“Around the Fire” contains a variety of recipes, many of which are from Ox Restaurant in Portland, Oregon. The style of cooking is executed primarily on an open fire, similar to an Argentinian style of cooking. The book is chock full of grilling and cooking tips and would make a great gift for anyone who loves to grill and is not afraid to experiment with new and unique ingredients or cuts of meat. Many of the recipes include sauces and unique salsas (made with ingredients such as Marcona almonds, lemon, green olives) to serve along side and atop of grilled dishes so extra prep work is required and most of these dishes seem like they require more time and attention rather than being simple and quick. There is also a section in the book for salads, drinks and desserts. I have already tried my hand at the grilled lamb shoulder recipe which I thought was fairly good but not a slam dunk. Lamb shoulder is tricky because in my experience it fares better with a low and slow cooking/braising approach, I’ve had much success with a recipe posted on my blog: https://dawnielovestocook.wordpress.com/tag/braised-lamb-shoulder-chop-recipe/). The grilling method was quick, but my lamb shoulder could have been a bit more tender and it may have been due to the awkward cut from the butcher but it may have been just the shoulder itself which tends to be a tougher cut of meat. The Spiced Beef Empanada recipe looks great but I was disappointed when I read that the dough recipe is only good for frying I wish there was a recipe for a baked dough. Being that the dough recipe is an authentic recipe from Ecuador, I will like to try it even if I have to fry. I have a Latin market nearby and I will be picking up some Aji Amarillo powder to experiment with a few more of the recipes in the book. While I would never cook all of the recipes in the book such as “smoked beef tongue”, “grilled lamb heart”, “grill-roasted sweetbreads”, there are still several recipes I am really excited to try. I received this book from “Blogging for Books” for an honest review.
For more information about the book click on the following link : http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/242177/around-the-fire-by-greg-denton-and-gabrielle-quinonez-denton-with-stacy-adimando/9781607747529
Update: I made the Spiced Beef Empanadas from page 32 and the filling and the dough are excellent. I highly recommend the recipe. Here is a link to my review of the recipe: https://dawnielovestocook.wordpress.com/2016/05/05/spiced-beef-empanadas/