Books: Cooking by Cuisine -> Cooking American
The Barbecue! Bible
Workman Publishing Company
Published: January 6, 1998
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There's a world of grilled food out there, and Steven Raichlen seems to have wandered through all of it the State Department deemed "safe." No Afghanistan, for instance. No Iraq. But not to worry. Any decent conflict produces refugees, and
nothing travels quite so easily as your own way with food. So Raichlen availed himself of restaurant cooks in this country where and when he had to--all to get right down to the meat of it.
"Barbecue," as Raichlen points out, is a confusing word
in the U.S. because it means so many things, up to and including slow-cooked barbecue with its smoky aroma and succulent charm. The word stands in for the tool itself. It's an event. It's food. It's the style of cooking.
To set the record
straight, 90 percent of Raichlen's recipes (there are more than 500, from drinks to appetizers to main courses, salads, and desserts, not to mention sauces and dry rubs) are for grilled foods--and that can mean cooked on a hot grill, a moderately hot
grill, a relatively cool grill, or an indirectly heated grill (which is more like an oven than a grill, but that's another story). Raichlen gets into some barbecue recipes: pork ribs, for example, or beef brisket, or chicken. But the reader would be
better advised to look elsewhere for instruction specific to barbecue (cooking for long periods of time with smoke at low heat). The results will be more appealing.
But grilling. Well, Steven Raichlen has a lock on grilling. This book is
absolutely overwhelming it is so deep, so comprehensive, so far-reaching, so all-encompassing. This isn't one of those chefs with taste memories from a grill in Barbados, now let's try to jazz it up and be clever kind of books. No. This is a book by an
author who squatted in the market in Vietnam eating whole grilled eggs dipped in a special sauce, and he gives you the recipe and the technique. You could go set up your own egg-grilling stand in a Vietnamese market with this book. You could open shop in
Central or South America. Or North Africa. Or the Middle East. Or Korea. Anywhere food is grilled--be that meat, poultry, seafood, or vegetables--Raichlen's been there and brought home the goods. The real goods.
But there's another angle, too.
Raichlen freely shares his travel experiences with you, making this a valuable travel book. And he freely shares his techniques, too, telling you exactly how he learned and all about who taught him. His book is worth it just for the section on salads and
sauces. Start there and work your way from cover to cover. Hey, take all summer trying. You won't regret it. Your life will never be the same. You'll probably find yourself thinking that if one grill in the backyard is good, two is no doubt better. See?
You're already on your way. Let Steven Raichlen be your guide. --Schuyler Ingle
Argentinean Veal and Chicken Kebabs. Balinese Prawn SatSs and Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Sesame Dipping Sauce. Mexico's Yucatan-Style Grilled
Fish, Italy's famous Bistecca alla Fiorentina, Senegalese Grilled Chicken with Lemon Mustard Sauce, and the best Memphis Ribs, Texas-Style Barbecued Brisket, and North Carolina Pulled Pork ever. Plus grilled sides, grilled starters, grilled desserts, The
Ten Secrets of Perfect Grilling, and master recipes for steak, chicken, fish, and vegetables.
Written by Steven Raichlen, the multi-award-winning cookbook author whose boundless enthusiasm took him 150,000 miles across 5 continents to discover the
world's best grilled food, The Barbeque Bible! (over 310,000 copies in print) is a 512-page celebration of sizzle, smoke, secret sauces, and everything we love about cooking over fire. Main Selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club's Good Cook Club. Winner
of a 1998 IACP/Julia Child Cookbook Award.
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