All Fired Up
by John and Margaret Howard
Published by Firefly Books
224 pages, 1998
Buy it online
Reviewed by Linda Richards
For many people, summertime and barbecue are practically synonymous. From the big, fat steaks of the American southwest to the "shrimp on the barbie" down under, grilling food and summer go hand in hand.
This affection with grilling in warm weather no doubt accounts for the timing of the release of All Fired Up though not for all of its content. Grilling food outdoors is covered, and in depth. But so is indoor grilling as well as things that nicely accompany barbecued food.
All Fired Up is a lovely book: beautifully photographed, produced and thoughtfully written. The photographs are beautiful and -- for some -- might be almost alarmingly mouthwatering: there are certain sections that the vegetarian will want to give a wide berth! On the other hand, eaters-of-greens haven't been left out, either: a chapter called Vibrant Vegetable Eating packs in both excellent information on grilling things that never walked as well as some very good vegetable-based recipes: things like Roasted Beets with Creamy Orange Sauce and Grilled Tarragon Shiitake Mushrooms. Many would either make a lovely meat accompaniment or -- in larger quantities -- a great main course.
A chapter dedicated to accompaniments and another to marinades and sauces go far beyond grilling: meat or anything else. But they're good additions that enrich the book. While some of the recipes -- like the Asparagus Salad with Creamy Dressing -- are made with main ingredients that have been grilled. Others -- like Insalata Caprese -- are made entirely without benefit of a grill.
A chapter on desserts gives the book an appropriate finish. As the author writes:
Since the entree is finished and the fire is still glowing, why not grill a sweet ending finale?
And with options like Strawberry Brochettes and Grilled Fruit and Maple Pizza why not, indeed?
Interesting and easy-to-follow recipes, beautiful art direction and appetizing looking photographs All Fired Up looks like a winner for the summer cookshelf. | August 9, 1998