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WhiteTrash BBQ -- Real Pit Barbecue from New York City. This is the story of a fire obsessed guy, living in Brooklyn, with a dream of producing award winning, competition busting, real Barbeque. Come live the dream as I compete around the country in the KCBS Championship Barbecue circuit.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Last Minute Christmas Gifts

Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet? I haven't. Actually unless a couple of clients come through, we may be celebrating Christmas in July. It's been a very tough last quarter of the year.

But, here in WhiteTrash BBQ world, I have a few last minute Christmas items to recommend. First up is a very beautiful coffee table cookbook by Food Network's own Masaharu Morimoto, called simply Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking.

I'm not a big fan of coffee table cook books, I prefer books that I can prop up and get dirty in my kitchen as I use them. But this is Masaharu Morimoto's first cookbook and it's a beauty. His recipes and story deserve the oversize treatment.

Every recipe and technique here is wonderfully illustrated. But, alas, I found it's recipes a little bit out of my price range. One of the beauties of Japanese cooking is the simplicity of it's recipes and it's reliance on top notch ingredients. That's all well and good, but I can't afford Waygu beef and many of the other ingredients he regularly calls for.

If you have deep pockets, this is definitely the cook book for you. However, Morimoto's story and approach to cooking is a fascinating read. That alone would make think about buying the book.

Up next is Street Food by Tom Kine. This book is subtitled "exploring the world's most authentic taste" and is an interesting contrast to Morimoto. This book takes us from the ultra rich luxury foods of Morimoto to the foods of the street. Hence, Street Food.

This guide to Street Food takes us around the world exploring what is available to the average person in street carts. It amazes and amuses me as I see the same ingredients as interpreted by the different cultures. It seems that anywhere in the world you can find kabobs, dough nuts, chicken and soups ready for working man's meal. All with a local spin.

I like this book a lot and have made a few of its recipes already. (Sorry no pictures) It's nicely done, beautifully photographed and just the right size for use in the kitchen or outside by the grill.

And speaking of grills, since this is a blog about BBQ after all, my last last minute Christmas gift recommendation is for the griller who has everything, Grill Charms. Yup, Grill Charms. These cute little stainless steel buttons allow the grill master to mark each piece of meat with label for degree of "doneness" (rare, medium, or well done) or degree of spice.

Also coming soon: The Signature "Charmed Life Collection". This collection will have 6 individual and unique designs such as a sailboat, a tropical vacation and other items associated with living a "Charmed Life". Personalize your food prior to cooking to distinguish spices and flavors, to avoid health or allergy issues or any other OPTION you can dream up!

A few of the subsequent collections we have in the works are The Sports Collection and The Pink Collection. (Just to name a few) The Pink Collection will be geared towards the lady grillers of the world.

They're an interesting concept but I caution you, be very careful when using these charms as they do constitute a choking hazard for small children and are hot after use. If you host parties with a lot of drinkers, I wouldn't recommend them either.

But with a little caution and care, and we all know that the best cooks exercise both in every cook, the grill charms add a very unique touch to your cook. Your guests will be impressed.

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