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Playing with fire: the secrets of the perfect grill from an Italian chef

Since the “boot” is almost always warm weather and a pleasant sea breeze, you just want to cook something in the fresh air. For a long time in Italy, especially in rural areas, outdoor barbecues were held. Many friends and relatives were always invited to them. Have a fun and delicious time!

The chef of the Italian restaurant Balzi Rossi, Emanuele Mongillo, agreed to share the secrets of the perfect grill from the Apennines, which are easy to repeat at our country party.

Squids and octopuses

Squids and octopuses

Grilled seafood - it even sounds with a Mediterranean accent. But, alas, we live far from the sea, so you will have to choose seafood for grilling with special care.

Take the squid fresh - the thawed carcass will turn out not at all as tasty as we would like. Make sure that its color is a soft pink if it is cleaned. The milky-white hue indicates that the mollusk has undergone a serious chemical treatment.

When choosing an octopus for grilling, make sure that the suction cups on its tentacles go in two rows. Otherwise, in front of you (oh, horror!) - a musky octopus. Its meat is tougher, so the result is unlikely to please you.

Grilled seafood is cooked in just a few minutes. Then season them well with salt, freshly ground pepper, herbs and sprinkle with lemon juice.

Serve with a generous sprinkle of frissée and arugula drizzled with olive oil.

My fish

My fish

Olive oil, heated with garlic and herbs (sage, rosemary), will serve as a seasoning for sprinkling trout and sauce for it. The skin of this fish protects the flesh and takes on a delicious golden brown color when grilled. Grill the trout, drizzling it with spicy oil. Before serving, whisk the remaining oil and salt mixture into the hot dish.

Serve with lettuce sprinkled with cherry tomatoes and seasoned with a couple of drops of herb oil.

Take under the wing

Barbecue wings should have the perfect light pink color. The meat of a fresh product is elastic. If you press on the wing with your finger, then the recess should return to its previous shape within two to three seconds.

If there are some feathers on the wings, this is normal. Feathers can be removed with special tweezers, burn with a special burner or, as my grandmother did, over a gas stove. Before cooking, the wings must be thoroughly washed and dried. And then marinate in your favorite marinade. Alternatively, melt the butter and combine with olive oil in equal proportions. Add lemon and orange zest, lemon juice, ground black pepper, salt, saffron, garlic.

Put the prepared wings in the marinade. Stir and put in the refrigerator for half an hour. Everything, now the wings are ready to lay out on the grill grate.

Any vegetable salad or boiled couscous with vegetables is suitable for ready-made wings for a side dish.

What about steaks and pork ribs?!

What about steaks and pork ribs?!

The best and simplest marinade suitable for any type of meat initially consists of only water, salt and sugar. We leave a whole piece of meat in it for 12 hours. Then we take a deep bowl and knead the meat in it with olive oil, honey, rosemary, garlic and soy sauce. Everything - now you can fry. And the meat will be very juicy and tasty.

It is good to keep the meat on the grill in two stages with a "rest". For example, fry a steak weighing 400g on the grill or grill until a uniform crust, let it rest for 10 minutes, then fry again for 5-7 minutes until medium is done.

The perfect side dish is a young baked potato wrapped in foil and grilled over charcoal.

And, finally, a simple rule that all novice masters and grillers need to remember is that well-heated coals give stable combustion and retain heat. When the coals are covered with an ash film - it's time to start cooking.