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

Italian

Thu Mar 8, 2018

Cheese-stuffed Italian Meatballs

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Cheese-stuffed Italian Meatballs

Italian meatballs were the mother of all my meatball grilling efforts. That initial recipe was so good and successful, I've made meatballs a constant theme throughout the years, and while I've developed some other greats, I often return to that original Italian inspiration source. While I'm happy that I have a recipe that works over and over again, I had the idea to take these meatballs to the next level recently and stuff them with cheese, which ended up being an exercise in making an already good thing even better.

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Thu Mar 1, 2018

Grilled Eggplant Parmesan

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Grilled Eggplant Parmesan

I've always been an all things parm lover, but then again, who isn't? Bread and fried something, top it with marinara and cheese, and cook until hot and melty...what's not to love? My lifelong go-to has been chicken parm (aka: chicky chicky parm parm) but I've been drawn more and more to eggplant parm in recent years. The reasons being are that eggplant makes a gut busting dish just slightly lighter, the somewhat flavorless fruit lets the sauce and cheese shine even more, and that creamy eggplant texture is really just fantastic. So when I had an Italian-themed Meatwave happening and was looking for dishes that could easily feed a crowd, eggplant parm was top of mind, and the results didn't disappoint.

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Thu Sep 28, 2017

Smoked Porchetta Sandwiches

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Smoked Porchetta

When I decided to make smoked porchetta, the impetus was really to have these very specific sandwiches. See, the week prior to that Meatwave I was in Vancouver for a conference and right next to the venue was a sandwich shop I had read about and always wanted to try—Meat & Bread. They're signature item is a sandwich that combines porchetta meat, crackling pork skin, and Italian salsa verde together on a toasty ciabatta roll. Of course, I had to get this while there, and while the sandwich looks and sounds seemingly simple, it was an incredible powerhouse of flavors and textures that left me craving more after finishing the last bite. So what was the best way to get more once 3000 miles away from the restaurant? Make it at home!

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Tue Aug 29, 2017

Meataly

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Meataly

Summer Meatwaves in Durham are tricky—the odds are good that you'll be facing some oppressive heat, the question is will that heat be the marginally tolerable type, or the type where even considering venturing outdoors is unthinkable. Because of this, I've shifted Meatwave season to happen more in spring and fall, but I can't go all summer without having a cookout, so I scheduled just one in the dead of summer and hoped for the best. To help alleviate the probability of extreme heat discomfort, I made it an evening affair and decided on a fairly light and refreshing Italian menu (if you discount the huge chunk of pork belly). Of course, this particular Saturday ended up being an unseasonable cool, 80-degree day, but that stroke of good luck just made it all the better.

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Thu Aug 17, 2017

Smoked Porchetta

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Smoked Porchetta

I had it all planned out, the centerpiece of my Italian-themed Meatwave was going to be a massive pork loin that I was going to butterfly, stuff with prosciutto, sopressata, provolone, and basil, then roll close and grill. I'm sure it would have been impressive and excellent, but a slight wrench was thrown into my plans—I was given a BBQ Guru CyberQ Cloud to take for a spin, and with a lot time away from home recently, if I didn't try it out on that Meatwave weekend, I probably wouldn't get to it until at least a couple months later. I could have chosen to smoke the pork loin in order to make use of the device, but the rather fat-devoid loin isn't ripe fodder for low and slow cooking, which favors fattier cuts. Then the perfect idea came into my head—ditch the stuffed loin and do a smoked porchetta. The fat-laden pork belly required for porchetta is perfect smoking, and a porchetta would be equally worthy to serve as the centerpiece meat for the day.

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