Paleo Grilling is physically imposing. It’s heavy, arriving in a box. The book demands being taken seriously. I approached it in this vein, and found it useful and more interesting than anticipated.
Frankly, I wondered why the world of Paleo needed a grilling handbook. Paleo eating is now commonly understood; there’s no real mystery surrounding the consumption of meat and seafood, vegetables, some fruit and nuts, healthy fats (and perhaps some potatoes if you’re an athlete). How tough is it to throw meat and vegetables on a grill?
Turns out that’s not the motivation behind Paleo Grilling. Author Whalen appears to be most concerned with teaching us how to prepare delicious Paleo meals based upon the grill. Reading his work, I feel Whalen would suggest leaving behind the annoying niche Paleo cookbooks flooding the marketplace, to ignore those who treat Paleo as a religion. I suggest you shop for quality meats (organic and grass-fed is a good beginning), head to your local farmer’s market and load up on fresh vegetables, fire up your grill, and dig into Paleo Grilling.
Emphasis in each recipe is on flavor and interesting food and taste combinations. Marinades and rubs friendly to the Paleo world are emphasized, but never at the expense of taste. Even more useful, I found the recipes to be logical as I read them, not to be experiments in weird Paleo affectation.
I’ve tangled with one of the recipes so far, the Grilled Ginger-Sesame Chicken. Yes, it’s an easy dish to prepare; I had the ingredients on hand and wanted to dig in right away. Trying to follow the recipe as dictated, my deviation was to include one more chicken breast than called for, and use about half as much ginger, ‘cause that’s how much I had.
Yes, the recipe was simple. Why would I begin with something complex? I’m no whiz in the kitchen. The instructions were clear and in the proper order. Prep time for me was a few minutes longer than noted in the recipe, but that means nothing (I’m the type in the kitchen constantly washing dishes and cleaning the cutting boards mid-prep). My chicken came off the grill a bit dryer than I wanted it to be, but I consciously let it cook a minute longer than the recipe called for. My mistake. I’d cut a breast open and felt it was a tiny bit uncooked in the middle. Next time I’ll trust the recipe as written.
Paleo Grilling is well organized; as a book for people who like to eat, it’s easy to use in the kitchen. I appreciate the flavor combinations employed, and find the beautiful photographs often useful. Topping my list of things-I-like-in-cookbooks, the Index is based on recipe names, not ingredients. Bravo!