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Here are three new titles to open the summer grilling season. Adler and Fertig (coauthors, Weeknight Grilling with the BBQ Queens) focus on entertaining, offering menus for a variety of occasions, helpful tips and suggestions, and a good introduction to grilling and smoking. Their recipes are fairly sophisticated, and many of them include variations as well as wine suggestions. For most collections.
Flay's first restaurant, Mesa Grill in New York City, now has locations in Las Vegas and the Bahamas. The owner and executive chef of several other restaurants, he is also one of the veterans of the Food Network. The recipes in Flay's eighth cookbook are organized by ingredient, from Asparagus to White Fish, and they feature his trademark big, bold flavors. There are full-page color photographs of many of the dishes, an introductory section on grilling, and a source guide for ingredients and equipment. Expect demand.
Schlesinger (chef/owner, East Coast Grill, Boston) and Gourmet executive editor Willoughby's Thrill of the Grill is a standard, one of the first grilling books to venture beyond all-American steak and chicken. Their latest title offers more mouthwatering recipes, from Coriander-Crusted Halibut with Tomato-Mint Chutney to Smoke-Roasted Oregano Leg of Lamb. First published in England and then Americanized, the book has the occasional odd Britishism (e.g., "joint" instead of "roast"). That aside, this attractive book is filled with dozens of color photographs; four-page spreads called "Flavor Footprints" provide basic recipes from the cuisines that have most influenced the authors, e.g., Mexican-Latin and Indian. Recommended for mostcollections.
On our last trip to Thailand, we were repeatedly reminded that the ambient level of heat in that cuisine is extreme. These tasty little sticks, fashioned out of chicken tenderloins, are pretty hot for our tastebuds, but would seem relatively mild to even the least chile-loving Thai. The barbecue sauce is also good with grilled fish or pork.
Serves 4 as an appetizer
1 lb (450g) chicken tenderloins, tendons removed (12-16 pieces)
2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon good-quality curry powder
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
½ cup ketchup
½ cup mango juice
Juice of 2 limes (about ¼ cup)
2 tablespoons Southeast Asian fish sauce (or substitute soy sauce)
1-2 tablespoons Southeast Asian chile-garlic paste, to taste
2 tablespoons peeled and mined fresh ginger
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh Thai basil (or substitute Italian basil)
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
Build a fire in your grill. When the coals are all ignited, the flames have died down, and the temperature is medium-hot, you’re ready to cook.
Combine the barbecue sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Transfer about half the sauce to a small serving bowl and set aside.
Combine the chicken, red pepper flakes, curry powder, oil, and salt and pepper in a bowl, and toss until evenly coated. Thread the tenderloins onto skewers, put them on the grill directly over the coals, and cook until they are just done (3-4 minutes per side). Brush the chicken with the rest of the sauce during the last 30 seconds of cooking. To check for doneness, cut into one to make sure it is opaque all the way through.
Arrange the chicken sticks on a platter with the small serving bowl of sauce for dipping, and serve immediately.