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Book Brief: Essentials of Grilling

Book Brief: <i>Essentials of Grilling</i>

What's summer without the aroma of smoke drifting lazily from your backyard grill? Lamb chops, seafood kabobs and even fresh fruits now join hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, but gathering around the fire to enjoy good food and great company is still a time-honored tradition. Williams-Sonoma's Essentials of Grilling shows you everything you need to know about the art of outdoor cooking.

This hefty guide covers all the basics. You'll learn how to select the right equipment, why indirect heat works well for large cuts of meat, the secret to flavorful marinades, and how to imbue foods with smoky flavor from wood chips and herbs. You'll also find useful tips, including making perfect cross-hatched marks on foods and cooking a whole bird on your rotisserie.

Designed for both the beginning cook and the experienced grill master, the book features more than 130 recipes from four noted food writers: Denis Kelly, Melanie Barnard, Barbara Grunes and Michael McLaughlin. They offer clear directions for both charcoal and gas grills; to assist with menu planning, they label recipes with cooking method (direct or indirect), heat level and marinating time.

Recipes emphasize simplicity and fresh flavors, versatility and variety. For casual gatherings, prepare pizzas on the grill—this technique produces deliciously smoky results reminiscent of pizzas baked in a wood-fired oven. For a starter to a special meal, top a round of creamy Camembert cheese with pesto, wrap in grape leaves and grill until warm, then serve with country bread.

The authors celebrate the classics, like Texas-style brisket and T-bone steaks with blue cheese butter. Weighting a chicken with a heavy brick, a traditional technique that originated in Italy, ensures the bird cooks evenly and emerges with crispy skin. The book includes tips and recipes for smoking foods on the grill, such as a whole pork loin that emerges tender and succulent, imbued with a subtle smoky flavor.

You'll also find innovative fare prepared on the grill. For a new twist on seafood, try salmon burgers paired with colorful vegetable slaw. The London broil salad makes a light yet satisfying main course—crisp romaine leaves are tossed with a mustard-herb vinaigrette and topped with thin slices of grilled steak. Vegetables are right at home on the grill, be it pancetta-wrapped zucchini or sweet potatoes brushed with a honey-lime glaze.

Full-page color photographs illustrate every recipe. A basics section explains useful techniques like butterflying poultry and applying a dry rub, while the detailed glossary provides additional information on ingredients and equipment. Recipes for dry rubs, marinades, sauces and relishes blend flavors from around the world. You'll add new favorites to your repertoire, such as tandoori spice marinade, mango jerk paste and spicy pico de gallo.

Filled with detailed instructions and delicious recipes, Essentials of Grilling is an invaluable resource for successful outdoor cooking.