From Publishers Weekly
Karlin has passed down the knowledge of wood-fired cooking for nine years as an instructor at the Ramekins school in Sonoma, Calif., so it is not surprising that her first cookbook is a teacherlike endeavor. It begins with an extensive review of the basics, including a chart that looks at the appliance characteristics of a vertical clay top-vented oven, a list of woods and their proper uses (red oak for beef and fish) and a survey of various wood-burning devices including the classic La Caja China Box, a pig roaster on wheels. Next, there is a treatise on Becoming an Efficient Wood-Fired Cook. Finally, she challenges her readers with 100 recipes ranging from academic to scholarly. Her specialty includes entrees that include the word smoky or involve a plank or a brick. Smoky barbecued oysters, grilled on a campfire grate, are served with an intense vinegar-based sauce. Smoked chicken and herb dumplings uses bacon, as well as smoke, to flavor the bird. And mushroom-rubbed plank-roasted steak employs a water-soaked aromatic board to flavor and keep the meat from drying out. For extra credit, there are several complex choices that seem a tough match for the open fire, such as an apricot tart with lavender crème anglaise. (May)
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"A wood fire is always the heart and hearth of a social gathering--I never feel more at home than when I'm cooking over the flames. Mary Karlin's comprehensive and beautiful book introduces you to one of our most ancient, basic, and satisfying ways to cook." --Alice Waters, founder and co-owner of Chez Panisse and author of The Art of Simple Food
"In Wood-Fired Cooking, Mary Karlin combines the romance of the fire with practical information and really delicious recipes that are easy to prepare. A surefire hit." --Joyce Goldstein, chef and author of Back to Square One
and Italian Slow and Savory
"Wood-Fired Cooking is sure to inspire and inform the growing leagues of adventurous cooks. Mary Karlin thoroughly--and delightfully--updates the most primitive of all cooking methods, providing plenty of tips, techniques, resources, and tempting recipes. Even if you've never imagined yourself advancing beyond backyard grilling, this book will inspire you to delve into the more exciting realms of cooking with live fire." --Molly Stevens, author of All About Braising
"As one of the most popular instructors at Ramekins, Mary makes outdoor cooking approachable for everyone with her wonderful teaching style. Mary's book is a must-have guide to the world of wood-fired cooking." --Lisa Lavagetto, culinary director at Ramekins Sonoma Valley Culinary School