The Best Barbecue on Earth
Grilling Across 6 Continents and 26 Countries,
With 170 Recipes
by Rick Browne
If your idea of barbecue is ribs, steaks and beer-can chicken, then it’s time to expand your horizons. Rick Browne, creator and host of the public TV series Barbecue America, brings his worldwide travels and barbecuing adventures into your backyard with his new book The Best Barbecue on Earth: Grilling Across 6 Continents and 26 Countries, with 170 Recipes.
The book is smartly divided by country, with each receiving a heartwarming—and often mouthwatering—anecdote on its barbecue traditions, as well as adapted recipes from the area. As Browne journeys through the continents, you can’t help but feel a twinge of jealousy when you hear his descriptions of attending a traditional South African braai (barbecue), experiencing the "best grilled seafood meal of my life" in Hong Kong, or discovering "Barbecue Heaven on Earth" at the asado restaurants of Uruguay.
The recipes are geared toward both novice and experienced cooks, offering plenty of tips and tricks for the grill—for instance, practically anything can be cooked on a grill: meat, poultry, fish, vegetables and yes, even dessert. Browne also adds his own personal touch with photographs from his travels.
But perhaps the best part about The Best Barbecue on Earth is that it draws out the deep connection between humans and fire and food that is ingrained in each of our psyches. Barbecue, as Browne so simply puts it, is a universal language.
Whole Barbecued Snapper with Green Curry Sauce (Australia)
1 whole (1 lb) line-caught red snapper, cleaned, head and tail intact
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1¼ cup Thai green curry sauce
4 kaffir lime leaves, crushed (optional)
2 green Thai or Serrano chiles, split and deseeded
5 Thai or regular basil leaves
Napa cabbage leaves, blanched
Preheat a charcoal or gas grill to 375˚F. Make sure the grill rack is clean and oil thoroughly with nonstick cooking spray.
Make 3 slashes through the skin on each side of the fish and rub the vegetable oil into the skin.
Transfer the fish to the prepared grill rack and cook over direct heat for approximately 5 minutes on each side, until the flesh turns opaque and begins to brown on the edges. Remove from the grill, cover and keep warm.
In a saucepan, slowly bring the green curry sauce to a simmer. Add the kaffir lime leaves, chiles and basil and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes.
Line a platter with the cabbage leaves, top with the fish, and serve with the sauce alongside.
Note: You can find many of these ingredients in the Asian aisle of your supermarket, or at any specialty Asian grocery store. If you don’t know how to clean a whole fish, have your fishmonger do it for you.
Reviewed by Nancy Huang