Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Grillmaster!

MPT has changed my life. Thanks to MPT—in particular, the two Stevens (Steven Schupak, MPT’s VP of Content Enterprises, and Steven Raichlen, grilling guru and star of PBS hit series Barbecue University)—I have become a grilling aficionado.

When I came to MPT three years ago to serve as general counsel, my grilling experience was limited to the occasional hamburger or hot dog on the backyard gas grill. Anything beyond the basics was out of my league. Then I had a fateful lunch with Steven Schupak. He told me mouth-watering stories of chicken, steaks and ribs, charcoal, smoke and fire. But most of all, he told me about Steven Raichlen.

My knowledge of television, let alone public television, was pretty limited. I started watching MPT, and quickly became a fan of Frontline and State Circle. But I didn't know about Barbecue University, starring Steven Raichlen and presented to public television stations around the country by MPT. Raichlen is the undisputed master of the grill, and his how-to television shows and books on grilling are, in my opinion, the very best.

I began watching Barbecue U. and reading Raichlen’s masterpiece, How to Grill. I followed the two Stevens advice and bought a charcoal grill, which makes all the difference. There were lots of trials and errors along the way, including what my wife likes to call the “trash-can chicken” episode when I was making Raichlen’s beer can chicken and mistakenly dumped the half-cooked chicken on the ground—and then into the trash. Hey, it happens. Now I can grill with the best of them. Seafood, chicken, beef, pork, vegetables—bring it on. Ribs at Thanksgiving? Why not.

I usually follow Raichlen’s recipes—I have three of his books—and I have to give Steven Schupak credit for his tenderloin recipe, but I’ve branched out on my own. My fajitas, for instance, are awesome. Sure, I probably like my own grilling more than anyone else does (when my wife doesn’t like one of my dishes, I tell her that she may be my “girl” friend, but she’s not my “grill” friend) and I’m probably a little too into it (as if you couldn’t tell), but I’m having fun, learning new stuff and I have MPT to thank for that.


Andrew Levine
General Counsel

6 comments:

John said...

I've caught an occasional episode of Barbecue U, but will start to tune in more. They should do an episode on smoking meat . . . that would be cool, if you'll pardon the mixed metaphor.

Sara Slaff said...

Well, thanks to MPT and the two Stevens, my husband, Andy, is certainly a Grillmeister or is he a Grillmonster? Woe to the unwitting eater who does not love a charred burger (which includes, at times, his three boys). As you may have guessed, he takes his grilling quite seriously. In fact, when I questioned him on his technique for marinating a tenderloin for our entire family for a recent holiday meal, he quoted the Raichlen recipe and assured me that the short marinading time was a sure bet. I was secretly convinced that this pricey piece of meat would end up overshadowed by the sweet potatoes but I was entirely mistaken. It was fabulous and a huge hit. (I guess that means that I have now regained my spot as Andy's grill friend!)

Sara said...

The Grillmaster corrected me..it was Schupak's marinade recipe not Raichlen's ... got my Stevens mixed up. Guess I'm not his grill friend anymore...

Anonymous said...

John, you are definitely my blog friend. Steve Raichlen is not a big smoker. He is more of a griller than a Southern barbecue guy, though he does have recipes where if you use wood chips or chunks you can get some nice smoke going. Most of his grilling is done in under two hours, rather than the long, slow smoking of Southern barbecue. By the way, do you have a smoker?

Andy

Anonymous said...

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, perhaps you could make a "trash-can" turkey. (Don't stuff it!)

Andy said...

You know that I am dying to make a turkey for Thanksgiving, but 1) the pressure is enormous, and 2) at the last family feast when I made the now legendary tenderloin, the family voted against it. I did not take that as a rejection of my grilling. Instead it was agreed that I should not waste my talents on turkey but I should grill other dishes on Thanksgiving as I have in the past, such as ribs, rack of lamb, and shrimp. (All of those go extremely well with Thanksgiving turkey.) But you're right, if I made a turkey it would probably end up in the trash and then there would be a lot of very hungry and very mad relatives.