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Good Times, Good Grilling: Surefire Recipes for Great Grill Parties
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Good Times, Good Grilling: Surefire Recipes for Great Grill Parties

by Cheryl Alters Jamison, Bill Jamison

In Good Times, Good Grilling, award-winning cookbook authors and America's outdoor cooking experts Cheryl and Bill Jamison show you how to throw casual and lively backyard parties. Gone are the fancy themes, ornamental place settings, and time-consuming menus. Instead you'll find tips on how to make hosting fail-proof and hassle-free, plus dozens of easy,


In Good Times, Good Grilling, award-winning cookbook authors and America's outdoor cooking experts Cheryl and Bill Jamison show you how to throw casual and lively backyard parties. Gone are the fancy themes, ornamental place settings, and time-consuming menus. Instead you'll find tips on how to make hosting fail-proof and hassle-free, plus dozens of easy, flavorful recipes you can toss together with plenty of time left over to enjoy the festivities.

Grilling for friends is a lively and relaxing way to entertain, and in Good Times, Good Grilling Cheryl and Bill show you how to grill food to perfection every time. They focus on fresh, simple dishes that even beginners can master, plus suggestions for extras and signature touches you can add to wow your guests. The make-everyone-happy recipes include everything from grilled pizzas and vegetable platters to burgers, steaks, chicken, and seafood, plus drinks and desserts. For starters try one of the "Hot Little Numbers" like Grill-Roasted Oysters with Tabasco Vinaigrette, Zesty Portobello Wedges, or Bite-Size Chicken Kebabs, then move on to juicy Rosemary and Mint Lamb Burgers, Strip Steaks with Worcestershire Butter, or Butterflied Thai Pork Tenderloin. And make sure to save room for one of the decadent desserts like Bananas with Dulce de Leche, Grilled Strawberries with Whipped Cream Cheese, or Mocha Brownie Ice Cream Cake.

With Good Times, Good Grilling you can relax and have fun, the way the host of a party should. You won't find any advice about folding napkins or seating arrangements -- everything is about having fun with friends and sharing great food.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Spring is coming-and so are the barbecue books! "BBQ Queens" Adler and Fertig like to wear tiaras when they grill. They are members of an all-women barbecue team that competes on the national barbecue circuit, and they give cooking classes and demonstrations throughout the country. In their latest book, they provide hundreds of recipes, including a big "A to Z of Grilled and Smoked Veggies, Cheeses, and Pizzas," along with tips, stories, and profiles of other "Grill Gals." Some readers may find the tone a bit precious (e.g., "this is really a girly-girl recipe, with ruffles and ribbons"), but the recipes are easy and appealing. For larger collections. The idea of New York City chef/Food Network personality Flay writing a healthy-eating cookbook, complete with nutritional analysis for each recipe, seems somewhat incongruous. Perhaps it has something to do with his recent 40th birthday-or maybe it was the number of carbphobic customers holding forth in his restaurant dining rooms. In this follow-up to Bobby Flay's Boy Gets Grill, Flay offers mostly simple recipes (including some based on "good carbs," as he refers to complex carbohydrates), from Zucchini Succotash to Beef Filet with Arugula and Parmesan to Grilled Apricots with Bittersweet Chocolate. He seems somewhat subdued in his latest effort, with the bold, lusty flavors that usually characterize his cooking style less in evidence. Nevertheless, this is sure to be in demand. The Jamisons are veteran cookbook authors and grilling aficionados (see Chicken on the Grill and Born To Grill, among others). This time, they offer easy recipes for casual backyard entertaining. The first chapter, "Spontaneous Combustion," provides tips for successful parties, and their flavorful recipes, from Butterflied Thai Pork Tenderloin to Shrimp with Lemon Chive Sauce, should keep both guests and hosts happy. For most collections. Karmel is another barbecue queen, a former spokesperson for Weber grills who's well known on the circuit (she's a member of a team called Swine and Dine, and she's frequently a judge at barbecue competitions). Her big book is packed with information and mouth-watering recipes. A thorough introductory section offers invaluable tips and techniques for all types of grilling and barbecuing, and each recipe chapter opens with a primer on the basic ingredient and a handy chart on cooking times and recommended grilling methods. Karmel refers to her "culinary schizophrenia"-the result of her "love [for both] down-home Southern cooking and traditional French cuisines"-but inspiration for her recipes comes from all over the world: Lamb Tenderloin with Hazelnut Butter, Gingered Tuna with Wasabi Dipping Sauce, and Smoked Oysters with Fresh Cranberry Horseradish Relish. Useful as both a reference and a source of delectable recipes, Karmel's book is highly recommended. Negrin (Rustico: Regional Italian Country Cooking) has a decidedly different perspective, as her early grilling experiences were at her family's weekend house in northern Italy. A food writer and cooking teacher, she now lives in New York City but leads cooking tours in Italy. Her appealing new book offers fresh, vibrant, and simple but sophisticated recipes for outdoor cooking, from Lobster, Lemon, and Mint Salad to Peppery Rosemary-Rubbed Rib-Eye Steak. Full-page color photographs illustrate many of the recipes, and, despite the book's small size, Negrin includes a vast amount of information on ingredients and techniques, along with other helpful culinary tips. Highly recommended. Sinnes's book is an updated edition of his gas-grilling book, originally published in 1996. He has revised the text and added 100 new recipes, but it has an oddly dated feel to it: he regards grilled asparagus as rather exotic, and, at a time when grilled vegetables are showing up on fast-food menus, asserts that "most home cooks think grilling vegetables is somewhat unusual." There are also several slightly old-fashioned recipes, and it's surprising that a book devoted to grilling would call for bottled jerk seasoning and store-bought barbecue sauce. Only for comprehensive grilling collections. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
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8.12(w) x 9.12(h) x 0.25(d)

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Read an Excerpt

Good Times, Good Grilling

Surefire Recipes for Great Grill Parties
By Cheryl Alters Jamison

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 Cheryl Alters Jamison
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060534877

Strip Steaks with Worcestershire Butter

"Salt and pepper steaks," we sometimes call them. The great steaks from the short loin and the rib section beg away from any other seasoning. These strips from the short loin--sometimes labeled "Kansas City," "New York," or "Delmonico"--are almost as tender as filet cuts from the tenderloin but much meatier in flavor. Some hearty eaters can eat a whole steak, but we usually serve half portions to twice as many people. As rich as they are on their own, we can't resist a final flourish of flavored butter at the table.

Serves 4 to 8


1 tablespoon coarse salt, either kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons coarsely ground pepper
Four 14- to 16-ounce strip steaks, about 1 to 1 ¼ inches thick

Worcestershire Butter
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, preferably unsalted
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Stir together the salt and pepper and then rub over the steaks on all surfaces. Let the steaks sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

Fire up the grill for a two-level fire capable of cooking first on high heat (1 to 2 seconds with the hand test) and then on medium (4 to 5 seconds with the hand test).

Grill the steaks over high heat for 2 ½ minutes per side. Move the steaks to medium heat, turning them again, and continue grilling for 2 ½ to 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Turn the steaks a minimum of three times, but more often if juice begins to form on the surface. Rotate a half-turn each time for crisscross grill marks.

While the steaks finish cooking, melt the butter in a skillet on the edge of the grill. Whisk in the Worcestershire sauce.

Plate the steaks, spoon the melted butter over them, and serve.

Adding a Personal Signature:

Make a statement about yourself with the kind of flavored butter you serve, or offer your guests a selection to suit themselves. If you want to go for a slam dunk, you can even mash the flavoring ingredients into the butter to form logs, as the classic texts often suggest. Starting with 6 tablespoons of butter in each case, add any of the following:

  • 1 or 2 minced anchovy fillets
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mild green chile
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons minced shallots or chives
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons ground dried mushrooms, such as porcini.

Herb-Roasted Rotisserie Chicken

Nothing rivals spit-roasting in front of the fire as a way of cooking a whole chicken--producing lusciously juicy, golden-crisp birds--but few grill manufacturers provide adequate instructions on how to do it well. That's also true of directions that come with rotisseries designed to cook above the fire, such as optional attachments for charcoal grills and pared-down or older gas models. Here's our blueprint for success with both kinds of rotisseries. The directions are detailed because the process is new to many people. By the second time, you'll probably only glance at the fine print, and by the third time, we'll wager that you'll be flying solo. To serve more than four people, get more chickens of the same size and cook multiple birds simultaneously.

Serves 2 to 4 or more


1 or more plump whole chickens, 3 ¼ to 3 ½ pounds each
Coarse salt, either kosher or sea salt
Freshly milled pepper
Butter, olive oil, goose fat, duck fat, or other flavorful fat, optional
Fresh minced herbs and sprigs, such as tarragon, rosemary, basil or thyme
1 lemon or small orange, cut into wedges

At least one hour and up to a day before you plan to roast the chicken, season the chicken. If your rotisserie cooks in front of the flame rather than above it, and you want to use the fat for extra flavor, rub it on the chicken at the same time. Don't use the fat if you're cooking above the flame because much of it will drip away and increase flare-ups. Loosen the skin all over, gently nudging your fingers down under it, including the skin on the drumsticks. Rub the chicken generously with the salt, pepper, butter, and minced herbs under and over the skin, being careful to avoid tearing the skin.

After rubbing, place a few herb sprigs or citrus sections into the chicken's body cavity. Place the chicken in a large zippered plastic bag, seal, and refrigerate. Let sit at room temperature about 20 minutes before proceeding.

Truss the chicken, which ensures even cooking and keeps the bird from flopping around on the spit. Cut a piece of kitchen twine about four feet long. Set the chicken breast up on a work surface. Starting in the middle of your piece of string, wrap it around the ends of both legs, then crisscross the string back and forth around the chicken up to the neck end. Pay special attention to the wings, since you want the wings flush against the chicken's body. Tie the string ends together when you have wrapped the rest around the bird.

Fire up the rotisserie, removing the spit first if it's in place, and heat the grill with the lid closed. Use the set rotisserie temperature, if your grill functions that way, or bring the heat to medium (4 to 5 seconds with the hand test).

Slide one of the prongs onto the far end of the spit, facing toward the center. Next slide on the chicken, legs first, running the spit through the cavity. Secure the legs to the prong. Slide on the second prong and attach it to the chicken's neck end. (If you are adding a second chicken, or more, you will need a center prong piece that juts in both directions, or another pair of prongs, for each additional bird.)

Position the chicken in the center of the spit, and tighten the bolts on the prongs. If your rotisserie has a counterweight that fits on the spit or its handle, secure it in place. Attach the spit to the motor and turn on the power.

Close the grill cover unless the manufacturer's instructions say otherwise. Cook 70 to 90 minutes depending on the type of rotisserie, until an instant-read thermometer stuck in the thickest part of a thigh reads 170°F to 175°F. Don't open the cover too often or you will increase the cooking time substantially.

With heatproof mitts, remove the spit from the grill. Unscrew the counterweight and bolts, and slide off the chicken and prongs. Rest the chicken on a large cutting board. Pull off the prongs and snip off the twine. Let it sit about 10 minutes, so the juices can settle, then carve and serve.


Excerpted from Good Times, Good Grilling by Cheryl Alters Jamison Copyright © 2005 by Cheryl Alters Jamison. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Cheryl and Bill Jamison are the authors of more than a dozen cookbooks and travel guides. They appear regularly on television, and are frequent contributors to publications, including Cooking Light and Bon Appétit. They live just outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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