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Carnitas Taco From 'Tacolicious'

Crispy bits of slow-cooked pork, ready to cradle in a warm tortilla—carnitas is rightfully one of the best-loved taco fillings out there. In Tacolicious, Sara Deseran and Joe Hargrave go a fairly traditional route for their carnitas: Fatty pork shoulder gets marinated overnight, then slow-cooked stovetop in the marinade and lard, after which it's pan-fried until delectably crisp. More

Roasted Tomato-Mint Salsa From 'Tacolicious'

When I make salsa at home, it's usually super simple: fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic, cilantro and lime, and a spoon to eat it with. This version, from Sara Deseran and Joe Hargrave's restaurants-cum-cookbook, Tacolicious, isn't much more complicated, but is much more interesting. It's the salsa that welcomes you on arrival to the Tacolicious restaurants, and will be the standard in my kitchen from now on. More

Win a Copy of 'Tacolicious'

For San Francisco-based husband-and-wife restauranteurs Sara Deseran and Joe Hargrave, it took a trip to Mexico City to show them that Mexican food can be evolved and cosmopolitan, and still be real. The Hargraves have conscientiously channelled this realization into their Tacolicious restaurants and, most recently, into their inventive new cookbook, Tacolicious: Festive Recipes for Tacos, Snacks, and More. More

Win a Copy of 'The Big-Flavor Grill'

Apparently, the joking title for Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby's newest book, The Big-Flavor Grill: No-Marinade, No-Hassle Recipes, was 'Shut Up and Grill It.' While the title they ultimately chose is more politic, the directive really gets their point across: grilling does not have to be a laborious undertaking requiring 24 hours of forethought. It's an easy, exciting change from the usual method, and one that may change the way you approach grilling from here on out. More

Win a Copy of 'Fried & True'

Historically and belovedly low-brow, in the last few years, fried chicken has moved beyond Sunday dinners in the South and greasy buckets at a tailgate, and is holding its own on fine-dining menus across the country. And why not? It's so good. Lee Brian Schrager, who is best known as the creator of the Food Network South Beach and New York City Wine & Food Festivals, has a soft spot for the crunchy stuff, as so many of us do. He, however, had the smarts and resources (and digestive fortitude, apparently) to sleuth and secure the recipes for some of the most delicious fried chicken this nation has to offer for his new book, Fried & True: More than 50 Recipes for America's Best Fried Chicken and Sides. More

Smoky Roasted Corn Soup With Chipotle Chile From 'The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook'

This corn soup, from The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook by Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer Purcell (co-authored with Sandy Gluck), is laced with a bit of chipotle powder for a smoky, toasty edge, which is enhanced by roasting the corn kernels with poblano and red bell peppers. A simple and sweet broth is made by simply simmering the cobs in water for a short spell, and the soup is finished with heavy cream, because why not. It looks rich, but it feels surprisingly light and goes down all too easily. More

Tomato Tart From 'The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook'

Oh, Tomato Tart, how you haunt my dreams! (Divine and wicked, from Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell's The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook.) Couldn't you have been less flaky, less creamy, less juicy-tomatoey? Or couldn't you at least have been more arduous or taken longer to put together? Then I wouldn't have blinked and devoured half a sheet of buttery puff pastry awash in milky ricotta and goat cheese. More

Fish Wrapped in Lettuce From 'The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook'

You can't get much simpler than fish en papillote: a fillet with a few choice veggies or flavorings wrapped in parchment (or sometimes foil) and baked. Et voila: luscious, flavorful fish, and a lovely presentation, to boot. In The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook, Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell offer an clever, edible alternative to wrapping in parchment: tender lettuce leaves swaddle a fillet of bass licked with a bright, herbaceous compound butter. More

Win a Copy of 'The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook'

Every season has its harvest, even lean winter, and every cook has recipes that they turn to again and again to make the most of their garden/CSA box/farmer's market. But sometimes you find yourself in a rut, and you want something as easy, as soothing, as well-loved, not new but new to you. Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell, better known as those Fabulous Beekman Boys, deliver just that in the newest addition to their Heirloom cookbook series, The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook, filled with their favorite ways of maximizing all that vegetal potential. More

Smokehouse Chickpeas 'N' Greens Salad From 'Salad Samurai'

I love chickpeas. I'll eat them every which way, and sometimes right out of the can. But I don't usually do much to them before adding them to a dish. In this salad from her new vegan cookbook, Salad Samurai, Terry Hope Romero inspires me to do more. To make them the star of this show, she fries them until golden, and pours on a BBQ-inspired marinade that coats the now crispy chickpeas with smoky-sweet flavor. More

Polish Summer Soba Salad From 'Salad Samurai'

Buckwheat is the pseudo-grain (actually a seed) most associated with Eastern European cooking, often found as kasha or in blinis. It's also the flour used in Japanese soba noodles. So why, WHY, is this killer salad from Terry Hope Romero's new vegan cookbook, Salad Samurai, the first place I've seen soba noodles married with Eastern European flavors? And why didn't I think of doing that myself?? More

Win a Copy of 'Salad Samurai'

This is a vegan salad book. Now, come on, stay with me. This is a book by award-winning cookbook author Terry Hope Romero full of complex, belly-filling, sometimes even show-stopping meals that happen to be salads. And vegan. On board? You should be. Salad Samurai: 100 Cutting-Edge, Ultra-Hearty, Easy-to-Make Salads You Don't Have to be Vegan to Love is something of a wonder: a book that lives up to its subtitle. These are not sad-sack plates of greens killing time till the steak arrives. Packed with veggies, fruits, grains, and proteins, these are beefy salads—generous (bordering on immodest) and fully-loaded. More

Grilled Shrimp With New Orleans-Style Barbecue Sauce From 'The Big-Flavor Grill'

@Argol I'm with you on the beer/wine, actually :)

@rylchavez Good question! I'm copying and pasting my response from the same question on a different post:
They recommend a two-level fire for all their recipes. They like to leave an area without coals so that there is a safe spot to move the food in case of the inevitable flare-up.
In their words, "We recommend that you always make a two-level fire. It's no more work, and even if you are planning to cook your food right over the coals the whole time, you never know—fires are unpredictable, and it might turn out that one of your steaks cooks faster than others and needs to be moved off the coals to finish up. Even more importantly, having an area with no coals allows you to deal with flare-ups in the proper manner."

Grilled Orange-Glazed Baby Back Ribs With Chile-Peanut Dust From 'The Big-Flavor Grill'

Good questions everybody—I should have addressed these in the review!

@erixmax They recommend a two-level fire for all their recipes. They like to leave an area without coals so that there is a safe spot to move the food in case of the inevitable flare-up.
In their words, "We recommend that you always make a two-level fire. It's no more work, and even if you are planning to cook your food right over the coals the whole time, you never know—fires are unpredictable, and it might turn out that one of your steaks cooks faster than others and needs to be moved off the coals to finish up. Even more importantly, having an area with no coals allows you to deal with flare-ups in the proper manner."

@fritzmd and @RobertaJ and @everybodyelsewhorightfullyquestionsthiscookingtime
I was extremely skeptical about this super-short cooking time, as well! But, surprisingly, the ribs were fairly tender. Not 'fall-off-the-bone' tender, but more than passingly so. They had a little more chew to them than you'd get with slow cooking, but not enough to be distasteful or to turn me off of 20-minute ribs! My baby backs had a particularly meaty end, which I had to leave over the coals for an extra 6-7 minutes to cook through, while I moved the rest of the rack over the cool side of the grill (thanks, two-level fire). Again, in their words, "Nestled under the loin muscle higher up on the hog's rib cage than spareribs, [baby backs] are not only smaller, but the meat is also leaner and considerably more tender...This means that, instead of needing to be cooked for hours over indirect heat like barbecued ribs, these little guys can be cooked directly over the coals in about twenty minutes or so."

Popeyes-Style Buttermilk Biscuits From 'Fried & True'

@dFresh We actually print the recipes exactly as they appear in the book for this column. It was my silly mistake to originally refer to the weight as metric (which I've since corrected). I do know the difference between ounces and grams, I promise!

Tomato Tart From 'The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook'

@AndTroelstein I'd make it beforehand and crisp it up when you get there, unless you have a way of transporting very well-chilled. You don't want the butter in the pastry to get too soft before baking, or you won't get the flakey layers. Hope it's a hit!

Fiery Fruit & Quinoa Salad From 'Salad Samurai'

Sorry about that! The link to the dressing is in the ingredient list now!

Pesto Chango: Try This Simple Tarragon Pesto on Potato Salad

Daniel, I want to eat this immediately!! :)

Chinese Barbecue Pork From 'The Meat Hook Meat Book'

@santiago Cardona No, I removed the skin before slicing the belly.

Chinese Barbecue Pork From 'The Meat Hook Meat Book'

@Ravenous! You are right, the timing was problematic, but the results of all the recipes from this book were truly delicious (even the chili, which was so good, but just too rich for a bowlful)! While we definitely want to share recipes that you should want to make, for Cook the Book specifically, I test recipes from cookbooks about which we think our readers may be curious. If the recipes have issues, I want to be honest about what they are so that you can be adequately informed whether you are making the recipe or buying the book. Frankly, and maybe surprisingly, it's the rare cookbook whose every recipe works flawlessly as written.

Smoked Bacon Rub From 'Pitt Cue and Co.: The Cookbook'

@Cassandra Jane We've corrected it to read '1/2 cup.' Thanks for the catch!

Whole Spicy Smoked Roast Chicken From 'Pitt Cue Co.: The Cookbook'

@oliverstanding I'm sure it would be delicious oven-roasted; the rub would supply a ton of kick on its own. However, the phenomenal flavor that the smoking gives the meat would be missing.

@guy Hmm, just maybe I will... ;)

Hog Mac 'n' Cheese From 'Pitt Cue and Co.: The Cookbook'

@st3ver The Americanized version, converted from metric, was released here in June. In that version, the recipe calls for 1 pound 2 ounces. Thanks for clearing up how that happened!

Crispy Pickled Shiitake From 'Pitt Cue Co.: The Cookbook'

@SiliconValleyGeek
Check out Monday's post (link) about the book and tell us your favorite food to grill in the comments section (we randomly pick 5 winners at the end of the week). Good luck!

Whole Spicy Smoked Roast Chicken From 'Pitt Cue Co.: The Cookbook'

@davmarti
I found this chipotle paste at a couple of Whole Foods here in New Orleans: link

And I admit that I ended up just using this not-roasted garlic paste because I had trouble finding the roasted variety myself, and I was pressed for time: link

However, roasting your own garlic is a very simple proposition. The first step of this recipe details the process: link. Then just mash with a little olive oil and salt, and voila, paste!

Beef Ribs From 'Pitt Cue Co.: The Cookbook'

@TheRealpoppy That's a great tip - thanks!

Beef Ribs From 'Pitt Cue Co.: The Cookbook'

@ryuthrowstuff
The Pitt Cue guys say in the intro to this recipe: "Our ribs come from grass-fed, rare-breed rib-eyes that are kept on the bone for at least 4 weeks, and are hung a further week or so after being removed from the rib-eye, which dries them out a little. The rack, 4 to 6 bones in length, should be stiff, firm, and have a distinctive sweet, nutty aroma. Try to avoid ribs from the wing rib—the ribs flatten out toward the sirloin, are generally cut longer, and contain less intercostal meat."
I had to take what I could get, and the rack I smoked was probably from the wing rib, and was still a little tough after 6 hours, though fairly meaty and really tasty. Aaaand here's where I tell you to go make friends with a butcher. An experienced one might be able to get you the right cut - if not meet the specifics of aging. :)

Beef Ribs From 'Pitt Cue Co.: The Cookbook'

@Traub Click on '5 copies' in the giveaway announcement above, and it will take you to the primary post about Pitt Cue. Tell us your favorite food to grill in the comments section on that post, and we'll randomly pick 5 winners at the end of the week. Thanks!

House Rub From 'Pitt Cue Co.: The Cookbook'

@pfooti Good catch! Sorry about that - it's been corrected to read "1/4 cup..." Thanks!

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