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Published May 20, 2009, 11:58 PM

Outdoor cooking: New cookbooks take barbecuing, grilling beyond backyard

It seems that about this time every year, a bevy of new cookbooks about grilling and barbecuing hits the market.

By: Jeff Tiedeman, Grand Forks Herald

It seems that about this time every year, a bevy of new cookbooks about grilling and barbecuing hits the market.

That’s understandable, since May is National Barbecue Month and cooking outdoors begins in earnest around Memorial Day weekend.

I’m not going to get into the differences between barbecuing and grilling (they’re actually two distinct cooking methods that use similar tools to produce food with very different textures and flavors) but share some information about two cookbooks with international flair that have come to my attention.

The first is “Sizzle: Sensational Barbecue Food” (Julie Biuso Publications, $19.95/softcover), by award-winning New Zealand cookbook author Julie Biuso. (Actually, the book came out last year but is drawing much attention again this spring.)

In “Sizzle,” Biuso, who began her career at the Cordon Bleu School of Cookery in London and later became principal of the franchised Cordon Bleu Cookery School in New Zealand, shows how the culture of her homeland has evolved the art of the barbecue to a higher level: It’s not just hamburgers, steaks and chicken skewers anymore but breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and dessert.

Her recipes reflect the country’s cuisine, which emphasizes the quality and freshness of local produce from land and sea. They include Green Tomato, Avocado and Orange Salad, Pork Satay with Fresh Pineapple Chutney, Asparagus and Mint Prosciutto Wraps, Seared Scallops with Chili Pepper Dressing, Char-grilled Lamb Rumps with Balsamic Tomatoes and Fluffy Pancakes with Maple Syrup.

The nice thing about the recipes is that the ingredients all can be found in local grocery stores and markets.

Biuso also includes tips on choosing and using a barbecue, cooking meat to perfection, adding flavor and judging cooking times.

The second is “300 Big & Bold Barbecue & Grilling Recipes” (Robert Rose Inc., $24.95/softcover) by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig, best-selling authors known as “The BBQ Queens.”

The authors describe their cookbook as “global goes local — any barbecue, grilling or smoking technique, from anywhere in the world, can be done at home in your own backyard.”

Besides a vast array of recipes, the authors also offer many tips.

They say the key to delicious results is building the bold flavor before, during and after barbecuing. “For example, if you want your rib-eye steak to have a blackened exterior and a rare interior, you need a good rub on your steak, a hot fire in close proximity to your meat and a short cooking time.”

Among their recipes: Aussie Paperbark Pork with Lemon Myrtle Chutney, Moroccan Chicken with Apricot and Pistachio Couscous, Blue Ribbon Pulled Pork, Memphis Piggy Sandwiches with Vinegar Coleslaw, Wood-Grilled Trout, Smoked Sweet Potato Casserole with Ginger, Lime and Brown Sugar and Smoked Corn in the Husk with Hot Pepper Herb Butter.

(A sample of recipes from these cookbooks can be found at event/tag/group/Features/tag/food/.)

That’s enough to get even novices in the mood for summertime cookouts.

Tiedeman is food editor at the Herald. Reach him at 780-1136 or toll-free at (800) 477-6572, or e-mail at