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Big Book of Outdoor Cooking and Entertaining, The Hardcover – May 9, 2006

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Editorial Reviews Review

Cheryl and Bill Jamison, authors of Smoke & Spice and American Home Cooking among others, have chosen to go industrial size with their latest: The Big Book of Outdoor Cooking and Entertaining: 850 recipes--200 of them for rubs and sauces. Over 500 pages thick. If ever there was a grilling, barbecuing, smoking, deep-frying kind of cookbook for a Supersized America, this is it, Big Gulp and all.

This is a book that starts at ground zero for cooks who want to grill great meals and put on terrific outdoor parties but don't have a clue how to start charcoal. "Of all the methods of outdoor home cooking, grilling is the most misunderstood. Many people aren't even aware that it's a specific method of cooking, assuming its just a generic term to cover anything done on a grill." The Jamisons take a stand for cooking over direct heat, eschewing the indirect and the covered grill. It's the center of gravity of their book, the element that makes them different than any of the other many books on cooking over open flame.

The rest of the story is found in the recipes, the tips, the sidebars, and asides. A word like bountiful hardly comes close to the impact of this tome. You got your rubs and marinades and the like, and your drinks, your starters, tapas, pizzas (yes, pizzas on the grill), burgers galore, fish and shellfish, poultry, pork, beef, all the other four-leggeds, veggies, grilled salads, side dishes (what's barbecue without sides?), and desserts.

If ever you have wanted to take the plunge into grilling and barbecue, The Big Book of Outdoor Cooking and Entertaining is an all-inclusive, user-friendly place to start. --Schuyler Ingle

From Publishers Weekly

Big" is the operative word in this compendium of recipes from the Jamisons (Good Times, Good Grilling). Spanning the globe and a range of ingredients, the authors give grillmaster Steven Raichlen a run for his money. The Jamisons devote their first three chapters to explaining the difference between grilling and traditional barbecue, how to build a fire and how to set up an outdoor kitchen with the proper grill, smoker or big-pot cooker. Next are lessons in Seasoning 101 and 102, with 200 recipes for rubs and sauces, and separate instructions for using them on, say, a fish filet or a side of beef. Most of the dishes, like Herb-Coated Mahi-Mahi with Chermoula (Moroccan marinade) Paste; and tacos of Rajas, Corn and Queso de Cabra (rajas are strips of chiles), are impressive but unfussy. There are more than a dozen burgers (with Gorgonzola and crispy prosciutto, for instance), plus pizza, tapas, salads, pastas, vegetarian entrees and desserts—all of which can be cooked and/or eaten outdoors. With variations, party tips and suggested themed menus, the Jamisons have written the script for many memorable nights on the patio. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 548 pages
  • Publisher: MorrowCB (May 9, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060737840
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060737849
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 8.4 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #634,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I was absolutely thrilled to get a chance to read this new cookbook. I don't entertain as much as I'd like, but I love to eat simple and hearty foods everyday, and this book has some amazingly creative ideas for things that just about anyone could make, but I never would have come up with on my own.

The book starts with spice blends, rubs, marinades, salsas, relishes and sauces, and has some great ideas for spice mixes you can make in advance and keep on hand, and loads of tips for getting the best flavor and texture out of your food. Blazing Hot Guava-Habanero Hot Sauce, and Scandinavian Sugar and Spice are just two of the great recipes you'll find in this section.

Then they move on to some really fun sounding party drinks and appetizers to get the party started (Gingered Thai Iced Tea, anyone?).Toasted Pecan and Blue Cheese spread, Cheddar Chutney Puffs, and Caramelized Brie are three of the mouthwatering recipes.

Then comes the meat of the book, literally. Pizzas, Tapas, Sandwiches, Fish, and each major kind of meat each get a large chapter, followed by salads, pastas, and then desserts (White Chocolate Custard Ice Cream - oh my!).

This is a huge and highly useful book. I love that the ingredients are just exotic enough to make things interesting, but not so exotic that I can't find them in my small town. They have a wonderful mix of uniquely American foods and loads of neat foods with an ethnic twist.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By rodboomboom HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was written to clear up some misunderstandings about grilling, and it exceeds in a winsome and delightful fashion!

Many wrongly think anything on a grill = grilling. This is dispelled and corrected with this book, so get it to learn on!

It is about flavor at the right temp to match with the ingredient being cooked, and here is the full range of methods and equipment: planking and big-pot frying and boiling and charcoal and gas and fire-pit and rotisserie and smoking and deep frying, et al.

It is a big collection well done! Idea is to dine and cook together outside and enjoy, so exploring new recipes, new methods, new equipment, will inspire and delight the cook and the fed, plus there are recipes for sides and desserts which require inside type preparation. It's almost 600 pages of advice and inspiration to take the journey.

From the plethora of offerings here thus far, I've sampled only a few but they were outstanding: Salmon Fillets with Chile Honey Butter; Grilled Lamb Chops with Dill Yogurt Sauce; Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches;

The pleasure from trying these mouth watering delights is the vast untried collection that now awaits.

This is truly nice addition to the seasonsed griller as purchase or gift, as well as for the novice or in-betweener. Only downer which would have spiced up this offering is some color photos.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Robert W. Kochman on January 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
To say this book is complete is an understatement. I bought this book after using their "Smoke & Spice" book for several years. "S & S" is strictly about low and slow cooking of beef and pork, while this one is much more broad, with excellent recipes and ideas for entertaining. If you're mainly concerned with making great BBQ pork and beef, I'd start with the "Smoke & Spice" book. The rubs and sauces recipes are super. But my guess is you'll soon graduate to this book if you like outdoor cooking and like to entertain.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Charlie on May 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The Jamisons have done it again. If anyone knows grilling and bbq-ing and entertaining it's this amazing couple. This book is a great collection of classic recipes, many with an unsual twist. Not to mention the drinks, the rubs, marinades. Ilove to entertain out int he backyard, and I think it's the best book on outdoor entertaining perhaps ever. It's a party from the very first page. I can't recommend it enough.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Harnett VINE VOICE on July 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
With 850 recipes, including 200 sauces and rubs, big and thorough are the operative words for this James Beard Award-winning team's latest (after "Good times, Good Grilling").

They begin with solid definitions of the various outdoor techniques. Grilling, for instance, is always done over direct heat, with the cover up. Does that mean you can't make beer can chicken? Sure you can, but don't call it grilled. Actually in the Jamisons' version it's smoked and takes leisurely hours.

Then there's rotisserie roasting, planking, and big-pot frying (corn dogs, catfish, fried Oreos) or boiling or steaming (blue crabs, lobster). But the majority of receipes employ their favorite cooking method - grilling. There's even a skewered grilled cheese sandwich appetizer and grilled fruit parfaits in addition to authoritative instructions on grilling burgers, steaks with mouthwatering sauces, suckling pig, ribs, game, and poultry of all kinds and cuts.

In addition to Smoked Beef Tenderloin, Ground Lamb Kebabs with Black Olive and Lemon Relish, and Planked Salmon, the Jamisons also include chapters on drinks, vegetables (Middle Eastern Peppers with Pomegranate Sauce, French Fries, Lacquered Tofu and Vegetable Skewers), breads, salads and desserts.

Geared to entertaining, most recipes serve six or more. The tone is opinionated, knowledgeable and friendly and we amateurs are encouraged to be creative and reflect our own flair and taste as long as we can refrain from doing anything scandalous, like flattening burgers with the spatula.

There are menus scattered throughout as well as boxed party tips, variations, and sidebars. Recipes cover an international gamut and all occasions from holiday parties to backyard picnics. A primer on grills and smokers explains what to look for and even includes brand names.

Dare I say it? This could be the only American outdoor cookbook you'll ever need.

--Portsmouth Herald
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