Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Imagine that I found two great recipes with pancetta! Could I live on pancetta? Perhaps!

This one is an extraordinary end of summer for the barbecue. I love the flavor of blue cheese and beef. Serve it with planked peaches, a good salad and a tall glass of wine and you have the perfect summer meal…what’s left of it.

Bon Appetit!

Pancetta-Wrapped Beef Filets

For the meat:

2, 8 ounce beef tenderloin filets

1 1/2 ounces of artisanal cheese (soft blue)

1 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns

Salt to taste

2 long, thin slices of pancetta

1 tablespoon olive oil

For cedar planked peaches:

1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

juice from 1 lemon

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 cedar planks soaked in cool water for 1 hour

3 peaches, halved and pitted

For the salad:

1 1/2 cups greens

4 leaves of fresh basil

juice from 1 orange

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare peaches before the meat. Preheat barbecue to 375F. Mix the pepper, lemon juice, and maple syrup together. Brush the marinade over the cut peaches and season with salt and pepper.

Prepare the barbecue for direct heat and indirect heat. Remove grill racks from one side of the barbecue and turn that side of the barbecue to high. Keep the other side of the barbecue off and leave the grill rack in. Place the cedar planks directly over the high heat side of the barbecue. Close the barbecue lid and allow to smoke. Use a water bottle in case of flames. Transfer the smoking cedar plank to the indirect heat and place the marinated peaches on top.

Close the lid on the barbecue and allow to smoke for 12 minutes or until desired doneness. Set aside until the meat is ready.

When it’s time to put the food on the table, toss the greens with basil, orange juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.


Heat the barbecue to 400F. Using a sharp knife, slice a pocket in the tenderloin, about 2 inches deep and place the cheese inside. Season the tenderloin with salt and pepper and wrap with the pancetta, secure with a small pick or skewer.

Brush the filet with olive oil and grill on the barbecue until desired doneness. Remove the meat from the grill and allow to rest a few minutes before serving.

Plate the meat with the watercress salad and the smoked peaches.

Crispy Pancetta, Burrata, and Tomato Sandwiches

I like the flavors of this sandwich with the Burrata cheese, which you can find at Italian markets, and cheese shops.

• 4 (3-ounce) packages thinly sliced pancetta (Italian bacon)

• 6 (3- to 4-inch-diameter, 3/4-inch-thick) slices ripe Costoluto Genovese tomatoes or other ripe red heirloom tomatoes

• 1/2 cup (packed) coarsely torn fresh basil leaves

• 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

• 2 teaspoons dried oregano

• 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or coarse kosher salt

• Freshly ground black pepper

• 12 (4 x 4 x 1/2-inch) slices egg bread or brioche, lightly toasted

• 18 ounces burrata cheese

• 4 cups (about) baby arugula or mixed microgreens

Working in batches, cook pancetta in heavy large skillet over medium heat until brown and crisp, about 6 minutes per batch. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

Place tomato slices in shallow baking dish. Add basil, olive oil, oregano, and fleur de sel. Sprinkle with ground black pepper and turn to coat. Let stand at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Place 6 toasted bread slices on work surface. Divide burrata among bread slices and spread to edges. Top each with 1 tomato slice, then pancetta slices, dividing equally. Top with arugula. Cover with remaining 6 toasted bread slices, and press each slightly to adhere. Cut each sandwich in half and serve.