“Grilling” by the Culinary Institute of America starts with the basics, if you need it.
There’s a handy introduction with a photographic cheat sheet of grilling utensils, photographs of the best charcoal fires and charts with grilling times and temperatures and the best types of wood for grilling.
But the guts of this grilling extravaganza begin on page 11 with the Albuquerque Dry Rub and ends with Grilled Angel Food Cake with Fresh Berries.
If Dad is looking to branch out from basic burgers, steaks and chops, this could make a nice gift for him. There are beautiful pictures to point the way from breakfast – Fried Eggs with Mushrooms and Sausage – and they keep going through dessert – Grilled Peaches with Vanilla Ice Cream and Raspberry Sauce.
Even vegetarians might enjoy its charms. The Mixed Grill of Garden Vegetables with Three Mediterranean Sauces looks amazing, as does the Grilled Vegetable Sandwich. There are recipes for grilled fennel, beet salad, Belgian endive, acorn squash and radicchio for side dishes.
There are also recipes for every kind of meat, fish or seafood that might strike your fancy: quail, game hens, chicken, lamb, beef, tuna, rabbit and even baby octopus.
I know we’ll be making the Baja-Style Fish Tacos with Southwestern Slaw at my house this summer.
Here’s a recipe from the book with a glaze that is versatile enough to work with poultry, rabbit, game, veal and meaty fish like tuna.
“Any of your favorite barbecue sauce recipes (or even bottled barbecue sauce) can make a great sparerib dish, but we really like the sweet, tart, smoky taste and rich golden orange color of the apricot and ancho glaze paired with pork spareribs in this dish,” authors wrote.
Barbecued Spareribs with Apricot-Ancho Glaze
3 tablespoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
4 teaspoons minced garlic
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 1/4 teaspoons ground black pepper
8 pounds pork spareribs
4 cups Apricot-Ancho Barbecue Glaze (recipe follows)
Make a rub by combining the paprika, cayenne, sugar, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper. Rub this mixture generously and evenly over the pork ribs. Place the ribs in a pan, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours before barbecuing.
Preheat a gas grill to medium; leave one burner off. If you are using a charcoal grill, build a fire and let it burn down until the coals are glowing red with a moderate coating of white ash. Spread the coals in an even bed on one side of the grill. Clean the cooking grate.
Grill the pork ribs over direct heat, covered until the ribs are browned on both sides, about 15 minutes per side. (If desired, add wood chips to the grill, either directly onto the hot coals or in a small aluminum pan over one of the burners.)
Bring the glaze to a simmer in a saucepan; reserve 2 cups of the glaze (and keep warm) to pass with the spareribs. Brush the ribs with a light layer of the remaining barbecue glaze and continue to grill over indirect heat, turning the ribs every 5 to 10 minutes and brushing with sauce after each turn, until the ribs are very tender and a rich glaze has built up on the ribs, another 20 minutes.
Remove the pork ribs from the grill and cut into portions. Serve on a heated platter or plates. Pass the reserved barbecue sauce on the side.
Yield: 8 servings
Approximate nutrition per serving: 627 calories, 29 grams fat (11 grams saturated, 43 percent fat calories), 56 grams protein, 33 grams carbohydrate, 180 milligrams cholesterol, 1 gram dietary fiber, 1,130 milligrams sodium.
Apricot-Ancho Barbecue Glaze
6 strips bacon, chopped
1 1/2 cups small-dice yellow onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3/4 cup ketchup
3/4 cup orange juice
3/4 packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup malt vinegar
2 ancho chilies, diced
1 teaspoon sweet or hot paprika
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Sauté the bacon in a large sauté pan over medium heat until almost crisp, about 4 minutes. Add the onions and sauté until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until aromatic, about 1 minute.
Add all the remaining ingredients. Simmer until the apricots are very soft, about 10 minutes. Taste the sauce and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.
Transfer to a blender and puree until relatively smooth. The glaze is ready to use now, or it can be cooled and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Yield: 4 cups
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