Page Burners

Adam Perry Lang’s new book Charred & Scruffed is an ode to all things meaty, while Barton Seaver’s Where There’s Smoke contributes enticing recipes for grilled vegetables and fish.

By Sophie Brickman

Published on July 5, 2013

I've never eaten a steak with such a crisp, crackling crust, and such a tender, flavorful interior as Adam Perry Lang's "Man Steak," one of the recipes in his new book Charred & Scruffed (Artisan, 2012). With a side of grilled sweet Lacinato kale from Barton Seaver's Where There's Smoke (Sterling Epicure, 2013), nearly half of which is devoted to the art of grilling vegetables and fish, I knew I was kicking off the grilling season right. Lang's work, an ode to all things meaty, promotes "active grilling": dancing meat around the fire to "scruff it up" and develop a craggy exterior. Just as he instructed, I flipped my steak every few minutes, using an herb brush—rosemary and thyme tied together—to swipe it with a soy sauce and garlic baste. I later chopped the singed herbs into a "board sauce," made using the meat drippings that seeped out on the cutting board. For his part Seaver, a sustainable food expert and Washington, D.C.-based chef, shares enticing recipes for charred Brussels sprouts with orange-pecan dressing, and grilled cauliflower with fresh mint and Parmesan. There is no food he won't attempt to bring to charred perfection.

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