Boog Powell's menu for a small grilling party is marinated leg of lamb, marinated mushrooms, Greek-style salad (lettuce, sliced onion, cucumber, black olives, peppers, crumbled feta cheese in an oil and wine-vinegar dressing) and orzo with mint. The same marinade (this one is from his cookbook "Mesquite Cookery") would work for both the lamb and the mushrooms (make two batches). The orzo, a tiny Greek pasta, can be cooked according to package directions; drop a sprig of mint in the boiling water and snip a couple of tablespoons' worth to toss in after the pasta has drained.
Leg of lamb
Serves six to eight.
1 4- to 5-pound leg of lamb, deboned and butterflied
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
1 cup lemon juice
To make the marinade, combine all ingredients except lemon juice in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes, so the spices release their flavor and mix into oil. Remove from heat, adding juice. Bring mixture to room temperature.
Place leg of lamb, flattened out, in a large glass dish. Pour marinade over. Cover and let sit about 3 hours, turning occasionally.
To grill, build fire on one side of grill, place water pan on other side. If you like, add a cup or so of red wine to the pan. When the heat is high, sear the lamb on both sides, then cover and cook for another 15 or 20 minutes. Don't cook the lamb directly over the water. Check it halfway through cooking; Mr. Powell thinks it should be served when it's crispy on the outside but still somewhat rare inside.
Here is another recipe from "Mesquite Cookery" that is more like a traditional barbecue dish.
Smoky beer chicken
1 4-pound chicken, quartered
1 cup tomato sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons white vinegar
3/4 cup flat beer
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried red chilies, crushed
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed
hickory chips that have been soaked in water and drained.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken in roasting pan and cook for 20 to 25 minutes.
Combine sauce ingredients in a saucepan and simmer uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove the grill from the fire while the coals are heating, wrap the grill carefully with aluminum foil, and punch holes in foil for air circulation. If you don't have a grill with a lid, make a foil tent for it. Make sure to punch several small holes in the tent. Once the coals are ready, put soaked hickory chips on the fire. Smoke chicken covered on the grill for about an hour, turning and basting often with the sauce.
Grilling needn't be limited to main dishes. Here's a side dish from Mr. Powell's book that would go well with almost any summer meal.
Ratatouille cooked in foil
1 large eggplant
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, crushed
2 purple onions, thickly sliced
2 green peppers, julienned
5 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, diced
5 zucchini, julienned
1 tablespoon black pepper, freshly ground
2 tablespoons each fresh basil and fresh oregano, finely chopped
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice or vinegar
Cut the eggplant into 1/2 -inch cubes. Sprinkle generously with salt and allow the juices to drain in a colander for about 30 minutes.
Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and toss well. Pour the combination onto a large sheet of aluminum foil. Double-wrap the foil securely around the ratatouille and place on the grill or directly on the coals for 15 to 20 minutes.
Boog Powell's cookbook, "Mesquite Cookery," has a huge range of dishes, from marinades and sauces to main dishes to "Skewers and Kabobs" to vegetables and side dishes -- and even desserts. It's available at Boog's Corner barbecue stand at Oriole Park at Camden Yards and in souvenir stands at the ballpark. It costs $15; if Mr. Powell is on duty, he will even autograph it for you.