The Firehouse Grilling Cookbook


When working firefighter, personal trainer, and firehouse cook extraordinaire Joseph T. Bonanno Jr. toured to promote his first book, the bestselling The Healthy Firehouse Cookbook, he realized three things:

Firefighters everywhere love to cook, share recipes, and talk about food,

Grilling food is the most popular method of firehouse cooking,

"Man, does that grilled food taste good!" and so was born the idea for the exciting new book The Firehouse Grilling Cookbook (Broadway Books). In the friendly, down-to-earth style that readers loved in his first cookbook, Bonanno covers all the basics of grilling in The Firehouse Grilling Cookbook. He presents grill-friendly recipes collected from his firehouse colleagues around the country, as well as many of his own favorites. "Today's American taste buds can handle a lot of flavor," he says, and offers clear, easy-to-use recipes, detailing all you need to create an everyday feast of a meal, from directions for delicious rubs, marinades, and sauces, to grilled meat, fish, and vegetables, to flavorful side dishes. A selection of mouth-watering desserts rounds out his creative, yet straightforward offerings.

The 150 recipes in the practical guide to the grill include backyard classics as well as today's hottest food trends. Bonanno shows home cooks how to serve up such creative dishes as Grilled Asparagus with Orange Olive Dressing, Red Devil with Brandied Honey Sauce Chicken, Burgers Italiano, and Grilled Pineapple Sundae. His fellow firefighters contribute a cornucopia of flavors, from High-Octane Cajun Rub (Vinton Fire Department, Vinton Iowa) to Greg's Slow-Cooked Ribs (Linden Fire Department, Linden, New Jersey) to Vickie's Cantaloupe Soup with Blueberries and Papaya (Redding Fire Department, Redding, California).

Of course, being a firefighter with Ladder Company 152, Fire Department of New York, Joe can't help but be concerned with fire safety. And when it comes to the grill, he's a pro. Did you know that fat dripping onto hot coals can cause flare-ups? How to wrap warm coals properly to dispose of them? How to store your gas grill during the winter? The Firehouse Grilling Cookbook explains it all.

Take it from Joe who tells us that "grilling was always popular during the warm-weather months, but now that more people own gas grills, cooks are grilling year-round." with The Firehouse Grilling Cookbook, the home cook can have fresh, flavorful, and healthy grilled meals all year long-with the added bonus of the expert assistance of the master griller from New York's Bravest, Joe Bonanno.

Information provided by Broadway Books.


Firehouse Marinade and Basting Sauce

from Kent David and Chris Brazzele
Naperville Fire Department
Naperville, Illinois

Makes about 3 cups

My indirect-fire method of grilling chicken is the best, but it's certainly not the only way. Whenever a fire department throws a chicken barbecue to raise funds, the poultry is grilled directly over the coals and basted with plenty of this thick, mayonnaise-like sauce—a sure way to get flare-ups, but these cooks are professional firefighters and can take the heat. Kent and Chris sent me their version, based on a recipe developed in the 1940s at Cornell University. Use half of the mixture as a marinade and reserve the other half as a basting sauce, so the basting sauce doesn't touch any raw poultry. This makes enough for up to 6 pounds of chicken.

1 large egg
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups cider vinegar
2 tablespoons salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Place the uncracked egg in a small bowl and cover with hot tap water. Let stand for 5 minutes to remove the chill from the egg.

2. Crack the egg into a medium glass or nonreactive bowl. Using an electric mixer at low speed, beat the egg. Slowly beat in the oil—it should take about 1 minute to add the cup. Beat in the vinegar, salt, poultry seasoning, and pepper. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 1 day. Use half of the mixture as a marinade for chicken. Set the other half aside to use as a basting sauce.

Recipe from:
The Firehouse Grilling Cookbook
by Joseph T. Bonanno Jr.
Broadway Books 1998
Hardcover; 240 pages; $23.00
ISBN: 0-7679-0098-7
Reprinted by permission

The Firehouse Grilling Cookbook

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This page originally published as a Global Gourmet Today column in 1998.

Copyright © 2007, Forkmedia LLC. All rights reserved.

This page modified January 2007

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