Late Summer Feasts

Book reviews by Kristina Sepetys

Labor Day always brings a flurry of barbecues and other outdoor gatherings with friends. Four great new books offer recipes for delicious seafood and meat dishes and celebratory desserts.


Around the Fire: Recipes for Inspired Grilling
and Seasonal Feasting from Ox Restaurant

by Greg Denton, Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton with Stacy Adimando
(Ten Speed Press, 2016)

This appealing book offers 100 innovative and exciting recipes for the backyard griller, inspired by the live-fire and asador cooking traditions of Latin America and the authors’ popular restaurant, Ox, in Portland, Oregon. It features unexpected cuts of meat (like Grilled Lamb Shoulder Chops with Rosemary Marinade or Grilled Wild Halibut on the Bone with Toasted Garlic-Lemon Oil) and seasonal produce (Grilled Butternut Squash with Za’atar and Charred Green Onion Yogurt). Vegetarians and carnivores alike will find much to enjoy.


Fresh Fish: A Fearless Guide to Grilling, Shucking,
Searing, Poaching, and Roasting Seafood

by Jennifer Trainer Thompson
(Storey, 2016)

Here you’ll find simple step-by-step instructions for all of the essential seafood cooking methods, including baking, pan-frying, braising, broiling, steaming, poaching, roasting, marinating, and grilling. The 175 recipes cover fish fillets and whole fish, crustaceans and mollusks. Learn how to buy fish (including whole fish), how to serve fish raw, how to clean freshly dug clams, and much more.


Oysters: Recipes that Bring Home a Taste of the Sea
by Cynthia Nims
(Sasquatch Books, 2016)

This cookbook for oyster lovers features recipes, shucking instructions, and the local success story of oyster farming on the Pacific Coast. From Hangtown Hash with Fried Eggs to Half-Shell Oysters with Kimchi-Cucumber Relish, you’ll find 30 recipes, ideas for what to drink with oysters, and tips for buying, storing, and shucking. The delectable oysters grown along the West Coast—which include Pacific, Kumamoto, Olympia, and Eastern and European Flat species—are the stars of this cookbook.


Against all Grain Celebrations:
A Year of Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free,
and Paleo Recipes for Every Occasion

by Danielle Walker
(Ten Speed Press, 2016)

From the New York Times best-selling author of Against All Grain and Meals Made Simple, 125 recipes for dairy-free, gluten-free comfort food dishes for holidays and special occasions. Walker’s new book helps you to recreate backyard barbecue standards like peach cobbler and corn bread. Many of the dishes are simple enough for everyday cooking.