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Williams-Sonoma Grilling    by Denis Kelly, Chuck Williams & Noel Barnhurst order for
Williams-Sonoma Grilling
by Denis Kelly
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2002 (2002)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

It's still summertime and grilling is the way to go - less dishes and less effort, but it doesn't have to be less tasteful or less inspired. We love to bring out the grill in the summer, and have enjoyed it equally in the middle of a chilly Canadian winter, grilling with gloves outside under shelter, snow swirling around the barbecue. There are a great many more choices than sausages and burgers though they too have their place, and Williams-Sonoma Grilling lays out a delicious variety.

Chuck Williams' introduction encourages us to grill 'any time of year, in any kind of weather ... charcoal or gas' and offers new ideas to bring grilling up to date. Then come the recipes by Denis Kelly (with pictures by Noel Barnhurst that make me salivate). They start with the Classics - from steaks and herb-rubbed chicken to the Perfect Hamburger. Baby Back Ribs with Honey-Jalapeno Marinade caught my eye, as did Shrimp with Lemon-Garlic Butter (yumm!), and I will be trying T-bone Steaks with Three-Pepper Rub and Bourbon Steak Sauce some time very soon.

I like the layout. Aside from the recipes themselves, there are guidelines for different numbers of servings, and background tips. I've already tried the Smoke-Grilling suggestion on soaking a handful hardwood chips in water before grilling, and my taste buds approved the result. Hamburger Variations are suggested for an Asian, French or Provencal twist, and we're told how to use an Aromatic Herb Smoke in grilling fish and meats. These tips are just as valuable as the recipes themselves, and extend their range. At the back of the cookbook is a handy section on Grilling Basics, with everything from preparing different kinds of grills to direct and indirect grilling, food preparation and checking for doneness.

After Classics comes Meat on the Grill - steaks and Steak Fajitas, pork and veal chops etc.. I'm tempted by Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb with Mint and Sherry Gravy, and can almost taste Butterflied Pork Tenderloins with Mango-Lime Salsa - superb. Due to cholesterol concerns we eat a lot of poultry, so I moved quickly on to Poultry on the Grill, to be enticed by Chile-Stuffed Turkey Thighs and Grilled Duck Breasts with Dried Cherry-Zinfandel Sauce. I love Chicken Satay, so welcomed a recipe that includes how to make its Peanut Sauce. Or how about Cornish Hens Under a Brick Italian Style? I'm sure I have an old brick somewhere.

Next comes Seafood on the Grill, ranging from Swordfish Sicilian Style to Barbecued Oysters with Ginger-Chile Salsa and seafoods with Japanese sauces. I must try Monkfish Skewers with Green Papaya Slaw - would never have thought of using unripe papaya in a salad but apparently it's common in Southeast Asia. We love Vegetables on the Grill, have made something similar to Grilled Red Pepper, Sweet Onion, and Tomato Salad before, and found it delicious. But how about Wild Mushroom Quesadillas? Like hobbits, I adore mushrooms.

The cookbook ends with Something Special, appealing and unusual combinations from Herbed Pizzas with Prosciutto, Basil and Goat Cheese (yes, you can apparently cook pizzas on the unheated portion of the grill and also Jalapeno Corn Bread) to Grilled Pears with Raspberry-Grand Marnier Sauce - must try that one! Another that I will cook soon is Whole Pork Loin Stuffed with Greens and Garlic - sounds and looks appetizing. And, if you have access to game, how about Venison Fillet with Wild Mushroom Sauce? Frodo would love it.

If you enjoy grilling, but are looking for new ideas and inspiration, Williams-Sonoma Grilling is a great choice - both for everyday family cooking and grilling for guests. My copy is already well thumbed.

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