The Big-Flavor Grill: No-Marinade, No-Hassle Recipes – Review

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The Big-Flavor Grill: No-Marinade, No-Hassle Recipes  By Chris Schlesinger & John Willoughby (Ten Speed Press, 2014)           Readers will be relieved to learn upon opening The Big-Flavor Grill, the ninth and newest collaborative cookbook by food connoisseurs Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby, that grilling is easy. “Big flavor does not need to be the result of big effort,” the authors explain. Schlesinger, the former owner and chef of East Coast Grill in Boston and contributing editor for Saveur, and Willoughby, former editor of Gourmet, take the ‘backbreaking’ out of ‘barbecuing.’ Sections are divided by protein from steak to fish (plus a veggie chapter), with five or six recipes for each — the first being “super basic.” As for the how-tos, the intro includes tips, grilling methods and a list of all the tools you’ll need. In place of fussy cooking practices and long wait-times you get recipes outlined in three easy steps: prep, grill and toss. That’s not to say the flavors aren’t complex: suggested pairings range from grilled tuna steaks with Korean-style cucumber sprout relish, to chicken skewers with peaches, smoked paprika and sherry vinegar. Details are not spared (no pun intended) on why certain meats taste and feel the way they do: baby back ribs are “nestled under the loin muscle,” accounting for their tenderness, while chicken wings have a high skin to meat ratio, making for an unbeatably rich flavor. Included in the back of the book are cocktail recipes (e.g. Mint Freeze or House Ginger Beer), so you can host full-scale cookouts like a pro. Set aside your fancy cooking gadgets, get out your tongs, and start grilling.

Reviewed by Rachael Ann Roth

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