By Kate Manchester, Recipes by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison
Several weeks ago I was invited to a reception by friends Cheryl and Bill Jamison. Cheryl and Bill are two of the most prolific cooks I know—they have authored more than a dozen cookbooks and are four-time James Beard Award winners. They are constantly on the move, and, as you would imagine, they are great entertainers. Despite a full schedule that includes plenty of travel, teaching and writing, Cheryl has recently started an adjunct business. She and her friend, interior designer Barbara Templeman, are collaborating on insideOUT, a service that will help people create the outdoor room of their dreams—a room in which to cook, entertain and relax.
“We live in an area blessed with spectacular outdoor weather for a good chunk of the year—blue skies, sunshine, low humidity, few bugs, great scenery. Few settings could be more special. Being outdoors almost always makes guests, as well as the hosts, feel more relaxed,” Cheryl says. At the reception we marveled at the fact that we had all been inside some wonderful homes that seemingly neglected the potential of outdoor spaces. Cooking outdoors is a celebration of summer, and if you’ve ever read one of their books, you’ll know that outdoor cooking and entertaining
is one of their specialties. The Jamisons write veritable encyclopedias on grilling and barbecuing, covering everything from how to build the perfect fire to creating a tasty rub or marinade—to roasting an entire pig if you are so inclined. I left the reception coveting a copper salamander that would look stunning in the outdoor kitchen of my dreams, and
looking forward to the brilliantly beautiful days and evenings ahead— almost all of which will be spent outside under the portal, enjoying the setting sun and wondrous New Mexico sky. Here’s a menu for outdoor entertaining this summer—all recipes are from Cheryl and Bill’s books.
Visit www.cookingwiththejamisons.com to learn more about their inside- OUT workshops, cooking classes (both here and in the Dordogne region of France), and to order their books.
Bill’s tips on building charcoal and wood fires for grilling:
Since cooking temperature is the critical consideration in good grilling, you build charcoal and wood fires with a firm focus on controlling the heat level. The main temperature variable is the quantity of fuel you use, which should always be relative to the size of the grill and the amount and type of food you’re cooking. We use charcoal chimney starters as a combination measuring cup and igniter. On a standard 22.5-inch, kettle-style grill, we light one full charcoal-chimney load of briquettes, lump charcoal or hardwood chunks to cook four chicken breasts over medium heat, spreading the fuel evenly in a single layer. For the same number of thick steaks on the same grill, we would increase the amount of charcoal or wood by 50 percent or more and build a two-level fire with both hot and medium ranges, piling the coals two or three deep on one half of the firebox and then scattering the others in a single layer on the opposite half. Briquettes reach a prime cooking temperature when they start turning ashen, usually about 30 minutes after you light them. Lump charcoal and hardwood chunks usually ignite faster, get hotter and burn more quickly. With
any of the fuels, you can bump up the heat by bunching the coals together, opening vents fully, or if your grill provides the means, moving the food closer to the fire. To reduce the temperature, spread the coals apart and dampen the draft, or increase the distance between the food and the fire.
Grilled Peaches with Sangria Syrup
Orzo and Zucchini Salad
BLT Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing
High Plains Buffalo Steak