Friday, May 22, 2020

By Joanne Mengel

Warm weather is finally here, and that means we’ve entered grilling season. Before you grab your apron and tongs, think about using this time of social distancing to take your grilling game to new heights. The library has so many great resources chock-full of grilling recipes, advice and techniques. Here are a few of my favorites.

Wisconsin’s own Mad Dog & Merrill - internationally recognized self-proclaimed "Grillologists" - share their expertise with a heavy dose of humor on their TV series, Mad Dog & Merrill Midwest Grill'n. They show us how easy it is to be creative while entertaining in the backyard. Take a look at their website,, for info on their show and lots more. The library owns a couple of their books:

Who knows cooking better than Martha Stewart? She grills too, of course. Check out her latest grilling book Martha Stewart's Grilling: 125+ Recipes for Gatherings Large and Small. You’ll find amazing recipes for appetizers, burgers, tacos and kabobs.

Another great choice, Any Night Grilling: 60 Ways to Fire Up Dinner (and More) by Paula Disbrowe.

Want to brush up on the fundamentals? Try How to Grill Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Flame-Cooked Food by Mark Bittman. The How to Cook Everything author walks readers through more than 250 recipes, from the perfect steak to cedar-plank salmon to pizza in his trademark simple, straightforward style. 

Step out of your comfort zone and try something unusual with Korean BBQ: Master Your Grill in Seven Sauces, by Bill Kim of Chicago's award-winning bellyQ restaurants. Kim shows you how to kung fu your BBQ with Korean-American flavors and 80 recipes tailored for home cooks with suitable substitutions for hard-to-find ingredients.

If your grilling game is limited at meat, then you’re missing a lot. VBQ: The Ultimate Vegan Barbecue Cookbook, by Nadine Horn, features 80-plus plant-based recipes such as Eggplant Hot Dogs, Cauliflower Cutlets, Pulled Mushroom Sandwiches, Eggplant Gyros, Tandoori Tofu Skewers and Vietnamese Pizza. She adds sides such as Crunchy Coleslaw, Grilled Potato Salad, Cashew Sour Cream. 

Feeling adventurous? Project Fire: Cutting-Edge Techniques and Sizzling Recipes from the Caveman Porterhouse to Salt Slab Brownie S'mores, by Steven Raichlen features more than 100 recipes that illustrate cutting-edge grilling methods such as spit-roasting and salt-grilling and suggests that grilling needn’t be limited to dinner (aka chapter Breakfast on the Grill).

Don’t forget the old classic Weber's Greatest Hits, by Jamie Purviance, that features 125 recipes for every grill, including Grilled Oysters, Korean Beef Barbecue, Jerk-Spiced Ribs and Greek Seafood Salad.

Funny title, but what a great book. Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling, by Meathead Goldwin. Goldwyn, pitmaster, national barbecue cookoff judge and curator of the website, debunks the myths that stand in the way of good grilling outcomes. Along the way, he gives helpful advice on equipment and accessories.

For visual learners, the two-DVD set, The Everyday Gourmet: How to Master Outdoor Cooking,  contains 12 30-minute lessons. For example, on disc one: Grilled vegetable starters and salads, Flatbreads and pizza on the grill, and Mediterranean-style grilling. Disc two: Latin American-style grilling, Grilling lamb and beef, Asian-style grilling and Entertaining: grilling for a group.

Don’t forget the best part of grilling: S'mores: Gourmet Treats for Every Occasion, by Lisa Adams. Learn how to take the family favorite into legendary status.

These are just a few of the hundreds of awesome resources at the library, ready for curbside pick up. How does curbside work? Click here to learn; it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3. 

Stay safe everyone, and happy grilling!

Joanne Mengel, reference department team member, loves the library; the library is her life!