Thrill of the Grill: Techniques, Recipes, and Down-Home Barbecue


Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby bring a unique blend of exotic spices, American favorites, humor, and infectious enthusiasm that will put the thrill in your grill and have you coming back for seconds.

Among this book's unique features:

  • Sound advice on which grills and fuels to use, how to lay your fire, and how to know just when the ...
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Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby bring a unique blend of exotic spices, American favorites, humor, and infectious enthusiasm that will put the thrill in your grill and have you coming back for seconds.

Among this book's unique features:

  • Sound advice on which grills and fuels to use, how to lay your fire, and how to know just when the fire is at the right temperature.
  • Descriptions of the few cooking tools you need for carefree grilling, with instructions on how to use them.
  • A chapter elucidating the fine art of grilling, with tips on how to get the best, most flavorful results.
  • A chapter of innovative, full-flavored grill appetizers, eminently suitable for combining into a full meal.
  • A one-of-a-kind section on the art of barbecuing (smoke cooking), including all-new information on regional variations, barbecue terminology, and a guide to the colorful rhetoric that is an indispensable part of this cooking style.
  • An original chapter called "Sambals, Blatjangs, and Salsas," or the "sauces" of grilled foods, easily put together with raw ingredients.
  • Recipes for exotic beverages that are just the thing to wash down a spicy meal.
  • Simple down-home desserts, perfect after grilled foods.
  • 32 pages of four-color photographs of the recipes in the book.
  • A pantry section that provides you with techniques for creating recipe ingredients such as braised garlic and roasted peppers; tells you what prepared ingredients you should have on hand; and describes the variety of chile peppers and exotic fruits and vegetables used in the book.

Gone are the days when grills were considered only for hamburgers and hot dogs. The authors of the lively book make grilling exotic with spicy, taste thrills such as Duck Steak with Cumin, Molasses and Ancho Chili Glaze, and Jerk Chicken with Banana Guava Ketchup. The Thrill of the Grill is the taste of things to come. More than 200 recipes. Illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Vince Staten
Chris Schlesinger's cookbook is like his food—vivid, direct, well-seasoned, and delicious. This is a man who knows what grills like—and who is cool enough to share his hot-stuff secrets.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The ``new wave'' of grill cookery pits smoky tang against searingly hot seasonings. And fans of the capsicum genus will find plenty of it here: tabasco, serrano, jalapeno and habanero permeate recipes, with fresh ginger and garlic running a close second. Schlesinger, co-owner of the East Coast Grill in Cambridge, Mass., and coauthor Willoughby, a contributor to Cook's Magazine , seek raw, strong savor in what they serve. Some preparations are basic: grilled toast canapes, chicken hobo pack (a Boy Scout campground favorite) and barbecued bologna--``the cutting edge of new barbecue''--are well suited to beginning grillers. More intricate are the accompaniments suggested. Not all cooks, for example, will want to concoct their own banana-guava ketchup. And the authors' version of Valley-Girl-speak--they provide ``Totally Awesome Rosemary-Grilled Rabbit with Cumberland Sauce,'' and their grills, they say, ``just wanna have fun''--may amuse or annoy. Yet their enthusiasm for good times and good grilling is catching. Photos not seen by PW. Advertising; author tour; first serial to New Woman. (June)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688088323
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/28/1990
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 10.04 (w) x 7.44 (h) x 1.20 (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 Vegetable Antipasto with Braised Garlic Bread

1 large appetizer plate for 4 to 6 people

This dish--the result of my early experiments with the "grillability" of different vegetables at a time when vegetables were not used for grilling--is largely responsible for my reputation for grilling anything and everything. I encourage you to experiment with your favorite vegetables. Make sure they are ultrafresh.

Assembling this antipasto is a lot of fun. Braise the garlic ahead of time, then plan to start cooking this as your guests arrive and let them view all the colors, shapes, and sizes on the grill. It really looks beautiful. Fresh mozzarella or hard provolone makes a smart addition, and adding prosciutto can transform it into a great summer entrée. It's a dish that can sit on a table where people help themselves, and it also makes great leftovers.

8 tablespoons good olive oil
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 summer squash
1 zucchini
1 yellow onion
1 red onion
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
10 medium mushrooms
Salad oil for rub
Salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
8 sun-dried tomatoes
1 cup black olives
2 tablespoons capers
4 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
French or Italian bread

To braise the garlic:

Put 3 tablespoons of the olive oil with the garlic, wrap in foil, and cook in a medium oven (300 F) for 1/2 hour. The garlic should easily squeeze out of its skin, after which you mix it with the oil in which it was cooked to make a paste. Now you are ready to grill the vegetables.

To prepare thevegetables:

1. Slice the squash and zucchini into 1/4-inch rounds.

2. Cut the onions into quarters.

3. Cut the peppers in half and clean out the seeds and membranes.

4. Rub all the vegetables lightly with the salad oil, sprinkle them lightly with salt and pepper to taste, and grill over high heat. What you are looking for here is color. With the exception of the onion, all of the vegetables will be cooked properly when the color is right. It's actually fine to have some black parts, because that's the sugar in the vegetables caramelizing, but what you are looking for is really a dark golden brown. Don't overcook them, since you'll want to retain some crispness/ rawness in the vegetables to provide texture. The onions require special care: Keep them in quarters and grill them well on the cut sides so that when they are removed from the grill and separated, each piece will have some edges with color and grilled flavor

5. When the vegetables have achieved the desired state, toss them in balsamic vinegar and 5 tablespoons of the olive oil and arrange them on a platter along with the tomatoes, olives, and capers. Just before serving, squeeze the lemon juice over everything.

6. Cut 4 to 6 chunks of Italian or French bread. If the grill is hot, toast lightly. Be careful, as bread burns easily over an open grill. If the grill is not hot, use the oven to toast the bread. Spread with garlic paste, add to the platter with vegetables, and chomp.

Grill Lamb Steaks with Rosemary, Garlic, and Red Wine

Serves 6 as a main course

As a child traveling in Greece with my family, I had the best lamb I ever tasted. On the way to the Oracle at Delphi, my sister and I insisted that we stop at every roadside bar and sample the lamb skewers, which were rubbed with rosemary and garlic. Ever since then, I have associated the taste of lamb with the complementary tastes of rosemary and garlic from those skewers.

I think that cutting a leg of lamb into steaks works well because the leg has enough muscle tissue to give it a very nice flavor, but not so much that it is tough.

2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
6-pound leg of lamb, cut into 6 steaks (have your butcher do this for you), bone in
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

1. Make a paste of the garlic and rosemary and rub it into the steaks con mucho gusto.

2. Put the steaks into a shallow dish, add the wine and olive oil, and let the steaks wallow around in the mixture, covered for about 2 hours.

3. Remove the steaks, season them with salt and pepper to taste, and hit the grill. Grill them over a medium-high fire, 6 to 8 minutes per side for medium rare. Serve with lemon wedges and pita.

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