Monday, May 12, 2008


On Saturday evening, I tried a couple of recipes from Mario’s latest, Italian Grill, with mixed results.

The Calamari Spiedini in Lemon Leaves looked delicious on the page, and I had Meyer lemons and leaves at the ready. In real life, it looked good, smelled good, tasted good, but the texture wasn’t perfect throughout. The problem could have been that some of the calamari tubes I purchased were thicker than others. Also, I may have packed too much onto each skewer thereby preventing good heat transfer to all the pieces stacked together. Some of the tube pieces could have used one more minute on the grill. The flavor was fantastic, and the texture of the thinner tubes and that of the tentacles was fine. I served this dish with a garden fresh arugula salad, and the peppery greens were a nice complement to the marinated squid.

Up next was Charred Tuna Spiedini with Spicy Peppers. The spicy peppers included red and yellow bell peppers and jalapenos which were sautéed and then served as a bed for the tuna spiedini. Turns out the jalapenos were both large and piquant this weekend and managed to completely overpower all other flavors. The tuna was to have been dusted with a combination of fennel pollen and dried oregano and then seared briefly on the grill. First, Austin has no fennel pollen. Huge oversight, Austin! Second, to get a good char on the tuna, I really should have turned it in oil rather than just drizzling. While delicious itself, the tuna suffered from the very spicy, jalapeno-forward pepper mélange.

Our conclusions were that while I quite enjoyed the marinated calamari and had less chewy pieces than Kurt did, Kurt was happier with the tuna but wished the pepper pile hadn’t disappointed so.


  1. i've had peppers ruin a dish before. you never know what you're going to get. i suppose i need to test them before hand...

    but still. great job. batali's ma boy...

  2. I made swordfish spedini recently, and really liked it! My mom made it last time I visited her, so now I try to grab some swordfish whenever I see it at Trader Joe's. Living in a city condo, we don't have a grill at this point, but I've heard good things about Batali's grilling book.

    Here's the Spedini I made:


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