Every spring when the grill books arrive I have the eerie sensation that maybe last year's books were cloned and rejacketed in the hopes that people forgot they had bought them already. Not so with Soaked, Slathered, and Seasoned! Elizabeth Karmel skips the usual macho seminar on flame-taming and gear; instead, she trains her laserlike focus on the real prize: where the flavor comes from.
If you've ever worshipfully bowed your head before some barbecue master's "secret sauce," it's time to make those secrets your own. And, as you'll see, "secret" doesn't necessarily mean "difficult," "elaborate" or "unreproducible" (although it might still mean "macho"). It turns out that getting people to lick their fingers is not really a mystery — more likely it's Karmel's Port and Cherry Reduction Glaze, which, like Green Olive and Lemon Salt, you are likely to conclude you should have learned to make years ago. (Fortunately, it's not too late.) (NPR Weekend Edition, The 10 Best Summer Cookbooks Of 2009, May 31, 2009)