Rao’s on the Grill

Frank Pellegrino, Author, Charles Pellegrino, Author
Frank Pellegrino Jr. St. Martin’s, $35 (176p) ISBN 978-1-250-00627-1
Reviewed on: 05/21/2012
Release date: 05/22/2012
Open Ebook - 176 pages - 978-1-250-01774-1
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Frank Jr. represents the fourth generation of the Pellegrino family and oversees the Las Vegas outpost of Rao’s, his family’s famous East Harlem bastion of red sauce and lemon chicken. As far from home as this old neighborhood Italian eatery might be at its Caesar’s Palace location, this offering of recipes for backyard barbecuing seems even further afield. Yet here are many of their signature dishes, transformed by what Pellegrino calls, in not the best choice of words, the “kiss of the grill.” Most of the seafood and pasta entrees employ a skillet or roasting pan placed on the grate, with the grill cover down, to absorb some smoky flavor. These include lobster fra diavolo and spaghetti with crab and heirloom tomato. Seven different pizza recipes utilize a 14-in. perforated pizza pan to ensure a crust that is crunchy but not burned to a crisp. With the meats and poultry, though, fire finally has its say. The direct flames create golden brown skin on grilled chicken wings, sear a veal paillard chop, and ready a rib-eye for its sauce of Dijon, garlic, and sage. Aluminum foil is the lynch pin of a decadent dessert: bisect a banana, fill it with crumbled pieces of candy bar, wrap in foil and grill for 5 minutes. Top the result with ice cream and you have a candy bar banana split. (June)
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