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Happy 4th of July week! Happy summer! I'm not gonna lie, I'm so happy right now. Things are so so good. (Maybe it's because I finally got a taste of my own medicine. Had no idea I needed that so badly. Yum!) Seriously though, we are all in a good place now, and you'll soon see how we got there. I'm sure we'll still use our blogs to explain things on each episode and defend ourselves, but that was months ago and this is now. And right now, we're all pretty happy. At least I am.
I'm headed down to the shore with my family this week and we'll be grilling up every meal like we always do. To help you with your holiday grilling, I decided to give you an excerpt from my new cookbook Fabulicious!: On The Grill, Teresa's Smoking Hot Backyard Recipes this week as well as two of my favorite recipes. Enjoy!
Everything about Italy is hot: the climate, the people, the fashion, even the shape of the country—how much hotter can you get than a tall boot with a high heel?
Everything about Italians is hot, too -- and not just on the outside. We’re hot blooded. We are famous for our passion and our tempers, for our love and our loyalty. And when it comes down to it, we just like things hot. We like our partners hot; we like our weather hot; and we love our food hot.If you’ve read any of my previous cookbooks, you know red pepper flakes are one of my favorite ingredients because I love to eat hot. If you’ve seen me on The Celebrity Apprentice or The Real Housewives of New Jersey, you know that I find myself in hot situations far more often than I’d like. (Every time I try to get out, they keep pulling me back in!) But both of my parents are from Italy, and I was conceived in the “old country,” so at least I come by my heat honestly.
I absolutely love-love-love the summer. I love when it’s hot outside. Maybe it’s because I love to be outside. The winters -- especially the ones we’ve been having lately on the East Coast -- are not my friend. When it’s cold, everyone seems to hibernate. We hide in our houses. We hide our bodies under layers of clothes.
When it’s hot, there’s no hiding. You have to face yourself and your neighbors and your body... and that’s an amazing, happy thing! To me, there’s nothing better than sitting in the warmth, surrounded by family and friends, with the delicious smell of food sizzling on the grill and a cold drink in your hand -- just relaxing. The rest of the year, holidays and homework have us all running around like crazy. But in the summer, we can finally kick off our shoes and really enjoy our blessings.One of my biggest blessings -- besides my four beautiful daughters and my incredible family -- is that I get the opportunity to share my family’s authentic Italian recipes with you. I am so humbled and honored to have written my fourth cookbook. That the first three have all been New York Times bestsellers blows my mind. But it really shouldn’t, because I know I have the best fans in the entire world. You guys are sexy, smart, and you don’t miss a thing. I wish I could have a big, fabulous summer party and invite all of you! I can give you the next best thing, though: a book full of my summer party favorites.
In just a few chapters, you’ll become a grill god/goddess, learn ancient Italian secrets of cooking delicious and juicy food over an open flame, and unleash your own inner hot Italian. I’ve also adapted some of the most popular recipes from my previous cookbooks so that they can be cooked on the grill. Think you can’t make lasagna or chicken Parmesan or pizza on the grill? Think again!
So fire up the grill, pop open a bottle of Fabellini, and let’s get this party started! Here are two of my favorite summer recipes: an amazing steak and a veggie you'll never grill any other way.Flank Steak alla Sala Consilina
Makes 4 to 6 servings
The secret to this recipe -- tomato paste -- makes the marinade nice and thick, and helps create a beautiful crust on the steak during grilling. Flank steak is a very lean cut that will get tough if you cook it more than medium-rare, though, so if you like well-done meat, make something else! Try this marinade with other steaks, such as skirt or sirloin.
Red Wine Marinade:
1 cup hearty red wine, such as Shiraz
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 flank steak (about 1 3/4 pounds and 1 inch thick)
1. To make the marinade: Whisk all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl until tomato paste is dissolved.
2. Put the steak in a 1-gallon resealable plastic bag. Pour in the marinade and close the bag. Refrigerate, occasionally turning the bag, for at least 4 and up to 12 hours. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling.
3. Preheat the grill for direct cooking over very high heat (500F).
4. To make the steak: Remove the steak from the marinade, shaking off the excess, and discard the marinade. Place the steak on the cooking grate and close the grill lid. Cook the steak until the underside is browned and seared with grill marks, about 4 minutes. Flip the steak and continue cooking, with the lid closed, until the other side is browned and the steak feel somewhat soft with little resistance when pressed on top with a fingertip, about 4 minutes more for medium-rare. Transfer the steak to a carving board and let stand for 5 minutes.
5. Cut the steak across the grain at a slight diagonal into thin slices. Transfer to a platter, pour the juices on top, and serve hot.
Wanna know what goes great with the flank steak? My Skinny Italian Balsamic Ketchup! We just got a huge batch in from Italy. You can order it online at: http://www.skinnyitalianfoods.com/Parmesan and Paprika Corn on the Cob
Makes 6 servings
Sweet summer corn on the cob grilled with butter is delicious. But you’ll never want it that way again after you try it Italian-style, with garlic, smoked paprika, and Parmesan cheese.
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
1 garlic clove, crushed through a press
6 ears of corn, husked
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (400F). Brush the cooking grates clean.
2. Tear six 12-inch squares of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Mix the butter, paprika, and garlic together in a small bowl. Spread each corn ear with an equal amount of the garlic butter, place on the foil and roll it up tightly. (The corn can be stored at room temperature for up to 8 hours.)
3. Place the foil-wrapped corn on the cooking grate and cover with the grill lid. Cook, turning occasionally, until the corn is heated through with some toasted browned spots (open the foil to check), 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the foil-wrapped corn to a platter.
4. Unwrap the corn and return to the platter. Serve hot, allowing each person to sprinkle the corn with Parmesan cheese and salt to taste before eating.Send me pictures of you at the grill and I'll put them up on my new website: www.teresagiudice.com. Love love love you all!