Saturday, March 1, 2008

Grilled & Marinated Provolone

Believe it or not, I'm not certain I'd make this again. Not because it wasn't good. It was. There are a variety of reasons: (1) the grill meister had difficulty keeping the cheese from melting right down through the grates (maybe the temp was too high?); and (2) once served, it didn't stay hot very long (we didn't put it on a hot, hot plate). Not long enough, anyway.

This is a
Michael Chiarello recipe - a show he did a few months ago that was an all-grilled meal, from appetizer through dessert. On the program, grilling the cheese looked really easy. It didn't appear to be when we made it. Obviously there's a technique here that we just didn't get. According to the reader reviews at the tv food network, all who prepared the dish loved it, and I guess, had no difficulty with it. So it had to be something we did. The cheese and herb combination was good - as someone wrote, the herbs complemented the cheese well. I agree.
First you marinate the cheese - two chunks of cheese totalling 1 1/2 pounds - in olive oil, oregano, chile flakes, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Then you grill the cheese briefly, directly on the grates, just enough to put grill marks on the cheese. Michael said about 2 minutes per side. That's when the grill meister ran into trouble. It began to melt, and he had no grill marks. You then transfer the cheese to a metal plate or baking dish (I used a small oblong metal pan that I encased in aluminum foil, so the grill wouldn't damage the pan) and put that on top of the grill. You cook it until the cheese has begun to melt and "begins to brown on the bottom, about 3-5 minutes." Well, we never got to the begins to brown part. Finally our grill meister removed the cheese and we served it, along with a bunch of baguette slices he'd also grilled. By the time we transferred it to a serving plate, the cheese was already kind of firming up again and cooling off fast.

I think the trouble was with the grill temperature. The recipe does say moderately high heat. Maybe I will try this again and see what happens. Maybe we'll start with half a recipe this time too. We had 8 people for dinner, and had lots left over. We did eat it - and it was delicious, but the cheese was cool within a couple of minutes, so be sure to place it on a piping hot plate.

Marinated & Grilled Provolone
Recipe By: Michael Chiarello, a viewer's recipe
Serving Size : 8
1 1/2 pounds Provolone cheese -- in two pieces
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon oregano -- crushed
1/4 teaspoon dried chile flakes
6 cloves garlic -- minced
1 tablespoon parsley -- fresh, minced
Gray salt and fresh ground black pepper
1. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill to moderately high heat.
2. Rub the pieces of provolone all over with the olive oil and season with the rest of the ingredients. Let marinate refrigerated, for one hour. Grill the cheese on the hot grill for about two minutes per side until grill marks appear and the cheese just begins to soften.
3. Transfer the cheese to a metal plate or baking dish and place back on top of the grill. Cook until the cheese just barely starts to melt and begins to brown on the bottom, about 3-5 minutes. Serve hot with grilled baguette slices.
Per Serving: 364 Calories; 29g Fat (72.7% calories from fat); 22g Protein; 3g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 59mg Cholesterol; 746mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 4 Fat.
Printer-friendly recipe, click title at top.

No comments: