by Sybil PrattJuly, 2003
The guru of grilling returns
Steven Raichlen, the man who wrote The Barbecue Bibleª, is back with a new ode to outdoor cooking, BBQ USA: 425 Fiery Recipes from All Across America. Smoky Steve crisscrossed the country, sampling our "most distinctive culinary tradition" in all its magnificent variations, and the result is this spectacular cookbook. A concise intro demystifies the art of grilling and smoking and explains how to set yourself up. Then the fun really begins, and it starts with starters. Once a novelty, grilled appetizers, from honey-sweet Crusted Indy Wings to Grilled, Chilled, Dilled Tomato Soup, are making their mouth-watering way into the outdoor repertoire. Delectably different salads, breads and pizzas lead to the main event beef, lamb, pork, chicken, burgers, fish and crustaceans, rubbed, marinated, mopped or sauced. Enticing ethnic accents abound, such as Romanian Garlic Skirt Steaks, Cuban Lechon Asado, wasabi-laced tuna "Sushi" Burgers and Greektown Kebabs. But, to borrow a non-cookbook phrase, this is a "sweeping saga" of America's long and lusty love affair with its home-grown, fire-based cooking. From Kansas City smoked brisket, North Carolina pulled pork and Cajun beer-can chicken to Alder-planked salmon from the northwest coast and planked Shad from Connecticut, all the regional specialties are represented here. Veggies, sides and desserts get a fair shake too, and if you want to dine out on some of these treasures, restaurant recommendations are included. Come on Steven, light our fire!