Project Fire brings bold flavours, technique and creativity to cooking over open flames

Our cookbook of the week is Project Fire by grilling legend Steven Raichlen. To try a recipe from the book, check out: grilled watermelon salad with arugula and queso fresco; dry-brined peppered filets mignons; and grill basket halibut with maple teriyaki.

Live-fire flavours are the hallmark of some of the world’s best restaurants. From Spain’s Victor Arguinzoniz to Argentina’s Francis Mallmann, inventive chefs are breathing new life into an ancient technique.

Driven by a “voracious hunger for bold flavours and innovation in grilling,” home grillers, too, have moved far past main course proteins and the odd sizzling side, author Steven Raichlen says.

Project Fire by Steven Raichlen

In Project Fire, Steven Raichlen covers the five traditional methods of live-fire cooking.

Salads, breads and pizzas, desserts and drinks are now all fair game for the live-fire treatment – a fact that the grill master illustrates in his 31st book, Project Fire (Workman Publishing).

In an extensive introduction, Raichlen covers what to look for when buying a grill, selecting fuel, assembling tools, and choosing a grilling method.

Using tradition as his starting point, he offers an overview of the five classic techniques – direct grilling, indirect grilling, smoking, spit-roasting, and grilling in the embers – followed by modern modifications.

“It was fun to explore new twists on those old methods. So things like salt-slab grilling, plank grilling, leaf grilling, and hay grilling. Just all of the crazy flavour-rich variations that people come up with,” Raichlen says.

“I’m hoping this will give people a lot of new ideas and new ways of looking at grilling… How to cook foods you might not have ever thought of cooking on a grill, like a salt slab brownie or grilling the ingredients for sangria.”


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