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A World in Flames

Nothing's hotter than outdoor grills right now, and it's no longer about ribs and chicken. The backyard's gone global, from smoked trout and roasted beets to chimichurri steak and red snapper grilled in corn husks. Anybody got a match?


The Recipes

Grilled Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
Serves six.
6 medium portobello-mushroom caps
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 1/4-inch-thick fresh-mozzarella slices
6 ripe beefsteak-tomato slices, cut 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup pesto (recipe below)

Slice each mushroom cap horizontally, making a sandwich. Brush with oil on both sides and arrange on a sheet pan cut-side-up. Season with salt and pepper.

Season the mozzarella and tomato slices with salt and pepper. Place 1 mozzarella slice on the bottom half of the mushroom, followed by a tomato slice, and finish off with the mushroom top. (The mushroom sandwiches can be assembled several hours before grilling and kept in the refrigerator, but take them out an hour before grilling to let them to come to room temperature.)

Start a hot charcoal fire on the grill and place the grate about 6 inches above the fire. Place the mushrooms on the grill facedown. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes. Flip them over and grill for an additional 3 to 4 minutes; the mozzarella should start to melt.

Place the grilled mushroom caps on individual plates, drizzle with pesto, and serve.

Note: Two of the stuffed mushrooms make a wonderful vegetarian entrée served with a mixed-green salad.

Makes about 1 and 1/2 cups.
1/4 cup pine nuts
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic
4 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spread the pine nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast for 4 to 5 minutes until fragrant and golden brown. Shake the pan once or twice during toasting and take care that the nuts do not burn. Transfer to a plate and cool.

Combine in a blender 3/4 cup of the oil, garlic, 1 cup of the basil, and the pine nuts. Process until nearly smooth. Add the remaining basil, and process until nearly smooth. Add the cheese and pulse to combine. Season with salt. Use immediately or transfer to a glass or plastic container for storage. Top with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, cover, and refrigerate. Will keep for 3 to 4 days in the fridge or 2 months in the freezer.

Grill-Roasted Porchetta with Grilled-Pineapple-and-Peach Relish
Serves six.
1 4-to-6-pound pork shoulder (have the butcher bone and butterfly, reserving the bone), skin removed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped garlic
2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
1 medium onion, sliced thin
1 cup white wine
Soak 1 cup of fruitwood smoking chips in water for an hour and drain.

Season the pork with salt and pepper. Rub all surfaces of the pork, including inside, with garlic and rosemary.

Tie the pork with butcher's twine, making sure the roast is a uniform roll. Place the onions and bone in the bottom of a small roasting pan. Place the pork on top of the onions, and pour the wine into the pan.

Start a medium fire on one side of the grill. Place the chips on the fire. Set the grill 6 inches above the fire.

Place the pan containing the pork on the cool side and cover the grill. Check the fire and restoke if necessary after 1/2 hour; repeat this step twice more. At the same time, check the amount of liquid in the pan, adding more if it gets low. The cooking time will vary from grill to grill, and with the type of charcoal used and temperature, but allow 2 to 2 and 1/2 hours, until the internal temperature of the meat reads 135 degrees on an instant-read thermometer (the smoke will turn the pork pink, but if the juices are still red, cook until it reaches 140 degrees).

Remove the pork to a serving platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Deglaze the roasting pan with 1/2 cup water, and strain juices into a small pan. Skim off the fat, and season with salt and pepper. Slice the pork and arrange on a platter, drizzle with the pan juices, and serve with pineapple-and-peach relish (recipe below).

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