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The Big Book of Outdoor Cooking & Entertaining    by Cheryl Jamison & Bill Jamison order for
Big Book of Outdoor Cooking & Entertaining
by Cheryl Jamison
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2006 (2006)

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

The Big Book of Outdoor Cooking & Entertaining by Cheryl & Bill Jamison is well named. It is satisfyingly thick and chock full of everything you need to know to do your own outdoor entertaining. It includes recipes for: 86 spice blends, rubs, marinades, and mops; 76 barbecue sauces, salsas, and relishes; 22 dips and spreads; 43 burgers; 33 great steaks; 154 things to do with seafood; 25 perfect sunset drinks; 20 recipes for ribs; and 41 luscious desserts. What more could anyone want? If that list hasn't piqued your interest, then cooking really isn't your bag.

There is something about cooking outdoors. It brings out the chef in all of us. The Jamisons claim that, 'Most Americans spend more time in their hall closets than in their kitchens.' The obvious conclusion is that we hate to cook. Not so, say Bill and Cheryl. We cook out because it's fun. The added advantage in my mind is that the cook isn't stuck in the kitchen while the party goes on in the rest of the house. Outside, the cook can talk to all, while fending off suggestions as to how to cook a certain piece of meat or when to turn the vegetables - knowing that he/she has the weight of the Jamisons' book behind them.

With this fabulous guide to the best of outdoor cooking, chefs can be sure they are doing the right thing the right way to the delectation of everyone gathered around the table. What wonderful recipes they are, interspersed with suggestions to make your backyard barbecue the talk of the neighborhood. It is impossible to open this cookbook at any of its 527 pages without finding a recipe you want to try. Not later. Right now. How about Venison Burgers with Grilled Mushrooms? Or Seared Salt-and-Pepper Tuna Steaks; Door County Fish Boil; Grilled Lobster Tails, Estilo de Baja California? I could dig into that at this very minute. Not to mention Heritage Turkey on a Spit; or Spit-Roasted Pork Loin, Sangre de Cristo Style.

The authors have done at least a dozen years of research to bring this book to you. Take advantage of their skill and expertise and plan your next outdoor bash with a lot of help from your new friends Cheryl and Bill Jamison.

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