by Sybil PrattJune, 2004
Grilling is thrilling, but part of the fun of outdoor cooking is the pleasure of dining on the porch, the beach, the roof or wherever we gather to revel in warm weather and warm company. The Big Book of Backyard Cooking by Betty Rosbottom, a syndicated food writer and well-known cooking teacher, is a salute to summer and all the wonderful dishes that have come to mean easy and appealing alfresco dining, lunching or just lounging around with a long cool drink. In these 250 recipes, American favorites mix with dishes that speak with intriguing foreign accents. When dealing with tried-and-true traditionals, Rosbottom has sought out the best versions that sing with a little new zing Sesame Fried Chicken drizzled with a honey glaze, Turkey Burgers with Balsamic Onion Marmalade (yes, you'll find grilled favorites here, too), BLTs with Basil Mayo, Parmesan Black Pepper Coleslaw and Grilled Caesar Salad. Moving your backyard beyond our borders, you can try layered Zucchini, Potatoes and Tomatoes, Greek style; Grilled Veal Chops topped with Italian-inspired gremolata (lemon zest and herbs); Indonesian Chicken Satay dipped in peanut sauce or a trendy Cuban Mojito. Make-ahead suggestions, detailed instructions and helpful notes on ingredients all add to the fun of eating "out."