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With"Charred & Scruffed," bestselling cookbook author and acclaimed chef Adam Perry Lang employs his extensive culinary background to refine and concentrate the flavors and textures of barbecue and reimagine its possibilities. Adam's new techniques, from roughing up meat and vegetables ("scruffing") to cooking directly on hot coals ("clinching") to constantly turning and moving the meat while cooking ("hot potato"), produce crust formation and layers of flavor, while his board dressings and finishing salts build upon delicious meat juices, and his "fork finishers" like cranberry, hatch chile, and mango "spackles" provide an intensely flavorful, concentrated end note. Meanwhile, side dishes such as Creamed Spinach with Steeped and Smoked Garlic Confit, Scruffed Carbonara Potatoes, and Charred Radicchio with Sweet-and-Sticky Balsamic and Bacon, far from afterthoughts, provide exciting contrast and synergy with the "mains.""
- ISBN-13: 9781579654658
- ISBN-10: 1579654657
- Publisher: Artisan Publishers
- Publish Date: May 2012
- Page Count: 266
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-04-16
- Reviewer: Staff
Gas grill owners need not bother with Lang’s down and dirty third book of barbecue. As the proprietor of New York’s Daisy May’s BBQ and co-owner (with Jamie Oliver) of London’s Barbecoa, propane is not in this chef’s vocabulary. His methodology employs high heat from fired-up coals combined with a raised grate and lots of flipping, or else clinching, a boxing term he reinterprets to mean placing cuts of meat directly onto the coals. Clinching, while being the ultimate solution to flareups, is not as manly as it sounds: the process begins with using a hair dryer to remove the coals’ excess ash. But a 10-ounce clinched strip steak is done in just nine minutes and is infused with “an intense blast of superheated flavor” as the juices steam directly back into the steak. Add a soaked plank of cedar to the mix and the results include clinched and planked rump steaks, lamb racks, or lobster tails, with the wood bringing additional layers of flavor and color to the meats. The scruffing referred to in the title involves roughing up the meat to create extra tears and ridges thereby increasing the surface area where flavorings can seep in. It’s a technique that works equally well with some vegetables, as in his scruffed carbonara potatoes, where bite-sized chunks of Yukon Gold soak up a lightly seasoned egg sauce. Agent: Lisa Queen. (May)
Tasty vegetarian vittles
This summer’s harvest of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks was beyond ample—so good, in fact, that one might begin to think we’re becoming “America the meatless.” Vegetarian Cooking: At Home with The Culinary Institute of America, the CIA’s contribution to this bumper crop, stands out. This prestigious culinary academy’s take on making meatless meals at home expertly covers all the bases—equipment, ingredients, techniques and, most importantly, detailed instructions. Whether you’re a full-fledged veg or just want to decrease the amount of meat you consume, you’ll find a full array of delicious dishes starting with starters and moving through soups, sides, salads and sandwiches. A chapter on protein-providing entrees features flavorful ways to use beans, tofu, tempeh and seitan. Grains, pasta and dumplings get their due, too, as do a variety of veggies, stuffed, strudeled and in savory stews and casseroles. Viva vegetarian variety!
ADVANCED GOURMET GRILLING
Summer may be on its way out, but most devoted grillers have no intention of shutting their fires down. And that certainly includes Adam Perry Lang, an American chef trained in the upper echelons of haute cuisine who approaches BBQ in revolutionary, inventive ways. He’s taken one of our greatest culinary legacies and used it as a springboard for refining, concentrating and reassembling traditional flavors. You could think of him as a BBQ deconstructionist; he’s thought long and hard about the “folkways of barbeque,” then applied the lessons of classic cuisine to construct a new, “powerful taste narrative.” So, if you’re ready to take your grilling to a brilliantly bold new level, Lang’s Charred & Scruffed may be your new BBQ bible, with chapter and verse on breakthrough techniques, superlative seasonings and innovative recipes. Caveat coquus: This is serious meat meets fire, not for the newbie novice.
TOP PICK IN COOKBOOKS
Back to school, back to work, back to reality: For mothers and others, September can signal stepped-up stress and super-busy days when getting a good dinner on the table seems just out of reach. Time for “mother’s little helper”? Don’t go for the yellow pill immortalized by the Rolling Stones, try the far more practical slow-cooker solution, accompanied by Deborah Schneider’s equally practical new cookbook, The Mexican Slow Cooker. It’s a winning combo. So much of what we love about the Mexican kitchen are dishes cooked in a simple olla or pot that simmers slowly on the back of the stove—just think of Sopa Azteca with its easy garnishes, Pork Chile Verde, Carnitas and Arroz Mexicana. These Mexican marvels, and more, translate perfectly to slow-cooker prep, as do fabulous fillings for tacos, burritos and enchiladas. Some ingredients need to be browned and the chiles should be charred to give them a true Mexican accent, but once everything is in the cooker, it will work its magic and all you’ll have to do is accept the “Olés.”