• "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" star steps out of the house and into the backyard with her new cookbook "Fabulicious!: On the Grill: Teresa's Smoking Hot Backyard Recipes."

    Macaroni Salad with Pepperoncini

    Makes 8 servings

    Every family needs a fantastic macaroni salad that will put the stuff in the deli case to shame. My recipe starts with the basics of elbow macaroni and mayo, but it takes a turn with the veggies. The secret is pepperoncini, sweet Tuscan pickled peppers. Just like many American cooks trick out their pasta salads with dill pickle "juice," I use some of the pepper brine from the jar as an out-of-this-world seasoning.

    1 pound (16 ounces) elbow macaroni

    2 large red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, and diced

    1 cup thawed frozen peas

    6 to 8 pepperoncini, coarsely chopped

    1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

    1/2 cup pitted and coarsely chopped olives

    2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

    2 tablespoons pepperoncini brine from the jar

    2/3 cup mayonnaise

    1 teaspoon sweet paprika, plus more for garnish

    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook according to the package directions until tender, about 9 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Drain well and transfer to a large bowl.

    2. Add the roasted bell pepper, peas, pepperoncini, onion, and olives, and mix well. Sprinkle with the vinegar and pepperoncini brine, and mix again. Stir in the mayonnaise and paprika. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

    3. Just before serving, taste the salad and reseason with vinegar, pepperoncini brine, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle paprika on top and serve chilled.

    Marinated Chicken Breasts with Grilled Apple Rings

    Makes 6 servings

    We talked about how great pork tastes with apple flavoring, and the same is true of chicken. (In fact, you can use the apple-rosemary marinade with pork, as well.) This is one of my favorite grilled recipes.

    Apple-Rosemary Marinade:

    3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice

    3/4 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio

    1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion

    1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

    1½ tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

    1½ teaspoons salt

    1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

    Chicken Breast:

    3 Red Delicious or Golden Delicious apples, washed but unpeeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch rings

    6 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (each 6 ounces)

    1. To make the marinade: Whisk the apple cider, wine, onion, oil, rosemary, salt, and pepper together in a medium bowl.

    2. Place the apple rings in a 1-quart resealable plastic bag. Pour in about 1/3 cup of the marinade (including the onion and rosemary), and close the bag. Set aside.

    3. To make the chicken:  One at a time, place a chicken breast half between 2 plastic storage bags. Using a flat meat pounder or a rolling pin, pound the chicken until it is about 1/2-inch-thick. Place the chicken breast halves in a 1-gallon resealable plastic bag. Add the remaining marinade and close the bag. Refrigerate the bags of chicken and apple, turning occasionally, for 1 to 2 hours.

    4. Remove the chicken and apples from the marinade, transfer to a plate, and discard the marinade. Let the chicken and apples stand at room temperature while preheating the grill.

    5. Preheat the grill for direct heating over medium heat (400ºF).

    6. Place the chicken on the cooking grate and close the lid. Cook until the undersides are seared with grill marks, about 4 minutes. Flip the chicken over and cook, with the lid closed as much as possible, until it feels firm when pressed with your finger, 4 to 6 minutes more. Transfer to a platter and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm. Add the apples to the grill and cook, with the lid closed, flipping once, until seared with grill marks and crisp-tender, 4 to 5 minutes total. Add the apples to the platter with the chicken. Serve hot.