How to Grill Vegetables by Steven Raichlen
Raichlen has written 31 books. I've read at least half at them, own probably 10 or so. I prefer his work on outdoor grill/barbecue to his lower calorie ethnic cuisine from the '90s.
He wrote an excellent book, How to Grill that taught me a lot. In 2011 he was a guest here at Cheftalk for 4 days, but I can't pull that forum up on the new software.
Raichlen is a bit chatty and wordy. I don't mind it so much here but I think that's informed from having watched his many PBS cooking shows where he's similarly loquacious. In this particular case, the layout of the epub and the wall-of-words content make finding things a little more work. Rather than breaking to a new "page" at the start of each recipe the next one starts right up with similar spacing and breaks and just bolded text to show the beginning. Yes, it works, but white space adds a lot to readability and friendliness of the text. Some of it has to do with my preferred ereader app, Librera. Librera is very tolerant of epub quirks and supports lots of ebook formats. It will open books my earlier preference, FBReader, will not. But its tolerance means some of this book's nuance gets simplified. When viewed on my PC in Calibre, the font and color and layout do improve. But I do most of cookbook reading on my phone so the app makes some layout tweaks for the device. I don't know how to resolve this issue as its the one of the trade-offs of reflowable text. Still a forced page break in an epub doesn't waste any paper so I would hope it becomes more standard.
In How to Grill, Raichlen gave detailed instructions and photos for setting up a grill for every recipe. It was highly repetitive, but I appreciated it for those times you are just coming back to look at a specific recipe. He never did it again that I've encountered. Instead, he's tended to start books talking about how to set up and use different kinds of grills and smokers to achieve the different temperatures and techniques he'll use in the book. A Weber Kettle type grill is probably the most versatile of these tools if you're looking for just one device. Dedicated smokers may not be able to lay on the sear or hit the higher temps of some of these recipes.
Anyway, the opening discussion is worth reading even if you're experienced with this sort of cooking. You'll know how he's using particular terms and temperature ranges for the recipes. Every recipe calls out the gear and the technique/method so you might have to look in the first chapter for an explanation of what he intends for the recipe.
The recipes tend to be a bit more complex than just oiling up the grates, seasoning the vegetables and grilling. For the Shitakes Channeling Bacon, you'll thinly slice the shitake, shallow fry in a fry pan, cool, then smoke and finally season at the end. Not that any of that is hard, but most of the recipes involve some extra steps in a similar kind of way. The starters chapter was a strong start to the book for me, with every recipe opening up new ideas. The bacon I just mentioned, Buffalo Broccoli, the grilled avocado dishes..
The Salad, Slaws, Soup chapter was probably the low point for me personally. Most of these ideas struck me as retreads. It only included one soup. I don't think he put much effort into this one. Minestrone, Hot and Sour would both lend themselves to some grill time or smoker just off hand.
George Hirsh's PBS grilling prgrams from the 90s would help you in thinking this way. He tended to have pre-grilled vegetables ready to go for building these sorts of recipes in his programming.
Similarly with the next chapter for breads, these ideas are largely well established and practiced. Good to have for completeness though if you're new to the ideas.
Things pick up again as we transition to small plate ideas, then main dish kinds of things, then various accompaniments. The great thing about this is that you can pick a few different recipes to prepare simultaneously as many grills are big enough to support the task. Just make sure they share a similar temperature and cooking method.
I particularly enjoyed his eggs and cheese chapter. Eggs take to the grill and smoke surprisingly well. His cheese tends mostly to the grill rather than smoking. I'd have liked more ideas about smoking cheese and using it.
The desserts chapter wasn't so much to my taste. Smoke is often too much for these things and the grill can be tricky to avoid burning the sugars. Probably my favorite here were the Hasselback Apples, indirect grilled on a cedar plank.
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He's not done though. The Appendices offer up a variety of sauces, condiments and such. And an alphabetic listing of vegetables that offers ideas on how to prepare each in a variety of live fire methods as a launching point for your own explorations.
Very much worth adding to your cookbook library if you like grilling and smoking. Or if you're thinking about getting into that kind of cooking, this will help you understand the versatility.
The original How to Grill is also a book I highly recommend.