Making your own pasta isn’t difficult, and I was reminded whilst making these ravioli just how satisfying, relaxing and therapeutic it can be. I...
My introduction to grilling started when I was a very young child. My grandfather would place a large steak in a grill basket, take my hand and lead me down the narrow cellar stairs to the coal furnace that heated our home. He'd open the door, look in and know instinctively when the coals had burned down to the right heat for cooking that night's dinner. I would sit quietly while he held the handle of the grill basket over the coals, first one side then the other, until the steak was perfectly cooked to his taste.
Grilling food has become very fashionable and quite different from the days when my grandfather cooked on the hearth of our furnace. Shops are glutted with fancy gas, electric, and charcoal grills. There are portable ones for the beach and elaborate ones for decks in every imaginable price range to suit a variety of needs.
A piece of good quality fresh fish does not have to be embellished with sauces. Most sauces disguise the freshness of what you are eating. This goes for all fresh fish. Here I used halibut, fast and simple. A squeeze of lemon or lime a sprinkle of a little salt and pepper, then grill it. That is all it needs.
Simply Grilled Halibut
For 4 people
If fresh halibut is not available, substitute cod, haddock or any fish that is fresh in the market.
•2 pounds fillet of halibut or 4 steaks (4 to 6 ounces each, ¾- to 1-inch thick)
•Extra-virgin olive oil to coat
•Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
•Fresh lemon or lime juice
1. Pat the fish dry, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2. Oil the grill rack. When the grill is ready, place fish on the rack and squeeze the lemon juice or lime over the fish. Cover only if using a gas grill, turning once. Squeeze more lemon juice on the fish. Cook 10 minutes per inch.
Marinated Grilled Vegetables
For 4 to 6 people
If you grill more vegetables than you need, they won't go to waste. You can use them over the next couple of days in salads and as a side dish for other meals.
•Olive oil and lemon dressing (recipe below)
•1 small eggplant, cut in half and scored with a knife
•1 summer squash or zucchini, cut in half and scored with a knife
•1 (each) large red, yellow, and green peppers, quartered and seeded
•1 large portabella mushroom, sliced
•1 large red onion, cut into 1/4 inch-slices
•6 plum tomatoes
1. Place all the vegetables in a large, shallow pan. Pour the marinade over the vegetables, mix well and leave them for 15 to 20 minutes at room temperature before grilling.
2. With tongs, gently put the vegetables on a prepared, oiled grill and cook until they are lightly charred on the outside and tender, 12 to 15 minutes, turning once.
Fresh Herb Oil and White Wine Vinegar Dressing
This dressing can be used not only for grilled vegetables but also for tossed salads. Double the recipe and it will keep in the refrigerator.
•1/4 cup white wine vinegar
•1 cup olive oil
•1 garlic clove, crushed
•2 tablespoons minced fresh herbs: basil, thyme, oregano and tarragon
•1 teaspoon minced green onion
•Salt and pepper to taste
1. Combine the ingredients in a small jar with a cover. Shake well. Taste for seasoning to taste.
2. Chill the dressing for 1 hour or more. Remove the garlic clove and shake well before using.
John F. Carafoli is an international food stylist, consultant, and food writer. His titles include the seminal Food Photography and Styling; Cape Cod Chef’s Table: Recipes from Buzzards Bay to Provincetown; and two children’s books, Look Who’s Cooking, and The Cookie Cookbook. Questions? Contact him at www.carafoli.com.