Sunset: The Great Outdoors

Margo True and Elaine Johnson

The search is on for this summer’s grilling books and gear.

The Great Outdoors Cookbook: Adventures in Cooking Under the Open Sky (Oxmoor House 2014) from the editors of Sunset Magazine, Margo True & Elaine Johnson, is an all-in-one bonanza book about eating outdoors. Whether you are just building a fire, using a smoker, or a cast iron pan, this book has you covered. It includes everything from choosing wood – or not – to making meals on the beach or on a mountain.

Inventive, but doable outdoor cooking is in Sunset’s DNA. From the magazine’s earliest days more than a century ago, our writers told readers how to get out there and cook in the majestic Western landscape. (p. 9)

So, pack that backpack or camper – or just set up that backyard grill – and enjoy outdoor cooking this summer.

Sunset the Great Outdoors by Margo True and Elaine JohnsonIt all starts with breakfast like Hearty Whole-Grain Pancakes with Blueberries (p. 20). There are ‘At Home’ instructions to make a dry mix, and then ‘In Camp’ instructions to add the wet ingredients and heat the cast iron griddle on a camp stove. The next section is on cooking with a Dutch Oven – including step-by-step photos of how bake by heating with coals on top of the lid. You could make Oatmeal with the Works (p. 30) or go all out and make Dutch Oven Cinnamon Rolls (p. 33) with dough prepared at home.

The book includes some unusual chapters like Cooking with the Sun (p. 134) all about cooking with a solar oven. The recipes focus on cooking without browning or crisping, so a recipe like Solar Oven Fejoada (p. 136) the Brazilian pork and black bean stew is perfect since it calls for long, slow cooking. Solar Oven Shortbread (p. 137) is a nice rich treat after expending a lot of energy outdoors.

Chef Michael Chiarello, who wrote the foreword, also included his Pizza Dough recipe (p. 180) used for Asparagus, Arugula, and Roasted Garlic Piadine (p. 183). It’s a portable salad – a huge pile of tasty greens folded in a soft, flavorful flatbread topped with pecorino cheese. The Great Outdoors also includes a chapter on pizza ovens and more recipes for pizza, as well as a spread on Pizza Oven Essentials (pp. 224-5) so you are absolutely covered for pizza of any sort.

The Great Outdoors is much like the best of Sunset Magazine‘s outdoor cooking articles – best practices to get you ready to experiment on your own.

About Juliette Rossant

Juliette Rossant is an American author, journalist, and poet. Following publication of her book Super Chef (2004), she began an online magazine... (more)