Cookbook: The Art of Grilling

Categories: Cookbooks
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I purchased The Art of Grilling: A Menu Cookbook, the followup to author Kelly McCune's best-selling Grill Book, when it first came out in 1990. I can't say exactly what prompted me to do so, but looking back at the recipes now, (after years of not having done so), they seem to have remained pretty up-to-date considering how much has gone down in the food world over the past two decades. There are recipes for swordfish with pico de gallo; sea bass on bok choy with ginger and garlic; hickory-grilled pork chops with fresh peaches; calf's liver with pancetta and sage; and so forth. Don't let the fact that The Art of Grilling currently ranks number 1,603,701 on the Amazon Bestsellers list make you think less of it.

The cookbook is barely more than 100 pages, yet it contains not only relevent recipes but also all sorts of info about grilling and smoking techniques. I like the way the recipes are arranged according to set menus. For instance, on the same page as the calf's liver are recipes for Tuscan white beans with grilled red onion, and romaine salad with creamy Parmesan dressing, plus suggestions for bread (saltless Italian) and wine (Pinot Noir). In other words, one written page, one photo to look at, and you've got yourself a plan for a swell meal.
On the other hand, I never prepared a meal using this format. Still, I did use quite a few of the marinade recipes that are compiled in an early chapter. A favorite is this one for tandoori.

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Tandoori Marinade
"Garam masala and tamarind paste, which is the fruity, slightly sour flavor in tandoori, are available in Indian markets and sometimes in the specialty section of grocery stores. For tandoori chicken, skin the chicken and score it in several places. It is most important to oil the cooking rack well for cooking tandoori."






Makes 2 cups

3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh ginger
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
6 garlic cloves
1 heaping tablespoon tamarind paste, seeds removed
1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/4 cups plain yogurt
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon salt

Combine the ginger, onion, garlic, and tamarind paste in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and process again until smooth. Marinate meat and poultry for a minimum of 4 hours in the refrigerator.

The Art of Grilling: A Menu Cookbook, by Kelly McCune, is published by Harper & Row. Design is by Thomas Ingalls. Photography by Viktor Budnik. Food styling by Karen Hazarian. The price in 1990 was $14.95 (it's a sturdy paperback). You can get a new copy at Amazon for as little as $8.

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