Ardie A. Davis
25 Essentials: Techniques for Grilling
Mar 2009
The Harvard Common Press

Ardie A. Davis, the self-styled “doctor of barbecue philosophy” (or Ph. B.) offers up this valuable tool for any would-be griller intimidated by the variety of practices, equipment, and saucy accoutrements of grilling. Davis breaks down grilling techniques primarily according to the ingredients rather than the equipment, e.g. “Grilling Duck” (which requires indirect fire) versus “Herb Grilled Potatoes” (which require a grill basket). This makes the book easily navigable to the novice griller, though it is also an excellent resource for the seasoned griller, as it passes on a legacy of regional seasoning and preparations that have been culled over the lifetime of Dr. Davis.

Molly Stevens
All About Roasting
Nov 2011
W. W. Norton & Sons

“There is no single path to perfect roasting.” So says Molly Stevens, classically trained chef and author of All About Roasting. And she’s not far off. Like baking, roasting is a technique embedded by time and tradition with just enough “je ne sais quoi” to elude exact quantification. So rather than trying to pin its many variables down to an exact science, Stevens treats roasting like “a process, a conversation between you the cook, the oven heat, and the food you’re roasting.” And All About Roasting, her compendium guide to all things roast-related, provides the tools, techniques, and traditions you’ll need to begin—or elevate—the roasting conversation. Before delving into specifics, Stevens provides some of the history and basic chemistry of roasting, culled from the likes of James Beard and Harold McGee. Dishes are qualified by method (e.g. “combination sear and moderate heat”), planning (“the apricots need to soak for 4 to 8 hours”), and wine pairings from M. S. Tim Gaiser (who recommends a “Nebbiolo-based red” for Stevens’ Oven-Roasted Porchetta). And recipes span the gamut, in skill and cuisine type, with several recipes per protein (or fruit or vegetable)—meaning an experienced chef can work on the nuance of his or her technique while newbies delve into the delicious basics.

Heather Lauer
Bacon: A Love Story
May 2009
HarperCollins Publishers

In Bacon: A Love Story, popular bacon blogger Heather Lauer elaborates, pontificates, and explicates the story (and glory) of her beloved “meat candy,” bacon. Oft taken for granted by home cooks as a breakfast side or, at best, the flourish on top of a classic meatloaf, bacon here takes center stage as the source of sophisticated culinary joy. With infectious enthusiasm, Lauer introduces her reader to a deeper level of bacon-savvy than anyone outside the cured-meat industry would normally possess. Providing as much background on bacon as possible, from its production to its consumption, Lauer gives this once banished meat a much-needed publicity makeover. In these days of farm-friendly, sustainable agriculture, this one-stop resource on how best to source and enjoy this once-maligned meat is a timely, tasty arrival.

Adam Perry Lang
BBQ 25
Jan 2010
Harper Collins

Adam Perry Lang is a man of passion and detail in all things barbecue. His audience bridges the gap between meat-happy grilling devotees and self-professed foodies looking to grill their latest esoteric protein find. That’s because Lang knows it all—where to get it, how to prep it, and, most importantly, what kind of heat to singe it on. In Serious Barbecue, Lang dealt with more specialized, elaborate barbecue recipes, but BBQ 25 is exactly what the name suggests – the 25 barbecue recipes that are most common to the griller’s repertoire. What Lang does for these tried and true barbecue favorites is infuse them with the kind of “3D flavor” he’s known for. Lang is unapologetically straightforward with his recipes, emphasizing the quality of the product over everything else. (A simple mantra repeated throughout the book: “Butcher over supermarket, local over outsourced, organic over other.”) Useful techniques, rustic, satisfying recipes, and an ultra-straightforward set-up—the book is divided between proteins—not to mention sturdy, sauce and spice-friendly pages, make this the barbecue guide to beat.

James Beard Introductory Note by Child, Julia
Beard on Birds
Dec 2001
Perseus Publishing

America's most esteemed culinary instructor, James Beard, shares his winning ways with chicken, turkey, goose, duck and wild game. An essential for home cooks of all levels, this classic guide, part of the James Beard Library of Great American Cooking, contains tips, preparation and cooking techniques for a delicious variety of poultry and game birds, from basic roasts to unique and challenging dishes for those with more experience in the kitchen. James Beard's recipes are elegant, simple and timeless; sure to resonate with a whole new generation of cooks.

Laurent Tourondel
Bistro Laurent Tourondel: New American Bistro Cooking
Oct 2007
Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated

With seven outposts and counting in his BLT line, it was only a matter of time before Tourondel (Go Fish: Fresh Ideas for American Seafood) wrote a cookbook to codify his credo of American-style French bistro cooking. Many of the dishes come from Tourondel's restaurant menus, but he makes them accessible to the home cook with unintimidating preparations that showcase the quality and flavors of choice ingredients. The opening chapter discusses choosing and preparing different fish and cuts of meat, while brief introductions to each recipe contribute to the pleasantly informal feeling. The cuisine is well-traveled, including Asian salads, a quintessentially American creamy corn soup, Roman-style gnocchi and a hearty, spicy Chicken-Chorizo Basquaise. BLT patrons will be eager to try menu favorites like Giant Cheese Popovers, Marinated Kobe Skirt Steak and Peanut Butter-Chocolate Parfait. Tourondel includes comments on easily substituted ingredients and wine or beer pairings. Both novices and experienced cooks will welcome this comprehensive education in Tourondel's signature style.

Bobby Flay
Bobby Flay's Boy Meets Grill : Get Busy in the Backyard With More Than 125 Bold New Recipes
May 1997

The star of two cooking shows on the Television Food Network presents more than 125 recipes for mouthwatering meat, poultry, and fish dishes, as well as soups and salads that can be prepared partially or completely on the grill.

Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison
Born To Grill
Apr 2004
National Book Network

In more than 300 recipes, Cheryl and Bill Jamison reveal the tremendous variety of terrific flavors that can come from the primal encounter of food and flame. The Jamison's open up a road map that will guide the griller beyond steaks, burgers, and hot dogs, but they invite us in chapters called "Serious Steaks" and "Hot Burgers and Haute Dogs", to delay our departure and explore the depths of those timeless favorites. Out on the horizon, Born to Grill uncovers alluring new terrain. Salads, pastas, and soups infused with the smoky taste of flame-kissed ingredients; splendid pizzas and tortilla dishes prepared on the grill; vegetables, juicy and crisp, in main dishes and sides; fruits and desserts for a finger-lickin' finish- all these and more make the griller's domain bigger and more delectable than it's ever been.

Daniel Boulud and Melissa Clark
Braise: A Journey Through International Cuisine
Oct 2006
HarperCollins Publishers

Daniel Boulud's BRAISE is the superstar chef's guide to braising. Featuring braising recipes from around the world, this book will become an instant classic and the definitive cookbook on the technique, bringing one pot meals to a whole new level. BRAISE is Daniel Boulud's definitive cookbook on the time–honored cooking technique of braising. Braising is "moist heat" cooking, where a small amount of liquid is cooked along with the food in a closed container over long periods of time. Featuring dishes from Thailand, Italy, Mexico, Turkey, Lebanon, France, Russia, China and many other places, BRAISE is a comprehensive guide to braising. With simple recipes for all kinds of braises –– from meat to fish to vegetables –– the book is sure to please cooks of every skill level. Whether you're interested in the ordinary (Pot Roast) or the exotic (Quiabebe from Brazil), Boulud's expert guidance and easy to follow recipes bring the world of braise to your fingertips with welcome simplicity and intense flavour.

Bruce Aidells and Dennis Kelly
Bruce Aidells’ Complete Sausage Book: Recipes from America’s Premier Sausage Maker
Sep 2000
Ten Speed Press

Perhaps one of the best-known purveyors and practitioners of everything sausage, Bruce Aidells brings his intimate knowledge of the world of cased and seasoned meats to the home cook. From the introduction on, Aidell’s sausage-philosophy bases itself in the myriad ethnic cuisines transplanted to modern America. With the historic influx of cultures and culinary traditions, the variety and availability of quality sausage has only expanded. Aidell provides the finishing touch, bringing sausage-making techniques, with casing, grinding, and seasoning options, to the home kitchen. The second half of the book is entirely devoted to recipes with sausage, where homemade sausage can go on a test run in any number of well-crafted, regional recipes.

Hubert Keller with Penelope Wisner
Burger Bar: Build Your Own Ultimate Burger
Apr 2009
Wiley, John & Sons

With three Burger Bar restaurants nationwide, James Beard Award winner Hubert Keller presents some of his best kept secrets on how to transform the humble burger into truly extraordinary cuisine. Tapping into America’s recent obsession with high quality renditions of its favorite carnivore comfort food, Keller arrives on the scene with this gorgeously illustrated cookbook, complete with burger fundamentals (selecting and, where applicable, grinding your own meat) as well as more innovative, sophisticated burger options. With basic tips (e.g. “Never press down the patties.”) and careful leaps from tradition (e.g. “Roasted Squash Quinoa Burger”), Chef Keller provides burger options for a wide audience, sure to satisfy all palates and reincarnate the American burger as a finer, juicier, more succulent version of its current commercialized incarnation.

Emily Haft Bloom
Burgers Every Way : 100 Recipes Using Beef, Chicken, Turkey, Lamb, Fish, and Vegetables
Feb 2004
Harry N Abrams Inc

From fast-food beginnings at diners and drive-ins, where they were served with the mandatory fries and shake, hamburgers have risen to the ranks of haute cuisine, and now appear on the menus of the poshest dining rooms stuffed with foie gras and black truffles. With recipes for burgers made from veal, lamb, pork, poultry, fish, vegetables, and, of course, beef, Burgers Every Way celebrates the iconic sandwich in all its ground-up, char-grilled glory.

Fritz Sonnenschmidt
Charcuterie: Sausage/Pates/Accompaniments
Jan 2009
Cengage Learning

Certified Master Chef Fritz Sonnenschmidt taps into the demand for hand-crafted, artisan food with his newly released Charcuterie, a user-friendly guide to the history and creation of sausage and patés. With a full equipment breakdown, animal diagrams, a seasonings chapter and a practical analysis of sausage casing options, Sonnenschmidt presents himself as a kind of liaison between the seemingly rustic tradition of charcuterie and the modern kitchen. In fact, an era of offal-friendly dining and ever-increasing farmyard familiarity (both in and outside the industry), in-house sausage-making may be the missing link between culinary history and its eco-conscious future. With recipes for cooked and poached sausages, spreadable sausages or patés, and more complex raw sausages, Sonnenschmidt speaks at once to the professional and home cook, allowing for varying levels of ability without sacrificing an ounce of technique.

Charlie Trotter
Charlie Trotter's Meat and Game
Mar 2004
Ten Speed Press

After nearly two decades of practicing his art, Charlie Trotter has established himself as one of the true visionaries of modern American cuisine. Charlie Trotter's Meat and Game finds the chef in top form and, like the wines from his restaurant's renowned cellar, perfectly paired with the feast at hand. Exotic meats like pheasant, duck, wild boar, and venison take their place alongside ever-versatile lamb, pork, and chicken; and such robust fare proves to be the ultimate platform for Trotter's synthesis of French technique, Asian minimalism, and improvisational verve.

Marion Trutter, Editor
Culinaria Spain
Sep 2008
H.F. Ullmann

Culinaria Spain bases itself on the premise that Spanish cuisine, though well loved and increasingly sought after, is misunderstood and at least until recently, recognized for only a few of its myriad dishes. While paella and sangria enjoy deserved popularity among conventional diners, they are barely the tip of the iceberg that Spanish cuisine has to offer. Editor Marion Trutter breaks up the recipes of Spain by regions, which is natural as they are topographically responsible for the drastic variations in Spanish cuisine. In Basque and Cantabrian cuisine, for example, fresh fish and shellfish feature heavily, while further south in La Rioja the major sources of protein are the sheep and game of the surrounding mountains. The book teems with hundreds of recipes, complete with history and photographs of Spain’s multitude of micro-cultures. It is the ideal resource for any cook eager to explore the culinary mosaic that is Spanish cuisine.

Per-Anders Jörgensen
Eating with the Chefs: Family Meals from the World's Most Creative Restaurants
Jennifer McLagan
Sep 2008
Ten Speed Press

These days, chefs gladly cook animals from head to tail, appear in video tutorials for making headcheese, and dutifully sing the praises of pork fat to their diners. Yes, it’s looking like America’s restaurant audience is finally over its phobia of fat! In honor of this, and of the fatty white stuff, McLagan wades through the subject, fat by fat, giving each incarnation a thorough treatment. An entire chapter is dedicated to butter, and the next to lard and other porky products. Poultry fat recipes (schmaltz included) are followed by a section dedicated to marrow and underappreciated lamb fat, and the book closes with dessert recipes using marrow and suet. McLagan brings home the bacon with a great holiday-appropriate book that will make any true “fat = flavor” aficionado a happy camper.

Aliza Green
Field Guide to Meat: How to Identify, Select and Use Virtually Every Meat, Poultry, and Game Cut
Mar 2005
Quirk Books

This handy buyer’s guide is part of a series of handy diminutive alphabetized books by Philadelphia-based Aliza Green. Once Executive Chef at four-star Ristorante DiLullo, she later moved to Apropos and White Dog Café before turning her talents to writing. This volume is divided into sections on beef, lamb, veal, poultry and game and domesticated meats, with subsections for each cut. Characteristics to search for, amounts to purchase, recipes, and storage guidelines for each entry make experimentation easy. A center photography section is a useful picture guide to clearly identify each cut.

Joan Schwartz
Meat and Potatoes : 52 Recipes, from Simple to Sublime
Nov 2003
Random House Publishing Group

From well-known cookbook author Joan Schwartz, creator of the delectable Macaroni and Cheese, comes Meat and Potatoes/ a new collection of outstanding recipes from celebrated chefs across the country. Here are the special recipes of celebrated chefs like Anita Lo, Bobby Flay, Mitchel London, and Patricia Yeo. These chefs work their magic with beef, lamb, veal, and pork in combination of a variety of both white and sweet potatoes. Roasted, braised, or grilled, turned into soups, salads, croquettes or stews, these ingredients are the stuff of endless possibilities.

Jennifer McLagan
Odd Bits: How to Cook the Rest of the Animal
Sep 2011
Ten Speed Press

Most chefs are no stranger to the titular “odd bits” in Bones and Fat author Jennifer McLagan’s latest book. Between Fergus Henderson’s definitive Whole Beast meat manifesto, an increasingly pervasive culture of sustainability, and Anthony Bourdain’s Travel Channel offal-worship, the “chefs and off-cuts” love story is well told. But McLagan isn’t looking to introduce odd bits, she’s looking to reintroduce them, to point not only chefs but also their dining public to the rich, lengthy history of discarded meat products in our global culinary heritage. Given the potentially horrifying subject matter at hand (“I’m not trying to shock, although I am sure I will.”) McLagan begins with a primer on “odd bits,” which she has wisely swapped in for terms like “off cuts” and “offal,” both for technical accuracy—she’s dealing with everything from lamb’s neck and testicles to the sexier sweetbreads and their ilk—and to capture a sense of their culinary taboo. The rest of the book is divided as an animal would be, “the head, the front, the middle, and the back end.” Amusing history lessons and dedicated primers on some of the more challenging odd bits accompany recipes of varying exoticism like “Headcheese for the Unconvinced,” “Minted Tripe and Pea Salad,” and “Chocolate Blood Ice Cream.”

James Villas
Pig: King of the Southern Table
May 2010
Wiley & Sons

Award-winning food writer by vocation and southerner by avocation, James Villas presents his guide to the pig from the perspective of the happily entrenched Southern gentleman. With an introduction that recalls the happiest days of his childhood—community gatherings with pig as the marquee star—Villas whets the appetite for the recipes that follow, and they are copious and generously porky. From pig jowl to hocks to more common, but no less delicious, ham and bacon, Villas spares no part of his beloved pig, providing recipes to suit every craving and occasion. A glossary of southern pork terminology as well as specific regional insight from recipe to recipe should keep the non-southern reader well aware of the cultural legacy of hog-worship ensconced in the cookbook. And with recipes as diverse as Brains and Eggs, Stewed Ham Hocks and Lima Beans, and Curried Pork and Apple Mold, Pig is as much a regional tour as culinary guide—not to be missed by anyone even half as enamored of pork as Mr. Villas.

Ryan Farr with Jessica Battilana
Sausage Making: The Definitive Guide with Recipes
Chronicle Books
Francis Mallmann and Peter Kaminsky
Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way
Jun 2009

Renowned South American chef Francis Mallmann makes a declaration of his true passion and culinary heritage in this impressive and instructive cookbook. With Seven Fires, Mallmann brings the seemingly marginalized or seasonal practice of grilling to the fore of cooking, elaborating on his eponymous Seven Fires technique as he instructs his reader in the tradition and rich simplicity of fire-roasted, grilled, and coal-kissed food. With succulent visuals of offerings like “7 ½ Hour Lamb Malbec,” “Peached Pork” and “Braided Beef with Anchovies and Olives,” Mallmann entices readers to seek beyond the comfort of the stovetop for their culinary reward. Judging from Mallmann’s international acclaim, every ounce effort is sure to pay off.

Rick Tramonto with Mary Goodbody
Steak with Friends At Home, with Rick Tramonto
Apr 2010
Andrews McMeel

More than a simple cookbook, Steak with Friends is an invitation into Chef Tramonto’s home, an invitation to enjoy steak the way he and his family do, with good friends, sophisticated sides, and high quality meats. Prolific chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author, Tramonto knows a thing or two about how to cook a good steak, and this cookbook is tantamount to an insider’s look at his more than thirty years’ experience. But Steak with Friends isn’t just about meat. It’s about celebrating good food with good people, and Tramonto is careful to emphasize the process, the joy in the cooking, as well as the feast itself. Recipes for side dishes - steak’s own “friends,” as Chef Tramonto says – accompany the main entrees, with dedicated chapters on anything from soup and sandwiches to fish and poultry rounding out the culinary options. The recipes are many, and the tips are culled from a life’s experience, adding to the overall sense of warmth and generosity that makes Steak with Friends more than your average steak a cookbook.

Editors of Cook's Illustrated
Steaks, Chops, Roasts and Ribs : All You Really Need to Know About Meat
May 2004
America's Test Kitchen

If you have ever wondered about the way to cook a particular cut of meat, then you will find Steak, Chops, Roasts, and Ribs indispensable. Packed with more than 300 recipes, this book represents the cumulative experience and knowledge of the test cooks and editors at America's Test Kitchen. They've tested (and retested) just about every technique, ingredient, and piece of equipment imaginable to produce reliable recipes that should work the first time--and every time.

Ardie A. Davis, Chef Paul Kirk, and Carolyn Wells
The Kansas City Barbeque Society Cookbook
Apr 2010
Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC

For everything and anything grilled, the Kansas City Barbeque Society requests you consult the experts. Founded by the editors in 1986, the KCBS provides a community to all who take the culinary arts—and barbeque—seriously. Although they’re not the creators of the barbeque cook-off tradition, KCBS can certainly be credited with feeding their popularity. To date the KCBS boasts over 10,000 members, and it’s from these smoke and meat fanatics that KCBS draws it favorite recipes for this compellation. Recipes come from chefs and home cooks alike, so you can count on a hearty, broad selection of barbeque recipes. Basically the only thing KCBS recommends you do not to grill are your sneakers. Everything else is fair game. Pineapple? Sure! Ravioli? Why not? Pork butt? Clearly. Just make sure you check in with the experts first.

Jamie Bissonnette
The New Charcuterie Cookbook: Exceptional Cured Meats to Make and Serve at Home
Page Street Publishing Co.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
The River Cottage Meat Book
Apr 2007
Ten Speed Press

Lauded by such iconic chefs as Dan Barber and Thomas Keller, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Meat Book reads like a gentle but insistent manifesto on conscious carnivorousness. The overriding philosophy is simple: Don’t be clumsy cooking meat when it took such time and care to rear. The book provides much more than the typical diagram of animal parts accompanied by tangential reference to the farm and pasture. The River Cottage Meat Book explains “dead meat” in reference to the life of the animal, its treatment and environment acting as a kind of precursor to the culinary preparation. With extensive technique-and-instruction laden recipes, Fearnley-Whittingstall makes a meaningful foray into the omnivore-dominated territory of sustainable, environmentally-conscious food with what is essentially a reverent, animal-conscious philosophy of meat.

Fergus Henderson with an Introduction by Anthony Bourdain
The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating
Sep 2004
Harper Collins
Chef Fergus Henderson’s meaty masterpiece has been the well-guarded treasure of chefs for generations and is now available to the American public. With careful instruction, and mouth-watering recipes, Henderson encourages and instructs the home cook to take the next big step toward sustainable eating. Henderson’s The Whole Beast reaches a level of instruction not often found in cookbooks. As with Julia Child or James Beard, Henderson taught before he reached fame; and like Child and Bear it keeps his work relevant. No matter what the current trend may be, from books like theirs there is always something to learn.