As far as I'm concerned it's never too early to crank up the grill, no matter where you live. I went to college in Iowa, and I have fond memories of grilling hamburgers and hot dogs in January wearing a ski parka. So grilling in April is a piece of cake, or should I say a piece of meat, to me. Starting this week we're going to bring you grilling tips from some of the biggest names in cooking. Batting lead-off for our brigade of grill-mad chefs is Mario Batali. His Italian Grill is a worthy addition to any serious griller's library.
Mario Batali's Grilling Tips
<Cooking a la Piastra: Mario loves cooking a la piastra, which essentially means cooking on a hot griddle over an open fire, a popular method of cooking throughout the Mediterranean. He says you can use a cast-iron griddle or you can buy his piastra from the Italian Kitchen.
Fire Roasting: Mario defines fire-roasting as cooking in the hot coals of a wood or charcoal fire. Mario loves to cook big Globe Artichokes his way. Why? Because the "inedible outer leaves char and burn away in the heat of the fire, leaving the tender inner leaves and heart, which will have essentially steamed in their own juices." Sounds seriously delicious, doesn't it.
Grilling Safety: A great grilling safety tip from Mario: "Keep a plastic spray bottle filled with water near the grill to deal with serious flare-ups. Char is good, incineration is not." Well put, Mr. Batali.
Select Recipes from Mario Batali's Italian Grill
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