• Stir It Up: Fall for grilled food
     | November 09,2012

    Keep the grilling season going with this simple, citrusy grilled pork chop. The photo and recipe are from “Rao's on the Grill,” by Frank Pellegrino Jr.

    The idea of grilling year-round is still new to some of us. We think of the backyard barbecue — sun-kissed children in bathing suits, adults in sandals and shorts, the smell of citronella candles — as a strictly warm-weather deal. It's harder to think about grilling with autumn leaves — or snowflakes! — swirling about. But grill aficionados know it can, and should, be done.

    If you're in need of inspiration, “Rao's on the Grill” (St. Martin's Press, 2012) will serve you well. Rao's is a storied New York institution, a 115-year-old restaurant with 10 tables packed every night with such regulars as Woody Allen, Madonna and Martin Scorsese. In 1996, in an article celebrating the reopening of Rao's after a fire, the New York Times headline read: “A Table at Rao's? Forgetaboutit.” The restaurant's draw, the paper explained, was its “exquisitely simple Italian cooking served in a homelike atmosphere by a staff that spoils the customers rotten.”

    Frank Pellegrino Jr., author of the new grilling book, is the grandnephew of the founders of Rao's and runs the restaurant's Las Vegas location. Las Vegas, of course, is a place where year-round grilling is nothing new. What is new for Rao's cuisine is that the chef has added some smoke and spice, and an occasional Southwestern chili pepper, to the family's “exquisitely simple” food.

    Pork Chops With Citrus Barbecue Sauce

    Yield: 4 servings

    For the sauce:

    1 cup ketchup

    2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

    1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon orange or other citrus marmalade

    2 tablespoons minced garlic

    2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

    1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh horseradish, or prepared horseradish (drained)

    1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

    For the pork:

    4 (12-ounce, 1½-inch-thick) center cut loin pork chops on the bone

    1 teaspoon kosher salt

    ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    1/3 cup Italian-seasoned dried bread crumbs

    1 lemon, halved

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

    For the sauce: Mix all sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.

    For the pork: Season the chops with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature while the grill is preheating.

    Grill the chops, with the grill lid closed as much as possible, until the undersides are seared, about 3 minutes. Flip the chops and brush the tops with sauce. Grill until the opposite sides are seared, 3 minutes or more. Flip the chops again and brush with sauce. Grill until the undersides are glazed, about 3 minutes. Brush chops with sauce, then flip again. Sprinkle the tops of the chops with bread crumbs. Squeeze the juice from the lemon halves over the bread crumbs. Grill until the undersides are glazed and the topping is browned, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Remove from grill. Let stand 3 to 5 minutes and serve.

    Recipe from “Rao's on the Grill,” by Frank Pellegrino Jr. (St. Martin's Press, 2012)

    Grill-Roasted Chicken With Garlic Butter Baste

    Yield: 4 to 6 servings

    For basting sauce:

    4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter

    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

    4 garlic cloves, crushed under a knife and peeled

    2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

    For the chicken:

    1 (4-pound) chicken, giblets removed

    Kosher salt

    Freshly ground black pepper

    1 lemon, halved

    1 small onion, quartered

    7 garlic cloves, unpeeled

    4 (3-inch) sprigs rosemary

    ½ cup water

    ¼ cup dry white wine

    Prepare an outdoor grill for direct cooking over medium heat (400 degrees).

    For the sauce: Heat all sauce ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat until the butter melts.

    For the chicken: Season the cavity of the chicken with ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Stuff lemon halves, onion quarters, garlic and rosemary into the cavity. Brush outside of chicken with some of the basting sauce. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Using kitchen twine, tie the ends of the drumsticks together and tie the wings to the body.

    Place the chicken on a roasting rack in a flameproof roasting pan. Grill with the grill lid closed, basting every 20 minutes with the basting sauce, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh (not touching a bone) reads 165 degrees (about 1½ hours). Transfer to a cutting board.

    Let the chicken stand 15 minutes. Cut chicken into 2 wings, 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs and 2 chicken breast halves. Cut each breast half crosswise into 3 pieces.

    Skim fat from the pan juices. Return the pan to a hot area of the grill and heat until the juices are sizzling. Add water and wine and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Pour over chicken and serve.

    Recipe from “Rao's on the Grill,” by Frank Pellegrino Jr. (St. Martin's Press, 2012)

    Marialisa Calta is a syndicated food writer who lives in Calais.

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