We are loving this new book by Adam Perry Lang with Peter Kaminsky. We actually met Peter at the IACP conference this year and he was telling us about these steaks that Adam cooked directly on the coals that were perfectly medium rare, pink and juicy throughout in way that is hard to come by these days without a little help from an immersion circulator. We were immediately intrigued, good cooking is always of interest and put the book on our "to be read" list. Time passed and somehow we missed the book's release. We stumbled upon it just a couple of weeks ago and immediately picked one up. While some may say it's a little late in the season we grill almost into winter so there's plenty of time to play with these recipes. It'll be a nice counterpoint to Alex's grilled pizzas.
This is a wonderful reading book and there's lots to learn. The steak Peter described comes in the section on "clinching" an interesting technique that Adam explains with style and absolute clarity. I'm not going to tell you about it here because you really should buy the book but I will say that I appreciate the fact that explains why the technique works in addition to how to do it. Because as we've learned, if we know why, when push comes to shove, we can extrapolate and figure out the rest for ourselves. I love when cooks and chefs are willing to share their break-through moments to make us all better in the kitchen.
Charred and Scruffed is a book with a definite personality. Adam has strong views on how he likes to cook. He's not afraid to break with tradition, hence a chapter on cooking high and slow rather than the expected low and slow of classic barbecue lore. There are some great salads and side dishes, spackles, sauces and even an array of finishing salts. The photography in this book, by Simon Wheeler, tells a story. It is the perfect accompaniment to the writing and recipes in a way that we don't often see in traditional cookbooks these days. There really isn't anything I don't like about this book. It makes me want to run from the kitchen and start cooking.