickory grilled baby back ribs

Hickory rub:

1/2 cup store-bought hickory-smoked salt or kosher salt

1/4 cup garlic powder or granulated garlic

1/4 cup onion powder

1/4 cup chili powder

3 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika

3 tablespoons firmly packed light or dark brown sugar

3 tablespoons dry mustard

1 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger

1 1/2 tablespoons red pepper flakes

Ribs:

4 1 1/2-pound slabs baby back ribs, back membrane removed

Hickory wood chips

1 16-ounce squeeze bottle clover or other amber honey

2 cups tomato-based barbecue sauce

To make rub, combine all seasonings in a bowl. Sprinkle both sides of each slab with rub.

Prepare a moderate charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill to medium (375 degrees). Grill slabs for 15 minutes a side, turning every 5 minutes, or until slightly browned. Transfer ribs to a baking sheet.

For a charcoal grill, lift up the grill grate, brush the coals to one side and throw moistened wood chips directly on the coals. Replace the grill grate. For a gas grill, turn off a burner, enclose the wood chips in a metal smoker box or an aluminum foil packet with holes poked in the top, and place the box or packet on the grill grate over the heat source.

When you see the first wisp of wood smoke, place ribs on the indirect side, using a rib rack if you like. Cover and grill, turning or repositioning the ribs every 10 to 15 minutes, for 30 minutes longer, or until meat begins to pull back from the ends of bone about 1/2 inch. Squeeze honey on both sides of ribs and brush to cover meat. Then brush on barbecue sauce. Cover and grill for 10 to 15 minutes, turning several times, until the sauce on the ribs has caramelized. Serve one-half slab per person.

Makes 8 servings.

From Everyday Grilling