If you only owned one cookbook, I would recommend my first cookbook, Taming the Flame. It is my love letter to grilling and barbecue and because I grew up in the South, it has a southern flavor mixed into a global palate. The book is mostly about techniques, tips and savory foods but includes homemade baked goods because in my family we always had 2-3 desserts—one was never enough, two seldom were enough and three always seemed like the right number! “My Mother’s Fresh-Grated Coconut Cake” is my favorite dessert of all time, it is light and moist—a transcended experience. And, my sister’s “World’s Best Apple Pie” is the hands-down family favorite—once you make it, it will be your family’s favorite too. The book proves my adage of if you can eat it, you can grill it with recipes for everything imaginable. Best of all, it’s real food, real information—the secret’s of a working chef and pitmaster—that you quickly learn and apply to your own cooking, indoors and out! The recipes are sophisticated, yet simple to prepare. They make a big impression on your friends and family but are easy on the cook.
Taming the Flame: Secrets for Hot-and-Quick Grilling and Low-and-Slow BBQ by John Wiley & Sons, May 2005
● Suggested retail $24.95
More than 350 recipes in Taming the Flame offer a wealth of choices for any occasion. They range from down-home to uptown—from Bubba’s Bunch Barbecued Baby Back Ribs to Bacon-Wrapped Sea Scallops, from Kenny’s Wings of Fire to Salt-Cured Duck Breast with Fig Jam. Twelve “Grilling 101” guides feature expert advice and basic recipes for burgers, steaks, poultry, fish, lamb, vegetables, pizza, and more. Karmel’s signature Grilling Trilogy highlights the inherent flavor of grilled foods and makes grilling classic favorites easy.
Karmel brings a feminine flair to a masculine domain with this A-to-Z roadmap to grill-based cuisine—from fast, high-heat methods to slower roasts and barbecue that rely on an indirect flame. Some may disagree with Karmel’s assertion that there’s no taste difference between gas and charcoal, although she does give tips on using old-fashioned briquettes. Her extensive introduction to techniques, tools and pantry basics make up the meat of the book; the 350 recipes that follow, organized by ingredient, rely so heavily on the methods set earlier that novices will frequently find themselves flipping back and forth. Karmel aims to be encyclopedic, offering a guide to cuts and a cooking timetable in every section, and she’s at her best with natural variations on grilling, from simple Chicken Paillard to ambitious Hung-Your-Momma Braised Short Ribs. Overall, though, this is a welcome guide for members of either sex. Photos. (May) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.