The Meatwave: Barbecue & Grilling Recipes, Reviews, Tips, and Tricks

Italian

Tue Dec 17, 2013

Rotisserie Porchetta

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Porchetta

Ever since finding the gospel of rotisserie pork belly, I've had an itch to do it again. With Christmas coming up, it seemed like this crisped skinned and juicy chunk of pork would make one fine, rich centerpiece for the holiday table. So I took up the task of trying out another variation of slowly spinning belly over a live fire, this time around going the Italian route with a rotisserie porchetta that proved again that this is one of the greatest ways to cook pork belly.

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Tue Oct 29, 2013

Meatball Parmesan Hero

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Meatball Parm

My day job has me commuting up to the Bronx Monday through Friday, where my office's close proximity to Arthur Ave finds me awash in great Italian cured meat sandwiches, pastas, and pizza to stuff me silly at lunch. For those not familiar with the area, Arthur Ave is boastingly known as "The Real Little Italy," and pretty rightfully so. While the few blocks that comprise Little Italy in Manhattan are a bona fide tourist trap, up in the Bronx, "The Ave" is lined with shops where you can find homemade sopressata hanging from the ceiling, fresh mozzarella that you can watch being pulled as you order, and cannolis only filled on demand—all done with a sense of tradition and without a drop of pretension. So it's kind of dumbfounding why so many chicken, eggplant, or meatball parmesan heroes up there fail miserably.

Too often these shops fry up the main ingredient and let it sit in a sea of tomato sauce, topped with mozzarella, nestled in a steam table all day. By the time its piled into a roll and served, any trace of crunch from the breadcrumb coating has vanished and the entire thing is a mushy, unappealing mess. There's one place that gets it right though.

Tucked into the back corner of the Arthur Avenue market is Cafe al Mercato, where each ingredient is kept separate, only assemble on order, combined in the right balance between sauce, cheese, meat, and bread. Then the entire thing is heated in the oven. This creates a sandwich with awesome flavor and texture—a parm hero that, while not the best in the world, is incredibly satisfying. Knowing that right procedure to a successful parm, I took to the task of making a great one at home—on the grill (of course).

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Tue Oct 8, 2013

Sunday Gravy

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Sunday Gravy

The Indian Summer we had going on here in New York seems to have come to a close today, and with the cool fall weather starting to settle in, nesting will surely become commonplace. As we all start to cozy into our indoor lives, I find myself with more time to take on larger grilling projects, and this Sunday Gravy may be one of the most ambitious I've ever done. In terms of time from start to finish, it surely doesn't touch a slow smoked brisket or pork butt, but it does demand much more activity. In total you'll be working nearly four hours to develop this rich and hearty red sauce, but that is time well spent.

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Tue Jul 2, 2013

Italian Party Panini

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Italian Party Panini

Fourth of July is the biggest grilling holiday of the year, making it a celebration of the tradition of cooking over a live fire as much as it about our independence. You can't talk of this grand American holiday without mention of one of the pinnacles of our society—excess. A prime example of this is the giant party sub, which is impractical, overly expensive, and often trades quality for quantity, all reasons we love it so much. So on this Fourth, why not combine a few symbols of American culture, ingenuity, and glut and grill an oversized Italian party panini, only I insure you this one is a sandwich of the highest order.

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Tue Oct 23, 2012

Chicken Involtini with Prosciutto and Basil

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Chicken Involtini

I've never hidden my general disdain for skinless, boneless chicken breasts since the beginning of this blog. Unless it's being pounded, breaded, and fried into chicken schnitzel, this piece of poultry rarely finds it way into my kitchen since there are so many tastier options available—like chicken thighs. Still, that doesn't mean this dry, tasteless cut can't be fixed. Case in point, take this chicken involtini.

More and recipe after the jump >>