The art of grilling means so much more than burgers around the picnic table. Whether using charcoal kettle barbecues or gleaming top-of-the-line backyard kitchens, today’s grill lovers can create a fantastic range of sophisticated dishes. Folks are firing up the barbecue more often than ever these days, and no one understands the lure of the flame like the people at Weber, the preeminent maker of home grills. Their delightful cookbook brings grilling to a whole new level. It starts off with techniques, tricks, and tools of the trade; includes basic sauces, bastes, rubs, and marinades; and continues with more than 100 fabulous recipes for everything from your classic burger and perfect steak to succulent garlic-mint chicken, spicy swordfish, and vegetarian entrees with a smoky accent. And to quench an outdoor thirst, there are ideas for the right wine or microbrew to serve with them. Also included are tips for entertaining with sizzle and menu suggestions for both casual and celebratory occasions. Full of festive and luscious photographs, Weber’s Art of the Grill is a year-round treat for any backyard chef.Ever grill a banana? Want to grill a peach, but not sure what to do next? You need Weber’s Art of the Grill from those nice people at Weber who brought us the covered kettle charcoal grill and, now, a full array of gas-fired outdoor grills. It’s not just about grilling hamburgers anymore, and this lush book is here to prove how wide a range of cooking opportunities exist under the cover of your grill.
We start with the essentials, the differences between direct and indirect cooking, and move right into those basic sauces that give grilled foods the piquancy we so adore: Honey-Ginger Peach Sauce, Dijon Wine Sauce, Hot Pepper Vinegar Sauce, Weber’s Tangy Barbecue Sauce. Then there’s a menu planner. The Wine Country Lunch, for example, includes Grilled Tuna Niçoise, Butterflied Chicken Under Bricks, and Grilled Peaches with Fresh Cherry Sauce. Business Casual includes Caponata Bruschetta, Smoky Lobster Tails and Corn on the Cob, and S’Mores All Grown Up.
The chapters break out as Starters, Meats, Chicken and Poultry, Fish and Seafood, Vegetable Main Dishes, Sides and Salads, and Desserts–all of it based on grilled foods of one kind (the grilled bread of Bruschetta) or another (the grilled butternut squash of Grilled Butternut Squash and Ginger Soup with Spiced Peanuts). This is not a snooty, party-food book loaded with recipes you’ll never want to try–not with the likes of Prime Rib with Texas Dry Rub or Moroccan Butterflied Leg of Lamb tucked between the book’s covers. Author Jamie Purviance’s central theme through all the recipes is to make it easy to get that terrific grilled flavor on the table. He knows that given just a little exposure to working with a grill–and admittedly, there is a little bit of a learning curve to get to the comfort zone–any cook who likes to eat great-tasting food will keep coming back.
With Weber’s Art of the Grill in hand, you may find yourself outside in the middle of winter firing up the grill to bring those midsummer flavors on home. And who could blame you? –Schuyler Ingle
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