Boy Gets Grill
125 Reasons to Light Your Fire!
By Bobby Flay with Julia Moskin
(Scribner, New York, May 2004)
be told, we tend to be more critical of TV celebrity chefs'
cookbooks. Telegenic attributes do not necessarily yield
a worthwhile book, and we should expect more from those
with extraordinary resources. In this case, Bobby Flay's
Gets Grill: 125 Reasons to Light Your Fire, his
fifth book, is a welcome surprise, a pleasant summertime,
or any time of year, companion for those that like to experience
the kitchen outdoors.
there is plenty of barbecue and grilling competition. You
could buy Steve Raichlen's
Barbecue! Bible and be set for life, or maybe even
pick up a copy of Boy Gets Grill's predecessor,
Meets Grill. If your self-esteem is a little low,
for Dummies fits the bill. If things get really
bad you could even plunk yourself in front of the television
and grill vicariously. Let the talking heads have all the
Try to resist this boy and his grill
you do get from Flay, star of the Food Network's "Boy
Meets Grill" and chef-owner of New York's Mesa
Grill and Bolo
are easy-to-follow basics on how to grill—from setup
to heat requirements to testing for doneness. The 125-recipe,
300-page Boy Gets Grill is not the definitive grilling
book, but rather a quick tour of internationally inspired
foods suited for the open flame—be it heat from charcoal
or gas, from hibachi or top-of-the line Viking outdoor setup.
In fact, on Flay's TV show, grilling happens on a rooftop
in Queens. And while the food is worldly, it's not from
by a trip around the world, but from an equally exciting
whirl through the ethnic enclaves of New York City.
no surprise that Latin and Caribbean culinary influences
figure big in Flay's recipes, but you'll also
encounter Peking Duck Breasts with Scallions, Pancakes,
and Grilled Oranges; Grilled Baby Lamb Chops with Orange-Mint
Yogurt Sauce and Grilled Oranges (grilled oranges are great
for squeezing over meat, and a nice change); and Balsamic-Marinated
Flank Steak with Arugula, Tomato, and Shaved Parmesan Salad.
Eight Cool Drinks are perfect for poolside, rooftop, deck,
or backyard. Mojitos, of course, White Peach Margaritas,
and Mango-Mint Iced Tea are among our favorites. Then we
think about what we would cook this weekend, or next. Maybe
start with Grilled Flatbread with Cucumber-Yogurt Salad
and Toasted Walnuts, and Crispy Bacon and Corn Quesadillas
with Avocado-Cherry Tomato Relish. Let's use the grill
for the unexpected.
Then, we can't resist stepping inside to make Fava
Bean and Manchego Cheese Salad (sherry vinaigrette goes
great on this), and then back out for Parmesan-Crusted Portobello
Mushroom Caps. Grilled Whole Sardines with Lemon, Olive
Oil, and Black Peppers bring back memories of lusty dinners
in the Greek Isles, and then we shake things up with Coffee-Spice-Rubbed
Ribeye with Smoky Tomato-Red Chile Salsa.
Grilled pineapple is divine, so dessert will be Grilled
Pineapple with Butter-Rum Glaze and Vanilla Mascarpone.
The grown-up milkshakes are irresistible—like Café
con Leche Milkshakes spiked with coffee liqueur, and Fresh
Blueberry-Vanilla Rum Milkshakes. Forget the waistline this
yet, Flay includes thirteen themed menus with a game plan:
great combinations like Greek on the Grill, Italian-American
Firehouse Dinner, and Asian Flavors. They're simple,
complete, and fun. There's also a Big Parties chapter,
with dishes that serves groups from 8-12—like a Fish
Taco Party, Skewer Party, and a Burger Bar.
here's why we're so glad about Boy Gets
Grill. It's focused but fun, interesting but
not self-indulgent, and creative. Co-author Julia Moskin
deserves a mention here. It is a manageable book, easy on
the eyes, with good lessons on how to demand the most from
your grill without exhausting yourself. After we tried a
handful of recipes and tested Flay's advice, we must
say that this book alone has enough to keep us at the grill
all summer long.
by Kevin Schoeler
(Updated: 06/18/10 SG)