In California we grill all year long, even when it is raining under the cover of the porch. Smoke and fire bring back memories of camping in the Sierra even when we are at home and makes me feel connected to the wildness of where we live. I use a gas grill, a Weber grill with charcoal and zinfandel cuttings and our recently installed wood-fired oven. The recipes can be adapted to any grill, unless I have specified a particular type to use.
White prawns from the Sea of Cortez and the Gulf of Mexico are fat and meaty with a wonderful sweet flavor. They are tastier than any other large shrimp you can buy and they are our local shrimp, not frozen shrimp from Asia. If you cannot find them at your local fishmonger, there are many places to purchase online and have them shipped.
Grilled lamb is a tradition in Amador County and many of our local ranchers raise lamb, to me the finest you can buy. Out local lamb is available only by purchasing a whole lamb (a local butcher will do the cut and wrap). Good quality organic lamb is now more readily available in markets.
This version of lamb gets a Mediterranean twist with the olive and lemon tapenade.
Marinating this chicken for 24 hours is the key for flavor and working ahead. When time to grill the chicken, watch it carefully so that the chicken doesn’t flair up and burn. You can easily double or triple the recipe, cooking it in batches or on two barbeques. This chicken really requires a charcoal grill, so that the meat can cook slowly and get smoky. Leftovers make great chicken salad.
For years I have done our Thanksgiving turkey this way. Brining a day ahead keeps the bird moist. Cueing it on a covered grill using the indirect method will give you a succulent and smoky turkey. Paired with Mexican mole sauce, it is a turkey to remember.