Around the Fire by Greg Denton, Gabrielle Quinonez Denton with Stacy Adimando
Around the Fire is a new cookbook based upon recipes from Ox restaurant in Portland, Oregon. Chefs Greg and Gabrielle Denton have been recognized globally for their unique cuisine and flair, especially with their Latin American live fire cooking meals. Stacy Adimando is a food and travel journalist while also engaging in the writing for many news syndicates. The cookbook is a beautiful hardcover table book that is very visually appealing.
The authors incorporate some basic recipes alongside some more difficult recipes to challenge anyone from beginner to trained chef. On page 95 the recipe for Grilled Maple Brined Pork Chops was a very good one indeed. The brine is made of Maple Syrup Grade B and infuses the pork with a sweetness that balances out the saltiness of the meat when grilled. The brine allows the flavor of the meat to stay inside while not making the meat dry out too quickly, since pork has a tendency to dry out if cooked too long. Further along, the salsa for the grilled zucchini and eggplant adds a kick of saltiness with the rather tame flavors of the vegetables.
Another great feature of the book is the opening section that relays some features of live fire cooking, namely discussing indirect/direct heart, cleaning the grill, types of grills, and what is the best essential grilling tools one would need for the live fire. As with many cookbooks, some of the recipes called for ingredients that I wouldn’t normally use in the kitchen on a regular basis but also pushed me to think how I could use them. The good thing about this cookbook is that the recipes span the range from grilled meats and seafood to grilled veggies and even a few desserts are in the mix. I’m looking forward to firing up the grill again as I hope to use these recipes for the years to come.
Thanks to Blogging for Books for the copy of this in exchange for an honest review.