Review: “Stephane Reynaud’s Barbecue & Grilling” Recipe
Review: “Stephane Reynaud’s Barbecue & Grilling”
Let me admit right here and now that my favorite French food cookbook is Julia Child’s famous tome, Mastering the art of French Cooking. I know just how cliche that sounds, but it was Julia Child along with a very unfrench Galloping Gourmet, Graham Kerr that got my interest in cooking started at a very young age. But, at least I can say I was a Julia Child fan before the book and movie “Julie and Julia” became popular. Graham Kerr is another story, for another time. But alas, Julia Child’s place on my cookbook shelf has been filled by renowned chef and pork expert Stephane Reynaud with his excellent cookbook, Stephane Reynaud’s Barbecue & Grill“Stephane Reynaud is the chef and owner of the restaurant Villa 9 Trois in Montreuil, a suburb of Paris. His restaurant specializes in pork, and Reynaud comes from a family of pig farmers and butchers. His cookbooks have been translated into several languages and received widespread praise; his 2007 PORK & SONS won the Grand Prix de la Gastronomie Francaise. Originally from the Ardeche plateau in France, he now lives in Paris with his wife and three children.” –Author’s Bio
I love this cookbook. For those who nitpick about things, like the difference between barbecue and grilling, this book is really a grilling book. Not a lot about traditional American low and slow barbecue techniques. However, as a self-professed nitpicker, I’m going to make some allowances. It is after all a cookbook written by a French chef and translated into English so I’m going to be a little less critical with the title. If you like to experiment you can certainly “convert” some of these flavor profiles over to your smoker instead of your grill. Otherwise, just break out the charcoal, and if you have to gas, grill and enjoy some great recipes.
Chef Reynaud has written a cookbook that is full of interesting recipes from appetizers through dinner. With chapters on Burgers, Sausage, Skewers, and seafood to name just a few there is something for just about anyone who wants to grill up something special. There are no ordinary recipes here. But just because the recipes in “Barbecue & Grill” might be a little more “gourmet” than your normal grilling cookbook it doesn’t mean they are hard to do. There are recipes for every grilling skill level. There really isn’t a better way to improve your cooking skills than to try something out of your comfort zone, and this cookbook should get most backyard grillers out of their comfort zone.
The cookbook starts out with a chapter on “Equipment & Sauces.” This chapter provides the novice with some good basic information on grills/barbecues before moving into accessories and other cooking tools. I found the section on flavored salts to be especially interesting. I’ve already mixed up a couple of them and have used them several times.
There’s a bit of a whimsical feel to the cookbook with illustrations for many of the recipes that are more of a cartoon than anything else. They don’t add anything to the recipe but it’s kind of fun to skim through the book and check out the pictures. The photography is simple but in a museum/art sort of way. There is even a chapter on Barbecue Bloopers and even a few outdoor cooking cartoons at the end of the book.
The feature in this cookbook that I find the most useful are the flavor profiles and flavor combinations that you don’t normally find in your traditional grilling cookbook. Whether it’s rabbit or merguez sausage you just are not going to find another grilling cookbook that provides the variety found in “Barbecue & Grilling”. If you are in a grilling rut this cookbook will help you bust out your cooking boredom.
Pork Fillets with Pistachio Pesto
Author: Stephane Reynaud
Recipe type: Pork Entre
- 3 pork fillets
- salt and pepper
- Pistachio Pesto:
- 1 bunch basil
- 3½ oz good parmesan cheese
- 1 slice of stale country bread
- 1 2/2 oz shelled pistachios
- ¾ cup olive oil
Carefully butterfly the fillets by slicing them lengthways.
For the pesto, pick the leaves from the basil. Peel the garlic, cut the parmesan into cubes. Crumble the bread. Process all of the pesto ingredients together to obtain a fairly course pesto.
Season the fillets, fill them with pistachio pesto, roll them back up to enclose the filling. Tie them up with cooking twine soaked in salted water. Cook over gentle heat for 20 minutes turning them occasionally.
GRAIL NOTE: I believe the term pork fillets in this recipe can be translated into thick cut pork loin chops.
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Tags: Barbecue, Cookbook, Grilling, Review