Tuesday, May 3, 2011

sam the cooking guy: just grill this!" by sam zien

In my constant search for recipes that my whole family can enjoy together (one of my children is on a gluten free, dairy free, soy free and more diet), I am looking more and more at cookbooks that concentrate on meat.

sam the cooking guy: just grill this! arrived while we were in transition in a hotel and hubby and I spent lots of time poolside drooling over browsing the recipes and fabulous food photos while the kids were swimming.

I have not had an opportunity to grill a single thing since our move. We do not have a grill our our new location. At our 'old' house, our grill was a permanent fixture attached to our little deck, using a gas line from the house. We never had to fill a propane tank. Our 'new' house has an even smaller deck and came with no bbq grill. So, we are shopping for them, and I am researching the newfangled infrared grills. They fascinate me. Zien suggests I get a ridged grill pan and grill indoors.

Right from the start, I learned some tips. I have always thrown my meat on the grill straight from the refrigerator. Zien says to allow it to sit at room temp about half an hour before I cook it. ("You can't possibly cook meat properly if it's fridge-cold in the middle." p. 24)

Please peek inside: The table of contents is here. The chapter called small things is here. For those of us who like to read from back to front, the index is here.

When I think of grilling, I think of meats, yet Zien gives us recipes for veggies, salads, sides, drinks and desserts, too (not all are grilled).

For those of us cooking for individuals with food allergies and intolerances, Zien gives us a long list of recipes we can use. Most are naturally allergen free. No, all of the recipes are not allergen free, and you'll have to find the dishes that are right for you, and I suspect you'll find quite a few recipes to work with. (I need a soy substitute for some recipes that use soy sauce.)

What do I want to make as soon as I get a grill? cedar plank salmon. sticky sweet ribs. lamb with rosemary oil. mustard, honey, & curry chicken things. Zien gives us a cheese-free recipe for amazing leftover steak tacos (it does contain a little sour cream). the best cauliflower. grilled bacon & mashed potato pizza. That's my short list.

My favorite quote from the cookbook: "When I autograph a book to a couple, I like to write, 'Cook together--always.' I think being together in a kitchen...the fun, the hassle, the casualness of the whole thing--whatever it is--is good for two people." ... (p 218)

The 272-page paperback is priced at $19.95 and is available now.

Wiley provided a review copy of just grill this. I received no payment for this review and am not obligated to provide a positive review. And when I get a bbq grill and cook from this cookbook, I'll blog about it.


Bekah and Corey said...

I'm curious, Penny. What soy sauce substitute do you use? I haven't found one I'm happy with yet.

Penny said...

For small amounts, I use either balsamic vinegar or woosteshire (sp) sauce, depending on the recipe.

I need to try the recipe that Cybele Pascal developed.

Penny said...


Bekah and Corey said...

Thanks, Penny! I'll definitely try that!

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