Steven Raichlen has brought us more grilling books than one would think possible (most of the 30 books he's written, including "Planet Barbecue!" and "Barbecue! Bible").
Now Raichlen directs his considerable culinary knowledge to another subject he's equally skilled at: teaching men to cook in "Man Made Meals: The Essential Cookbook for Guys" (Workman, 631 pages, $24.95).
As Raichlen takes the reader through a variety of cooking methods in 300 recipes, he intersperses technique and step-by-step photos (how to carve a turkey, how to eat lobster) with an engaging Q&A involving food dudes, from Spanish chef Jose Andres to Michael Pollan, Thomas Keller, Stanley Tucci, Andrew Zimmern and even a faux interview with Thomas Jefferson (via an academic).
The interviews alone are worth the price of the book as each cook delves deep into what motivates his cooking.
Here's a recipe from the book.
FIRE-EATER CHICKEN WINGS
Serves 6 as an appetizer.
Pimenton (Spanish smoked paprika) can be found at most supermarkets or online at tienda.com. For a smokier flavor, grill the wings indirectly over charcoal that has ...
1 1/2 cups of soaked drained wood chips on them.
FOR THE CHICKEN WINGS AND SPICE MIXTURE:
3 to 3 1/2 pounds chicken wings
1 tablespoon pimenton or sweet paprika
1 teaspoon coarse salt (kosher or sea)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon onion or garlic powder
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery seed, optional
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or vegetable oil, plus extra for oiling the wire rack
FOR THE SAUCE:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 to 6 jalapeno peppers (preferably red) or other hot peppers (depends on your tolerance for heat), thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup Louisiana-style hot sauce, such as Frank's RedHot or Tabasco, to taste
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke, optional
To prepare chicken wings: Cut each chicken wing through the joints into 2 sections, the drumette (the part that looks like a little drumstick) and the flat, discarding the wing tips (or save them for stock).
Place the wings in a large mixing bowl.
Combine the pimenton, salt, black pepper, onion or garlic powder, cayenne and celery seed in a small bowl, and mix them with your fingers. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the chicken wings and toss to mix. Add the olive oil and toss to mix.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a wire rack over an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Oil the rack with a folded paper towel dipped in vegetable oil.
Arrange chicken wings on the wire rack. Bake until browned and cooked through, 30 to 40 minutes, turning them once or twice with tongs.
To check for doneness, make a slit in the thickest part of the largest drumette; there should be no traces of pink.
To prepare the sauce: Melt the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. When butter is hot, bubbles will dance when you dip a slice of jalapeno in it. Add the jalapenos and cilantro to the butter and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the hot sauce and let the mixture come to a boil. Add a few drops of liquid smoke, if desired.
Transfer baked chicken wings to a large shallow serving bowl. Pour the sauce over them and toss to mix.