Thursday, May 5, 2011

Review: Fire It Up

Fire It Up
By Andrew Schloss and David Joachim

When it comes to cooking in our household, I handle most of the inside jobs and the husband is mainly in charge of all that goes on outside. I like to think the husband is a pretty savvy griller. He's grilled pork loins, pork chops, hamburgers, chicken, steak, kebabs - even vegetables. So when I received a rather heavy package a couple of weeks ago and saw that it was Fire It Up, a huge book dedicated to grilling, I immediately thought I'd be passing this book off on the husband. 

I started flipping through this monster of a cookbook, imagining what the husband could grill up when I immediately fell in love. Alison Miksch's photos made my mouth water from the second I opened this book. (Can you honestly look at the full-page photo of a fire-braised pork shoulder sandwich on page 125 and not want to get your hands dirty with one of those?) Once I looked beyond the photos, though, I was drawn in even more and my eyes opened to a world of grilling I didn't even know - or think I wanted to know - existed.

However strange it may sound, I read magazines, and often cookbooks, backward. I always start in the back and flip to the front. But this is a book that you're going to want to read from the beginning. Flip to chapter one, titled "A Primer on Grilling Methods & Equipment," and master the basics. You'll probably even want to bookmark page 20, as the chart on that page lists all the temperatures you'll want to aim for when cooking everything from alligator to venison.

Once you've learned all you need to know about grills in chapter one and how to build flavor in your grilling endeavors in chapter two, the possibilities are just about endless. The husband and I, because we're pretty predictable, started with a grilled chicken breast and used the salsa-beer marinade. We love salsa. We love beer. We loved this marinade. 

Grilled Chicken With Cole Slaw and Toasted Bread
But this book goes so well beyond grilling meats. With chapters on grilling vegetables, fruit, desserts and breads, I have a good feeling we'll be busy with this book for a while. Already we've even chicken breasts and grilled cabbage for a creamy and flavorful cole slaw. I'd never thought to grill cabbage wedges, but, thanks to Schloss and Joachim, I'm now full of ideas. Cumin-crusted steak with a side of grilled corn on the cob? How about grilled banana satay for dessert? Sign me up.

Grilled Cole Slaw
With 15 chapters it's safe to say I haven't made my way through this entire book yet, but I know I will. And with all of the know-how boxes Schloss and Joachim have included throughout this book, instructing you on everything from how to tie a whole chicken for the grill to how to make orange supremes and care for cast iron, I could become a junior grillmaster in no time. I have a good feeling the husband will have to let me start the grill again in the near future. (That's right: I've only done it once before.) But there's really no reason the husband should get to have all the grilling fun - especially not now that I'm armed with more than 400 recipes that are just begging me to head to the back deck.

Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge to write this review. I received no monetary compensation; all thoughts are mine alone. 

1 comment:

  1. I adore grilling! If there's a recipe to be gilled in a magazine, I'm all over it. I don't let Hubby touch the grill unless I'm absolutely backed up in the kitchen and have no choice.

    I guess I need to look into this book. Thanks for the review!


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