Chiles and Smoke
BBQ, Grilling, and Other
Fire Friendly Recipes with
Spice and Flavor

By Bobbie Kitto

What happens when a barbecue grill is paired with a copy of Chiles & Smoke and Melissa’s Produce? Lots of really good food and happy memories, thanks to author Brad Prose and his enticing recipes. Best thing is, they are recipes that are not beyond the average cook. Think fire friendly recipes featuring spice and flavor.

Brad has been a food writer, recipe developer, and culinary food photographer for many years. He has produced a cookbook anyone can enjoy and recreate his knowledge of what makes good BBQ and best of all, how to prepare and cook it.

Brad starts us on our pit master journey by explaining about the difference between grilling and smoking meat. Then he moves onto explaining all that one ever needs to know about purchasing and prepping chilies. Brad reviews about 8 of the most commonly used chilies. He chose those because they were readily available at the local grocery store or easily found on the internet

Chapter one is where we find Brad’s recipes for fresh chili powders and a couple of rubs for meat. Included are recipes for such things as Guajillo Ketchup, adobo sauce, and Southwest Harissa. Recipes for pickled vegetables can also be found here.


Before exploring more of the book take time to see Brad demonstrate recipes from chapter two (Coffee-Rubbed Tri-tip with Shishito Gremolata pgs. 68-69) and chapter three (Grilled Chicken Fajita Wedge Salad pgs. 92-93) by clicking on this link  Brad will inspire you to fire up that grill and start barbecuing!

Chapter four is all about pork. Crispy pork belly, pulled pork, and smoked chorizo meatballs are just a few of the interesting recipes.

Chapter five covers how to cook all kinds of fish from Halibut, scallops, shrimp, salmon and crab-stuffed avocados.

Last but not least is chapter six covering salads, sides, and vegetable main dishes. Be sure to check out the creamy Jalapeno popper mac and cheese.

I learned a lot about chiles and how to use them to the betterment of my dishes.  One of the tips I learned was I can char chiles without having to do it over an open flame. That will come in handy when I don’t want to stand outside in the cold and or in my case the heat (I live in Laughlin, NV where the words chilly and cold are almost unknown year round, but we do know about wind).

I really enjoyed this book for its straight forward approach and ease of reading. Brad did a great video explaining his take on this style of cooking. He seems very approachable and because of that I have included this link for any questions you might have for him. brad@chiliesandsmoke.com

Find out more about what this book can do for you by trying this recipe.


Serves about 4-6 people

Grilled shishito peppers can certainly hold their own on a menu, but they are also incredible with paired with bright flavors. Here, they are chopped up and mixed with rich walnuts, fresh lemon, and herbs to create a complex and vibrant topping for the most incredible steak. I love to use tri-tip, which builds a crispy crust on the outside while maintaining a tender, juicy interior. This tri-tip is seasoned with Smoky Coffee Rub and cooked slowly with smoke until it’s ready to be seared. The dark coffee crust is bitter and earthy, complimenting the grassy notes of the shishitos and parsley. The fatty flavors from the gremolata pair well with tri-tip, being a leaner cut than most other steaks.


1 Tri-tip steak, about 2–3 pounds (900 g to 1.4 kg)

4 tablespoons (28 g) Smoky Coffee Rub


20 shishito peppers

1/2 cup (30 g) chopped fresh parsley

1 garlic clove, chopped

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

3 tablespoons (45 ml) fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon (10 g) chopped shallot

1/2 cup (60 g) chopped walnuts

3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil

Salt and black pepper to taste


Grilling skewers (metal or wooden)


Trim the tri-tip to clean it up of any silver skin or trimmings. Generously season with the Smoky Coffee Rub and set aside to let it rest while we heat up the grill.

Prepare the grill for a 2-zone cooking setup at about 250–275°F (120–140°C), with the hot coals on one side. Optionally, add some hardwood for smoke flavor, such as oak.

Set the tri-tip on the cooler side of the grill away from the coals. Check the steak during this time, flipping as needed to ensure even cooking. For medium-rare, you would cook the steak during this phase until 115–120°F (46 to 49°C). Allow it to slowly cook for about 45–60 minutes, until the internal temperature is about 15–20 degrees from your target temperature.

Remove the steak when it reaches temperature. Adjust the hot side of the grill to make

sure it’s ready for direct searing. Open the vents if you need. Aim for 400–450°F (200 to

230°C). Clean the grill grates and oil them as needed.

Skewer the shishito peppers on the skewers for direct grilling. Place them over the coals until charred on the first side, about 2 minutes. Flip and repeat. Once they are blistered and charred, remove them from the grill and let them cool for a few minutes while the steak sears.

Place the tri-tip directly over the coals and sear for 2 minutes, flipping to repeat. Continue to sear and flip, creating a crust while allowing the hot side to cool. This will control the momentum of the heat on the surface, allowing for a proper sear and minimizing the formation of a gray band developing inside the steak between the exterior and the interior. Remove the steak after a few flips when it reaches your target temperature, about 130–135°F (54 to 57°C) for medium-rare. Allow it to rest and prepare the gremolata.

Remove the stems of the shishitos if you haven’t and chop the peppers. Add them to a bowl with the parsley, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, shallots, walnuts, and olive oil. Mix well, adding salt and pepper to taste.

Slice the steak against the grain and serve with the Shishito Gremolata.

# # #

Bobbie Kitto

Bobbie Kitto

Note: Roberta (Bobbie) Kitto is a freelance writer based out of Laughlin, NV. Her interests include travel, culinary pursuits and gardening. No fee was paid for this article, but she did receive a free copy of the book to review. Her opinions are her own.

To make the best of each recipe, use quality ingredients! Bobbie  highly recommends products from Melissa’s Produce, available at many markets.

# # #

Kindle $12.99 |  Hardcover $26.99

Review edited by Linda Kissam
Find this content useful? Share it with your friends!