For centuries, burning wood and tinder were basically the only means of cooking food (and heating one's home, and boiling water, and all sorts of other stuff.) The wood served as fuel, generating heat, thereby turning raw ingredients into completed dishes. These days, we have much more efficient and controllable ways to create heat for food, but these conveniences come with a downside: they don't taste as good.
Smoke: New Firewood Cooking by award winning chef Tim Byres seeks to explore the unique properties of cooking with an open fire, whether in the grill, in your kitchen, or over smoldering embers. Tim "shows how to imbue all kinds of foods—not just meat—with the irresistible flavor of smoke. Here he gives innovative ideas for easy ways to use smoke in your everyday kitchen arsenal of flavors—such as smoking safely on the stovetop with woodchips, putting together relishes and salsas made with smoked peppers and other vegetables, grilling with wood planks, and using smoke-cured meats to add layers of flavor to a dish. For serious cooks, there are how-to sections on building a firepit, smokehouse, and spit roast at home."
On my wishlist, for sure. Smoke: New Firewood Cooking - How to Build Flavor with Fire on the Grill and in the Kitchen [Photo via: Uncrate]