Along with the summer season should
come bold, vibrant flavors from the
indoor kitchen and outdoor grill.
Need some help with your barbecue techniques
or interesting recipes to get motivated?
Here are some great cookbooks to
It takes balls to
call your book Serious
$35), as though every
barbecue book that
came before was
mere fiery foreplay.
But dig into Adam
Perry Lang’s barbecue
bible, and you’ll
discover that he really
is serious about barbecue. So serious, in
fact, that Mario Batali calls him “my hero
and go-to brother for meat and fire.” Jamie
Oliver says, “Adam is the most inspiring
barbecue chef in the world.” That’s high
praise from some heavy hitters.
In Serious Barbecue, Lang promises to teach readers how to “smoke, char, baste, and brush your way to great outdoor cooking.” He delivers on that promise in spades. The first section of Serious Barbecue alone is worth the price of the book. It’s an in-depth introduction to barbecue basics: tools and cooking vessels, temperature control and maintenance, types of charcoal and wood and how to use them, brining and seasoning prior to cooking and much more, including the “Twelve Myths about Barbecue.” For example, meat that’s falling off the bone is not a good thing. The recipes in Serious Barbecue tend to be complex and multi-staged. But hey, you can’t argue with the results. Family members at a recent barbecue where I cooked Lang’s glazed pork loin with apricot glaze and garlic were bowled over by it. And his “butter-bombed” Porterhouse will make your head spin.
If you’re really
serious about barbecue,
Adam Perry Lang’s
book, you’ll also want
and Seasoned: A
Complete Guide to
Flavoring Food for the
Grill (Wiley, $19.95)
by Elizabeth Karmel. Marinades, brines,
sauces, glazes, mops, salsas, relishes,
rubs, jellies, vinaigrettes, spice blends,
compound butters, tapenades, pestos and
dipping sauces—they’re all here, along
with what to do with them on the grill.
The only problem might be keeping your
lips off the goodies before they’re cooked;
it’s hard not to want to guzzle Karmel’s
Cabernet and fresh rosemary mop before
it even makes it onto the meat!
OK, so maybe
to you doesn’t
firing up the outdoor
grill or dealing
brines and marinades.
you just want
help. Founder of New York City’s famed
The name Alex
sound very Asian.
But the Bangkokbased
author of The
Asian Barbecue Book
(Tuttle, $29.95) has a
firm grasp on Asian
flavors and they
through with virtually
every recipe in
his fine cookbook.
As with most barbecue
books, The Asian Barbecue Book includes a hefty introduction to barbecue tools and techniques, as well as a useful guide to essential Asian ingredients and indispensible chapters on Asian spice pastes, glazes, sauces, dips, sambals, butters, chutneys, marinades, rubs and stuffings. From satays and tandoori to Asian-spiced burgers, in Skaria’s book, bright flavors just jump off the page. Especially provocative is his Thai version of beer-can barbecue chicken, in which a hollowed-out coconut filled with coconut water serves to support, steam and flavor the chicken.
And while we’re discussing bold Asian flavors, I wouldn’t want to overlook Raghavan Iyer’s def initive statement on Indian curry: 660 Curries (Workman, $22.95). To research this ultimate guide to curry, Iyer travelled the length and breadth of India, from north to south and east to west, knocking on doors of friends and total strangers alike in order to track down the multitude of curry recipes that populate this big book. Along the way, he discovered family recipes for succulent and opulent curries, assertive and regal ones, fusion and coastal curries and more—many, many more. If you love curry, how could you not love 660 Curries?