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STEVEN RAICHLEN'S PROJECT FIRE: Season 2

Host Steven Raichlen showcases innovations in live-fire grilling in Season 2 of STEVEN RAICHLEN’S PROJECT FIRE.
Courtesy of Chris Bierlein
Host Steven Raichlen showcases innovations in live-fire grilling in Season 2 of STEVEN RAICHLEN’S PROJECT FIRE.

Airs Saturdays, Dec. 21, 2019 - Feb. 22, 2020 and March 28 - April 11 at 1 p.m. on KPBS TV

STEVEN RAICHLEN'S PROJECT FIRE returns for a sizzling Season 2 featuring new grilling techniques, such as smoking with smoldering straw and grilling with ash, flaming planks, hot iron and smoky salt slabs.

In a dynamic format that includes on-set guests and off-road field trips, innovators of live-fire cooking join host Steven Raichlen to share new techniques that elevate the backyard barbecue experience.

EPISODE GUIDE:

Episode 1: “Grilling With Wood” airs Saturday, Dec. 21 at 1 p.m. - It's the world's most ancient grilling method, and to my mind, it remains the best. It's practiced on six continents by traditionalists and cutting-edge chefs alike.

Propane offers convenience and charcoal burns hot, but the ultimate fuel for grilling is wood. Wood smoke contains more than a thousand flavor-producing compounds: It's the one fuel that delivers both heat and taste.

From wood-grilled bruschetta with fire-blistered tomatoes to swordfish with raisin chimichurri and magisterial sear and slide beef tomahawks, today's show brings you the primal campfire pleasure of grilling over a wood fire.

Recipes: Wood-Grilled Blistered Tomato and Ricotta Bruschetta, Grilled Swordfish Steaks with Golden Raisin Chimichurri and Sear and Slide Beef Tomahawks with Bearnaise Butter

Episode 2: “Brisket 24 / 7” airs Saturday, Dec. 28 at 1 p.m. - Brisket is simultaneously the easiest and hardest meat to barbecue. Easy, because it requires only three ingredients: salt, pepper, and wood smoke. Hard, because, unless you master the fire, airflow, and temperature, the stall, the wrap, and the rest, you wind up with a mouthful of misery.

Today's show is all about brisket, complete with fail proof methods for smoking it right every time.

East-West packer brisket featured in the episode “Brisket 24/7.”
Courtesy of Chris Bierlein
East-West packer brisket featured in the episode “Brisket 24/7.”

From not so traditional Texas barbecue and a distinctive bacon-smoked brisket flat to an electrifying Vietnamese brisket salad. You'll even learn how to make breakfast-worthy Tex-Mex brisket tacos.

Recipes: East-West Brisket, Bacon-Smoked Brisket Flat, Real Deal Holyfield (Brisket Breakfast Taco) and Vietnamese Crispy Brisket Salad.

Episode 3: “Gulf Coast Grill” airs Saturday, Jan. 4 at 1 p.m. - Steinhatchee, Florida, population 1500, perches on the north shore of the historic Steinhatchee River where it joins the Gulf of Mexico. What better place to tape a show on the spirited seafood-rich grilling of the Gulf Coast?

From Louisiana, with its blackened redfish-today grilled "on the half shell" (you'll see why on the show). To the Florida shrimp boil, here, deconstructed and flame-charred on the grill. And, yes, there will be oysters and clams-invigorated by the sweet scent of wood smoke.

Pictured: smoke-roasted Florida oysters and clams, invigorated by the sweet scent of wood smoke. Steinhatchee, Fla., population 1500, perches on the north shore of the historic Steinhatchee River where it joins the Gulf of Mexico. The episode “Gulf Coast Grill” explores the spirited seafood-rich grilling of this Gulf Coast town.
Courtesy of Chris Bierlein
Pictured: smoke-roasted Florida oysters and clams, invigorated by the sweet scent of wood smoke. Steinhatchee, Fla., population 1500, perches on the north shore of the historic Steinhatchee River where it joins the Gulf of Mexico. The episode “Gulf Coast Grill” explores the spirited seafood-rich grilling of this Gulf Coast town.

Today, we're exploring the grilling of one of the most colorful coastal regions in North America.

Recipes: Smoke-Roasted Florida Oysters and Clams, Jim Hunt’s Blackened Redfish “On the Halfshell” and Grill-Top Shrimp Boil

Episode 4: “Green Meets Grill” airs Saturday, Jan. 11 at 1 p.m. - Forget about red meat and black and blue steak. Today, we're grilling green. Grilling green with vegetables we love to cook over live fire, like asparagus, corn, and mushrooms. Green with foods that are less likely candidates for grilling. This show celebrates meatless grilling in all its verdant glory.

From a new egg salad-really-LAVISHED with grilled fresh hearts of palm. To a squash, black bean, and queso fresco pizza you grill directly over the fire-no pizza stone required.

And what better way to grill cheese than with portobello mushrooms and grilled bread served in a swirl of blazing cognac?

Recipes: A New “Egg Salad” with Grilled Vegetables, Squash and Black Bean Pizza with Queso Fresco, Cognac Flambéed Grilled Cheese with Grilled Bread, Honey Beer Pizza Dough and Grilled Breadsticks

Episode 5: “Secret Steaks” airs Saturday, Jan. 18 at 1 p.m. - T-bones? On it. Porterhouse? Got you covered. And, yes, we can handle a rib-eye. But how about upping your grill game with steaks you may not be familiar with, such as secreto or spinalis dorsi?

T-bones? On it. Porterhouse? Got you covered. And, yes, we can handle a rib-eye. But how about upping your grill game with steaks you may not be familiar with, such as spinalis dorsi? The most delectable part of a rib roast reborn as a steak, spinalis dorsi is grilled with bourbon and a Catalan grilled vegetable sauce called romesco on the episode “Secret Steaks.”
Courtesy of Chris Bierlein
T-bones? On it. Porterhouse? Got you covered. And, yes, we can handle a rib-eye. But how about upping your grill game with steaks you may not be familiar with, such as spinalis dorsi? The most delectable part of a rib roast reborn as a steak, spinalis dorsi is grilled with bourbon and a Catalan grilled vegetable sauce called romesco on the episode “Secret Steaks.”

The first is a secret and hyper-flavorful steak cut from a hog's belly. The second features the most delectable part of a rib roast reborn as a steak, and you're about to learn how to grill it with bourbon and a Catalan grilled vegetable sauce called romesco.

Steven will also show you how to grill a brisket steak fragrant with sizzling shallot sage butter.

Recipes: Secreto with Romesco Sauce, Grilled Calcots (or Scallions or Leeks), Drunken Spinalis, Brisket Steaks with Shallot Sage Butter

Episode 6: “Primal Grill” airs Saturday, Jan. 25 at 1 p.m. - Today's show takes you back. Way back. To a time when our ancestors did their grilling in the fireplace. Or on fire-heated stones around the campfire and directly on the embers. I call it primal grilling, and it's about to make you a barbecue rock star.

We're talking ember-grilled bread and ember-roasted vegetable salad. Chicken grilled in midair hanging over a smoky wood fire. And amaretti-stuffed pears grilled on primordial slabs of salt. Get ready to rock your grill with primal grilling techniques as old as humankind itself.

Recipes: Caveman Flatbread, Ember-Roasted Vegetable Salad (Escalivada), Wood Hearth Chickens with Salsa Verde, Salt Slab-Grilled Pears with Amaretti and Smoked Whipped Cream

Episode 7: “Tex Meets Mex" (Our South-Of-The-Border Show) airs Saturday, Feb. 1 at 1 p.m. - I’m always fascinated by the food cultures that arise on national borders. Consider that fusion of Texas barbecue and Mexican spice we call Tex-Mex.

On today’s show, we explore how American barbecue techniques can enhance three classic Mexican dishes: snapper en pipian, in a grilled vegetable and pumpkin seed sauce; pork shoulder pibil, smoke-roasted in banana leaves in the style of the Yucatan, and a PROJECT FIRE first: a dessert quesadilla lavished with bananas and dulce de leche.

Recipes: Whole Grilled Snapper in Pipian Sauce, Cochinita Pibil and Dessert Quesadillas

Episode 8: “The Best BBQ You’ve Never Heard Of” airs Saturday, Feb. 8 at 1 p.m. - You don’t need a degree in smokeology to name the big three of barbecue: Kansas City ribs, Carolina pulled pork, and Texas smoked brisket. But what about some of the lesser-known styles of regional American barbecue?

Like Cornell chicken, created by a Cornell University poultry scientist and today served in upstate New York and just about nowhere else on the planet.

Spatchcocked Cornell chicken from the episode “The Best BBQ You’ve Never Heard Of.” What about some of the lesser-known styles of regional American barbecue? Like Cornell chicken, created by a Cornell University poultry scientist and today served in upstate New York and just about nowhere else on the planet.
Courtesy of Chris Bierlein
Spatchcocked Cornell chicken from the episode “The Best BBQ You’ve Never Heard Of.” What about some of the lesser-known styles of regional American barbecue? Like Cornell chicken, created by a Cornell University poultry scientist and today served in upstate New York and just about nowhere else on the planet.

Or a specialty of the city where I grew up — Baltimore pit beef — crusty on the outside, rare inside, with plenty of horseradish to pump up the heat. Or the sweet, smoky barbecued salmon enjoyed in Anchorage, Alaska.

Recipes: Cornell Chicken, Barbecued Salmon With Brown Sugar Butter Glaze, Baltimore Pit Beef

Episode 9: “Florida Tailgate Party" airs Saturday, Feb. 15 at 1 p.m. - You don’t need to be a diehard Gators fan to get pumped up at a tailgate party. For sports lovers of all persuasions, a good barbecue makes the perfect prelude to the game. On this show, we explore how my home state, Florida, re-imagines three tailgate classics.

Get ready for pork shooters stuffed with shrimp, cheese and Andouille sausage. Miami wings blasted with fire water. And luscious, smoky hamburgers like you’ve never experienced. (The secret? Lace them with CHOPPED barbecued brisket.)

Recipes: Grilled Key Lime Mojitos, Pork “Shooters,” Miami Wings, Brisket Burgers

Episode 10: “Shoulder On (A Show About Beef, Pork And Lamb Shoulder)” airs Saturday, Feb. 22 at 1 p.m. - The pork shoulder, aka Boston butt (named for the wooden barrels they were once shipped in), gives us Carolina pulled pork. The majestic beef shoulder (yes, there is such a cut) becomes a Texas barbecued beef clod.

As for lamb shoulder, Moroccans cook it in a fire-heated, underground clay oven to make their legendary mechoui. This show explores the richest, meatiest, most flavorful cut you find in the meat department: the shoulder.

Recipes: 3-2-1 Pork Shoulder, Moroccan Lamb Shoulder Tomatoes and Peppers, Spit-Roasted Beef Shoulder Clod

Episode 11: “Chino-Latino” (East Meets West) airs Saturday, March 28 at 1 p.m. - Long before there was modern fusion cuisine, people cooked Chino-Latino. It originated with Chinese laborers who immigrated to Cuba and Trinidad and elsewhere in the Caribbean to work the plantations. They developed a unique mashup of Asian and West Indian cooking—the subject of today’s show on Chino-Latino grilling.

Get ready for tangerine teriyaki chicken, butter rum grilled plantains, smoky baby back ribs with guava barbecue sauce, and Korean brisket tacos. And here’s the shocker: the brisket grills from start to finish in less than three minutes.

Recipes: Tangerine Teriyaki Chicken with Grilled Plantains, Baby Back Ribs with Guava Barbecue Sauce, Brisket in a Hurry Tacos with Chili Jam

Episode 12: “Miami Spice” airs Saturday, April 4 at 1 p.m. - Miami may be the southernmost metropolis in the United States, but often my hometown feels like living in a foreign country. English is not the predominant language here, and our food culture is firmly anchored in Latin America and the West Indies.

Our Miami Spice menu begins with a PROJECT FIRE first: the grilled mojito cocktail. Next comes Florida lobster grilled with rum butter baste and mango salsa, then plate-burying island spice beef plate ribs.

Our grand finale? Turkey adobo with garlicky mojo de ajo.

Recipe: Grilled Florida Lobster, Rum Butter Basted and Mango Salsa, Bajan Beef Plate Ribs, Turkey Adobo with Mojo De Ajo

Episode 13: “Raichlen Rules Steak” airs Saturday, April 11 at 1 p.m. - It’s every carnivore’s dream and every griller’s triumph. Through the ages, it’s been the ultimate symbol of luxury and largesse. It offers an irrefutable argument for simplicity.

But if you crave embellishment, it’s the perfect foil for all the rubs, marinades, butters, and sauces you can throw at it.

It’s easy to grill, but you can spend a lifetime perfecting the fine points. Steak! And now this epic meat is about to receive the Raichlen treatment in a show that looks back on how steak has evolved through three iconic TV series: PRIMAL GRILL, PROJECT SMOKE and PROJECT FIRE.

Recipes: Caveman T-Bones, Wine-Marinated Flank Steak with Pinot Noir Mushroom Sauce, Cherry-Smoked Strip Steak with Cutting Board Sauce

Watch On Your Schedule:

Episodes from both Seasons 1 and 2 are currently available to stream on demand.

Join The Conversation + Share Recipes:

Steven Raichlen is on Facebook and Instagram. Follow @sraichlen on Twitter.

Credits:

Presented by Maryland Public Television. Distributed by American Public Television.