License to Grill

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Chris Schlesinger and John "Doc" Willoughby single handedly raised America's grilling consciousness in their award-winning The Thrill of the Grill. Now they're back with the second generation of grilling expertise and over 200 recipes packed with bright, loud flavors. In their uniquely engaging, informal style, Chris and Doc share their grilling secrets and lead us through the daring, challenging, exciting, yet casual world of live fire cookery.

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Chris Schlesinger and John "Doc" Willoughby single handedly raised America's grilling consciousness in their award-winning The Thrill of the Grill. Now they're back with the second generation of grilling expertise and over 200 recipes packed with bright, loud flavors. In their uniquely engaging, informal style, Chris and Doc share their grilling secrets and lead us through the daring, challenging, exciting, yet casual world of live fire cookery.

This is grilling designed for the novice or pro, the duffer or dedicated man, woman, or child. In addition to covering the basics, Chris and Doc add several new, lighter dimensions to their grilling canon, with more grilled vegetables, more seafood, more pasta, and more surprisingly grillable fruit. Vibrant and adventurous, the recipes combine fresh herbs, chiles, citrus, and spices with that indefinable grilled flavor to create dishes that both satisfy and intrigue.

  • An in-depth grill briefing, including tips on easy fire starting, answers to the ten most frequently asked grilling questions, five keys to easy grilling, and — for those who can't bear to put the grill away when winter comes — a guide to fireplace grilling.
  • A chapter devoted to grilling on skewers, with hints on how to meld flavors and cook ingredients evenly, along with recipes like exotic Grilled Lamb Skewers with Apricots, Simple Grilled Swordfish Skewers, Grilled Lamb and Potato Skewers with Tomato-Green Olive Relish, and Grilled Chicken Skewers with Coconut-Ginger Sauce.
  • A section that showcases the uniquely thrilling Hobo Pack Cookery, otherwise known as Boy Scout cooking, withrecipes like Eggplant and Tomato Hobo Pack with Lemon and Garlic, and Chicken Hobo Pack with Garlic, Lemon, and Herbs.
  • A wide selection of salads and pasta dishes, such as Grilled Artichoke and White Bean Salad or Linguine with Grilled Shrimp and Black Olives, which use grilled fish, meat, and vegetables to add smoky-great flavor.
  • For you heat freaks, a chapter of high-heat dishes, from Chile-Coated Chicken Thighs with Couscous and Tomato-Raisin Relish to Grilled Shrimp with Most-Hot Lime-Chile Booster.
  • Slow and low" barbecue and grill-roasting, where classic barbecued brisket becomes MediterraneanStyle Slow-Roasted Beef Brisket, and innovative dishes like Corn Bread-Stuffed Barbecued Game Hens with Bourbon-Shallot Sauce come off the grill with deep, smoky flavor.
  • A bevy of side dishes that go great with grilled food, from K.C.'s Bengali-Style Spinach to SweetPotato Steak Fries with Your Own Catsup to grilled Corn with Lime and Chinese Roasted Salt.
  • Dozens of condiments, pickles, and spice rubs that build flavor fast with very little effort.

Packed with practical grilling instructions, anecdotes, and inventive recipes that join simple pleasure with culinary adventure, here's a book that has direct appeal to anyone who's ever wanted to put food over fire, Whether you're a novice looking for your initial License to Grill, an accomplished live fire devotee ready to earn your Ph.G. (Doctorate of Grilling), or you just want to spend some time hanging out by the fire, this is the book for you, So go ahead, unleash your 'griller instincts" and give yourself License to Grill — permission to fool around with live fire, odd a smoky sear to your dinner, and generally turn cooking into the best part of your day.

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Editorial Reviews

Barbara Kafka
Chris Schlesinger is one of those natural cooks who cannot put a spoonwrong when it comes to flavor. He is perfectly balanced by John Willoughby, who writes clearly and like a dream. Enjoy License to Grill.
Ferdinand Metz
Grilling brings out the essence of food and Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby expertly capture this in their License to Grill.
Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
Revisiting the hot coals that sparked The Thrill of the Grill, their first book, Schlesinger and Willoughby lay out 200 more recipes for the charcoal-fed, backyard cooker. Emphasizing the fun of it all, the duo offers some easily mastered dishes Lime Soup with Grilled Cumin Chicken; Grilled Veal Chops with Expensive Mushrooms. But there are also recipes that even they admit are complicated and time-consuming. The Quixotic Mixed Grill with Vegetable Skewers and Four Sauces is a monstrous Brazilian churrasco made with sweetbreads, chicken hearts, lamb chops and more. Indeed, the food here is notable for richly stratified tastes. Fruit co-stars often: Basil-Garlic Chicken with Grilled Balsamic Peaches; Grilled Sirloin and Apricot Skewers with Pomegranate Vinaigrette. Chutneys, relishes, sauces and salads repeatedly contribute verve to the main ingredient. Among nine recipes for seriously hot food, Grilled Jerk Shark with Pineapple Salsa calls for 10! Scotch bonnet peppers. Also featured here is Hobo Pack Cookery, in which food is wrapped in foil and buried in coals, where it cooks and sometimes burns. Even two of 16 dessert recipes face the fire: Grilled Bananas and Pineapple with Rum-Molasses Glaze and Grilled Pineapple with Sweet Lime-Black Pepper Sauce. This is sure to motivate anyone yearning to do more this summer than just char another steak.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688139438
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/28/1997
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Meet the Author

Chris Schlesinger is the chef/owner of the award winning East Coast Grill in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Back in Eddy in Westport, Massachusetts, and the 1996 winner of the James Beard Award for the Best Chef in the Northeast.

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Read an Excerpt

Grilled Sesame Chicken Skewers

Serves 2 as entrée 4 as appetizer

In Japan, there is a huge grilling tradition known as yakitori—which, in fact, means "grilled" in Japanese. In this tradition, skewers of meat, fish, or vegetables are grilled in a special rig that resembles a small narrow trench filled with coals. On the menus of Japanese restaurants in the United States, the word yakitori has come to mean the grilled skewers themselves. Whenever I go out to get sushi, I always like to have a couple of yakitori to get my appetite ready. Here is my interpretation of this tradition, complete with a sweet-sour soy dipping sauce and a simple but pungent, crunchy coriander shake.

For the Shake

1/4 cup coriander seeds
2 tablespoons white peppercorns (or substitute black)
1/4 cup sesame seeds

For the Dipping Sauce

1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce or other hot sauce of your choice

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into about
20 large chunks
4 scallions (white and green parts), chopped fine
2 tablespoons minced ginger
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 red bell peppers, halved, seeded, and halves quartered
2 red onions, peeled and quartered
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste
2 limes, quartered, for garnish

1. Make the shake: In a small sauté pan, combine the coriander, peppercorns, and sesame seeds and toast over medium heat, shaking the pan, until the first wisp of smoke appears, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow tocool.

2. Place the toasted spices on a flat surface and place a small sauté pan on top of them. Holding the handle with one hand, place the other hand palm side down in the center of the pan and apply pressure, rolling the pan over the spices to crack them.

3. Make the dipping sauce: In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients, mix well, and set aside.

4. In a medium bowl, combine the chicken chunks, scallions, ginger, and sesame oil and toss well. Thread the chicken onto 4 skewers alternately with the bell pepper and onion chunks, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and grill over a medium fire for 5 to 7 minutes per side. To check for doneness: Cut into one of the pieces of chicken and check to be sure it is opaque all the way through.

5. Place the chicken skewers on a platter, sprinkle with the shake, garnish with the lime wedges, and serve with the dipping sauce on the side.

Grilled Swordfish with Artichokes, Tomatoes, and Olives

Serves 4

Along with tuna, swordfish is probably the preeminent grilling fish, because the tight texture of its flesh approximates that of meat. Swordfish freezes better than any fish I know. I hesitate to say this, but there is some pretty high quality frozen swordfish referred to as "clipper sword," because it is caught and quick-frozen within hours. Freezing technology has advanced a great deal over the years, and I think a lot more of our seafood than we know is frozen and then thawed before we eat it.

But back to cooking. Here we accent the steaklike quality of swordfish with a collection of Mediterranean ingredients mixed together in a free-form chunky relish/salad type of preparation. The poached, then grilled artichokes are excellent all by themselves, but they are even better mixed with the other ingredients, and I think they complement the swordfish very well.

You can substitute steaks of tuna, mahi mahi, or salmon in this recipe.

2 large artichokes
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1 large tomato, cored and diced large
1/2 cup pitted brine-cured black olives
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
4 8-ounce swordfish steaks, about 1 1/2 inches thick

1. Cut off the top third of each artichoke, snip off the sharp tips from the remaining leaves, and trim the bottom slightly so that it is even.

2. In a small stockpot, bring 3 quarts of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the artichokes and boil for about 20 minutes, or until the outer leaves pull away easily with a sharp tug. Drain the artichokes, immediately plunge them into ice and water to stop the cooking process, and then drain again.

3. Cut the artichokes in half lengthwise, brush them lightly with 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Place the artichokes on the grill over a medium-hot fire, cut side down, and cook them for about 10 minutes, or until the cut sides are well browned. Remove the artichokes and cut each half in half.

4. In a medium bowl, combine the artichokes, tomato, olives, parsley, garlic, red pepper flakes, olive oil, and lemon juice and mix well. Set aside.

5. Check to be sure the fire is still at the medium-hot level. If it is not, add a bit of fuel and wait until it is caught. Rub the swordfish steaks with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and place on the grill. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes per side, turning only once. To check for doneness: Cut into one of the steaks; it should be just opaque throughout. Remove from the grill and serve, topped with the artichoke mixture.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2007

    A reviewer

    I tried a few of the recipies, they were so so and without pictures I would not buy this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2000

    Gourmet Grilling

    For those of you who love to grill, I highly recommend this book. The recipes are full of flavor and use a wide variety of spices and herbs. This book also includes recipes for side dishes.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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