Wednesday, July 15, 2009

And more peaches

Hibachis were kind of a craze when I was a kid. We cooked hot dogs, toasted marshmallows, and then forgot about this little gadget. Years later I became friends with an American who had spent her teenage and early twenties in Italy. I watched her make pasta from scratch in about twenty minutes (from mixing, to rolling out, to cutting the flour into ribbons); she made us espresso in that nifty moka maker. And she grilled us dinner on her hibachi.

You wouldn't think Italians would be the go to people for grilling, would you? If you can get past Marcella Hazan's rather condescending tone in her instructions, you will find terrific recipes for grilling fowl, vegetables, and fruit. Yes, fruit. Like all those peaches and apricots you've got hanging around.

Grilled peaches:

Hazan cooks her fruit over the dying embers of a coal fire. To get your best bang out of the stainless steel furnace in your back yard set it to low.

Bisect the peaches horizontally. (I find the pit comes out more easily). Twist, separate the halve and remove the pit.

Sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar on each half. Skin side down, grill the fruit for five minutes. Turn, cook for another two or three. Remove from heat.

You will be rewarded by a concentrated intensity of flavor.

Got bananas going brown? Don't toss 'em, grill 'em. Without slicing through to the other side, make an incision in the skin the length of the banana. Sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar, grill on low for five minutes, turn. Cook another two minutes, turn again. Into the incision add a tablespoon of rum, brandy or cointreau. (Off of the grill, if you please. The last time I tried this half the booze went up in flames). Cook another minute or two. Remove from heat.

The goal is to slightly char the skin. My efforts, however, have been overly enthusiastic, and I tend to charred by nature. (Too many roasted peppers in my past, I believe). Just remove the charred bits before diving in.


  1. Grilled bananas! I never would have thought of it. Sounds delicious.

  2. M--I'm so glad I have a faithful reader!