Monthly Archives: May 2012

Beerlicious | Ted Reader

 

Is beer really an essential part of the BBQ process? I’ll let you decide.

Beerlicious: The Art of Grillin' and Chillin'

TITLE: Beerlicious: The Art of Grillin’ and Chillin’
AUTHOR: Ted Reader
PUBLISHER: FENN-M&S
CUISINE: Barbecue

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Featured Ingredient: Hops
Hops are the female flower clusters (commonly called seed cones or strobiles), of a hopHops | By Duncan Harris species, Humulus lupulus. They are used primarily as a flavoring and stability agent in beer, to which they impart a bitter, tangy flavor, though hops are also used for various purposes in other beverages and herbal medicine. Hops were cultivated continuously around the 8th or 9th century AD in Bohemian gardens in the Hallertau district of Bavaria and other parts of Europe. However, the first documented use of hops in beer as a bittering agent is from the 11th century. Before this period, brewers used a wide variety of bitter herbs and flowers, including dandelion, burdock root, marigold, horehound (the German name for horehound means “mountain hops”), ground ivy, and heather. [Wikipedia]

First Impression
First off, if you show me a cookbook that has the word beer in the title, I’m immediately interested. Second, if there are recipes using just about every descent brew on the planet, I’m hooked. Such is the case with, Beerlicious: The Art of Grillin’ and Chillin’. Ted Reader has done an amazing job of combining the fine art of grilling and the fine art of beer drinking into one fun read. There are lots of great beer and non-beer images. It will get your mouthwatering from start to finish.

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What You’ll Find Inside (aka Table of Contents)
Beerilicious
BBQ Seasoning Rubs and Sauces
Appetizers
Steer
Pig
Lamb, Veal, Game
Birds
Sandwiches
Crustaceans and Fishes
Sides
Desserts and Breads

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The guys over at Beer America TV know their brews. In this episode they head out to central NY to the Southern Tier Brewing Company to review their Imperial Red. Check out what they think.

 

• • • • •

Best of the Book (Our Favorite Recipes)

 

Orgasmic Onion Burger Seasoning Pabst Blue Ribbon Hillbilly Basting Sauce
Beer Injected Bacon-Wrapped Scallops Ron’s Beer Brined Artic Char
Nut Brown Gaucho Flank Steak Roll-up Big Wheel Buttered Smoked Brisket
Cooper’s Lamb Ribs Yellow Snow Rib Sandwich
Pilsner Urquell Van Gogh Chicken Heeb’s Venison Beer Sausages
Rob McCann’s Grill-Baked Oysters with Beck’s Leffe Brune Smoked Extra-Meaty Back Ribs
Amsterdam Natural Blonde Ultimate Hot Dog Kronenbourge 1664 Poached and Grilled Halibut

 

When a book is crammed this full of dishes I NEED to make there will be a few that rise to the top. And, this is the case here. The Head to Foot BBQ Terrine with BBQ Sauce Jelly looks amazing. It also looks like an all-day (or two day) affair that will take some expertise and time to pull off. That being said, WOW! What a dish. The Shiner Bock Skirt Steak Churrasco is a recipe you can make for a descent sized crowd without being totally underwater. Skirt is a great flavorful cut and you can cook it up while still amusing your guests with your witty repartee. I love grilled turkey. And, the Harvest Grilled Turkey described here seems be a dead on winner. Again, you can’t whip this together at a moment’s notice. But, if you plan ahead you should be rewarded. The way I see it, if it takes a little longer to make, it leaves more time for beer drinking. Not a bad thing.

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Special Features
This book is loaded with some useful extras. There is a detailed chapter on BBQ equipment Beerlicious: The Art of Grillin' and Chillin' and grilling prep. This includes the discussion of charcoal types, steak cuts, internal temps and more. Even if you think you have a good grip on these things, this chapter is a great refresher course. An overview of grilling techniques makes sense here. There is more to a great BBQ then just slapping some meat on a hot grate (that’s not bad either). Smoking, braising, planked cooking and rotisserie methods are reviewed. OK, I’ll admit the list of Top 10 Places That I’ve Had a Beer may be a little hokey. It may not be terribly useful, but, it is fun and entertaining to read through. It did get me thinking about my own personal top ten. So, without any further ado here’s my list:

10 – Capt. Lou’s (with a Lake Michigan Perch Basket), South Haven MI
9 –
The Beer Station, Paris France
8 –
Any Grateful Dead Show Parking Lot
7 –
Seven Seas Villa, Mammee Bay Jamaica
6 – While Tending the Grill

5 –
Linda’s Tavern or The Comet, Seattle WA
4 – “
The Patio”
3 –
Any Major League Baseball Park
2 – The Siesta Key Oyster Bar, Siesta Key FL

1 –
With Good Friends!

You should sit down and make your own.

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Conclusion
This book is fun. That’s the bottom line. Page after page of recipes that you’ll drool over make it tough for any grill (or beer) lover to resist. All types and styles of beer are used here. Great photos accompany the dishes and it’s over the top book design make you wonder what will turn up next. This isn’t your casual backyard grilling cookbook. The recipes will take some effort. But, if you’re willing to put in the time, you will most certainly be rewarded. I was hooked when I flipped the page and saw a smiling face holding a cold bottle of Rolling Rock!

Culinary Expertise Required: 7.5
1= Boiling Water (novice) 10= Liquid Nitrogen (expert)

Would you like you own copy of Ted Reader’s ode to ale and grill? Of course you would. You can click the link below and you’ll be one step closer.

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Links, Resources and Other Press
Ted Reader’s Website
Ted Reader’s Smoked Chicken Cheese Hotdog Recipe
Toronto Life – Ted Reader Article
Ted Reader Makes The World’s Biggest Hamburger

 

Grilling Vegan Style | John Schlimm

 

Who would have thought that vegan+grill=delicious?

Grilling Vegan Style: 125 Fired-Up Recipes to Turn Every Bite into a Backyard BBQ

TITLE: Grilling Vegan Style
AUTHOR: John Schlimm
PUBLISHER: Da Capo Lifelong Books
CUISINE: Vegan

Featured Ingredient: Tempeh
Tempeh (English pronunciation: /ˈtɛmpeɪ/; Javanese: témpé, IPA: [tempe]), is a traditional soy product originally from Indonesia. It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form, similar to a very firm vegetarian burger patty. Tempeh is unique among major traditional soy foods in that it is the only one that did not originate in the Sinosphere. [Wikipedia]

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First Impression
Vegan isn’t in my culinary comfort zone. I think that has more to do with a general ignorance on my part of the subject matter rather than the food itself or the way in which it’s prepared. This book could go a long way to educating me on the topic. Bright colorful images artfully shot by Any Beadle Roth accompany many of the delicious looking recipes. It is loaded with dishes for the grill that could convince even the heartiest of carnivores to give a Stacked Portobello Burger a try.

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What You’ll Find Inside (aka Table of Contents)

Grill Meets Vegan: The Basics of Firing Up
The Friendly Grill: Flame Meets Tofu, Tempeh, Seitan & More
Backyard Bites
Summertime Salads
Fired-Up Sides
Tapas on the Deck
Country Marinades for Tofu, Tempeh & Seitan
The Burgers Are Ready!
The New Tailgating Classics
Supper Under the Stars
Picnic Desserts
Grillside Happy Hours

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Best of the Book (Our Favorite Recipes)

The more you read through the recipes the more you start to think of your own take on the dishes. That’s a good thing. I like cookbooks that get your culinary juices flowing. There were a few that looked “Simply Irresistible”.

Romaine Holiday Fiery baby Artichokes
Grill-Baked Potatoes Grilled Peaches with Raspberry Sauce
Bonfire of the Herbs Grill-Kissed Cauliflower
Italian Herb Burgers on Focaccia Slip-N-Sliders
Seventh Inning Stretch Tacos Two-Faced Avocado Sandwiches
Grilled Corn on the Cob with Piquant Sauce Portobellos with Roasted Leeks & Spinach

 

I can imagine enjoying the Tattooed Watermelon Salad (p61) on just about any warm summer evening. For me, The Blue Pear (p133) was the standout of the book. It’s a mouthwatering variation of a layered sandwich. Two flavors that are meant to be together. And, who could possibly resist A Pitcher of Margarita’s (p198)? Answer, no one.

There are a lot of recipes that feature tofu, tempeh and seitan. So, if that’s your thing, you’ll get a lot of satisfaction here. The ingredients are easily obtainable and the recipes are written in a clear and easy to follow style.

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Special Features
The first two chapters of Grilling Vegan Style are information based. Chapter one focuses onGrilling Vegan Style: 125 Fired-Up Recipes to Turn Every Bite into a Backyard BBQ grilling in general. Lots of info on types of grilling equipment and terminology. I knew most of that stuff already. But, chapter two was a lesson that I sorely needed. It featured the big three of vegan fare: tofu, tempeh and seitan. I didn’t think that I knew virtually nothing about those three. But, after reading chapter two, I realized, much to my dismay, that it was sadly true. The chapter also contains details of other vegan food products (hot dogs, mayos, condiments….).

The back of the book has a large list of online grilling resources. It’s useful for both vegan and non-vegans. And, of course the obligatory page of conversions and measures. I’m beginning to think that if I pick up a cookbook that doesn’t have that page, it will most certainly be the one time when I’ll need it the most.

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Conclusion
Leading a vegan lifestyle is a commitment. It’s becoming easier because of people like John Schlimm. Thanks go out to those willing to share their knowledge with those of us who need a lesson or two. This cookbook has something for non-vegans too. There are tempting salads, desserts and sides to accompany whatever you’re serving as a main course. Finally, it’s light. The topic can be pretty heavy at times. John presents it in a fun, lively and fact filled manner.

Culinary Expertise Required: 6.0
1= Boiling Water (novice) 10= Liquid Nitrogen (expert)

Would you like to own your very own copy of John Schlimm’s Grilling Vegan Style? We can make that happen. Here’s a handy dandy link for you.

Grilling Vegan Style: 125 Fired-Up Recipes to Turn Every Bite into a Backyard BBQ

Links, Resources and Other Press
John Schlimm’s Website
De Capo Lifelong
Grilling Vegan Style Video Trailer
Recipe: Carousing Cucumber Rounds with Rummy Hummus

Paradise Kitchen | Daniel Orr

 

Bring a little culinary paradise into your kitchen.

Paradise Kitchen: Caribbean Cooking with Chef Daniel Orr

TITLE: Paradise Kitchen: Caribbean Cooking with Chef Daniel Orr
AUTHOR: Chef Daniel Orr
PUBLISHER: Indiana University Press
CUISINE: Caribbean

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Featured Ingredient: Jerk Seasonings/Spices
Yes, we immediately think Jamaica when we talk about jerk spices or seasonings. But, Michele's Scotch Bonnet and Mango Chutney. By Tom Purvesthis unique flavor combination is the basis for lots of dishes found sprinkled around the Caribbean. The two main ingredients of any jerk mixture worth its salt are allspice and Scotch bonnet peppers. After that the remaining ingredients may include, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic, salt and thyme. The mixture is a natural with chicken and pork. I’ve even seen it used as a beef rub. Jerk mixes are personal. So, go ahead and put your stamp on your own unique blend today.

* * * * *

First Impression
It’s a “showbook”. It’s not a coffee table book. But, its presentation is a step above the average cookbook on the market today. There are tons of bright, beautiful images inside. The fact that it’s printed on a slick, heavy white stock says someone cared enough to make a statement. The book has more chapters than you normally see. It is divided into very specific manageable pieces. That allows you to find sub-groups of recipes quickly. The ingredients to complete some dishes may be a little hard to find in some parts of the country or world.

* * * * *

What’s You’ll Find Inside (aka Table of Contents)

Breakfast at the Beach
Sunrise, Shakes and Smoothies
Soups and Salads to Beat the Heat
Energize You Afternoons
Tango with Tapas
Caribbean Cocktails
Homemade Flavored Rums
Island Starters
Limiting It Up Under Pressure
Fish
Grilled Lobster
Cooking for Carnivores
Sides and Accompaniments
Bush Teas
Sunny Sweets
Recipes for the Body

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Never been to Anguilla? I guess that means you’re like most of us. I can’t get you there, but, I can give you a quick peek into what the island is like.

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Best of the Book (Our favorite Recipes)

Saltfish and Yam Cakes Kumquat and Star Anise Rum
Black Bean Soup Snapper in Chili & Ginger Broth
Anguillian Conch Chowder Pressure Cooker Goat Stew
Good Vibration Chicken Salad Grilled Potfish “en Papillotte”
Lavender Lemonade Spice Crusted Rack of Lamb
Anguillan Jerked Fresh Ham Hot Chocolate Soufflé
Soft Mofongo Crab Fritters with Lemon Zest & Parmesan

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Special Features
This book is loaded with non-traditional cookbook information. For example, one back section contains a guide on how to prepare for a hurricane. You don’t find that in every cookbook about island cuisine. Lots of people live in areas of the U.S. that are impacted by tropical storms. So, a prep list is a good thing. If you don’t happen to live in a hurricane susceptible area, it will give you a little insight on what people do to prepare.

Paradise Kitchen: Caribbean Cooking with Chef Daniel Orr

There is a boatload of valuable info on the island of Anguilla. I’ve seen the island from afar, but, have never set foot on it. There is great background for a future trip. The book also contains one of my favorite features, a bookmark ribbon. I love that.

Unfortunately, one of the special features that seems to be missing is an online resource guide to some of the harder to find ingredients. Home cooks attempting a dish that may live in an area without a Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or Fresh Market would appreciate knowing where to obtain some of the more obscure components.

The people are a BIG part of this book. They make it special. Turn to page 91 and have a look at Lavon and the array of island drinks before him. It looks like he enjoyed making them and would love for you to sip on one. That alone makes you want to take a trip south. Or, maybe replicate the experience wherever you live.

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Conclusion
In most cases this is not an everyday cookbook. Assembling the ingredients may be a challenge for some and not everyone needs to prepare for a hurricane. That being said, the recipes are unique, flavorful and offer a great look into the local cuisine. There are spice blend recipes that you could use on dishes you create yourself. And, it’s just a fun book to leaf through and enjoy. If you’ve ever been on an island vacation, Paradise Kitchen will allow you to re-create some of the culinary experience.

Lastly, I’m a big supporter of smaller publishing endeavors. This book is published by the Indiana University Press. It represents an outlet for chef/authors to get their work into the mainstream in a non-traditional way. I wholeheartedly support that effort.

If you’re looking for that summertime dish to impress your friends at your next backyard party there are lots of great choices waiting for you here. Just open to a page and you’re likely to point to a winner.

Culinary Expertise Required: 6.5
1= Boiling Water (novice) 10= Liquid Nitrogen (expert)

Would you like your own copy of Paradise Kitchen? We can make it easy for you to get one.

Paradise Kitchen: Caribbean Cooking with Chef Daniel Orr

Links, Resources & Other Press
Indiana University Press
The Anguilla Guide
Chef Daniel Orr
Guide to Caribbean Fish