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Rao's On the Grill: Perfectly Simple Italian Recipes from My Family to Yours Hardcover – May 22, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1 edition (May 22, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250006279
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250006271
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.7 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #203,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

FRANK PELLEGRINO, JR. is a fourth-generation scion of the family that founded and still owns and operates Rao's restaurant, a culinary legend and a New York City landmark in East Harlem.  His restaurant Baldoria in New York City’s theater districts was called “a prime specimen of a special genre, the Italian-American restaurant (serving) feel-good food in a feel-good setting”.  Since 2006, he has run the Rao’s at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

RAO'S ON THE GRILL (Chapter One)appetizers and salads

SALADS ARE A MAINSTAY OF OUTDOOR EATING. THEY WHET EVERYONE'S appetite for what's to come later in the meal, and they can act as excellent side dishes to the main course. The best part is, they can easily be prepared ahead of time so that the host has more time to spend with guests. Several of these dishes are inspired by the appetizer menu of Rao's, such as Grilled Red Peppers with Pignoli and Raisins, and Grilled Seafood Salad. Now you can have Rao's outdoors.

CRAB COCKTAIL IN RADICCHIO CUPS GRILLED SEAFOOD SALAD GRILLED SHRIMP COCKTAIL SHRIMP SALAD WITH LEMON VINAIGRETTE TUNA AND CANNELLINI BEAN SALAD EGG AND VEGETABLE SALAD GREEN BEAN AND POTATO SALAD MACARONI SALAD RAO'S PASTA SALAD WITH TOMATOES, MOZZARELLA, AND BASIL TOMATO AND RED ONION SALAD CREAMY TORTELLINI SALAD WITH DILL AND WALNUTS SUMMER TORTELLINI SALAD GRILLED ROMAINE SALAD GRILLED RED PEPPERS WITH PIGNOLI AND RAISINS


crab cocktail in radicchio cups

Makes 4 servings

Calling this light and tasty dish crab cocktail is really unfair, as it bears no resemblance to the kind that is covered in horseradish-spiked ketchup. The crabmeat filling can also be served on Belgian endive leaves for a finger-food appetizer.

1 cup jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over for cartilage and shells

5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Juice of ½ lemon

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons freshly cooked or thawed frozen peas

½ teaspoon finely diced celery

½ teaspoon finely diced red bell pepper

½ teaspoon pitted and finely diced black olives

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

4 large radicchio leaves

8 cherry tomatoes, halved

Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish

1 Put the crabmeat in a large bowl and flake it well by hand. Add 1 teaspoon of the oil and the lemon juice and mix.

2 Stir in the mayonnaise and mustard, and mix again. Add the peas, celery, bell pepper, and olives and mix. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The salad can be prepared up to 4 hours ahead, covered with plastic wrap, and refrigerated.

3 Place each radicchio leaf on a plate. Fill each leaf with equal amounts of the crabmeat mixture and drizzle each with 1 teaspoon of the remaining oil. Garnish with the cherry tomato halves and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve immediately.


grilled seafood salad

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Seafood Salad is one of Rao's signature dishes and difficult to improve on. But, I like the touch of smoky flavor provided by grilling. This salad should be a mainstay of your entertaining repertoire. Perfect seafood, dressed with a light and bright-tasting dressing, can't be topped for summer dining.

Marinade

½ cup dry white wine

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

6 jumbo (U-16 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined

3 calamari sacs, cleaned, head and tentacles removed

3 lobster tails, about 8 ounces each, thawed if necessary

1/3 cup jumbo lump crabmeat, shredded and picked through for cartilage and shells

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon finely chopped red bell pepper

1 teaspoon finely chopped celery

1 teaspoon finely chopped black olives

1 teaspoon minced garlic

Juice of 2 lemons

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 Prepare an outdoor grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat (450°F).

2 To make the marinade: Whisk together the wine, olive oil, and lemon juice in a glass or stainless steel bowl. Add the shrimp and calamari and stir to coat with the marinade. Refrigerate for 15 minutes, no longer.

3 Place a lobster tail, shell side down, on a cutting board. Using a large sharp knife, split the tail lengthwise just to the shell, but do not cut all the way through. Slide a metal skewer through the tail meat on one side of the tail lengthwise--this keeps the tail from curling up when cooked. Repeat with the remaining lobster tails.

4 Brush the cooking grate clean and lightly oil the grill. Put the lobsters on the grill, shell side down. Grill, with the lid closed as much as possible, until the shells begin to turn red, about 4 minutes. Flip, cover, and grill until the lobster shells are completely red and the meat looks opaque, about 4 minutes more. Remove from the grill and let cool. Split each tail in half, remove the lobster meat, and roughly chop the meat, discarding the shells. Put the lobster meat in a large serving bowl.

5 While the lobster is cooling, remove the calamari and shrimp from the marinade; discard the marinade. Place the calamari and shrimp on the grill. Grill, with the lid closed as much as possible, until they begin to turn opaque around the edges, about 3 minutes. Flip, close the lid, and continue cooking until the calamari and shrimp are opaque, 3 to 4 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and let cool.

6 Slice the cooked calamari and shrimp, discarding tails, crosswise into ¼-inch-thick rings. Add to the lobster meat, along with the shrimp and crabmeat. Drizzle with the olive oil. Add the bell pepper, celery, olives, and garlic and mix. Pour the lemon juice over the salad and mix again. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve chilled.


grilled shrimp cocktail

Makes 6 servings

For those of us who appreciate the good old-fashioned shrimp cocktail, redolent with horseradish, here is a grilled version that is guaranteed to please. Fresh horseradish really knocks this out of the ballpark. Use the biggest shrimp you can find: The big ones that weigh about 1 ounce each are my choice.

1 cup tomato ketchup

2 tablespoons peeled and grated fresh horseradish (use the small holes on a box grater)

1 teaspoon minced garlic

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup dry white wine

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

18 extra-jumbo (U-16) shrimp, peeled and deveined with the tail segment attached

Lemon wedges for garnish

1 To make the cocktail sauce: Whisk together the ketchup, horseradish, and garlic in a medium bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours to marry the flavors.

2 Prepare an outdoor grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat (450°F).

3 Whisk together the wine, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a large glass or stainless steel bowl. Add the shrimp and marinate for 10 minutes, no longer.

4 Brush the cooking grate clean. Remove the shrimp from the marinade, discarding the marinade. Put the shrimp on the grill. Grill, with the lid closed as much as possible, until the shrimp begin to turn opaque around the edges, about 3 minutes. Flip the shrimp and cook until opaque throughout, about 3 minutes more. Remove the shrimp from the grill.

5 Spoon the cocktail sauce into six ramekins. For each serving, place 3 shrimp on a plate and serve warm with the sauce and lemon wedges.


shrimp salad with lemon vinaigrette

Makes 4 servings

Miles away from the mayonnaise-rich seafood salad you will find at many summertime parties, this one has a fine Italian sensibility. The sweet, plump shrimp meat is set off nicely by crunchy bits of cucumber and tart cornichons (tiny cucumber pickles). With slightly larger portions, you could serve this as a main-course salad. Don't make this too far ahead of time or the vinaigrette will "pickle" the shrimp.

1 Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and the juice of 1 lemon. Add the shrimp and cook until they turn opaque, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and transfer to a medium bowl of ice water to chill. Peel and devein the shrimp, and chop them into ½-inch dice. Transfer to a medium bowl.

2 Add the cornichons, cucumber, fennel, and red onion and mix. Add the arugula, olive oil, and garlic and toss. Add the juice of the remaining lemon and the vinegar. Toss again and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 hour, no longer.

Kosher salt

Juice of 2 lemons

1 pound jumbo (21/25 count) shrimp

6 cornichons, coarsely chopped

1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped

½ cup coarsely chopped fennel bulb

½ cup finely chopped red onion

4 cups packed arugula leaves, well rinsed

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

Freshly ground black pepper


tuna and cannellini bean salad

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Tuna and cannellini bean salad is a zesty alternative to the other starchy salads that you might find too often on the picnic table. A combination of fresh herbs gives the humble dish a lift, but you can only use basil, if you wish. For true Mediterranean flavor, use imported tuna in olive oil, which is available at Italian delicatessens and many supermarkets.

1 (12-ounce) can cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained and rinsed

2 (5- to 6-ounce) cans tuna in oil or water, preferably Italian tuna in olive oil, drained and flaked

¼ red onion, thinly sliced

¼ cup pure olive oil

6 cherry tomatoes, quartered

¼ teaspoon finely chopped fresh tarragon or ½ teaspoon dried tarragon

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried sage

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh basil leaf or ½ teaspoon dried basil

Juice of 2 lemons

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

6 large fresh basil leaves for garnish

1 Mix the cannellini beans, tuna, red onion, olive oil, cherry tomatoes, tarragon, sage, and basil in a large bowl. Let stand for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to marry. (The salad can be made up to this point, covered, and refrigerated for up to 8 hours. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before proceeding.)

2 Stir in the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Tear the basil into dime-size pieces, sprinkle over the salad, and serve.


egg and vegetable salad

Makes 4 to 6 servings

t Many cooks think of egg salad as a sandwich filling. At my outdoor parties, I serve it heaped in a bowl to go with the other side dishes. It's the finely diced vegetables that make this egg salad stand out. Be sure to season the salad generously with salt and pepper.

1 To hard-boil the eggs: Place the eggs in a pot large enough to hold them in a single layer. Cover with cold water. Bring just to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and cover with the lid. Let stand for 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggs to a large bowl of ice water. Let stand until chilled. Peel and chop the eggs. Transfer to a medium bowl.

2 Add the carrot, celery, and red onion and mix well. Add the mayonnaise and fold it in with a rubber spatula. Season generously to taste with the salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.

8 large eggs

2/3 cup finely diced carrot

2/3 cup finely diced celery

1/3 cup finely diced red onion

1 cup mayonnaise

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper


green bean and potato salad

Makes 4 to 6 servings

An Italian-style potato salad, with firm potatoes and vinaigrette, will be a welcome change from the ordinary. Use white-skinned potatoes, which hold their shape after cooking much better than the typical baking potatoes with brown skins.

1 Put the potatoes in a large saucepan and add enough cold water to cover. Add 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook just until the potatoes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain and rinse the potatoes under cold running water. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.

2 Fill the saucepan with fresh water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add a big pinch of salt and the green beans. Cook just until the beans are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and rinse the beans under cold running water. Let cool.

3 Transfer the green beans to a large bowl. Whisk the vinegar and garlic together in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil. Pour over the green beans, add the lemon juice, and toss. Add the potatoes and red onion and gently fold them into the beans. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours. Serve chilled with the lemon wedges.

3 white-skinned potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes

Kosher salt

1 pound green (string) beans

½ teaspoon red wine vinegar

¼ teaspoon minced garlic

¼ cup pure olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

¼ red onion, cut into thin half-moons

Freshly ground black pepper

Lemon wedges for serving


macaroni salad

Makes 6 to 8 servings

For many people, macaroni salad is a must-have for an outdoor party. It is convenient for the cook because it must be made ahead of serving in order to chill, and everyone loves it. This one gets its unique flavor from a lot of hard-boiled eggs and vegetables, and a generous dusting of paprika.

1 pound elbow macaroni

6 hard-boiled large eggs (see step 1), peeled and chopped

2/3 cup diced carrot

2/3 cup diced celery

2/3 cup drained and chopped pitted black olives

1/3 cup minced yellow onion

1 cup mayonnaise

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons sweet paprika for garnish

1 Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook according to the package directions until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Transfer to a large bowl.

2 Add the eggs, carrot, celery, olives, and onion to the bowl and mix well. Be sure the mixture is well combined. Add the mayonnaise and fold it in with a rubber spatula. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dust the top of the salad with paprika. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or up to 1 day. Serve chilled.


rao's pasta salad with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil are a very solid trio, and should be used together as often as possible. Here they are, together again, in a pasta salad that will probably become your go-to version. Whenever I make it, I get terrific feedback. You might be surprised to see that there isn't any vinegar in this salad, just the tangy tomato juices.

1 Mix together the tomatoes, olive oil, mozzarella, parsley, torn basil, red onion, oregano, salt, pepper, and garlic in a large bowl. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes. (The tomato mixture can be made and refrigerated up to 12 hours ahead.)

2 Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain well.

3 Using a slotted spoon, transfer about ½ cup of the tomato mixture to a bowl to use as a topping and set aside. Add the pasta to the larger amount of the tomato mixture and mix well. Top with the reserved tomato mixture and the whole basil leaves. Serve immediately.

12 ripe plum tomatoes, cored, seeded, and diced (about 4 cups)

1 (7-ounce) ball fresh mozzarella, cut into bite-size pieces

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

8 large fresh basil leaves, torn into dime-size pieces

2 teaspoons diced red onion

1½ teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon minced garlic

1 pound short pasta, such as fusilli (spirals) or farfalle (bow ties)

6 whole fresh basil leaves for garnish


tomato and red onion salad

Makes 4 to 6 servings

The best month of the year to make this salad is August, when tomatoes are truly in season and they are full of juicy flavor. To mix it up, use tomatoes with different colors, but there is something about red ripe tomatoes that says "summer."

3 large ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges

1 large red onion, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons minced garlic

¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine or balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 large fresh basil leaves, torn into dime-size pieces

1 Using a rubber spatula, gently stir the tomatoes, onion, and garlic together in a medium bowl. Add the oil and vinegar and stir gently to coat the tomatoes.

2 Season with the salt and pepper. Add the basil to the tomato mixture. Stir again and serve.


creamy tortellini salad with dill and walnuts

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Hearty tortellini salad can really round out an al fresco menu, and this one, with unexpected flavors of sour cream, dill, and walnuts, will have everyone asking for seconds. Frozen tortellini is convenient and is sturdy enough to maintain its shape in a salad. Even if you do have a nonna to make handmade tortellini, fresh tortellini would be too delicate for this dish, so just use the frozen with confidence. Thanks to our sous-chef Fatimah Madyun, for this, and the other salads in this chapter.

1 Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the tortellini and cook according to the package directions until tender. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the tortellini with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and toss to coat. Let cool.

2 Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium skillet over high heat. Add the onion slices and cook, stirring often, until they soften, about 3 minutes. Reduce the temperature to medium and cook, stirring often, until the onions are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer the onions to a large bowl, season lightly with salt, and set aside to cool.

3 Add the sour cream, cucumber, dill, and lemon juice to the onions and mix well. Add the tortellini and walnuts and mix again. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or up to 1 day. Serve at room temperature.

1 pound frozen cheese tortellini

4 tablespoons pure olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, cut into thin half-moons

Kosher salt

2 cups sour cream

1 cup peeled, seeded, and diced cucumber

¼ cup finely chopped fresh dill

Juice of 1 lemon

1 cup toasted and coarsely chopped walnuts (see Note)

Freshly ground black pepper


summer tortellini salad

Makes 4 to 6 servings

A collection of bright summer vegetables makes this one great-looking and fine-tasting salad. With its vinaigrette dressing, it is a little more traditional than the Creamy Tortellini Salad with Dill and Walnuts, making it a good choice when you have other items on the menu that are creamy.

1½ pounds frozen cheese tortellini

2 cups pure olive oil

1 yellow onion, cut into thin half-moons

Kosher salt

½ cup apple cider vinegar

½ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Freshly ground black pepper

1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered

1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced

1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced

1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced

1 Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the tortellini and cook according to the package directions until tender. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the tortellini with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and toss. Let cool.

2 Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium skillet over high heat. Add the onion slices and cook, stirring often, until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Reduce the temperature to medium and cook, stirring often, until the onions are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer the onions to a large bowl, season lightly with salt, and let cool.

3 Pour the vinegar into a medium bowl. Whisk in the remaining 1¾ cups olive oil. Add the parsley and whisk until combined. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

4 Add the tortellini to the bowl with the onions. Add the cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and the red and yellow bell peppers. Add the vinaigrette and mix well. Let stand for 10 minutes. (The salad can be made up to 4 hours ahead, covered, and stored at room temperature, but reserve ½ cup of the vinaigrette. When ready to serve, add the remaining vinaigrette and season again with salt and pepper.) Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before serving.


grilled romaine salad

Makes 4 servings

Grilled salad? It may sound like an odd idea. However, romaine is a solid lettuce that holds up to the heat and is enhanced by grill marks. Give this a try and be prepared for it to be the subject of conversation.

1 Prepare an outdoor grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat (450°F).

2 To make the vinaigrette: Whisk together the vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk in the oil and set aside.

3 Brush the lettuce, tomatoes, and scallions all over with olive oil. Season liberally with salt and pepper.

4 Brush the cooking grate clean. First put the tomatoes on the grill, cut-side down. Grill, with the lid closed as much as possible, until the edges begin to char, about 4 minutes. Flip the tomatoes and move them to a cooler edge of the grill not directly over the heat source.

5 Add the romaine lettuce, cut-side down, and the scallions, perpendicular to the grate, to the grill. (Keep the scallions close together so they are easy to roll in a unit on the grill when it comes time to turn them.) Cover and cook, turning occasionally, until the lettuce and scallions are charred with brown marks, about 4 minutes.

6 Remove the vegetables from the grill and transfer to a chopping board. Coarsely chop the lettuce and scallions and put them in a large bowl. Chop the tomato into chunks and add them to the bowl along with the vinaigrette. Toss and serve warm.

Red Wine Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon minced garlic

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 hearts romaine lettuce, split in half lengthwise, but still connected at the root end

3 ripe plum or beefsteak tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise

8 scallions, root ends trimmed

Extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper


grilled red peppers with pignoli and raisins

Makes 6 servings

It is not unheard of for customers to order nothing but these peppers. These people know a good thing when they see it. The sweet, savory, and smoky peppers are great on their own, heaped on some crusty bread, served on top of a burger, or as part of an antipasto platter.

6 large red bell peppers

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup raisins

¼ cup pignoli (pine nuts), toasted in a skillet (see Note)

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

NOTE: To toast pignoli (pine nuts), heat an empty skillet over high heat. Add the pignoli and cook, stirring often, until toasted, about 1 minute. Transfer to a plate and let cool.

1. Preheat an outdoor grill for direct cooking over high heat (550°F).

2 Clean the grill grate and lightly oil the grill. Put the peppers on the grill. Grill, with the lid closed as much as possible, turning the peppers occasionally, until the skin is blackened and blistered, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap (or put them in a paper bag and close the bag). Let stand to steam and cool for about 20 minutes.

3 Once the peppers have cooled, peel off the charred skins, which should come off easily. Split each pepper open and remove the seeds and ribs. Slice the peppers into ¼-inch strips.

4 Drain the pepper strips in a colander. Place a paper towel on the peppers to soak up more of the excess juices. Put the colander on a plate and refrigerate for an hour or so to chill the peppers.

5 Discard the paper towel. Combine the peppers, olive oil, raisins, pignoli, garlic, and parsley in a bowl and toss to coat the peppers well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (The peppers can be made up to 8 hours ahead, covered with plastic wrap, and refrigerated.) Serve chilled or at room temperature.

RAO'S ON THE GRILL Copyright © 2012 by Frank Pellegrino, Jr. Foreword copyright © 2012 by Ron Straci.


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Customer Reviews

Fantastic cook book, basic simple receipts!!
Robyn M
A must have if you have the other Raos books, been to the restaurant or had a grandmother who cooked real immigrant Italian food.
Edward A. Lehan, Jr.
This is a book that those that wish to expand their grilling repertoire and those that love Italian cooking would enjoy.
wogan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By wogan TOP 100 REVIEWER on July 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Frank Pellegrino has completed this book of recipes, all done on the grill, even the desserts. We are introduced to him, the right utensils, temperature control, methods and the right ingredients. Recipes include appetizers and salads, beef, pork, veal, chicken, seafood, pasta, pizza, calzones and breads, vegetables and desserts.

It would have been nice if the recipes would also have included directions to cook on the stove or in the oven, but an experienced cook can probably figure that out themselves. Directions lean more to butane/gas grills than charcoal but there is also some help given for that. The pictures of his grill resemble more those of a stove than most home grills.

It is interesting to try desserts on the grill and certainly makes for a difference in meals. There are colour pictures for most of the dishes and an index. There are a few recipes that do not require a grill, the tuna and cannellini bean salad is very good, as is the macaroni salad. Others that require a grill that we have enjoyed are; grilled steak pizzaiola, grilled porter house with garlic oil, grilled sausages with peppers and onions, linguini with tuna sauce is even prepared on a grill and has been well received, as have frank sr's grilled potatoes.
This is a book that those that wish to expand their grilling repertoire and those that love Italian cooking would enjoy.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By I Do The Speed Limit TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Run, don't walk, from this cookbook.

There is a lot wrong with it. There are many mistakes in the ingredient lists. And with so many errors, and missing directions, and ingredient lists that don't follow instruction sequences--as there are in this book--any but the most basic recipes cannot be trusted.

For instance: There is a burger recipe that makes four 9 ounce patties from 2 1/2 pounds of meat (last time I checked that was 40 ounces. You do the math...The recipe also calls for 3 cups of roasted and diced bell peppers, 3 cups of grated "Parmigianino" cheese, 2 cups of water, 4 tablespoons salt, 1 tablespoon pepper and a 1/4 cup chopped parsley, but the directions don't tell you what to do with those ingredients. Maybe mix it with the meat? Really? And still only make four patties? Yikes!? Here's what makes the burger special and so very original: A slice of tomato, two slices of provolone cheese and a lettuce leaf. "Feel free to toast your buns if you prefer." Well, thank you very much for that offer! Let's not forget two tablespoons roasted red pepper aioli (recipe on the next page); is that two tablespoons per burger or divided among the four burgers? The aioli recipe calls for 7 egg yolks, one QUART of corn oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice, ANOTHER four tablespoons salt, ANOTHER 3 cups roasted and blended red pepper (is that blended before or after measuring 3 cups??), 2 teaspoons cayenne and t tablespoons paprika. And, what you don't use up on your four burgers, you better use up within two days.....

Recipes are familiar from the 80's and 90's: There is nothing new here. Most of the grill recipes are adapted from restaurant recipes: They seem to be "forced" to work on a grill, instead of made for the grill.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By scott baxter on August 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
There are a number of recipes in here that, if the directions are reasonably well followed, will result in some delicious food. Lemon chicken is, perhaps, my favorite. And the recipes cover the entire menu of possibilities for summer meals: salads, meats (many meats), seafood, pasta, pizza, vegetables, and desserts. I do enjoy the book and I do use it on a semi-regular basis. However, I have two criticisms of the book. One is that the author has a rather shizoid approach to using fresh ingredients and doing things from scratch. For example, he is a big believer in using imported San Marzano tomatoes in recipes (although, based on my experience, a person can also get a very good red sauce with other less expensive varieties of canned tomatoes). But, especially in the dessert section, Pellegrino includes some ingredients in the list more as shortcuts than as items that will improve the recipe. In this section, one finds ingredients that include vanilla instant pudding, a jar of caramel sauce, a can of cherry pie filling, a box of pineapple supreme cake mix. All of these items will lower the quality of the food made and none of them are really very difficult to do yourself with a decent recipe and a little time and effort. The other criticism I have of the book is that there's not really a whole lot of recipes in the book that you could not find in many other cookbooks on the market or in a decent public library. If you checked out the most recent Webber grill book or Mario Batali's Italian Grill you would find many of these same recipes there as well. In fact, I prefer Batali's method of cooking pizza on the grill to Pellegrino's, although I use a cast iron griddle rather than buying Batali's recommended product.Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition
Amateur attempt at a grilling book. Too many mistakes in directions and ingredients to list. Somebody's trying to cash in on the Rao's legend. I'm totally skeptical of the 5 star reviews. After reading the introduction to the original Rao's cookbook I do believe that Vincent would not be happy. His instruction, upon turning over ownership of the restaurant to his nephew, Frank Pelligrino was simple: Don't add on, don't try to duplicate it, you'll lose the quality. We now have a second Rao's in Las Vegas and this book. What a shame!
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