STEVEN RAICHLEN’S PROJECT FIRE: Season 1
Airs Saturdays, June 23 - Aug. 11 & Sept. 8-29, 2018 at 1 p.m. on KPBS TV
Tuesday, September 4, 2018
Credit: Courtesy of WMPT
—PROJECT FIRE features a collection of new tools and fuels for the avid griller.—
In his groundbreaking BARBECUE UNIVERSITY television series, Steven Raichlen taught the world how to grill. In the popular sequel PRIMAL GRILL, viewers were taken on a virtual tour of global grilling. And in PROJECT SMOKE, Raichlen brought the arts of barbecuing and smoking from the competition circuit to the American home.
Deciding it was time to turn up the heat, Steven introduces his hottest series yet, PROJECT FIRE, a new and insightful exploration of how we grill today, and how we will grill and smoke tomorrow.
With a dynamic new format that includes on-set guests and off-road field trips, innovators of live fire cooking join Steven to share revolutionary contemporary techniques that elevate the backyard barbecue experience — from ember-roasting and salt slab grilling to fire-heated iron and high tech rotisseries.
STEVEN RAICHLEN'S PROJECT FIRE introduces new foods — from unfamiliar cuts of steak to eco-friendly seafood — and unique wists on popular classics, such as entire meals cooked on the grill, from breakfast to paella to clambakes.
Episode 1: “Wine Country Grill” airs Saturday, June 23 at 1 p.m. - The deep connection between wine and barbecue dates back millennia and still runs deep as ever. In the rustic wine country of the Santa Ynez Valley where PROJECT FIRE is taped, grape vines are used as fuel and wine for marinades and sauces. Here’s how the fruit of the vine meets the power of fire.
First up: special Jidori-breed chicken breasts stuffed with country ham and dry-aged Sonoma Jack cheese grilled over a grape vine fire. Next, flank steak with pinot noir mushroom sauce grilled over charcoal and oak.
Finally, chef John Cox from the Bear and Star restaurant smokes a whole bourbon-soaked wagyu strip loin that’s been aged three years.
- Grapevine-grilled chicken breasts with prosciutto and Monterey Jack
- Wine-marinated flank steak with pinot noir mushroom sauce
- Bourbon-aged strip loin smoked over oak
Episode 2: “Steak And Beyond” airs Saturday, June 30 at 1 p.m. - Be honest: What you really want to master is the perfect grilled steak. Make that many steaks by using a range of savvy grilling techniques.
Leading off is a thick dry-brined New York strip with luscious anchovy crema. Tender quick-cooking lamb steaks come with herb-scented Moroccan charmoula. Accompany one or both with the ultimate baked potato—accordion cut Hasselbacks from Sweden.
- Dueling beef rib steaks: wagyu vs. 80 day dry-aged
- Dry-brined rib eyes with anchovy crema
- Grilled lamb steaks with Moroccan charmoula
- Parmesan-crusted Hasselback potatoes
Episode 3: “Fish Hits the Fire” airs Saturday, July 7 at 1 p.m. - Fish on the grill. Four simple words that strike fear into the hearts of novice grillers. Well, fear no more, because Project Fire walks you every step of the grilling process—from grilling whole fish and fillets to fire-roasting shellfish. Singapore-spiced halibut grilled in banana leaves.
A whole fish with Indonesian flavors grilled by Rafael Lunetta, chef/owner of Lunetta in Santa Monica. Alaskan salmon riffs on Russian coulibiac, with a stuffing of grilled onions, mushrooms, rice and smoke. Finally, we grill pristinely fresh oysters with Asian-inflected aromatics.
- Singapore-spiced halibut in banana leaves
- Whole grilled Branzino with Indonesian spices
- New school Coulibiac grilled salmon with smoked eggs
- Grilled oysters with Asian aromatics
Episode 4: “The Pac-Rim Grill” airs Saturday, July 14 at 1 p.m. = The Pacific Rim extends from California and the Pacific Northwest to Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asia, where exotic herbs and spices, chiles, and umami-rich fish and soy sauce make for larger-than-life flavor. Look for big flavor grilled meats paired with a high proportion of vegetables—barbecue as health food.
Steven begins with Vietnamese-inspired Jidori chicken skewered on fragrant lemongrass. From Thailand come sweet, smoky, garlicky baby back ribs, the ultimate street food. Next is your new favorite salad of summer, featuring pungent Asian herbs and fire-roasted shrimp and pineapple.
Steven visits Los Angeles’ Koreatown district, for grilled beef short ribs at Parks BBQ with Jenee Kim.
- Koreatown short ribs and banchan side dishes
- Thai sweet chili ribs
- Shrimp and pineapple salad with Vietnamese flavors
- Lemongrass chicken bites
Episode 5: “Grill Top Cocktail Party” airs Saturday, July 21 at 1 p.m. - No one gathers around the stove to watch soup simmer or meat roasting in the oven. But fire up your grill and you instantly become the center of attention. In this episode, Steven reinvents the cocktail party, harnessing the power of live fire to take finger food over the top.
He begins with West Indian rum-and citrus-glazed jumbo shrimp grilled on sugarcane. Italian-inspired “finger-burner” lamb chops are next, along with a great grilled dish from Spain: Catalan tomato bread (grilled bread rubbed with grilled garlic and tomatoes and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil). Smoked nectarine bellinis keep appetites sharp and conversation flowing.
And sommelier Kristine Bocchino shares suggestions for three great wines to serve at the party.
- Plantation shrimp with spiced rum glaze
- Finger burner lamb chops
- Catalan grilled tomato bread
- Smoked nectarine bellinis
Episode 6: “Fusion Q” airs Saturday, July 28 at 1 p.m. - Call it globalization’s upside. Call it melting pot extreme. It’s what you get when traditional American barbecue meets authentic ethnic grilling and it’s happening across the United States and around the world.
This episode is about cross-culture mashups, from California paella, to a deli-inspired heirloom pork loin stuffed with pastrami, gruyere, and sauerkraut.
Episode 7: “One Good Turn” airs Saturday, August 4 at 1 p.m. - One of the oldest methods of live-fire cooking, rotisserie grilling (aka spit-roasting) combines the smoky sear of direct grilling with the gentle, moisture-preserving heat of roasting. And that’s before you add three other benefits: internal and external basting, no flare-ups, and the hunger-inducing fragrance of wood smoke.
Game hens scented with garlic, cumin, and fiery Peruvian chiles acquire golden, crackling-crisp skin while turning on the spit.
Meaty spare ribs take a cue from Hawaii’s huli-huli chicken (huli means “to turn”). A sweet-salty, lacquer-like glaze of pineapple juice, soy sauce, and honey makes them irresistible. Finally, a spectacular whole spinning cinnamon-and sugar-crusted pineapple direct from Brazil.
Los Angeles sommelier Kristine Bocchino recommends three wines to make the meal taste even better.
Episode 8: “Grilling 24/7” airs Saturday, August 11 at 1 p.m. - The time of day or night matters little to the world’s hardcore pit masters, who think nothing of firing up grills or smokers or wood-burning ovens for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even a late night snack.
I often start my day with a barbecue breakfast, such as farm eggs grilled in a cast iron skillet with cream, crusty bread crumbs, Parmesan, and crisp shards of prosciutto. For lunch, we have wood-fired pizzas from the popular eclectic Industrial Eats in Buellton, California.
Spice-crusted pastrami beef ribs make a spectacular supper, and for a midnight snack, Steven makes South African grilled Cheese sandwiches, smoky and salty with bacon and sweet and fruity with mango chutney.
- Industrial eats pizzas
- Grilled eggs with prosciutto and parmesan
- Pastrami beef ribs
- South African grilled cheese
Episode 9: “Extreme Grilling” airs Saturday, Sept. 8 at 1 p.m. - Long before there were gas grills and charcoal, before rotisseries and planchas, there was fire. Today’s show is all about primal ways to use it.
Next, salmon steaks come—talk about primal—smokily grilled on a shovel over a blazing campfire. Double-thick pork chops are grilled caveman-style: directly on blazing embers, to be finished with a sizzling poblano pan-fry.
For the ultimate decadent dessert: cedar-plank grilled chocolate brownie s’mores. We’re grilling extreme.
- Fennel pepper grilled pork tomahawk
- Salmon grilled on a shovel
- Caveman pork chops with poblano pan-fry
- Cedar plank brownie s’mores
Episode 10: “Wrangler Tailgate” airs Saturday, Sept. 15 at 1 p.m. - The first tailgating party took place in 1869 at a Princeton-Rutgers football game. Picnickers grazed from food arranged on the buckboards of horse-drawn wagons—the precursor of one of America’s most favorite pastimes: tailgating.
Today the party goes global, starting with lettuce-wrapped, smoked pulled lamb from the wood-burning smoker at Odys + Penelope in Los Angeles.
Next, honey soy chicken wings ingeniously smoked on skewers—eat them like lollipops. Brisket tacos, served with avocadoes and wood-grilled salsa, make a magisterial main dish. And true to the global tailgating theme, potato salad gets the Peruvian treatment with yellow chile-spiked cheese sauce.
Episode 11: “So-Cal Grill” airs Saturday, Sept. 22 at 1 p.m. - Health-conscious Southern California boasts some of the most vibrant grilling in North America. Start with hyper-local ingredients. Add clean bold California flavors and plenty of hot fire and wood smoke.
Up first, the classic California fish taco, reimagined with wood fire-grilled, sushi-quality tuna and ember-roasted salsa.
Next: char-grilled Santa Barbara lobsters sauced with Caribbean-inspired orange mojo. No So-Cal barbecue would be complete without tri-tip, and Anthony Endy, executive chef at the Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort (where PROJECT FIRE is filmed), updates it with a verdant South American chimichurri. Wood-grilled Castroville artichokes with charred lemon aioli bring the show to a fiery close.
- Grilled Tuna Tacos
- Santa Barbara lobsters with orange mint mojo
- Santa Monica tri-trip with three-herb chimichurri
- Grilled artichokes with charred Meyer lemon aioli
Episode 12: “Raichlen’s Rules” airs Saturday, Sept. 29 at 1 p.m. - In this episode, Steven looks at fundamental techniques that he has used over the years.
WATCH ON YOUR SCHEDULE:
Episodes of PROJECT FIRE will be available to stream on demand for a short time after each broadcast.
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Distributed by American Public Television
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