Food writers Cheryl and Bill Jamison of Santa Fe, N.M., have just released their seventh cookbook: “100 Grilling Recipes You Can’t Live Without.” Covering everything from steaks and chops to fish and sides, the book offers up the couple’s favorite grilled recipes, hand-picked and fine-tuned for the occasion.
Cheryl tested every recipe, and she and Bill offer specific directions for seasoning, timing and temperature. To measure temperature, readers are told how long they can hold their hand over the fire before snatching it away. They’re instructed when to turn and how long to grill. The Jamisons do not leave cooks stranded with the words,“grill until done.”
“Success has nothing to do with whether you cook with charcoal or gas,” Bill says. “It’s appreciation of true-grill flavors.” For this, they cook on an open grill over direct heat. “When the grill is covered, you’re grilling and baking at the same time, resulting in a generic baked taste,” he says.
Church-Picnic Pork Chops were Cheryl’s introduction to dry-rubbed cooking. For an Illinois teenager whose idea of seasoning was salt and pepper, the chile crust and intense taste made a lasting impression. “An a-ha moment,” she says.
In addition to spice rubs, Cheryl uses simple mixtures of carefully chosen ingredients that work as marinades and sauces. Thick lamb chops steep in garlicky pomegranate juice and rosemary before going on the grill. The marinade is reduced to a deep burgundy pan sauce that’s slightly tangy, slightly fruity and totally delicious. You’ll want bread to mop up every drop.
The same technique is used for Pickapeppa-Marinated Flank Steak and Cuban-Style Pork Tenderloin, which marinates in mojo, a Cuban vinaigrette with sour oranges. For the flavor of hard-to-find sour oranges, Cheryl uses regular oranges and adds lime juice. The sauce is seasoned with chopped herbs, which give it a fresh taste that goes well with the juicy pork. “It makes us want to pig-out grandly on the grill,” Bill says.
Give the Jamisons’ recipes a whirl on your grill. They’re a cut above the average hamburger or hot dog and may make you the most popular guy or gal in the neighborhood during grilling season.
Recipes © 2013 by Cheryl and Bill Jamison and used with permission of The Harvard Common Press.