The last snow was only a week and a half ago, and already this
year's grill books are arriving. I don't blame the publicists for
wanting to hasten the warm weather. Last week, I bought my
own first sack of charcoal for the season and threw the first steak
on the grill. It was beefy, juicy, smoke-kissed perfection.
But I didn't need a cookbook.
There seem to be only a few favorite ways to title a new
grilling book, most involving exclamation points. The most
popular name by far is "Grill It!"--there are about a dozen of
those on EYB alone. This year is no exception, with a
perfectly serviceable entry from Better Homes and Gardens which
offers the usual combination of equipment, technique, and recipes.
The subtitle is "Secrets to Delicious Flame-Kissed
Food"--Secret? Hardly! Except for the cover, the book's
indistinguishable from the grill books of years past.
I'm more excited about Fire It Up, from
Andrew Schloss and David Joachim (of the awesome Food Substitutions
Bible). The pair already have a basic-technique grill book;
this one's all about ingredients. There are recipes based on
moles and chutneys and za'atar and wasabi and things even I haven't
heard of, like "dukka".
And, inevitably, there is an offering from the Deens. Both
brothers and mom show up in The Deen Bros. Get
Fired Up, which is like a Deen family summer photo album, plus
a couple recipes. The recipes hold no surprises--skewers,
burgers, cold picnic fare (except maybe that nothing in here is
deep-fried). But they sure can work those dimples!