I am new to grilling and have to admit that I find the whole prospect intimidating. In the past, I have left the grilling up to someone else, but I LOVE grilled food. I love it! Living in Texas, it is almost mandated by the state to love grilling. Tasty grilled foods are everywhere: family gatherings, game day celebrations, Sunday afternoons with friends coming by, and even restaurants all feature grilled foods as the main event.
So when my sister-in-law up graded her grill and asked me if my husband and I wanted her old one, I just had to say “yes!” I mean it was free after all. Nice grills are expensive, and, newly married, my husband and I are just trying to recover from the cost of the wedding. Also, we are trying to build a group of mutual friends and get to know each other’s families better. What better way to do this, but by hosting cookouts?
Did I mention, though, that I find grilling intimidating? My husband, as the youngest in a large family of grilling gurus, has himself sampled many a grilled food, but never had to cook himself. So he is no help to get me to break my proverbial grilling virginity. I needed help and I found it!
I found a great book: Weber’s Time to Grill by Jamie Purviance. If you read the indexed recipes for this book, it looks like something written for established chefs with menu items like Bacon wrapped Turkey Breast with Apple Sage Stuffing and Creamy Chicken Linguini with Wilted Tomatoes. This book’s content is a far cry from just grilled franks and burgers; although it does discuss how to cook those old standbys.
What I like about this book is even though it has some fancy recipes, it is easy to follow and shows you not only how to grill, but more importantly, how to grill fast! It tells you how to stock you pantry, listing items from grilling essentials to items that are “good to have.” It even comes with free mobile tools you can access on any smartphone or Web-enabled mobile device. This is awesome because it lets me prepare for people coming over at the drop of a hat, without taking hours of prep work. With both my husband and I working a lot, I love the idea that we have the time to grill!
The way the book is organized is really awesome too. The table of contents is color coded according to food type, i.e. red meat, chicken, eggs, veggies, and even desserts! It also links you quickly to the basic grilling guide tips and the index.
So remember that I said the recipes looked fancy? The 200 plus recipes have minimal ingredients and many have prep times under 15 minutes but the rest are under 30 minutes, which isn’t bad. These are great time saving recipes with pictures for each dish. Also, don’t forget that the book includes mobile apps to allow you throw a last minute shindig and shop on the way home from work!
As for taking away the intimidation factor, this book has loads of details about grilling techniques, including time-saving tips and shortcuts. The book teaches you to build your skills with step-by-step how-tos. It’s great because I can start with the easiest grill items, hot dogs and burgers, then work my way up to Whole Tenderloin with Béarnaise and Asparagus. Plus, I LOVE all the pictures!!!
The charts and grilling guide really are great quick reference items. I also love the fact that the book includes more than just meat. There are soups, salads and yummy desserts! Everything you need for a simple family meal to a party!
With this book in my arsenal, I may just become the most popular grill gal with all my friends and family!