Cookbook Review: Around the Fire, Recipes for Inspired Grilling

I received this book from blogging for books. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Around the Fire by Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónz Denton, with Stacy Adimando

As summer nears I find myself looking forward to meals from the grill, I love it when the Hubby fires it up and sets out to make us something tasty. When I saw that Around the Fire was up on Blogging for Books I thought it would be a perfect to show us some new things to try out.

My first impressions. When I opened the box I was surprised by how heavy the book was. The cover has beautiful flames on it and a half sleeve around the bottom with some great food pictures on it. It would have caught my eye at the store.

In this book you will not find the typical grilled recipes, Gabi and Greg the owners and chefs at Portland, Organ’s OX will change the way you look at a grill. They use an Argentinian style grilling with a little Pacific Northwest thrown in, using fresh seasonal ingredients from the land around them. Mixing ingredients and flavors that you may not be used to, or that are normally found on a grill, but they make them wonderful. Their community loves them and they have rave reviews from many critics. Greg and Gabi have also been James Beard Award finalist and Food & Wine best new chefs, so they must be doing something right.

Around the Fire is laid out in a way that I would expect a menu to be done. First, there are the Entradas and chilled seafood that could be ordered as an appetizer or side. Then the section from the grill, with meats, seafood, and vegetables spanning over 80 pages. A section of garden dishes, salads, and warm vegetables with many sauteed dishes. Lastly the dessert section with sweets and cocktails.

Many of the recipes have large, well-done pictures with them, which is always nice to have. A nice touch they also added was some of their house recipes for condiments, sauces, and other basics. These recipes look great and have interesting concepts, they are also written out with easy to follow instructions. I want to try many of the vegetable recipes, they look delicious.

There are a couple things that I am not a big fan of with this book. Such as, there are many ingredients that are hard to find or uncommon, even though the recipe looks like it could be good I am not sure that I would go to that much trouble to make it. A couple examples, Grilled Roasted Turkey Butt, Leg of Goat, Shoulder of Lamb, all of which have intriguing recipes. Another thing I don’t love is that the desserts and some other dishes seem to be over complicated as far as flavors go. Like the dishes, you find in the restaurants where you get tiny portions of odd but tasty dishes. I don’t doubt that some of them are good, but I also fell that they are more restaurant style than a typical home cook could do with great success.

Rating: 3.5 Stars If you are an experienced cook looking to expand your grilling repertoire then I highly recommend this book.

If you like the look of this book and would like to start to improve your grilling skills, but don’t own a grill or need a new one, I would recommend you to have a look at Grilling Zen. They review different grills and pellet grills, helping you to make a more informed decision if you do want to buy a new grill. Hopefully you can make a decision on the grill that suits you best. Happy grilling!

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