Bringing the Bayou to the BBQ: Grill Nation

Grill Nation - Shrimp Burger with Sweet 'n' Spicy Tartar Sauce By Susan Able, from the Edible DC, 2015 Summer Issue 2015.

You know that really great summer weather? The humidity is within reason, the sky is clear and the only thing that could make it more perfect is to have friends over for dinner—and in your vision, you know you must grill. The barbie will be fired up, great meat thrown on, good sides conjured up, drinks chilled and life will be summer heaven.

GrillNation_0115b_asp.inddIf chilling, grilling and eating well is what you are after, then D.C.’s own Bayou Bakery Chef David Guas has written the grilling cookbook for you. The just-released Grill Nation: 200 Surefire Recipes, Tips and Techniques to Grill Like a Pro (Oxmoor House, $24.95) captures that joy of grilling with recipes that are flavorful, not overly complicated and will earn compliments from the people at your table.

Grilling takes center stage, of course, with everything from meats and fish grilled in just about every format to grilled salads and grilled potato salad—and lots of recipes for grilled vegetables that go way beyond the basics. Given that the topic is grilling, Guas also spends time with accompaniments that naturally pair with grilled food: salsas, sauces and cocktails.

Chef and Owner David Guas

The James Beard Award–nominated dessert cookbook author also doesn’t skimp on the sweets. The dessert section features flavorful recipes, including ones that share some time on the grill: grilled peaches, a grilled pound cake, a grilled fruit crostata and even a grilled banana split that took me back to a Girl Scouts campfire baked banana recipe, but only better, way better, like a chef would make who is host of Travel Channel’s “American Grilled.” For more information on Bayou Bakery’s locations, Grill Nation or Chef David Guas, go to

Shrimp Burgers with Sweet ’n’ Spicy Tartar Sauce

Shrimp Burgers with Sweet ’n’ Spicy Tartar sauce, anyone? You can now make these at home—and also find them on the menu at the Bayou Bakery location in Arlington and the newly opened Capitol Hill location too, usually on Fridays.

Serves 4. Hands-on 37 min. Total 1 hr., 37 min.

For an extra tang of flavor, grill lemon halves alongside the shrimp burgers. Squeeze a generous amount on each burger before topping it with tartar sauce.

1¼ pounds unpeeled, medium-size raw shrimp Vegetable cooking spray 1 large egg, lightly beaten 1 tablespoon mayonnaise 2 teaspoons lemon juice ½ teaspoon table salt ⅛ teaspoon ground red pepper 3 tablespoons finely chopped celery 2 tablespoons chopped green onion 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley 1¼ cups crushed cornbread crackers (about 1 sleeve or 24 crackers) 4 kaiser rolls with poppy seeds, split Sweet ’n’ Spicy Tartar Sauce 4 Bibb lettuce leaves

1. Peel shrimp; devein, if desired. Cut each shrimp into thirds.

2. Line a 15- by 10-inch jelly-roll pan with aluminum foil. Coat with cooking spray.

3. Stir together egg and next 4 ingredients; stir in celery, green onion and parsley. Fold in shrimp and cracker crumbs (mixture will be thick). Shape into 4 (4-inch-wide, 1-inch-thick) patties; place on prepared pan. Cover and chill 1 to 24 hours. Transfer to freezer; freeze 30 minutes.

4. Coat cold cooking grate of grill with cooking spray, and place on grill. Light charcoal grill or preheat gas grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high). Grill burgers, covered with grill lid, 4 to 5 minutes or until burgers lift easily from cooking grate using a large spatula. Turn burgers, and grill 4 to 5 minutes or until shrimp turn pink and burgers are cooked through and lightly crisp. Grill buns, cut sides down, 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly toasted. Serve burgers on buns with Sweet ’n’ Spicy Tartar Sauce and lettuce.

Sweet ’n’ Spicy Tartar Sauce Makes: 1 cup Hands-on: 5 min. Total: 35 min. 1 cup mayonnaise 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 2 tablespoons horseradish 1½ teaspoons Cajun seasoning 1½ teaspoons lemon juice ¼ teaspoon paprika

Stir together all ingredients. Cover and chill 30 minutes to 24 hours.

Excerpted from Grill Nation by David Guas. Copyright 2015 Time Home Entertainment, Inc. Reprinted with permission from Time Home Entertainment, Inc., a division of Time Inc., New York, NY. All rights reserved.