GRILL. Cooking over coals not just a fad - it's how America entertains

THERE'S room for the whole garden on the grill this year. Now that the harvest is coming in, you'll want to keep adding to your grill specialties day by day.

With Indian summer and fall months approaching, there'll be camping trips, back-to-school picnics, leaf-raking parties - and even Thanksgiving dinner. Any of these occasions will be more fun with a special barbecue bash.

Last year we called it barbecuing, not grilling, and it was equal to a culinary art - that is, only for those who had triumphed over the beginner's backyard catastrophes of charred chicken and blackened hamburgers.

This year barbecue is more clearly defined, and we're calling it ``grilling.'' It includes all the vegetables you can think of that go with the basic meats, poultry, and fish.

What's the difference between barbecuing and grilling?

Grilled food is cooked directly over the coals.

Barbecuing is slow cooking, and there is never an open flame.

Barbecued food is cooked indirectly, over a drip pan, with coals banked either to one side or on both sides of the pan. It is usually used for large cuts of meat, poultry, and ribs.

Most experts say the type of food determines the method.

More than 70 percent of American households own an outdoor grill, according to the Barbecue Industry Association, and according to other surveys, cooking outdoors is one of America's favorite ways of entertaining.

It's also one of the best ways to cook fresh fish, a favorite subject in one of the top cookbooks on the subject, ``The Joy of Grilling,'' (Barron's, $21.95). Author Joe Famularo devotes more space to fish grilling than to any other kind of food.

In this colorful, ring-bound volume, the fish section tells and shows you how to cook fish in handy wire baskets, among other ways.

One of the best dishes in the book is Grilled Sea Bass in a Wire Basket, cooked after being slashed and filled with a mixture of fresh ginger, coriander, and green onions.

A simpler fish recipe is Swordfish Kebabs with peppers and lemon and butter. The fish cubes alternate with red, green, and yellow fresh sweet peppers.

Another of the most delicious recipes is for Skewered Beef Tenderloin. Yes, expensive meat, but there's no waste, and it's easy to string the chunks on skewers after marinating them in thyme, Dijon mustard, pepper flakes, and a few other seasonings.

There are several good chicken recipes as well. There are recipes for chicken on a spit, for turkey, and all kinds of meats - including veal shanks cooked in foil.

When it comes to vegetables, you can choose from grilled peppers and potatoes, lamb and vegetables, Greek style; a combination of vegetables and herbs cooked on the grill in an aluminum foil packet; and many others.

Mr. Famularo says grilling is here to stay. ``It's not a fad,'' he says. ``It's so easy it's bound to continue. And it eliminates a lot of work.''

Most of the recipes in Famularo's grilling book are his own, but others are from his friends, such as this one from Craig Claiborne.

Grilled Chickenburgs With Herbs 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts 1/4 cup heavy cream Salt and freshly ground pepper 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon 1 cup fresh bread crumbs 4 tablespoons butter 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, optional

Trim breasts to remove all nerve fibers, cartilage. Cut chicken into small cubes. Place chicken in food processor and grind coarsely. Gradually add cream, blending briefly. Do not overblend. Mixture should not be pasty.

Scrape chicken into mixing bowl. Add salt, pepper, tarragon, and bread crumbs, beating rapidly with wooden spoon. Divide mixture evenly into 12 portions. Using dampened hands, shape portions into flat, round patties. Chill thoroughly until ready to cook.

Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to high. Brush surface evenly with a little oil. Grill patties about 4 minutes. Carefully turn with a spatula and cook about 4 minutes longer.

Heat butter almost, but not quite, to simmering point. Stir in lemon juice, parsley, and hot pepper sauce. Pour over patties. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Garlicky Potatoes With Cream and Cheese 2 pounds baking potatoes (about 6 large) 1 cup heavy cream 4 garlic cloves, minced 6 tablespoons butter 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese Salt and freshly ground pepper Several fresh thyme sprigs

Boil potatoes until cooked, then peel and slice thickly. Transfer to foil pan. In saucepan, bring cream, garlic, and 4 tablespoons butter just to boil. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese, salt, and pepper. Pour over potatoes, tossing carefully to coat. Dot with remaining 2 tablespoons butter and cover with foil. Place on grill over indirect heat and cook about 30 minutes. Garnish with thyme sprigs.

Variation: Mash cooked, peeled potatoes and stir in cream mixture. Reserve 2 tablespoons butter, as above, for dotting. Cover and place over indirect heat in covered grill about 30 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.

Buttered Fresh Corn 8 ears very fresh corn Softened butter Salt and freshly ground pepper

Husk corn and put two ears on each of 4 heavy-duty foil sheets large enough to securely envelop ears. Spread 1 tablespoon butter on each ear of corn, covering all sides.

Salt and pepper corn on all sides. Sprinkle a few drops of water over corn in each package. Fold over foil to make snug packages.

Place corn on grill about 10 minutes, turning packets 3 times so each faces the heat about 21/2 minutes.

Serve with additional butter, salt, and pepper. Serves 4.

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