Sep 14, 2016

Cook It Outdoors

By MaryAnn Miano

A good book gives thorough, consolidated information to its reader, and when it’s a cookbook, you expect to find that information at your fingertips. When that book is written by critically acclaimed cookbook author and chef James Beard, it does all of that and more. In Cook It Outdoors, Mr. Beard understands healthy outdoor eating and cooking habits and offers his expertise on understanding the trickiness of flavoring, as well.

Cook It Outdoors is a workable book that gives you everything you need to know for the barbecue and for all your outdoor party needs. The book sheds light on various forms of outdoor cookery and makes suggestions for equipment to use. The chapters begin with recommendations for classic outdoor drinks (such as Mint Julep) and appetizers like a hearty cheese plate, along with some iced shellfish to dip into exceptional sauces.

For the actual grilling, you will find various cuts of meats that Mr. Beard considers the most successful for outdoor preparation, which of course run the gamut from all the usual exhibitions of beef, chicken, pork, lamb, and fish to more unusual cuts of meat such as pheasant, goose, partridge, quail, and venison. There is a section on complete directions for a New England clambake and a section on ways to jazz up your hamburger.

Mr. Beard presents an entire chapter on stews, ragouts, and sautés that can be prepared, with the right equipment (such as cast iron), on your barbecue. And of course, where would any dish be without the right sauce? The author offers “mother sauces” that are easily prepared and are the most desirable for outdoor cooking (the barbecue sauces especially). He lists the “musts” in the seasoning department to flavor those sauces to perfection.

Enjoy browsing this book for some good ideas and great recipes. Cook It Outdoors can be found in the Catherine Henning Cook Book Collection at the Colts Neck Library.

1 pound of butter
1 cup wine vinegar
1 pint chili sauce
1 can tomato puree
1 ½ cups minced onion
1 pint olive oil
1 cup water
1 bottle Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
Thyme, oregano, tarragon

Mix ingredients and let simmer for one-half to three-quarters of an hour before using. If it is simmered slowly for an hour and left to stand for 24 hours, it is even better. Heat before using.

Recipe from Cook It Outdoors, Page 134, By James Beard, Knickerbocker Press, Inc.: 1951.