Cover image for Italian grill
Title:
Italian grill
ISBN:
9780061450976
Edition:
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Ecco, c2008.
Physical Description:
246 p. : col. ill. ; 24 cm.
General Note:
Includes index.
Genre:
Holds:

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Summary

Summary

From Mario Batali, superstar chef and author of Molto Italiano, comes the ultimate handbook on Italian grilling, which will become an instant must-have cookbook for home grillers.

Easy to use and filled with simple recipes, Mario Batali's new grilling handbook takes the mystery out of making tasty, simple, smoky Italian food. In addition to the eighty recipes and the sixty full-color photographs, Italian Grill includes helpful information on different heat-source options, grilling techniques, and essential equipment. As in Molto Italiano, Batali's distinctive voice provides a historical and cultural perspective as well.

Italian Grill features appetizers; pizza and flatbreads; fish and shellfish; poultry; meat; and vegetables. The delicious recipes include Fennel with Sambuca and Grapefruit; Guinea Hen Breasts with Rosemary and Pesto; Baby Octopus with Gigante Beans and Olive-Orange Vinaigrette; and Rosticciana, Italian-Style Ribs.


Author Notes

Mario Batali is a chef and the author of several cookbooks including Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes, which won the James Beard Award, Molto Batali: Simple Family Meals from My Home to Yours, and America--Farm to Table: Simple, Delicious Recipes Celebrating Local Farmers. In 2014, his cookbook entitled Multo Gusto made the New York Times Bestsellers list.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Though he offers classics like bruschetta with white beans and grilled radicchio, pizza and sausages (as well as the ubiquitous chicken under a brick), the latest from veteran cookbook author and restaurateur Batali (Molto Italiano, Simple Italian Food, etc.) contains enough ingenious, imaginative riffs to keep even the most seasoned of grillmasters experimenting with tasty new ideas, among them thick tuna steaks cooked like bistecca alla fiorentina, monkfish wrapped in prosciutto and chicken drumsticks dunked in a spicy buttermilk marinade, topped with fennel and black pepper. His pork tenderloins dusted with ground porcini mushrooms, brown sugar, fennel and red pepper, then grilled and topped with a vinaigrette reminiscent of the classic Negroni cocktail, is nothing short of brilliant. Sides include simple but revelatory Thick-Cut Onions with Lemon Thyme and a standby-worthy take on potato salad in which waxy potatoes (like Yukon Golds) are grilled with Dijon and red wine vinegar. A fair number of dishes call for either a rotisserie attachment or a piastra, a hot griddle used to cook smaller items (Batali recommends the ones he sells online), but the bulk of the recipes are suitable for even novice grillers. Rounded out with tips on tenderizing octopus, a simple brine for pork chops and, of course, Mario's Kick-Ass Barbecue Sauce, this is an essential collection for any serious backyard cook. (Apr.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.


New York Review of Books Review

IT is an immutable truth of the food world, right up there with watched pots never boiling: most cookbooks are failures. You can cook with joy and distraction or follow the instructions to the letter, like a terrified parent responding to a detailed kidnapper's note. Too often the result is mediocrity, food that just sits there on the plate, undercooked, overcooked, not rich enough, broken or, worse, boring. This is a depressing state of affairs, but hardly surprising. There are a lot of cookbooks in our hungry world, and they keep on coming, every season, thick and glossy and unwise, to taunt the home cook and restaurant enthusiast alike. And we buy them. Cookbooks were a $530 million business in the United States in 2007, according to Michael Morris, a senior analyst for Simba Information, a market research firm. Nearly 14 million books about cooking and entertaining were purchased in the United States in 2007, according to Nielsen BookScan. The trend has been basically upward since at least 2002. On the basis of this summer's offerings, it shows no signs of abating. Yet there are still some good cookbooks out there, amid the fallen soufflés and curdled sauces. Even in the bad ones, there are some decent recipes, excellent observations, some help for the yearning cook. And in between, there are subtle lessons to be learned about what to look for when you're at the bookstore pawing through some celebrity chef's latest tome. Here, then, are a dozen of the summer season's most interesting new cookbooks, run through an almost average home kitchen to the delight and occasional dismay of an American family, species Brooklynus insatiabilis. Lenny Bruce had it right: "If you live in New York, even if you're Catholic, you're Jewish." This is a city of pink-faced WASP lawyers with bagels and lox on their dining-room tables, of black guys eating challah French toast at the diner, of Italians with knishes and chicken soup for everyone. ARTHUR SCHWARTZ'S JEWISH HOME COOKING: Yiddish Recipes Revisited (Ten Speed Press, $35) helps make sense of the beautiful chaos, with a deep and affectionate examination of New York's Jewish food culture, refracted through the lens of what he calls the Yiddish-American experience. Schwartz is a former restaurant critic for The New York Daily News and was a longtime radio host on WOR, the official AM radio station of ladies who lunch in Brooklyn, and his stories about New York foodways are learned and funny. Amid them, he offers definitive, simple and deadly effective recipes for brisket and choient; crispy, sweet mandelbrot; Romanian broilings of various sorts; chopped liver and borscht; even fantastic if anti-kosher crossover meals like the Chinese roast pork sandwich on buttery garlic bread that came down from the Catskills in the 1950s to take up residence on the menus of family restaurants across the southern tier of this city. You want a green vegetable? Eat a pickle. In Stark contrast is OUTSTANDING IN THE FIELD: A Farm to Table Cookbook (Clarkson Potter, $32.50), by Jim Denevan and Marah Stets, a book that primarily highlights the cooking of Denevan, a chef with a big bus named Outstanding, which he drives around the country and uses to transport guests to dinners set up in fields and vineyards, community gardens, dairies, ranches. This is a kind of performance art, meant to reconnect people to the land, and with good service and plenty of wine it's probably a nice evening. The recipes are bright and cheery. In the main, this is earnest modern-hippie food: lamb stew with beets and mint gremolata; chicken liver pâté, made with caramelized tomato paste; farro soup with greens. And the recipes work well if you use the best and freshest-possible ingredients: cider-braised pork shoulder tastes rather better when you buy pork from Mr. Organics at the greenmarket than from the local supermarket. Of course, it costs rather more too. MY CHINA: A Feast for All the Senses (Viking Studio, $55), by Kylie Kwong, an Australian chef and television personality, is a lush and expensive cookbook that, for all its heft, is curiously light on recipes. But stir-fried corn with red onions and the Chinese dried sausage called lup cheongmay be worth the price of admission. Stay in that larder for red-braised chickpeas with star anise and vinegar. Make some stir-fried pumpkin with black beans and ginger. Try the braised green beans with chilies. And for a weekend lunch? An omelet with minced pork, mint, ginger and a drizzle of oyster sauce. Nap time. THE OPRAH MAGAZINE COOKBOOK (Hyperlon, $29.95), with an introduction by Oprah Winfrey, is about what you'd imagine from a magazine collection put together by the Winfrey team: heavy on the food-porn photographs and luscious production values, without much in the way of an organizing principle. There's some fine brunch eating to be found, if you're the type to serve brunch - and you are if you like Oprah. So! Egg salad with tarragon mustard. Tea sandwiches. A caramelized onion and bacon tart. Fig galette. You look fantastic. Rougher types, or at any rate boys who like to kill what they cook, will flock to THE RIVER COTTAGE COOKBOOK (Ten Speed Press, $35), by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, another television personality, who lives in bucolic splendor before British television cameras in Dorset, in the south of England. Fearnley-Whittingstall is a supporter of sustainable agriculture and fresh-caught fish, of farm living and offal eating, of "hedgerow greens" and foraged mushrooms. He is, in other words, an aristocrat. And so the book contains a wonderful recipe for lobster thermidor, a few dodgy paragraphs about how best to raise livestock - "Pigs must have a secure shelter to sleep and rest in, but it doesn't have to be fancy" - and about 400 pages of advice for living a life much like his own. This is not without its pleasures. There's something delightful about considering what it would mean to raise animals and then eat them nose to tail, close to the land. Still, THE ELEMENTS OF COOKING: Translating the Chef's Craft for Every Kitchen (Scribner, $24), by Michael Ruhlman, is better and more helpful as a training aid for those aiming to lead a gastronomic life in the modern age. You may never encounter a fresh-foraged morel or shoot your own pigeon for stew, but you will almost certainly run into curious words in recipes, in cookbooks, in the multisyllabic pretension of the food-obsessed. Ruhlman's Strunk-and-Whitestyle guide to the language and grammar of the kitchen is a great help, particularly to anyone - most of us, really - whose brow would furrow if a date pointed to a menu and asked brightly, "What's salpicon?" (Oh, darling: It's a French term for diced meat or fish bound with a sauce and used as a filling.) A deeply opinionated rundown of the essential knowledge all cooks and food people need, the book also contains three of the most important sentences anyone reading about cookbooks may see this or any year. They are found under the entry for "recipes." "Recipes are not assembly manuals," Ruhlman writes. "Recipes are guides and suggestions for a process that is infinitely nuanced. Recipes are sheet music." If So, then FISH WITHOUT A DOUBT: The Cook's Essential Companion (Houghton Mifflin, $35), by Rick Moonen and Roy Finamore, is a thick sheaf of Rachmaninoff: difficult, scary, sometimes beautiful. Fish is hard to cook well. Moonen, a celebrated American chef, aims to simplify the process, to remove the home cook's natural fear, and he mostly succeeds, with terrific recipes for sautéed turbot with leeks and red wine butter sauce; tea-steamed sea bass; slow-roasted salmon with stewed baby artichokes. Almost 50 pages in the beginning of the book are devoted to technique, advice for buying and the fish cook's kitchen. This may be the summer to outfit one, and to nail at last the perfect crisp-fried flounder dinner. Or to fire up the grill. The summer cooking season always inspires a glut of barbecue books, most of them (recall the incontrovertible truth!) terrible. But this year at least three are worth a look. The first comes from Mario Batali, the celebrity chef and prolific if uneven cookbook author. His ITALIAN GRILL (Ecco/ HarperCollins, $29.95), written with Judith Sutton, shows the big man in good form. Batali's cookbooks generally either work (the brilliant and indispensable "Babbo Cookbook") or leave you stuck up a river without a boat, much less a paddle (the flawed and cynical "Molto Italiano"). "Italian Grill" appears to fall closer to the Babbo camp, and displays some of the wonderful lunacy that shows up on the best of his menus and in televised "Iron Chef" competitions. To wit: mortadella wrapped around fresh robiola, grilled and served over bitter greens - essentially grilled ravioli made out of meat pasta. Yowza. Chicken with snap peas and agliata, a garlicky sauce (paging Michael Ruhlman!).. Ribs cooked in the American Southern style, then made very Italian, as if there were a barbecue tradition in Modena. Unless you received a rotisserie attachment for your birthday, there's probably too much in the way of spit-roasting over live fire. But most everything is adaptable to a plain-Jane grill, and the flavors are worth the improvisation. Literally everything in GRILL IT! Recipes, Techniques, Tools (DK, $25), by Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby, is designed for the fellow with a rusted Weber and a cooler full of beer. These boys are the high priests of chicken thighs, cowboy steaks and the spice drawers of the Caribbean and North Africa. Cumin-crusted grilled skirt steak tacos might do it for some, or Cajun grouper or jerk wings from hell. Schlesinger is the chef and owner of the East Coast Grill in Cambridge, Mass., and Willoughby the executive editor of Gourmet magazine. Their partnership, burnished over many years, here provides ideal summer-share recipes, or a housewarming gift for that couple with a new place by the beach. Back in the city, those who fire up the charcoal on roofs and in the park might take a gander at BOBBY FLAY'S GRILL IT! (Clarkson Potter, $35), by, um, Bobby Flay - with Stephanie Banyas and Sally Jackson. Spanish flavors and steakhouse techniques predominate, along with a run of great burger recipes and some of the same sort of odd-duck "Iron Chef" throwdowns found in Batali's work: for Flay, an excellent red-wine-marinated flank steak filled with prosciutto, fontina and basil. It makes for a fancy Saturday night presentation and terrific sandwiches for lunch the next day. HEADING in another direction entirely is the delightful IZAKAYA: The Japanese Pub Cookbook" (Kodansha, $25), by Mark Robinson. "Izakaya" is an umbrella term that only roughly translates as "pub"; it's a Japanese neighborhood hangout, somewhere on the spectrum between bar and restaurant, where there's booze and a lot of interesting food. Robinson's book is more a paean to the vibrant and complicated izakaya culture than a definitive cooking guide (one of the Tokyo joints he writes about has a name that translates as Laughing Drunk), but the recipes, more than 60 of them, are the sort you wish more neighborhood restaurant chefs in New York would read. Certainly they're adaptable to a casual, if work-intensive, Saturday night home meal. And so: Start with cubes of raw, sushigrade tuna mixed with a miso-mustard dressing. Follow with a seaweed and broccoli rabe salad, with a light oil dressing and a dash of toasted sesame. Pair with grilled chicken breast with plum paste. (Pass on the fried tofu stuffed with Swiss cheese. Or not!) Serve with rice and Kirin beer. Finally, like fat Uncle Jack staggering over to the buffet once more, amazing the cousins with his stamina, Christopher Kimball of Cook's Illustrated magazine and America's Test Kitchen has stepped forth once again with a new cookbook: this time, THE BEST CHICKEN RECIPES (America's Test Kitchen, $35). It seems amazing that Kimball and his elves can keep drumming up subjects for these books, which arrive in the manner of the tides and the moon, but they do: a spin through the online bookstore at Cooksillustrated.com reveals dozens of titles. They remain top-form and absolutely terrific for anyone interested in cooking from recipes that always, always work. The reason is simple: Kimball hires good cooks and then treats them like scientists - or factory workers. They test and test again and again and again. Genius in the kitchen arises from baseline competence. In the matter of chickens, this book will provide it. Beginners will be the most pleased. Here is the way to roast a chicken successfully every time, to avoid overcooking a chicken breast, to make a stir-fry or stew. Here is what to do with leftovers, and how. The book addresses all the attendant worries of the kitchen neophyte: What sort of pan is best for what sort of job, what's the correct side dish for that entrée or this one, how to cut Parmesan cheese. It's perfect reading for anyone who has ever made a phone call to a friend, trying to figure out how the broiler works. But there's also satisfaction for the experienced cook. The pleasures of Korean fried chicken, for instance, are described over the course of two and a half pages, with a great sentence placed right in the middle of the run: "Here's how it works." And how! Twice-fried in a thin batter of cornstarch and water, then tossed in a fiery, sweet-salty sauce and served with scallions and cilantro, it's almost shockingly addictive. It's a recipe to threaten family traditions. That's the very best kind. ON THE WEB: 20 MORE COOKBOOKS. Still in need of culinary inspiration? Consult our annotated list of 20 new cookbooks at nytimes.com/books. Sam Sifton is the culture editor of The Times.


Library Journal Review

Chef Batali's latest cookbook, written with LJ's Cookery columnist, Sutton, covers antipasti to vegetables, stopping at pizza, fish, poultry, and meats along the way. There is also a nice section at the beginning covering Italian wines and grilling info and featuring a glossary of ingredients and techniques. Many of the recipes, including pizzas, flatbreads, shellfish, and vegetables, are grilled on a piastra, which is a metal griddle or piece of granite heated directly on the grill. This allows many foods not normally suited for the grill to be included. Rotisseries are also used for some larger cuts of meat, like fresh ham and turkey breast. Recipes are not complicated, and spices and seasonings ensure big flavors. The usually fast process of grilling also adds to the appeal. Illustrations include close-ups of beautifully prepared food. A list of sources for hard-to-find ingredients and a thorough index round out the book. With Batali's following, this will be in demand; for public libraries with cookery collections.--Susan Hurst, Miami Univ. Libs., Oxford, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Italian Grill Schiacciata with Prosciutto and Melon Serves 6 as an antipasto Ingredients: Pizza Dough (page 66) 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto di Parma 1 small or 1/2 large ripe cantaloupe, seeded and cut into 6 wedges Instructions: Preheat a gas grill or prepare a fire in a charcoal grill. Put a piastra (see page 9) on the grill to preheat. Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Using a floured rolling pin, roll each piece out to a rectangular shape about 12 inches long, 6 to 7 inches wide, and 1/4 inch thick. Carefully place one rectangle on the piastra (or cook both breads at the same time if your piastra is big enough) and cook for just 30 seconds. Carefully turn over and cook until the bottom is light golden brown and dry, about 1 minute. Transfer to a cutting board (with the less cooked side up), and repeat with the second piece of dough. Brush the top of each bread with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Divide the prosciutto between the breads, covering as much of the bread as possible. Using a large spatula, carefully place one of the breads (or both if you have room) on the piastra, cover with a large upside-down roasting pan, and cook, undisturbed, for about 5 minutes, or until the bottom is a deep golden brown and the top has cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board and repeat with the second bread. Allow the schiacciate to rest for 2 minutes, then cut into squares or wedges, place on plates, and set a wedge of melon alongside each one. Piadina with Taleggio, Coppa, and Apples Makes 12 piadine Ingredients: Piadina Dough (page 80) 2 Granny Smith apples 1/2 lemon 1 pound ripe Taleggio, at room temperature 8 ounces thinly sliced coppa Instructions: Preheat a gas grill or prepare a fire in a charcoal grill. Place a piastra (see page 9) on the grill to preheat. Cut the dough into 12 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll each piece into a 6-inch round, and place on two baking sheets or trays. Quarter the apples, core them, and, using a mandoline or other vegetable slicer, cut them into paper-thin slices. Put them in a shallow bowl and squeeze a little lemon juice over them, tossing gently so the slices don't break (don't worry if a couple of them do). Set aside. Working in batches, place the rounds on the piastra and cook until light golden brown on the first side, about 1 to 2 minutes. Turn and repeat on the other side. Transfer to the baking sheets. When all are done, smear the soft Taleggio evenly over the piadine and cover with the sliced coppa. Pile the apples on top of the coppa. Place the piadine on the grill for a minute or two to rewarm them, then serve. Italian Grill . Copyright © by Mario Batali. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Italian Grill by Mario Batali, Judith Sutton All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.