Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Simply Grilling & a Recipe too!

~ Book Review

Simply Grilling
by Jennifer Chandler
ISBN: 978-1401604516
$16.49 (Hardback)
$11.99 (Kindle)

If your grilling repertoire is limited to burgers and hot dogs, it might be time to reconsider your grill’s true potential. Think beyond that typical backyard menu, and imagine serving up a platter of skewered Caribbean Grilled Shrimp with Pineapple Salsa or a Balsamic Beef Tenderloin alongside an Asparagus and Cherry Tomato Salad. Memphis chef Jennifer Chandler has assembled everything a grilling amateur could possibly need to achieve pitmaster caliber results any night of the week. Whether you’re cooking with gas, charcoal, or cast iron, Simply Grilling will eliminate the uncertainty and have you manning the flames with confidence.
In her accessible style, Chandler explains everything—the tools, the heat, and the flavors. If you’ve always found grilling to be a guessing game, you’ll never have to wonder again if the heat is just right or if you flipped your food too soon. From appetizers to desserts and everything in between, Simply Grilling is your guide to delicious meals, hot off the grate.

My thoughts:
Jennifer Chandler has written a Grilling Cookbook that is perfect for everyone - the beginner, casual & master grillers - women who may be a little intimidated by what usually seems to be a guy's territory. Jennifer opens Simply Grilling with a thorough but easy to understand explanation of the different types of grills, tools you'll use and how to heat up the grill and how to know if your food is done.

She has a wonderful selection of recipes to choose from like & do-ahead tips and variation ideas to match everyone's palate:

Starters: Grilled Artichokes and Grilled Salmon Dip
Chicken: Tequila Chicken Fajitas (I see a few people drooling!) or how about Tandoori Chicken (I can smell it already!)
Veggies & Sides: Smokey Steak Fries or Mexican Corn on the Cob
Sweet, Sweet Endings (anyone still hungry?): I'm personally thinking Jennifer's Strawberry Cake would hit the spot about now (or maybe in an hour!)

One of the nicest things about Simply Grilling is that many of the recipes are based on using the grill to bring out the flavors of fruits & veggies. She worked with 2 friends who are vegetarians to develop the Veggies & Sides chapter and with some of the desserts the fruits were sliced and then grilled and other desserts never even touched the grill at all. Many of the recipes are ideal for Dinner Parties, casual cookouts and even tailgate parties.

Tandoori Chicken
You don't have to have a clay oven to make this tandoori chicken. I actually prefer the smoky flavor this classic Indian dish gets from a hot grill. (Note - this may be a bit spicy for your taste. I had to tone it down a lot. If you are like me you might consider adjusting the amount of cayenne pepper and garam masala you use. I like the smoky flavor - not the spiciness so that wasn't a problem with me)

1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 Tab freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tab finely grated fresh ginger
1/2 teas ground coriander
1/2 teas ground cumin
1/2 teas ground turmeric
1/2 teas ground paprika
1/2 teas ground cayenne pepper
1 teas garam masala
8 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
Vegetable oil for the grates
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 pkg (12oz) naan (Indian flatbread)
1 cup raita

In a shallow nonreactive dish just large enough to hold the chicken in a single layer, stir together the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, turmeric, paprika, cayenne pepper, and garam masala.

With a sharp knife, cut 2-3 deep slashes in the chicken meat. Place the chicken in the marinade and gently toss until well coated. Cover, place in the refrigerator and marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat a clean grill to medium high with the lid closed for 8-10 minutes. Lightly brush the grates with oil. Remove the chick from the marinade and shake off the excess. Discard the marinade. Season the chicken with the salt/pepper to taste. 

Place the chicken on the grill. Close the lid and cook, turning once or twice, until no longer pink in the middle, 20-25 minutes total. Serve with warm naan and raita on the side. Serves 4-6.

Raita - a cucumber-yogurt sauce that is traditionally served alongside spicy Indian dishes to cool the palate. To make this condiment, combine 2 cups plain yogurt, 1 cup finely diced cucumber, 1 minced clove of garlic, 1/2 teas cumin and 2 Tab chopped fresh mint or cilantro.

**The Publisher gave permission for me to share this recipe with you. Enjoy!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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