Classically trained chef turned competition barbecue champion Adam Perry Lang brings new excitement to backyard barbecue with his third cookbook, CHARRED & SCRUFFED (Artisan Books; May 2012; $24.95). Rather than relying on tradition like most barbecue experts, Perry Lang introduces new “active grilling” techniques for achieving crunchy crusts, succulent meat, and intense flavor every time you cook with fire.
Perry Lang opens by explaining his building blocks: seasoning, controlling heat, adding layers of flavor during the cooking process, and finishing the meat with still more flavor even after removing it from the heat. In chapters on Meat, Fish, and Fowl, he introduces groundbreaking new techniques like scruffing (roughing up meat to create more surface area where seasonings and bastes can cling), clinching (cooking meat directly on the coals to enhance crunch), hot potatoing (turning and moving the meat constantly to control heat buildup), and cooking high and slow (especially effective for crust development in larger cuts).
He covers familiar cuts like strip steak and lamb chops and introduces new ones, such as the “man steak,” which combines every texture in steakdom in one piece of meat. Then he demonstrates how to layer even more flavor onto the meat with spackles (textural, highly concentrated condiments), finishing salts (Thyme, Rosemary, and Sage; Lime Coriander; Charcoal), and his signature board dressing.
Perry Lang rejects the tired notion of “side dishes” in favor of co-stars that amplify every forkful with satisfying contrasts of taste and texture. He organizes them into four sections:
Melting, Creamy, and Comfortable—recipes with smooth textures and unctuous flavors that temper barbecue’s big, brawny mouthfeel: Creamed Corn with Chives and Chiles; Bubbling Bacon Butter Beans; Smoked-Corn Flan; Scruffed Carbonara Potatoes
Crispy, Fresh, and Sprightly—crunch-based recipes that enhance the flavors of barbecued meat: Mango Cilantro Salad; Peach and Nectarine Salad with Slivered Almonds; Lemony Asparagus Shavings with Goat’s-Milk-Curd Dressing
Leaves, Lettuces, and Greens—acid flavors that cut through the rich, mouth-coating sensation of barbecued meat: Charred Radicchio with Sweet-and-Sticky Balsamic and Bacon; Fleur’s Butter Lettuce Salad with Pommery Mustard Dressing; Belgian Endive Salad with Burnt Oranges, Marjoram Dressing, and Pomegranate Seeds
Crispy Bits—salty and hot, the perfect accompaniment to grilled meat: Duck-Fat Fries; Chicken Skin Cooked Under a Brick; Fried Shallot Loaf; Crispy Moonshine Onion Rings
The bold new techniques in CHARRED & SCRUFFED build powerful flavor into every bite.
Want to know who’s talking about this book? Here’s a few quotes:
[quote]“No one knows more about cooking food over fire than Adam Perry Lang, and his techniques are all here.” —David Chang, chef/owner of Momofuku
“In this book, [Adam Perry Lang] shares the creative theories and techniques that have made him a perennial award winner.” —Martha Stewart Living
“Exciting. . . this new book sparks and crackles with relevance and revelation.” —Gabrielle Hamilton, author of Blood, Bones & Butter[/quote]
Adam Perry Lang is touring the USA this summer. His upcoming book tour schedule can be found here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adam Perry Lang is a chef, restaurateur, and New York Times bestselling cookbook author. After cooking at Le Cirque and Daniel in New York City and at Restaurant Guy Savoy in Paris, he turned his attention to barbecue. Perry Lang’s victories on the national competition circuit include Grand Champion honors at the World Pork Expo and first place for Pork Shoulder at Kansas City’s American Royal, “The World Series of BBQ.” He is the founder of Daisy May’s BBQ in New York City, co-founder with Jamie Oliver of Barbecoa in London, and meat maestro of Carnevino in Las Vegas. He has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Today, Good Morning America, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Fox & Friends, and Iron Chef America. Follow him at twitter.com/AdamPerryLang.