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Essential cookbooks for the adventurous barbecuer

For the meat-free flame machine
Vegan, Jean-Christian Jury
Begone, veggie burgers which are just a single portobello mushroom cup in a bap: the delicately balanced lentil, pecan, sunflower seed, tofu and – obviously – portobello mushroom patty in here is great. The book’s also absolutely huge, so could conceivably be used to concuss any overbearingly pro-meat guests should they start banging on about how they simply couldn’t bear to go without a good sirloin.

For the rogue griller
Real Mexican Food, Felipe Fuentes Cruz and Ben Fordham
A lot of the recipes in here, like slow-cooked lamb barbacoa or pork carnitas, call for roasting trays and oven-roasting, but if you shuffle your white ash-covered coals to the side of the pan and keep your barbecue hood down, you can imbue them with an extra smokey aura via the barbecue instead. Plus, the margarita recipes are belting.

For the trend-conscious grillennial 
Posh Kebabs, Rosie Reynolds
Kebabs, you’ll be surprised to note, are on the brink of being rehabilitated from their status as the post-club stodge which ruins both your cholesterol levels and your trainers as that grim fat-plus-chilli-sauce-plus-miscellaneous-viscera juice drips out of the end of it. Here, you’ve got upscale examples from across the world, from the Turkish doner to shashlik and souvlaki.

For the amateur Bear Grylls who wants bare grills
Food From the Fire, Niklas Ekstedt
If wearing a novelty apron in the back garden feels a bit tragic to you, you could always go off-grid and barbecue over an open fire. The influence of Copenhagen’s Noma, the wellspring of earthy, moss-flecked Nordic cool which indirectly launched a thousand hygge articles, looms large in recipes like the ember-cooked herring with lingonberries.

For nailing the basics
Pitt Cue Co: The Cookbook, Tom Adams, Jamie Berger, Simon Anderson and Richard H Turner
Barbecue restaurants seem to be entering their last days of Rome phase – for Caligula nominating his horse to the Senate, read Rub Smokehouse’s doughnut and waffle brisket burger, which comes with a candy floss garnish – but some retain their commitment to craft. There’s no whacky frat-boy grandstanding in this book from the vaunted Soho hangout, just the kind of Americana which automatically sticks John Denver on your mental jukebox crossed with urban street-smarts.

Published in: August 2017

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