No one knows his way around a grill like Steven Raichlen, and no one is better equipped to teach us how to deliver its best performance. Drawing on a combination of classic and boldly contemporary techniques, here are 100 inspired recipes that capture the full range of what grillers want to cook today. Consider your basic steak. Raichlen starts with the iconic--T-bone grilled over direct heat, smartly tattooed with grill marks and lavished, the way the pros do it, with sizzling beef fat. Then he teaches a technique new to most of us--reverse-searing, which allows you to grill a monster steak, like a beef tomahawk, to perfection while also imparting a haunting smoky flavor. Of course, there's a Caveman Sirloin--meat seared right on the coals, as dramatic as grilling gets. Plus here's how to blow-torch a veal chop. Spit-roast whole cauliflower on a rotisserie. Grill mussels in hay, squash on a salt slab, salmon steaks on a shovel over a campfire.
From breakfast (Bacon and Egg Quesadilla) to cocktails (Grilled Sangria), from veggies (Caveman Cabbage and Smoke-Roasted Carrots) to dessert (Grilled "Pi a Colada" and Cedar Planked Pears with Amaretti and Marscapone), Project Fire offers a radically righteous new take on live-fire cooking from the man who reinvented modern American grilling.
Cooking: Glorious grilling
To reach nirvana, it’s best to have a guru. To reach grilling nirvana, it’s essential to have Steven Raichlen—the grand guru of grilling, the brilliant Baron of Barbecue—as your dedicated guide. The latest addition to his cooking-with-live-fire canon is Project Fire. Before getting to his succulent, smoke-and-fire-graced recipes, Raichlen makes sure you’re au courant by providing tips for choosing a grill, sourcing your fuel, getting the right tools together and finally firing up. Start your day with the scent of wood smoke and coffee with a recipe for a Bacon and Egg Quesadilla, or kick off your barbecue with Chorizo-Grilled Dates. Move on to grilled salads, breads and pizzas before you hit the big time with a Reverse-Seared Tomahawk Steak, Black Pepper Baby Back Ribs or a Rotisserie Chicken basted with a tarragon-shallot-lemon butter. Top off your meal with Salt Slab Brownie S’Mores, and wash it all down with a glass of sangria featuring grilled citrus. What’s not to love?
LIKE BURGERS FROM HEAVEN
When is an obsession a good thing? Easy: It’s when Chris Kronner decides to perfect the classic American burger by obsessing over each of its elements and then putting them together to achieve burger bliss. Kronner, who admits to cooking close to a billion hamburgers and pondering their particulars for years, is not shy about telling readers his own burger opinions, but he also provides info that’s useful no matter your particular burger preference. First and foremost, his burger mantra is “thoughtful reductive simplicity: A Hamburger is the sum of its parts. Don’t complicate it.” He’s distilled his assiduously accrued know-how into a kind of burger bible: A Burger to Believe In: Recipes and Fundamentals. Kronner offers chapter and verse on meat, buns, select sides and salads, condiments, the basics of a burger pantry and a few divine “other burgers” made with mushrooms, shrimp, crab, pork or fried chicken.
TOP PICK IN COOKBOOKS
Feast: Food of the Islamic World is a feast in every way—big and beautiful, it features over 300 recipes from countries stretching from the Middle East, North Africa, India and Central Asia to Malaysia and Indonesia. If I listed all the recipes’ sources, I wouldn’t have space to mention the fantastic array of dishes that award-winning cookbook author Anissa Helou has included in this grand culinary tour. The chapters are divided by ingredients and types of food, and each recipe has an in-depth header note and carefully detailed instructions. There are flatbreads and kebabs galore, plus exotic pancakes and meat pies, whole-roasted baby goats, stuffed whole lambs, elegant Meatballs in Sour Cherry Sauce, simple Lamb Shanks in Yogurt, seven kinds of biryani, six recipes for couscous, fish of all sorts, salads, spice mixtures, sweets and much more. Savoring these legendary classics is a great way to travel without leaving home—the perfect, food-filled stay-cation.