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Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way (Anglais) Relié – 22 avril 2009

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Descriptions du produit

The Argentines grill more meat per capita than any nation on earth. Francis Mallmann was raised in the mountains of Patagonia, trained in the great kitchens of Europe, and returned home to become the top chef in Buenos Aires and the biggest star on South American food television. In 1995 he gave up cooking fancy food and applied all the lessons of haute cuisine to maximizing flavor and texture with wood-fired cookery. His food is astoundingly bright and vivid with burnt, crusty tastes both rustic and refined. Recipes range across the menu, including non-grilled recipes for what to eat while you're building the fire. Most recipes are adapted for cooking indoors, so this is a cookbook for any season, any kitchen. Francis' seven fires are: Chapa - a cast iron griddle or skillet (the form most used in this book); Little Hell - cooking with fire above and below the food; Parilla - basically what's called barbecuing or grilling in the US; Horno de Barro - cooking in a wood-fired clay oven; Rescoldo - cooking food by burying in hot embers and ashes; Asador - cooking whole pigs or lambs affixed to an iron cross that faces a bonfire; and, Caldero - cooking in an iron cauldron or Dutch oven.

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170 internautes sur 183 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Seven Fires is a Masterpiece 29 mai 2009
Par Cincinnati Hound - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Before I describe this book, there is something you need to know about me. I am not your usual "grill guy". To the contrary, while I have grilled my entire adult life, it was a technique that I never took too seriously. I'm an excellent all around cook, so the grill was just another one of the tools in my arsenal.

However, my real passion is traditional, hardwood smoked barbecue - something that you really can't buy at a restaurant or make on a grill. It is a unique blend of art and science that is slowly being replaced by gas fired cookers that sort of flavor the meat with wood smoke rather than cooking the meat with it. If you have had the real thing, then you know the difference. Words alone will not describe it.

Because of this, the grill to me was only another tool based on inferior fuel sources. Gas versus charcoal? Who cares, there is nothing that special about the taste of either. They both allow you to keep your kitchen cool, be outside and get grill marks on your food. Sorry, I don't feel the magic.

This was my stance until a week or so ago when I caught an article in the New York Times about grilling with wood. The article really brought the whole problem I had with grilling into focus - grilling with gas or charcoal doesn't really add that much desirable flavor. But grilling with wood ......... that is something I could work with. In the article, they made brief mention of Francis Mallmann's new book Seven Fires - Grilling the Argentine Way. They baited me just enough to know that I had to have it because Memorial day was close at hand and offered the opportunity for some experimentation with wood grilling.

I have collected cookbooks for years, which includes a large section dedicated solely to (real) BBQ and grilling. They all pretty much read the same, some good old boy is telling you how to cook meat and make some sides to go with it. Mallmann's book breaks that mold.

First, the book is as much about culture and a passion for food as it is about cooking with wood. Secondly, it is well organized and thoughtful - giving a glimpse to the experience and mastery of the author. Lastly, it is a work of art - beautiful photographs showing not only prepared food, but of the people that enjoy it and the gorgeous land that inspires it. I'm a tough critic of food and books about it, but I can honestly say I found it inspirational. It speaks to the heart first, the stomach second. Passion is the key ingredient for exceptional food.

I read the book cover to cover my first day, used the next day to strategize my cooking setup to utilize the principles and on the third and fourth days we cooked with wood. The recipes are straightforward, have small ingredient lists and turn out just as described. Day One was Pork Tenderloin with Burnt Brown Sugar, Orange Confit and Thyme. Day Two was Chicken Chimehuin (flavored with garlic, rosemary, lemon juice and lemon confit). In a word, extraordinary.

My bottom line: buy the book and be prepared to never see grilling the same way.

If you want to read about my first wood grilling experience and see pictures of the results, visit [...]
60 internautes sur 64 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Simply the best book about Argentine cooking available in English 25 mai 2009
Par Penumbra - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
"Seven Fires" has to be the best Argentine cookbook available in the English language. For one thing, it's written by a native Argentine, Francis Mallmann, who also happens to be one of the world's greatest chefs. Mallmann has three restaurants of his own, two in Argentina and one in Uruguay. "The Times of London" and "USA Today" have called his restaurants among the ten best places to eat in the world.

More than just a simple cookbook, the first ten pages of "Seven Fires" include brief chapters about Mallman's background growing up in the beautiful Patagonian lake district of Bariloche, and some general material about Argentina.

There is extensive and detailed information to get you off to the right start, including a chapter on "The Ways of Fire", including how to build and light a fire, the life cycle of a fire, how hot is "hot", and things you should be aware of whether dealing with wood or charcoal. Space is given to the parrilla, which is the grill itself (yours may be a hibachi or a Weber kettle, but principles are the same); the chapa, a flat piece of cast iron set over the coals; the infiernillo technique that involves two fires and which the author poetically refers to as "a little hell"; the horno de barro (outdoor oven); the rescoldo, which is cooking in the embers, and the asador method of cooking whole animals.

Separate chapters deal with making Appetizers; Beef; Lamb, Pork & Chicken, Fish & Shellfish, Vegetables, Light Meals & Salads, Deserts, Breads, and Basics (things like sauces and tapenades). There is plenty of variety among the recipes. Sure, the author addresses cooking an entire cow - which the average reader probably won't be doing at home - but don't worry he also talks about making the perfect steak, and many other recipes for beef. He also presents dishes as wide ranging as empanadas, caramelized endive in vinegar, salt crusted chicken, brook trout in crunchy potato crust, and dulce de leche flan or crepes soufflés with raspberry preserves, and hundreds more. The recipes are generally simple and easy to follow.

The photography is gorgeous. Not every finished dish is pictured, but the book is lavishly illustrated with beautiful pictures of food preparation, food presentation, and breathtaking views of the Argentine landscape.

Written with the US audience in mind, the measurements are non-metric.

This is a beautiful book. It goes far beyond a mere collection of recipes and becomes more of a cultural exploration.

Highly recommended!
39 internautes sur 45 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
This is a quantum leap book 21 juin 2009
Par Thomas Harper - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
You should consider this book as a quantum leap experience - not your version of the East Tuscan New Flavor Cooking Experience, etc., but something which gives you totally new insights in food preparing. After studying the book and preparing some of the presented dishes, it is for me not so much the "fire" cooking approach, which is for most people who don't have a 20 acre country property at hand (beware of the neighbors) anyway out of reach. Rather, the insightful knowledge transmitted by Francis Mallmann is his methodic approach to "burnt" food, that is, generating taste by controlled burning of food. The interesting take is here, that Mallmann uses burning techniques mainly (or only) with vegetables, but not with meat. In this respect, he advocates (correctly) meat grilling at comparably low temperatures, contrary to the typical (US) American steak house approach (huge cuts, burnt outside and left rare inside, served with mushy vegetables). Almost every aspect of the book documents that this write up entails a compilation of decades of professional experience and tinkering with food, and the recipes are very well adapted for home cooking (some upgrading in Lodge cast ironware required, although, and anybody with a professional grade exhaust system is at an advantage). I am, however, not of the opinion that the recipes are "easily" to be followed. In spite (or even because) of the simplicity of the arrangements, the home chef must have excellent execution skills to deliver. All in all, a fantastic book. Thank you, Francis Mallmann, for passing your collected wisdom on to us.
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Before you buy this, think about your backyard and your lifestyle 7 septembre 2010
Par I Do the Speed Limit - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This cookbook is exciting to read. If you like fire and like to grill outdoors, it really gets your brain thinking creatively. I bought it many, many months ago, and while I've not been able to use a single recipe from it, the book still has me thinking....thinking about how I can get this method of cooking to work in my yard!

Positive: The author's view on "the taste of burnt" alone will have you rethinking your grilling philosophy and tweaking your techniques. (Think of "burnt" as another positive facet of the food's taste and appearance.) Just thinking about the "Life of a Fire"--flames, coals, embers, ashes and cinders--will open your eyes to the possible ways that these stages can be utilized in the cooking process.

Positive/Negative: Indoor alternatives are provided to grilling the Argentine Way outdoors. You will need a WELL-ventilated kitchen. And the indoor alternatives are really not that exciting....(like cooking in a cast iron pan on the stove).

Negative: Unless you have a large untended yard, or live in a rural area on the edge of a forest or large field, the relatively simple techniques described will require a fairly elaborate set-up. The chapter "The Ways of Fire" threw up roadblocks for me, and I bet, will do so for most of you who live in established neighborhoods. For me, reading those few pages was like dosing a beautiful roaring fire with buckets of cold water. The book instructs you to: Use hardwood--chip-size up to 6"-9" in diameter and not less than 16" long; keep the fire away from buildings, fences and overhangs; avoid paved areas, lawns and underground piping; build a ring of large stones or have made a customized metal fire ring; find a solid, large solid piece of metal to use as a grill top; find a large grill grate, and build a structure to get your cooktops off the ground, and, hey, watch the wind direction, too. I've estimated that I need at least 8 square feet in which to set up my fire pit--if I want to do this correctly. And I can't find a place in our very large yard to put this whole scenario together: I've got to have a place to store the wood and then get it to the fire pit without too much effort; the fire pit can't be located under a tree; it can't be on top of underground pipe; I'm going to have to give up some grass, and then, when the fire is out, I've got to get rid of a big pile of ash.

So if you have a small manicured lawn, or no yard at all, or a poorly ventilated kitchen you may end up very frustrated if you buy this book! But if you do a lot of camping or picnicing out in the wild, or can find even a small place to burn on the ground in your yard, I bet you will be able to realize some value from this cookbook.
10 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The pleasure of reading about food as well as eating it 3 juillet 2009
Par D. Winton - Publié sur
Format: Relié
I do not anticipate cooking a complete side of beef, but because of writer Peter Kaminsky's wonderful prose I have experienced the even greater pleasure of imagining such a spectacle - without the slaughter or clean up. Seven Fires achieves art by describing meat and fire in a myriad of ways that evokes wonder and inspires action. The Argentinian recipes, even the one for half a cow, are accessible to any backyard grill man or woman, and conjure majesty and competence from planning and cooking a meal out of doors. No other writer of food and cooking - or any other subject for that matter - can turn hunger into a channel for heroic gesture as well as self-satisfaction.
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