Cookbook Review: The Backyard Fire Cookbook by Linda Ly

Note: I received a digital advance reader copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I'll admit, I'm intimidated by grilling. I never grew up anywhere near the grill when my dad was using it, and it's always been seen as the "dad's domain". So I was pleasantly surprised to see that the author of a book all about backyard fire cooking is a female. I realized in the process of writing this review that I've actually read a Linda Ly cookbook before. I gifted my brother-in-law and sister-in-law her book, the New Camp Cookbook, last Christmas and found myself unable to stop myself from flipping through it. All the recipes sounded delicious, and the photography was gorgeous. This book continues in the same style, right down to the cover, but with a different focus.

While "backyard fire" sounded vague to me at first, it becomes apparent that Ly aims to make the process of cooking over a fire, no matter what kind of vessel you use, both approachable and gourmet. The first section of the book really takes the time to demystify the process of setting up a grill in your backyard. As someone who doesn't yet have a backyard or a grill, I wasn't able to put her wealth of knowledge to the test, but it seemed like a very thorough introduction to setting up your own grilling paradise.

The recipes themselves are interesting, creative, modern, and things I could totally see myself making. There's dishes like Smoky Ember-Roasted Eggplant Dip, Grilled Brie with Sweet Cherry Sauce, Feta-Stuffed Flank Steak (um, this sounds utterly delicious), Shrimp in Coconut Sauce (made in a foil pack!), Korean Grilled Chicken, and Dutch Oven Jambalaya. There's a great diversity of techniques and cuisines here, and I really enjoyed flipping through and seeing what new ideas would pop up next.

As expected, the photography is top-notch and really makes you want to go into your pantry and start cooking as soon as possible. The rest of the cookbook is clean and well-designed. I would totally buy this for any grillers in my life. I'm already adding this to my list of Christmas gift ideas.

Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

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