Comments: It's so easy to grill up a hunk or multiple hunks of meat. It's often not as easy to know what to serve alongside. This book comes to the rescue, with more than 125 side-dish recipes especially suited to accompanying grilled main dishes.
Written by the host of the PBS series Barbecue America, the recipes are grouped in chapters that cover salads, breads, pasta, vegetables, rice, beans, casseroles, salsas, potatoes, and fruits. Some recipes are decidedly old fashioned; others are more current (we are not ashamed of our inclination towards the old favorites).
There is something here to offend everyone. There are some unexpected recipes – Yorkshire Pudding, for example, which we have never thought of as barbecue or picnic food, and Root Beer Barbecue Beans (substitute Cherry Coke, if you like). There is at least one recipe each that uses Velveeta, instant mashed potatoes, canned soup, and canned vegetables. There is a huge amount of butter used in Firehouse Rice and a huge amount of cream in Garlic and Parmesan Spuds, even by our standards. Why specify chicken stock base and water in one recipe instead of chicken stock (even if most people will use chicken stock base and water no matter what you write)? And in the Hawaiian Baked Beans, there should be some instruction about removing the pineapple core before cutting up the rest of the fruit.
Food snobs will not appreciate this book. But on the whole, there's a lot to like, and everyone else who has the responsibility for coming up with side dishes to accompany barbecue meals (or any other main dish, really) will appreciate the
variety and the ease with which these recipes go together.