The Barbecue! Bible 10th Anniversary Edition (Anglais) Broché – 23 juillet 2008
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Which brings me to the problems with the new edition. The 2nd edition has added significant amounts of color photography and how-to diagrams, drawing on Raichlen's 2001 How to Grill for stylistic inspiration. If you're a new griller, this will be a welcome improvement. However, if you've been buying Raichlen's books since the beginning, the revision presents a problem: if you already have the first edition, you probably don't need to bother with this one. The column-oriented layout, borrowed from later books in the series, looks cluttered and dense compared to the more discrete recipe-oriented layout in the original, and with How to Grill still very much in print there's far more useful visual information to be found in that than in this edition. So where does that leave us?
Well, I don't really know. I want to recommend it. If you don't have the first edition, you should certainly get this one; it's still an excellent book on the subject, and it does live up to its name. But the recipe revisions Raichlen has made in the new edition aren't really reason enough to upgrade, and if you already have either the first edition or How to Grill you don't need the instructional photos in the new edition anyway. If you grill or want to learn how, you should have one version, but unless you have an overly visual learning style and a limited budget, the second edition won't get you much that you can't get cheaper from a used copy of the first edition.
If, however, you are interested in flavors from around the world as well as your own backyard, learning some new ways to cook--and aren't AFRAID of trying something new or occasionally exploring your local international grocery store--then this book is indispensable. (I would say that probably 80% of the recipes have ingredients that can all be purchased at your local big box grocery store, though.) Flip through it the night before you want to grill something so you can have time to marinade, if necessary. It's a weekend cookbook, not an after work, week night cookbook.
It's recipes for sangria and margaritas have become the only ones we use. The pork rollatinis, the matambre, the Asian pear dipping sauce, the satays, the peanut sauces, the jerk marinade, the pulled pork with slaw, the bulgogi, and countless others have become meal regulars. (Oh man, make the matambre!) Cooking is fun, grilling is fun, food is exciting when you're trying something new and your palate is awakened. Expand your palate and get this book--pay no attention to the nay-sayers. They can eat something safe and boring at Applebee's and leave the good food for the rest of us!
In his sweet spot of accessible grilling and barbecuing, Raichlen hits a home run. Among the qualities of his book that I enjoy:
(1) A good primer on grilling and barbecuing, explaining the difference and key concepts such as direct versus indirect cooking.
(2) Excellent photography that goes beyond sexy food shots (though there are some of those too). Photos are used to show HOW to execute key concepts, showing for example how to spatchcock (remove the backbone and butterfly) a chicken or how to fillet a whole fish.
(3) The layout is very well done , with recipes shown clearly, key tips and notes set out on lime green rectangles and a pleasing mix of text, graphics and photos.
(4) The paper and binding seem of high quality and I expect the book to weather well, which isn't always true for softcover cookbooks numbering more than 500 pages.
(5) The useful introduction included frequently asked questions that should be especially helpful for anyone closer to the start of the learning curve.
(6) There's a handy reference section in the back with metric conversions, a glossary of special ingredients and a well organized index.
(7) The book is written well and with a sense of exploration and discovery that hopefully will stimulate your own curiosity.
Raichlen has a heavy web presence too and you can get a taste of his approach at his website (just google barbecue bible) or his Facebook page, which more than 10,000 people like.