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Agate Surrey


A Grilling Giveaway for Memorial Day

If you're like us, then you have been eagerly anticipating the official kickoff to grilling season. An adventurous subset of you may have been stoking the coals since April, and maybe some of you have even had to refill your gas grill tank already. But as the weather gets downright balmy in Chicago, all of us are looking forward to a Memorial Day weekend with plenty of barbecue.

To celebrate the warm weather and national holiday, we will be giving away a copy of the brand new, beautifully redesigned title 1,001 Best Grilling Recipes, 2nd edition, by Rick Browne.

Author Rick Browne is known as one of the country's foremost authorities on grilling. The creator and host of the PBS TV series Barbecue America, Browne is also the author of 12 cookbooks. In this volume, he's created an encyclopedic collection of recipes drawn from cuisines around the world, with a particular focus on North American and Asian traditions.

To enter our contest, comment on or share our posts on Facebook and Twitter. We'll be selecting a winner this week and sending you a free copy! If you just can't wait that long, see a bonus recipe below from 1,001 Best Grilling Recipes.

Thai Beer-Can Chicken Satay

Yield: 4–6 servings

This is beer-butt chicken using Thai spices and marinades and a satay (peanut) dip- ping sauce. If you can’t find Thai beer, substitute any American brand. The chicken won’t know the difference.


1 (4–5 pound [1.8–2.3 g]) chicken

2 (14-ounce [392-g]) cans unsweetened coconut milk

½ cup  (118 mL) loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro

3½ tablespoons (52.5 mL) turbinado sugar

3 tablespoons (45 mL) yellow curry paste (or 1 tablespoon [15 mL] curry powder)

3 tablespoons (45 mL) Thai fish sauce

8 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

1½ teaspoons (7.5 mL) ground white pepper

1 (12-ounce [354-mL]) can Singha (or other Thai beer), to taste

Dipping Sauce

3 tablespoons (45 mL) vegetable oil

2 tablespoons (30 mL) red curry paste

½ cup  (118 mL) finely diced shallots

2 teaspoons (10 mL) chili powder

½ cup  (118 mL) finely ground roasted peanuts

¼ cup  (60 mL) smooth peanut butter

¼ cup  (60 mL) packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon (15 mL) tamarind juice

1½ teaspoons (7.5 mL) salt (or to taste)

4 cups  (0.95 L) unsweetened coconut milk

1. With a sharp barbecue fork, poke the chicken multiple times in the breasts and thighs to help with the marinade process. Place the chicken in a 1- to 2-gallon (3.8- to 7.6-L) resealable plastic bag and set aside.

2. In a food processor combine the 2 cans coconut milk, cilantro, turbinado sugar, yellow curry paste, fish sauce, garlic, and white pepper and process until smooth. Pour the marinade over the chicken. Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.

3. Preheat the barbecue to medium high (350°F [180°C] to 400°F [200°C]) for indirect heating, putting a water pan under the unheated side of the grill.

4. Drain the chicken well and discard the marinade. Open the beer can and pour off half of the beer.  Slide the chicken tail-side down over the can, using the legs to form a stabilizing tripod.

5. Place the vertical chicken on the unheated side of your grill and cook for 1½ to 2 hours, or until an instant-read thermometer reads 160°F (71°C)°.  Carefully remove the chicken from the beer can and place it on a cutting board. Cut it into quarters or serving pieces.

6. In a small saucepan, heat oil over medium high heat until a drop of water sizzles when dropped into the pan. Add the shallots, red curry paste, and chili powder and heat until fragrant, approximately 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the peanuts, peanut butter, brown sugar, tamarind juice, salt, and the 4 cups (0.95 L) coconut milk. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently until the oil rises to the surface. Remove the pan from the heat and spoon the satay sauce into small serving bowls, one per person. Keep warm.

7. Arrange the chicken on a heated platter and serve with the dipping sauce.

Reprinted with permission from 1,001 Best Grilling Recipes, 2nd ed., by Rick Browne, Agate Surrey, 2016.



Jocelyn Delk Adams on TODAY making Cinnamon Roll Pound Cake

In case you missed seeing author, blogger, and baker extraordinaire Jocelyn Delk Adams on the TODAY Show, fear not! You can watch the full segment here, in which Jocelyn shows Matt Lauer how to add a modern twist to a Cinnamon Roll Pound Cake recipe inspired by Jocelyn's grandmother, a.k.a. Big Mama.

Jocelyn Delk Adams with her grandmother, affectionately known as Big Mama, who inspired her blog and cookbook,  Grandbaby Cakes .

Jocelyn Delk Adams with her grandmother, affectionately known as Big Mama, who inspired her blog and cookbook, Grandbaby Cakes.

If you haven't had a chance to read Jocelyn's new book, GRANDBABY CAKES, we've got you covered! You can find out more about it on our website, where it's on sale for only $20, or pick up a copy at your favorite bookseller:

Find your local indie bookseller

Find your local indie bookseller

Learn how to make this delicious Cinnamon Roll Pound Cake by clicking the image above!

Learn how to make this delicious Cinnamon Roll Pound Cake by clicking the image above!



Pizza Party! ...and a nominee for an essential pizza cookbook

Our friends at Paste magazine recently shared a list of 6 essential pizza cookbooks.

While there are some great selections there (Tony Gemignani's The Pizza Bible being an office favorite), we wanted to nominate one of our own for the honor:

PASSION FOR PIZZA by the American-Norwegian team of Craig Whitson, Tore Gjesteland, Mats Widen, and Kenneth Hansen.

Not only is this a handsome hardcover with wonderful photography and 50 pizza recipes, but it is also a travel guide containing profiles of 60 pizzerias and pizza-makers from across Rome, Naples, New York, Chicago, L.A., and more.

And if you're lucky enough to live in author Craig Whitson's home state of Oklahoma, you are in for a cheesy treat! Craig will be appearing on Thursday, Oct. 22 at Full Circle Bookstore in Oklahoma City for a homecoming pizza party.



Q&A with Jocelyn Delk Adams, author of Grandbaby Cakes

Agate's latest release, Grandbaby Cakes, is written by celebrated food blogger Jocelyn Delk Adams--learn more about her in this brief Q&A about her background, her blog, and her new book, which is already getting a great reaction from media and readers alike.

You’ve said in your blog that you didn’t realize you had the “baking gene” until you were in your twenties. How did you discover your penchant for baking?

I knew early on that I definitely could bake and enjoyed it, but unlike the elder women in my family, I didn’t feel a strong desire to be in the kitchen. A connection was missing for me. Deep inside, I downright rejected the notion of wanting to bake for the pure enjoyment of it. I thought the idea was primitive and anti-modern, but inwardly something kept drawing me into the kitchen. One weekend in my late twenties, I was bored and randomly walked into my kitchen and pulled out the ingredients to bake a pound cake. Something just felt so right that I decided to stop fighting it. I continued to bake every weekend, trying new combinations and spins on my family recipes. From there, it became the only thing I wanted to do and share.

Many of your recipes are steeped in your family’s Southern heritage. Has your life in Chicago similarly informed your baking?

My life in Chicago has altered the way I was taught to bake in many ways. Midwestern and Southern lifestyles have many things in common, such as relaxed philosophies and friendly people who speak pleasantries just because of good home training. However, living in a very hip, urban city like Chicago has exposed me to a lot more culture and creativity. My husband and I love to try new restaurants and bakeries in the city, and each menu has inspired me greatly. We have some of the best chefs in the world here. I realize that these cutting-edge gifts are not as prevalent in Winona, Mississippi, where my grandparents live. The Chicago influence definitely prevents me from getting stale when it comes to my recipe development.

Why do you think it is important to honor family cooking and baking traditions?

Before I started my blog, I noticed that a lot of my friends didn’t cook or bake much. Their daily consumption routines came in the form of take-out and fancy restaurant dining. I was quite similar when I was in my twenties. At some point, I realized the importance of historical reference and legacy. I receive so many emails from readers who are thankful for my site. A lot of readers mention that they love certain recipes that their parents or grandparents made when they were growing up, but that they missed the opportunity to learn those recipes before their relatives passed away. I hope I am helping to fill in that gap and provide a place where people can feel some sort of family connection, even if their loved ones are no longer here. For those that do have loved ones here, and fantastic recipes worth preserving, I hope I am inspiring people to capture those recipes along with their unique history, so they can pass them on to new generations.

What are your favorite unexpected flavors to use in cakes?

I love playing with expected flavors in unexpected ways. One of my favorite cakes in the cookbook is the Arnold Palmer Cake, which is inspired by a favorite drink of mine that combines sweet tea and lemonade. I coupled these flavors in the recipe by creating a tart lemon cake with a sweet tea buttercream. Separate they are more common, but together they create an unexpected flavor profile that just works!

 What do you hope your readers gain from Grandbaby Cakes?

I hope I am making the art of baking seem cool and fresh again for younger audiences, while also honoring those that came before me. But most importantly, I hope I am inspiring a need for families to reconnect, find their legacies, and carry them forward in their own contemporary ways.

What has been the most rewarding thing about turning your blog into a book?

Writing a cookbook has been a dream I’ve had since I first bought the domain for my site. I figured it would come much later, but this timing definitely feels right! While the recipes—both savory and sweet—on my site represent a large part of who I am, this book allowed me to delve deeper into a single dessert subject and my own family history. I loved sifting through vintage photos and hearing the funny stories behind them. I adored talking to my grandparents about their history and seeing how it all ties back to me. The blog just touches the surface of what I am able to share in the book. I’m so privileged to be the vessel that carries a family legacy forward in a unique way. 

What advice do you have for novice bakers who pick up Grandbaby Cakes?

My advice is to start with easier recipes and then challenge yourself with harder recipes. Novice bakers need to gain the confidence that comes with knowing they can create a successful recipe. The intimidation factor melts away as soon as that happens. Just remember that baking is supposed to be fun and relaxing.