Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way

Francis Mallmann, Author, Peter Kaminsky, Author
Francis Mallmann, Author, Peter Kaminsky, Author Artisan $35 (278p) ISBN 978-1-57965-354-5
Reviewed on: 06/01/2009
Release date: 06/01/2009
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Just when you thought it was going to be another summer of lazy barbecue, Argentinian chef Francis Mallman presents a gorgeous volume detailing seven approaches to grilling that will give outdoor cooking and DIY enthusiasts their next big building projects, from a chapa, a cast iron griddle suspended over a fire, to an outdoor oven (an horno de barro) to an Asador, to an ad hoc cook pit using a wheelbarrow in place of a hole in the backyard. Though his methods are impressive-Mallman even includes instructions for cooking a whole cow-the book's emphasis is on technique and flavor, rather than showmanship. Mallman's years as a chef have enabled him to pare down recipes to their bare essentials (both caramelized endives and the visually impressive Potato Dominoes have just three ingredients), coaxing harmonious flavors out of appetizers like Pears and Iberico Ham with a parsley, olive oil and garlic sauce, Charred Calamari Salad, a succulent slow-cooked leg of lamb redolent with red wine, rosemary and lemon, and plenty of applications for Argentina's famous chimichurri sauce. More involved affairs like the multi-course asado, a grilled meat-and-vegetable feast perfect for a long Sunday afternoon, includes both a shopping list and a timeline. What will keep cooks coming back, however, are rustic dishes like Burnt Tomatoes with Fennel and Mustard Vinaigrette, pork chops with honey gremolata and Boneless Ribeye with Chimichurri. Augmented with plenty of smoky photos, the only thing readers will lack for is the smell of charcoal.
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