Photography by Lisa Cohen

Fire up these classic Santa Maria-style barbecue dishes.

The fine art of Central California wood-fire grilling can be perfected in any backyard from coast to coast. These Santa Maria-style barbecue staples — compliments of the Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort’s BBQ Bootcamp — will work with a gas or charcoal grill. But purists do it over a hot hardwood (preferably red oak) fire.

Oak-Grilled New York Steaks

6 (10-ounce) New York strip steaks

Basting Sauce

5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
5 tablespoons garlic-infused vegetable oil

Seasoning Salt

1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons granulated garlic
3 teaspoons salt

Mix basting sauce ingredients together, and mix seasoning salt ingredients together. Coat both sides of steaks with basting sauce and place on hot grill. Season tops of the steaks with salt mixture. Turn the steaks before the heat causes the juices to come out the tops of the steaks. Baste and season the tops of the steaks. Turn the steaks 2 more times, basting and seasoning after each turn. Continue turning the steaks until they are done to your liking. Check doneness with a meat thermometer.

Stuffed Pasilla Chiles

4 large pasilla chiles
8 Channel or Gulf shrimp
4 ounces provolone cheese, grated
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Roast chiles directly over flame until totally blackened. Remove from heat and cover with a clean cloth. Let cool, then peel off the burnt skin. Carefully clean out core and seeds, leaving chiles intact.

For marinade: Combine olive oil, butter, wine, and lemon juice. Skewer shrimp and grill, basting with marinade while they cook. Chop shrimp and mix with cheese. Stuff chiles with shrimp and cheese mixture. Return chiles to the grill and cook until cheese is melted.

BBQ Bootcamp packages are available at the Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort’s website.

Read the April 2012 Western Gourmet feature “Barbecue Boot Camp.”

From the April 2012 issue.


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