Memorial Day Menu: Chef Adam Perry Lang's Recipes

Platelist Chef Adam Perry Lang
ABCNEWS.com

Chef Adam Perry Lang, a master of barbeque arts, knows how to play with fire.

Although he was classically trained in French cuisine, Perry Lang has pioneered techniques to improve anyone's grilling skills. In his latest cookbook, Charred & Scruffed, the chef offers new recipes to turn a backyard barbecue into a gourmet meal experience.

As millions of Americans roll out their grills this Memorial Day weekend, "Nightline" asked the New York native what would be on his menu. Here, Perry Lang offers his recipes for high-low boneless rib eye, bubbling bacon butter beans and green apple, cabbage and caraway slaw.

PHOTO: Boneless rib eye recipe excerpted from Charred & Scruffed by Adam Perry Lang.
Simon Wheeler/Artisan Books
High-Low Boneless Rib Eye

High-Low Boneless Rib Eye

Excerpted from Charred & Scruffed by Adam Perry Lang (Artisan Books). Copyright 2012. Photographs by Simon Wheeler.

Serves 4

Note from the Chef: A rib eye is, in many ways, the most satisfying steak. Its gnarly marbled surface makes it very scruffable so that it develops a great crust that accepts basting well. The eye of the roast is superflavorful and, like a tenderloin, is best served in the medium-rare-to-rare stage. The deckle, or outside strip, about an inch or two thick, is so marbled that it should be a bit more well-done, at which point it has both deep flavor and the hard-to-achieve tenderness of a perfect brisket. Although the classic French way to do a rib eye is on the bone (cote de boeuf; aka cowboy cut in the USA), I prefer boneless for this high-low style. It makes it easier to develop a crust on all sides of the meat. To achieve a more well-done deckle, and to crisp the exterior and render more fat, I prop the steak up for a few minutes on each edge so that only the deckle is exposed to the heat source.

Ingredients:

Four 14- to 16-ounce boneless rib eye steaks, at least 2½ inches thick

3 tablespoons Four Seasons Blend (recipe follows)

1 tablespoon coarsely ground

black pepper

An herb brush

2 cups Basic Baste (recipe follows)

Board Dressing

A clean brick, wrapped in foil

1. To make the Four Seasons Blend

Makes approximately 1 cup

1 cup sea or kosher salt

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons garlic salt

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine the salt, black pepper, garlic salt, and cayenne in a small bowl. Transfer to a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder and pulse to the consistency of sand. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

2. To make the Basic Baste

Makes approximately 4 cups

Fat baste

1 ¼ cups extra virgin olive oil

10 tablespoons (1 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter

½ cup rendered fat from the meat being cooked (optional)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

2 tablespoons grated garlic (use a Microplane) or garlic mashed to a paste

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

2 tablespoons grated Spanish onion (use a Microplane)

2 teaspoons sea or kosher salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

¼ cup white wine vinegar

Combine all the ingredients for the fat baste in a 2-quart saucepan and bring just to a simmer; remove from the heat. For the best flavor, refrigerate in a tightly sealed container for 1 to 2 days (reheat over low heat to melt the butter before using).

Whisk the lemon juice and vinegar into the fat baste before using, or reserve it to add later.

Directions:

Set up the grill with an elevated grate and preheat it to high.

(*You can buy a grill with a hand-cranked wheel that allows you to raise and lower the cooking surface. Or you can save yourself a lot of money and buy an extra grate for your grill, using bricks to elevate it above the main grill gate.)

Season the steaks on both sides with the seasoning blend and pepper, then lightly moisten your hands with water and work the seasonings into the meat. Allow to stand for 10 minutes to develop a "meat paste."

Put the steaks on the clean (unoiled) grill grate and cook, without moving them, for 1 minute. Turn, making sure to grab the "eye" portion of each steak with your tongs, and cook for 1 minute. The meat may stick and tear a bit, but this is OK, even desirable -- the sticking and tearing is what I call "meat scruffing." (For newer grills, where less sticking and tearing occurs, or for increased surface area, score with a knife.) Put the foil-wrapped brick on the grill grate to be used as a steady point for the beef, lean the steaks up against it, and cook for 2 minutes, then turn the steaks and repeat until you've cooked them for 2 minutes each on all four edges. Move the brick to the side and continue cooking the steaks, turning them every 1 to 2 minutes (Hot Potatoing method, turning and moving the meat constantly to control heat build-up) and basting with the herb brush each time you flip them, until the internal temperature registers 95 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 12 minutes longer.

(*Optional: Use an Herb Basting Brush to tie a bunch of herb sprigs (rosemary, sage or thyme, or a combination, or other herbs, depending on what you are cooking to a dowel, the handle of a wooden spoon, or a long-handled carving fork. The herb brush flavors the baste, releases oils into the crust as it builds, and eventually becomes a garnish for the Board Dressing.)

Transfer the steaks to a platter, brush lightly with the baste, and let rest for at least 5 minutes, and up to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, carefully remove the elevated grill grate.

Put the steaks on the hot grill and cook, turning every 1 to 2 minutes and basting lightly every time the beef is moved, until the internal temperature registers 115 degrees F, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make a basic Board Dressing. Combine 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, and sea or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. You can improvise here, adding grated shallots or garlic (use a Microplane), finely chopped chiles, chopped scallions, and/or other chopped herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, and sage. 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, and sea or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. You can improvise here, adding grated shallots or garlic (use a Microplane), finely chopped chiles, chopped scallions, and/or other chopped herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, and sage.

Transfer the steaks to the cutting board and turn them in the dressing to coat. Allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

To serve, slice the meat ¼ inch thick, turning each slice in the dressing to coat, and arrange on plates, then pour some of the board juices over each serving.

PHOTO: Bacon butter beans recipe excerpted from Charred & Scruffed by Adam Perry Lang.
Simon Wheeler/Artisan Books
Bubbling Bacon Butter Beans

Bubbling Bacon Butter Beans

Excerpted from Charred & Scruffed by Adam Perry Lang (Artisan Books). Copyright 2012. Photographs by Simon Wheeler.

Serves 6 to 8

Note from the Chef: Butter beans are just another name for lima beans, especially in the South. But I tend to think more sensually, and I have always felt that when they are cooked just right, these beans achieve a state of melty smoothness that is best described by the word "buttery." In the process of cooking, they throw off starch—just like Arborio rice does in risotto. The result is velvety creaminess. My recommendation for these beans is "Serve with anything," because they go with everything. But I could also say, "Serve with nothing else," because they are satisfying all by themselves and quite irresistible when you take them from the fire -- steaming, bubbling, and fragrant.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for drizzling

6 slices thick-sliced bacon, cut into ¼-inch-wide strips

½ cup finely chopped shallots

4 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled, plus 1 tablespoon grated garlic (use a Microplane) or garlic mashed to paste

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

2 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth

4 cups cooked butter beans or two 15-ounce jars or cans butter beans, drained, rinsed if canned

1 cup Pomi diced tomatoes (or other Tetra Pak tomatoes), drained

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1.4 cup finely diced prosciutto fat (or additional bacon)

Sea or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

White wine vinegar

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until it sizzles when a piece of bacon is added. Add the rest of the bacon, the shallots, crushed garlic, and sage and cook, stirring, until the shallots are just translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the beans, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet over high heat until very hot. Add the tomatoes and sauté for 2 minutes, then add the grated garlic and oregano and cook until most of the moisture has evaporated and the tomatoes are crackling.

Stir the tomatoes into the bean mixture, along with the prosciutto fat. Season with salt and pepper and pour into a 2-quart casserole or baking dish.

Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until the beans are velvety and creamy. If the beans start to look dry, add a splash of water.

Stir the parsley into the beans, adjust the acidity with white wine vinegar as necessary, and drizzle generously with olive oil. Serve, or keep warm in a low oven until ready to serve.

PHOTO: Salad recipe excerpted from Charred & Scruffed by Adam Perry Lang.
Simon Wheeler/Artisan Books
Green Apple, Cabbage, and Caraway Slaw

Green Apple, Cabbage, and Caraway Slaw

Excerpted from Charred & Scruffed by Adam Perry Lang (Artisan Books). Copyright 2012. Photographs by Simon Wheeler.

Serves 6 to 8

Note from the Chef: At my first barbecue competition in Des Moines, Iowa, one of the old-timers who was cruising the grounds in a golf cart stopped to chat and then took me under his wing. We started to talk about food, as one deeply interested professional to another.

"I'd love to show you my Walla Walla onions," he said with paternal pride. I'm always glad to taste someone's prize ingredients, and thankful for their sharing.

I think my genuine appreciation of his gesture moved him. With the air of a seasoned veteran offering advice to a newcomer, he said, "If you want to win, think apple."

I gave his advice some serious thought. Champion barbecuers often inject their creations with apple juice or slather them with apple jelly or both. So, as the saying goes, when in Rome . . .

I Microplaned some Granny Smith apples and added them to my board dressing, which was a new way of using an ingredient that the judges knew and liked. The technique has become my secret weapon for waking up barbecue flavors.

This slaw is slightly acidic and tangy from the green apple. It has massive crunch and little flavor capsules of caraway. I love it with the Smoked Pork Shoulder with Lime Coriander Salt.

Ingredients:

6 cups finely shredded green cabbage

2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Dressing:

½ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup sour cream

¼ cup white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons finely chopped

Spanish onion

1 tablespoon caraway seeds, toasted in a small skillet and finely ground

Sea or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 Granny Smith apples, halved, cored, and cut into julienne (skin left on)

2 cups small watercress sprigs

2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots

2 tablespoons thinly sliced (on the bias) red chile pepper

2 tablespoons thinly sliced (on the bias) scallions

½ cup fresh dill leaves

¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

Combine the cabbage and bell peppers in a large bowl and mix well.

Toss with the sugar and allow to macerate for 15 minutes.

For the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Add the apples, watercress, shallots, chile pepper, scallions, dill, and parsley to the cabbage and peppers and mix well. Toss with the dressing to coat and serve.

PHOTO: Cover of chef Adam Perry Lang's new cookbook, Charred & Scruffed.
Simon Wheeler/Artisan Books
More from Charred & Scruffed

You can find more of chef Adam Perry Lang's favorite recipes and techniques for cooking on the grill in his new cookbook, Charred & Scruffed, in stores now or visit his website, http://www.adamperrylang.com/.

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