MrsK's Seasoned Reader Picks

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Big-Flavor Grill by Chris Schlesinger

The Big-Flavor Grill: No-Marinade, No-Hassle Recipes for Delicious Steaks, Chicken, Ribs, Chops, Vegetables, Shrimp, and Fish
ISBN: 9781607745273
Good Read Synopsis:
The best-selling team of chef Chris Schlesinger and Cook's Illustrated executive editor John Willoughby
 present a radically simple method of applying flavor boosters to ingredients hot off the grill,
 maximizing flavor and dramatically reducing grilling time over traditional marinades.

Schlesinger and Willoughby wield spices and condiments from around the world masterfully in these 130 minimal preparation, maximum flavor recipes inspired by Asian, Mediterranean, Latin, and Caribbean cuisine. In contrast to grilling books that require long-lead marinating and time-consuming steps, The Big Flavor Grill's no-fuss approach means lightning-quick prep and grill times. Their new take on using spice rubs to coat ingredients before they go over the coals trumps traditional marinating by providing stronger, better-defined flavors--and rubs can be used at the last minute instead of having to think ahead, as with marinades. Willoughby and Schlesinger then take flavor to the next level by tossing just-grilled items with marinade-like ingredients--citrus, hoisin, fish sauce, ginger, basil, fresh chiles--resulting in bolder, more complex dishes and lots of saved time and effort



MrsK's Review:
Summer time is always about grilling, that is unless you know that "grill master" who is always "firing-up" their grill in rain, or sleet, or snow... their "grilling" season seems to depend on which type of meat or fish will be served.  

Does your "grill master" need a "flavor booster?" The "buzz" about this grilling book is that it will only take 3 "quick" steps to add an incredibly tantalizing taste to "what's being grilled" for dinner tonight.  These flavor boosting steps are really as simple as:
  1. Prep: coating ingredients with spice rubs before grilling
  2. Grill: grilling for the length the recipe recommends
  3. Toss/Top: tossing the grilled with added "vibrant" ingredients
"We want to take you back out to the grill, where cooking can be spontaneous
 and the food is easy but full of bold, intense flavors...
 In addition to being simple, grilling should be easy.
 So in the pages of this book, we hope to remind
 those of you who already know, and show those who don't, 
that big flavor
 does not need to be the result of big effort."

What is the "big flavor" approach?  This is the greatest tip in the cookbook.  Instead of marinating before grilling, you grill first.  Then you put it in a stainless steel bowl and add all the ingredients you would have marinated with...and toss it together (a rolling-flip motion) ...and you will taste that it is truly so much better.
 
"...you experience each ingredient in its full-on,
 distinctive glory as opposed to having all of them soaked and discarded... 
it's à la minute, which is chef-speak for made to order."
 
With a "dash" of  "how-to" with tools, fuels, fire, and processes... you get the flavor boosted recipes for steaks-lamb-pork-chicken-shrimp and fish-vegetables and the much desired...drinks.
 
In our back-yard the taste wars can focus on mushrooms-no mushrooms, no one will turn down the bacon-mushroom relish rub (pg. 25).  I personally like the sweet-sour combo, so the grilled pineapple & sweet-sour sauce was a promise for late August evenings (pg. 39).  For what seems like ages, I have not had great lamb chops so my hat is tipped to the guys for the feta and sun-dried tomato relish topping, yum...(pg.47).  With chicken, the Latin flavoring combo of the cilantro-lime vinaigrette creates an illusion of sun, sea, and great friends...this is the pick for our end of summer grill-out (pg.98).  For a newer "BBQ" version of chicken, corn, and potato salad... we will be grilling South Carolina-style BBQ sauce (pg. 136) with grilled corn-basil and Parmesan (pg. 208) and hot grilled potato salad (pg.198).  Now that's grillin'. 
 
I must confess, the drinks are just to refreshing to make a choice... but I'm sure you will find a few on your list of must serves.  What was an added bonus is that there is a page for what is the length of time the meats should be on the grill, the heat of the fire/flame, and how to check if the entree is done. Grilling is yummy... but not burned to a charred piece of leather. 
 
What's grilling in your back yard,
MrsK  
  
3 steps to Yum! Flavor enticing... must get a copy for any "grill master!"
Meet the Chefs:
Chris Schlesinger  Chris Schlesinger is the former owner and chef of East Coast Grill in Boston. He was the winner of the 1996 James Beard Award for Best Chef: Northeast and is a contributing editor for Saveur. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

 john-willoughby  John Willoughby is a writer, editor, and the former executive editor at Gourmet; he currently serves as the editorial director for magazines at America’s Test Kitchen and publisher of Cooks’ Illustrated magazine. He was the co-author, with Chris Schlesinger, of a monthly feature in the New York Times food section. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Mrs. K reviews for:  
"I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review."
Random House: Bringing You the Best in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Children's Books

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