St. Valentines Day in Rome and Barbecue Bread Recipes


  1. Hello
  2. St. Valentines Day in Rome
  3. Beer Can Chicken Rack
  4. Closing Thoughts


It's been a few months since the last issue of Chargrill Chat; mainly because of other commitments. I'm going to make a real effort from now on to send out your newsletter on a more regular basis.

In the last few months I've been very busy. With regards to barbecuing, there are two things of interest. A`recent trip to Rome, and my discovery of beer can chicken racks. Both of which are covered in this issue of Chargrill Chat.


St. Valentines Day in Rome.

My wife, Maresa, and I spent four days in the capitol of Italy, Rome, just recently. Including valentines day, so I've earned lots of 'brownie points' for that :-)

It's a wonderful city and I recommend taking a trip there if you can. Only beware of the taxi drivers; they all think that they're rally drivers.

We saw a lot of the famous sites, The Collosuem, The Vatican City, Tevoli Fountain etc. We also visited a number of restaurants. Mainly small family owned businesses where the food was both simple and delicious. Most of the restaurants serve grilled food, beef and pork steaks, lamb, chicken, ribs, sausages etc. But the recipes below are my adaptation on a couple of breads that were served to us. Serve them up either as starters or with your main courses.

Bruschetta With Tomato and Basil.

Using the best quality extra virgin oli ve oil and ripened tomatoes make this simple dish absolutely delicious.

Serves 4

  • 1 large ciabatta
  • 10 1/2 ounces (300g) of ripe cherry or plum tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of basil leaves, picked and roughly torn
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  1. Cut the tomatoes into halves, quarters, slices, or chop them. Whichever you prefer.
  2. Put the tomatoes and basil into a bowl. Add the extra virgin oilive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Gently mix well.
  3. Cut the garlic cloves into halves and remove the skins.
  4. Cut the ciabatta diagonally into slices about 1/2 inch (1cm) thick.
  5. Grill the slices of ciabatta on your barbecue grill until both sides are nice and crisp and lightly browned.
  6. Remove the ciabatta slices from your grill and rub each side with the garlic (cut side down).
  7. Use individual serving plates and put two slices of ciabatta onto each.
  8. Top each slice of ciabatta with the tomato mix and finaly drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil.
  9. Serve immediately.

Grilled Focaccia

This delicious bread that can be served on its own or with barbecued meat and, or, vegetables.

This recipe makes 8 loaves about 6 inches (150mm) in diameter. You can make, say, 4 loaves about 12 inches (300mm) in diameter, or square, or rectangular loaves. Whichever you prefer.

Make sure that your barbecue grill is at a hih heat and ready to cook on before you start step 5 below. The bread needs to be cooked within 15 minutes from this step.

Serves 4 to 8

  • 1/2 ounce (15g) of dried yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp (22g) of sugar
  • 8 fl oz (250ml) of warm water
  • 15 oz (440g) of strong flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 1/2 tsp (22g) of salt
  • 3 tbs of olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  • 1/2 tsp of fennel seeds, crushed. (Sunflower seeds can also be used)
  1. Mix the yeast with the water and sugar in a large bowl. Leave to ferment in a warm place for 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the olie oil, the salt, and the flour and mix to form a smooth dough. Adding more flour if necessary.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and kneed for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  4. Use some of the remaining oil to oil a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and brush the top with oil. Loosly cover with plastic wrap and set aside for an hour or so and let the dough rise until double its size.
  5. Punch the dough down and rip it into 8 equal pieces. Roughly form into discs about 6 inches (150mm) in diameter.
  6. Stack the discs with a light dusting of flour and a piece of plastic wrap between each disc.
  7. Lightly brush each disc with olive oil and then sprinkle over the salt and crushed fennel seeds, or sunflower seeds.
  8. Place the discs on your barbecue grill oiled side down. Repeat step 7 on the top side of the discs.
  9. Turn over the discs after 2 to 4 minutes when the bottom is golden brown.
  10. Repeat step 9 for the second side.
  11. Place on a serving plate and serve with more olive oil to drizzle over each focaccia as required.

I hope you like these two bread recipes. I recommend serving with Frascati, which is a white wine served in every restaurant in Rome. Have too many Frascati's and you become 'Frascatied!' A term that Maresa and I invented the morning after a bottle or two :-)


Beer Can Chicken Rack.

In the last issue of of Chargrill Chat I included a beer can chicken recipe. I'd been aware of beer can chicken racks for quite a while but they're not readily available in the UK, and when they are, they're not cheap.

The problem with making beer can chicken without a rack is that it can be difficult to balance the chicken upright and to remove it safely from your grill or smoker. The answer is a beer can chicken rack. No problem balancing your chicken and makes it safe and easy to remove the hot, cooked, chicken from your barbecue grill or smoker.

So I contacted a company in the U.S.A. that manufactures them and obtained some prices for them. I then asked friends and family if they'd like a beer can chicken rack for themselves. In the end I bought 108 of them and have about 30 left. I'm selling them on Ebay as I don't have shopping facilites on The Barbecue Hut website yet. If you're interested in buying a beer can chicken rack please have a look on and type barbecue beer can chicken rack in the search box. You can also search using my seller I/D, 777les. If you can't find my item, please email me and I'll put an item on Ebay for you.


Closing Thoughts.

The Barbecue Hut has been up and running for about 2 years now and is receiving a few hundred visitors each day. I'm really interested in finding out what you'd like to see on the website, what's good and what's bad. What you'd like to see more of and what less of. Similarly, what's your opinion of this newsletter?

Any comments/ideas will be much appreciated.

Until the next issue,

Best Regards,





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