Around the Fire: Recipes for Inspired Grilling and Seasonal Feasting from Ox Restaurant [A Cookbook]

Around the Fire: Recipes for Inspired Grilling and Seasonal Feasting from Ox Restaurant [A Cookbook]


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One hundred innovative and exciting recipes for the backyard griller—inspired by the live-fire and asador cooking traditions of Latin America and the authors' popular restaurant, Ox, in Portland, Oregon.

Take your backyard barbecue game to the next level with Around the Fire, the highly anticipated debut cookbook from celebrated chefs Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton. These are black-belt grilling recipes—inspired by the live-fire cooking traditions of Latin America, as well as the seasonal philosophy of their Portland, Oregon restaurant, Ox—that will change the way you think about and cook with fire. Featuring unexpected cuts of meat (like Grilled Lamb Shoulder Chops with Rosemary Marinade or Grilled Wild Halibut on the Bone with Toasted Garlic-Lemon Oil); seasonal produce (Grilled Butternut Squash with Za’atar and Charred Green Onion Yogurt will delight vegetarians and carnivores alike); and plenty of starters, salads, desserts, and drinks, Around the Fire will help make your next outdoor feast the stuff of legend.

— Mother Jones Best Cookbooks of 2016

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781607747529
Publisher: Clarkson Potter/Ten Speed
Publication date: 03/29/2016
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 153,884
Product dimensions: 7.70(w) x 10.70(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

GREG DENTON and GABRIELLE QUIÑÓNEZ DENTON are the chefs and owners of the critically acclaimed Ox Restaurant in Portland, Oregon. The James Beard Award finalists and Food & Wine best new chefs have earned rave reviews and legions of fans for their creative and edgy cooking.

STACY ADIMANDO is a food and travel journalist and cookbook author whose work has been published by NPR, Bon Appétit, Conde Nast Traveler, Food & Wine, Forbes, and many more. She lives in San Francisco.

Read an Excerpt

Igniting a Passion
A great grilled meal stays with you, as does the experience of cooking one around a fire. Some of the happiest times of our lives have been celebrated around a grill. The two of us—now the husband-and-wife chef-owners of Ox Restaurant in Portland, Oregon—fell in love while cooking over a wood-fired grill in Napa Valley. That was in 1999, and you might say we’ve been on a quest to share our passion for the grill ever since. Maybe our story makes us a little biased toward this style of cooking. But we have a strong feeling that you, too, have some good memories tied to gathering around a fire and grilling.

That first grill where we worked together was at chefs Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani’s restaurant Terra in St. Helena, California. This Michelin-starred wine country restaurant was also where we first met, and where we both cooked professionally for the first time over a mesquite-fueled fire. Our job was smoky, it was sweaty, and it was flat-out the most inspiring way either of us had ever prepared food.

Any chance we had, we would daydream about and make plans for opening a restaurant with a wood-fired grill of our own someday.

In between our jobs at Terra, getting married, and opening Ox thirteen years later, the two of us cooked and ate in various parts of the world, Hawaii, Italy, and Spain among them. When creating our plans for our restaurant, Ox, we knew that—in addition to the influences we took home from these regions—we also wanted to incorporate flavors and inspirations from Gabi’s Latin American roots. She spent almost every summer of her youth at her family’s home in the Andean highlands of Quito, Ecuador, developing a love for local flavors and traditions while watching her grandmother cook foods like empanadas, hominy stew, and all kinds of seafood ceviches. We also knew we would build our menu around what’s in season, as well as make sure we offered something for everybody—vegetarians, food-sensitive diners, everybody.

With our grill goals in mind, we studied the flavors and techniques of one of the best grilling regions in the world: Argentina. There, a simple grill grate propped over a fire and a dedication to using all parts of an animal yield dramatic, meaty masterpieces. Meals last hours, platters are always heaping, and dining companions are generous and hospitable. There is an idea among Argentinians that what comes from their own land is the best there is—and that it is all you need for a meal.

At Ox, we do Argentinian-style grilling with a Pacific Northwest approach. We cook over an open-fire Argentinian grill, known traditionally as a parrilla (pronounced pah-ree-sha), and much of our menu celebrates the bounty—vegetable, seafood, and meat—of the area surrounding Portland, our home since 2008. When we moved here, something about the community told us instantly it was the right place to open our restaurant. In this part of the country, people are passionate about ingredients and open-minded about cuisine. We are forever flattered and grateful that they embraced our concept with open arms—a South American–style grill with a Portland-esque respect for local ingredients and eating by the seasons.

While Portland and Ox are very special to us, we believe that what we do at Ox—and everything we have learned from our travels to South America and Europe—can be more or less replicated wherever you are. The pages of this book are designed to inspire you to have an affair with your own grill—be it wood-fired, charcoal-fueled or, yes, even gas—and bring people together around it. (In our Grilling Basics section on page 5, there are tips for maximizing the potential of whatever style of grill you have.)

Of course, there’s a reason a gorgeous crackling fire often lures people to gather around and stay awhile. Besides being warm and giving nourishment, it’s relaxing and enchanting, something that can intrigue and mesmerize you for hours. We hope that the ideas and recipes inside this book will tickle the same elemental urges and instincts as fire itself does, and ignite some adventure in both your backyard and kitchen cooking.

When we visited Argentina and Uruguay together, we were so moved by the resourcefulness and cleverness of the chefs and hosts we met. They can make a grill out of anything, and they apply the fire’s magic to the most unlikely cuts of meat. Drawing inspiration from these traditions, we’ve taken a leap in using some lesser-known cuts and ingredients in this book. We promise they are worth your while to seek out. But even if you don’t, there is plenty in these pages to suit and surprise you.

As for steaks, oh yes, they are here, and they are divine. But we’ve picked other proteins that we are almost more excited for you to try, like shoulder chops instead of rack of lamb, fish tails instead of fillets, and spiced morcilla sausages instead of spicy Italian. We are convinced these other types of protein will not only encourage you to think outside your grill routines but also might save you some cash and probably become why-didn’t-I-think-of-that favorites. We don’t like to be stuck in ruts as chefs, and we believe no home cook or host should suffer that fate either.

Of course, extraordinary grilling is not just about meat. At Ox, the grill grate is just as often covered with stunning seasonal vegetables—like enormous artichokes tenderizing to perfection and singeing on the ends, or halves of golden spaghetti squash or summer cantaloupes sliced down the center and left to soften and caramelize over the embers. These are the dishes that surprise many of our first-time restaurant diners, because we are not a traditional steak house, and these are not your traditional North American grill recipes.

Regarding the barbecue sauces and bottled condiments that are strategically missing from these pages, here’s our take: grilled foods create their own natural, succulent, and luscious juices, so why waste them? We harness those drippings and season them with fresh, pungent herbs and spices, like bundles of rosemary and cloves of garlic; then we use these newly seasoned drippings to baste our grilled foods in their own amped-up natural juices. And when we need a condiment, we turn to the Argentinian classic: glistening, pungent chimichurri.

More than just give ideas, we’ll teach you how to break down and prepare more flavorful cuts of protein, and provide seasonings, bastes, flavorings, and techniques that will hopefully allow you to expand the list of foods—not just familiar cuts of meat but also veggies, fruit, seafood, and offal—you get inspired to grill. We’ll also share some fun finishing touches to try. We take pleasure in the look on diners’ faces when they see fresh truffle shaved over their grilled leg of goat, or when they dip their spoon into the jalapeño-laced smoked marrow bone that sits atop our clam chowder. These flourishes can be omitted, but we urge you to try them since it is worth it to go the extra mile. This book is about sharing craft and creativity, inspiring new menus, and helping to create new associations with the grill and new memories around it.

A very important distinction we’d like to make—and one we think sets our book apart from other grilling books out there—is that not every dish that follows is cooked on the grill. To us, sautéed side dishes, crisp salads, creamy soups, chilled ceviches, and roasted and toasted elements of all kinds are essential accents that help bring balance to every meal, including grill-centric ones. We do not expect man to live off the grill alone. Though that would not be a tragic fate.

Our vision is that these recipes will help promote more than just cooking seriously good food but also the joy of sharing it, hosting with ease, and spending relaxed hours around the table. This kind of cooking and eating harkens back to our travel experiences in South America and Europe—some of our best memories ever of eating—where family-style feasts are everyday occurrences and where it seems the simpler the food, the more awe it inspires. It mirrors the technique, flavors, and heart of places where we have found so much inspiration: Argentina, Uruguay, and Ecuador. Their cooking is the epitome of simplicity and soul, and like the Europeans, they know how to execute and enjoy a long, lovely meal like the best of them. As the world gets closer and smaller—communication and travel are easier, and people are taking trips near and far to expand their food experiences—everybody seems to be on a quest to find and re-create that same feeling these far-flung places foster. Here’s the secret we want to share: it’s right in your own backyard.
—Greg and Gabi

Table of Contents

Part 1 Beginnings
Chapter 1 Entradas  31
Spiced Beef Empanadas
with Olives and Raisins  32
Grilled Corn Empanadas
with Poblano and Gruyère  36
Grilled Artichokes
with Espelette Mayo  39
Broiled Cantaloupe
with Hand-Stretched Mozzarella Curds and Prosciutto  40
Baked Ricotta with Button Mushroom Confit and Balsamic Brown Butter  43
Coal-Roasted Oysters on the
with Chimi Mayo and Manchego  44
Dungeness Crab Bruschetta
with Avocado, Radish, and Shiso  47
Clam Chowder with Smoked Beef Marrow Bones, Green Onion, and Jalapeño  48
Grilled Foie Gras with Caramelized Onion–Sherry Broth, Savoy Cabbage, and Gruyère Toasts  50
Foie Gras Terrine  53
Grilled Lamb Heart
with Charred Leek Puree and
Toasted Pine Nuts  55
Beef Tenderloin Tartare
with Fried Squid and Herb-Caper Emulsion  59
Smoked Beef Tongue
with Ensalada Rusa and
Sweetbread Croutons  60
Spicy Tomato-Braised Beef Tripe with Poached Octopus and Mint Aïoli  65
Chapter 2 Chilled Seafood  69
Shrimp Ceviche with Chiles, Avocado, and Popcorn  70
Mussel Poke with Celery, Ginger, and Sesame  72
Scallop Dynamite Salad with Avocado, Nori, and Tobiko  73
Salmon Gravlax with Orange-Chile Oil, Cucumber, and Shiso  74
Poached Squid and Octopus Salad with Fennel, Orange, and Celeriac  77
Albacore Tuna Ceviche with Yuzu, White Soy, and Tomato  79
Part 2 From the Grill
Chapter 3 Grilled Meats  83
Grilled Beef Skirt Steak with Onion Marinade  84
Grilled Bone-In Beef Rib-Eye Steak with “Black Gold”  87
Grilled Flanken-Style Beef Short Ribs  89
Grilled Veal Chops with Chanterelle Mushroom Stroganoff  91
Grill-Roasted Veal Sweetbreads with Spring Crudités and
Anchoïade  92
Grilled Maple-Brined Pork Chops  95
Grilled Chorizo Sausages  96
Grilled Morcilla Sausages  100
Ash-Seared Lamb Loin with Celery, Cilantro, Orange, and Cumin-Chile Oil  102
Grilled Lamb Shoulder Chops
with Rosemary Marinade  105
Grill-Roasted Leg of Goat
with White Truffle, Button Mushroom, and Fresh Ricotta Salad  106
Grilled Whey-Brined Quail with Sage-Roasted Grapes  108
Grilled Butterflied Whole Chicken with Grilled Figs, Manouri Cheese, and Lentil Chimichurri  110
Grill-Roasted Turkey Butts
with Cilantro-Peanut Relish and Watermelon  113
Grilled Squab “al Diablo”
with Sesame-Chile Oil  116
Grilled Duck Breasts
with Brandied Cherries  118
Chapter 4
Grilled Seafood  121
Grilled Head-On Spot Prawns with Garlic, Green Onion, and Sumac  122
Grilled Sea Scallops with English Peas and Orange-Pastis Butter  125
Grilled Whole Dungeness Crab with Smoked Tomato–Ancho Chile Butter  126
Grilled Albacore Tuna and Morel Mushrooms with Nettle and Green Garlic Salsa Verde  129
Grilled Wild Halibut on the Bone with Toasted Garlic–Lemon Oil  133
Grilled Mackerel with Charred Poblano Romesco and Pickled Red Onion  138
Grilled Side of Salmon  141
Cast-Iron Grilled Whole Trout with “Black Gold” Fingerling Potatoes and Capers  142

Chapter 5 Grilled Vegetables  145
Grilled Maitake Mushrooms
with Smoked Sea Salt and
Green Onions  146
Grilled Spicy Green Beans
with Cashews and Basil  148
Grilled Baby Bok Choy with Ecuadorian Peanut Sauce and
Hard-Boiled Egg  149
Grilled Zucchini and Eggplant
with Castelvetrano Olive–Almond Salsa  151
Blistered Snap Peas with “Everything” Bagel Seasoning, Chive Mascarpone, and Smoked Salmon Roe  152
Coal-Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Toasted Garlic, Lemon, and Aged Goat Cheese  154
Grilled Asparagus with Herbed Dungeness Crab and Crispy
Capers  157
Grilled Padrón Peppers
with Corn, Tomatoes, Fried Egg,
and Manchego  158
Grilled Sweet Onion with Buttered Beets, Blue Cheese, and Walnuts  161
Grilled Butternut Squash
with Za’atar and Charred Green Onion Yogurt  162
Grilled Portobello Mushrooms
and Heirloom Tomato with
Faux Béarnaise  165
Grilled New Potato and Onion Skewers with Bacon-Sherry
Cream  166
Grilled Broccolini with Taleggio Cream and Hazelnuts  169

Part 3 From the Garden
Chapter 6 Salads  173
Kale and Radicchio Salad
with Miso-Lemon Dressing, Feta, and Crispy Red Onion Rings  175
Simple Green Salad  177
Little Gem Lettuces with Mozzarella Milanesa and Fried Anchovy Vinaigrette  178
Belgian Endive Salad with Pecans, Fresh Cherries, Dijon Vinaigrette, and Stilton Blue  180
Cucumber and Strawberries
with Calabrian Chile and Cured
Black Olive Relish, Pine Nuts,
and Chèvre  183
Heirloom Tomatoes with Shaved Sweet Onion, Capers, Bottarga,
and Cress  184
Grilled Radicchio and Corn
with Mt Tam Triple Cream and Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette  187
Salt-Crusted Heirloom Tomatoes with Basil, Oregano, and Grilled Bread  190
Roasted Cauliflower with Spicy Golden Raisin Vinaigrette, Mint,
and Sesame  193
Sautéed Mushrooms
with Foie Gras, Sweet Onion,
and Wilted Spinach  194
Maple-Glazed Heirloom Carrots with Chèvre and Truffle-Salted Pistachios  196
Fried Potatoes with Horseradish Aïoli and Dill  199
Stewed Heirloom Hominy with Fava Beans, Pork Belly, and Fried Duck Egg  200

Savory Apple and Roasted Onion Crumble with Walnut-Thyme Streusel  203 
Gratin of White Beans with Grilled Escarole, Sunchokes, and Bagna Cauda Cream  204
Part 4 Sweets and Drinks
Chapter 8 Desserts  209
Warm Hazelnut Brown Butter Torte with “Honeycomb” Candy and Honey-Chamomile Ice Cream  210
Grilled Banana with Malted Chocolate Semifreddo and Sunchoke Chips  213
Vanilla Bean Tres Leches Cake
with Marionberry Ice Cream  214
Alfajor Cookies
with Dulce de Leche  217
Warm Parmesan Pound Cake
with Whipped Mascarpone, Raspberries, and Basil Sugar  218
Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
with Molasses Cream and
Fudge Sauce  221
Pineapple-Cucumber Sorbet  223
Grilled Peaches with Maple–Sweet Corn Panna Cotta  224
Strawberry-Cherry Sorbet
with Chocolate Magic Shell and Crushed Pistachios  227
Chapter 9 Cocktails  229
Dirty Grandma Agnes  230
Calimocho  231
Things Done Changed  232
La Yapa  235
The Whey of the Gun  236
Ox Blood  239

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