Themed dinner menus

Barbecue in September

Menu template
Menu template (MS Word 2000 zip file)


This dinner serves 10 but if you have a different number of guests you can modify the doses easily. If you have any difficulty, email us!

In the next pages we describe how to marinate and grill meat, prepare and grill vegetables, prepare appetizers and something about the cocktail chosen.

How to organize yourself ...

How to marinate meat

We chose pork (12 slices of loin) and lamb (12 cutlets) for this occasion but you can prepare in the same way many other kinds of meats.
You have to buy meat with a little exterior fat in order to keep the meat moist.
Marinade contains a mixture of wine, oil and herbs.
The wine acts to tenderize the meat, the oil as a lubrificant and the herbs add flavor.
Prepare the marinade combining 1,5 l (50 fl oz - 6 1/4 cups) red wine, 6 tablespoons olive oil and some fresh herbs, finely chopped (parsley, rosemary, chives, thyme, basil, sage).
Lay the pieces of meat in a non-corrosive dish. Pour in the marinade and turn the meat to coat well. Cover and leave to marinate 2 - 3 hours at room temperature.

How to prepare vegetables

We chose tomatoes (12), Italian squashes (4), aubergines (3) and red and yellow peppers (4).
Cut the tomatoes in half crossways. Season with salt and place upside down for half-an-hour to drain in order the tomatoes lose excess water.
The Italian squashes have to be cut into thick slices lengthways.
Prepare a marinade with 250 ml (8fl oz - 1C) white wine, 4 tablespoons vinegar (aromatized with roses, if you like),2 tablespoons mint finely chopped.
Place the slices in a bowl and pour in the marinade. Cover and leave to marinate 1 - 2 hours before grilling.
Cut the aubergines in thick slices crossways. Season every slice with salt. Place the slices in a large bowl for 2 - 3 hours in order to lose that bitter flavor which would compromise your dish. Peppers need no preparation.

Preparing appetizers

We chose "Negroni" as cocktail. You can serve some green olives, slices of Italian "salame" and "piadina romagnola".
Heat every "piadina" on an anti-sticking frying pan or on a warm plate; fill with ham and cheese "stracchino" (an Italian cheese). We tasted another recipe: arugula e mozzarella

How to grill vegetables

Wash peppers and pat dry with absorbent kitchen paper. Arrange them on the rack, not close to the heat, turning frequently until all sides are slightly charred and blistered. Put the peppers in a plastic or paper bag. The steam trapped inside the bag helps us to peel off the charred skin when the peppers are cool. At this point cut out the stem and core, scraping out any seeds.
Slice and dress with olive oil, balsamic vinegar (the best is balsamic vinegar from Modena - Italy), fresh basil and pepper, if you like.
The first vegetables to be grilled are peppers. Then you can grill Italian squashes, aubergines and tomatoes.
Arrange them on the rack, not close to the heat, turning frequently until all sides are browned.
Dress aubergines with olive oil and fresh parsley, finely chopped.
Dress Italian squashes with olive oil and some mint leaves.
Dress tomatoes with olive oil and fresh basil, finely chopped.

How to grill meat

Drain off excess liquid. Lay the pieces of meat on the rack; brush them with a little oil and season with salt.
You can use chilli olive oil, if you like.
You can use a little bunch made with sprigs of rosemary and sage to brush oil.
Keep the rack 10 - 15 cm (4 - 6in) from the heat. Cook few minutes until well browned and then, using tongs, turn the meat and cook the other side.
Serve immediately.
You can also grill some fresh sausages. It isn't necessary to marinate them; the only thing to do before laying them on the rack is to prick them with a fork. It isn't necessary to dress them with oil and salt at the end.