Friday, July 01, 2011

Cookbooks: Fire it Up and Time to Grill

And speaking of barbecue (we were, weren’t we?) every year around this time we’re treated with a new flurry of books to grill by. The summer of 2011 is no exception.

While other years have delivered sometimes delightful, quirky little books on barbecue, for me this year’s treats were two books with a serious grilling backbone.

Fire It Up by Andrew Schloss and David Joachim promises “more than 400 recipes for grilling everything” and delivers in style. A few of my favorites from Fire it Up: Roasted Beet and Chicory Salad with Charred Lardo (beets and pig fat, what’s not to like?), Beer-Buttered Rump (the name alone is inviting, but the recipe is easy and delicious) and the author’s take on the classic Roasted Chicken with Garlic offers a crazy simple way to do something that a lot of other chefs make unreasonably complicated. This is a great grilling book!

Weber’s Time to Grill (Oxmoor House) is this year’s model: this leading manufacturer of quality barbecues has been publishing a very good barbecue cookbook every year for the past several. This year’s entry is no exception. Award-winning cookbook author and grilling enthusiast Jamie Purviance focuses on the big picture, but delivers a really good (and quite large) book of basics combined with some strong and delicious recipes.

If you can’t decide between these two terrific books, have them both. It’s possible you’ll end up grilling all year long. ◊

Aaron Blanton is a contributing editor to January Magazine. He’s currently working on a book based on his experiences as an American living abroad.

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