Chef Chuck's Green Bean and Carrot Salad

Fagiolini Verdi e Carote

Green beans and carrots with the orange honey vinaigrette is a sweet summer salad. The flavors come alive with a sunny orange taste. Select freshly picked organic vegetables, to obtain a healthy and flavorful salad.

Orange Vinaigrette
juice of 1 orange
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon honey

salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together all ingredients.

Green Bean and Carrots

1 pound green beans
5 carrots, sliced

Wash and cut beans, slice carrots and steam. Combine green beans and carrots, pour vinaigrette over and toss.

Chef Chuck's Pasta Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Insalata di Pasta

In this delicious pasta salad it has tricolor farfalle, with a blend of vegetables, goat cheese and fresh picked oregano. The homemade vinaigrette is simple to make and the taste is so robust. A great recipe for a barbecue or picnic.

Pasta Salad
1 pound farfalle pasta
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 cucumber, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta till al dente, rinse in cold water, place in large bowl. Add peppers, onions, cucumber, carrots, goat cheese, oregano, salt and pepper.


1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
1 teaspoon honey
salt and pepper

Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and pepper. Pour over salad and mix.

Chef Chuck's Zucchini Bread

Pane di Zucca

Fresh zucchini makes a wonderful bread, filled with nuts, raisins and cinnamon. The smells are so inviting, I think we will have some warm zucchini bread, tonight. This recipe makes two loafs one for our house and one to give away, see you tomorrow, Margarita and Nick.

Zucchini Bread
3 eggs
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cups zucchini, shredded
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup raisins
2 cups flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease 2 loaf pans. Beat eggs then add olive oil, zucchini, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, vanilla, nuts, raisins and flour. Fill pans 3/4 full and place on a baking pan, bake for 45-50 minutes. Cool on a rack, this bread freezes well.

Chef Chuck's Basil Pesto

Pesto di Basilico

Homemade Genovese basil pesto with fresh picked basil, and homegrown garlic, has the ultimate flavors. Pesto is great for pasta's, spreads or in soups. Freeze pesto in ice cube trays then store in plastic bags, use 1 or 2 cubes when making soups or stews. The authentic way of making pesto is with the mortar and pestle.

Basil Pesto
2 cups fresh basil
3/4 cups parmigiana, grated
1/2 cup pine nuts
2-3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
salt and pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

Put all ingredients except olive oil in a food processor slowly drizzle in olive oil till all ingredients are combined. Store in refrigerator, will cover 1 pound of pasta.

Chef Chucks Shrimp with Orzo

Shrimp and orzo is full of flavor, a quick and inexpensive meal, sure to be satisfying. By leaving the shell on the shrimp you add a lot more seafood flair.

Shrimp and Orzo
1 pound medium shrimp, shells on
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 shallots, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 pound orzo
red hot pepper flakes
drizzle of olive oil

Prepare orzo as directed. Meanwhile heat a frying pan, add olive oil and saute the celery, carrots and onions for 5 minutes. Add garlic, broth, salt, pepper and shrimp. Cover and cook on medium heat for 3 minutes. Add cooked orzo to pan, sprinkle red hot pepper flakes, parsley and a drizzle of olive oil.

Chef Chuck's Stuffed Sweet Cherry Peppers

Stuffed sweet cherry peppers is a great recipe for an appetizer. Simple, yet full of flavor with the anchovies and olives, they are great for any summertime party. Serve with an assortment of olives, cheese, some crusty bread and your favorite wine.

Stuffed Sweet Cherry Peppers
1 jar sweet cherry peppers, about 12
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
4 small anchovies
6 green and 6 black olives
1/3 cup parmigiano cheese, grated
1 tablespoon pine nuts
2-3 tablespoons olive oil

Rinse and cut out stems of peppers, discard seeds. Combine all other ingredients in a food processor and stream in olive oil till moist, gently stuff each pepper.

Chef Chuck's Beef Tenderloin with Mushrooms

Filetti di Manzo al Funghi

Beef tenderloin is a hearty and satisfying meal, accompanied with rice or potatoes and a salad makes a complete meal. I sear the steak in a heavy pan only turning once, this insures a tender and moist steak.

Beef Tenderloin with Mushrooms
2 beef tenderloins, 1 inch thick
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon butter
3 large portabella mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup beef broth
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Wash and pat dry steaks, bring to room temperature. Using a large heavy pan on high heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/2 tablespoon butter, salt and pepper both sides of steaks place in pan and do not move. For a medium rare steak, sear each side for 6 minutes, remove and cover with tin foil allowing to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. In same pan heat 2 tablespoons olive oil add mushrooms and broth, cover and cook for 3 minutes. Then add garlic, parsley, salt and pepper cover and simmer for 2 minutes. Slice steak and pour gravy over top and serve with mushrooms.

Chef Chuck's Pasta and Braciole

Braciole, is a thin steak rolled with parmigiano cheese, fresh garden parsley, salt and pepper, cooked slow in tomato sauce, just like my momma makes. It's fork tender beef moist and delicious.

Pasta and Braciole 

1 pound beef top round, sliced thin
salt and pepper
1 cup parmigiano cheese, grated
4 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

makes 4 bracole

3 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 large cans tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped

salt and pepper to taste
optional red hot pepper flakes

Wash and pat dry beef, pound slices with a meat mallet till about a 1/4 inch. Salt and pepper add 1/4 cup cheese and sprinkle parsley on each one, roll up and secure with 2 toothpicks or string. Heat olive oil in large pot and brown bracole on all sides. Then add garlic for 30 seconds, and 2 large cans of tomato sauce. Add tomato paste and herbs, salt and pepper stir and cover, cook for 1 1/2 stirring occasionally. Cook pasta according to directions and serve with sauce and bracole top with parmigiano cheese and red hot pepper flakes.

Chef Chuck's Lemon Loaf

Pagnotta al Limone

A fresh and zesty lemon loaf perfect for this time of year. Lemon loaf with chocolate icing can be served alone or with whip cream, berries, or ice cream. A bright blend of lemon and chocolate creates a wonderful dessert.

Lemon Loaf

1 1/2 cups sugar
12 tablespoons butter, softened
3 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon lemon zest, finely chopped
juice of 1 lemon
6 ounces vanilla yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt set aside. Beat butter and sugar together for 1 minute. Add eggs one at a time, then zest, juice, yogurt and vanilla. Put mixer on low and add flour mixture till combined. Butter and lightly flour a 9x5 loaf pan, place on a baking pan, bake 1 hour.

Chocolate Icing

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate
1/4 cup heavy cream

zest of 1/2 a lemon,
for top of loaf

Place chocolate and cream in a double boiler heat on low and stir till chocolate is smooth. Remove from heat and cool for 15 minutes. Pour over loaf and spread chocolate, grate lemon
zest over top and refrigerate.

Chef Chuck's Brussel Sprouts

A wonderful veggie anytime of the year, Brussel Sprouts, are tasty and healthy.
These mini cabbage's can be bitter, but when steamed with lemon juice before pan frying ,they are irresistible. The pancetta, shallots and garlic are just what this dish needs to compliment any meal.

Brussel Sprouts

12 Brussel sprouts, trimmed
juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4" slice pancetta, chopped

2 large shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste

Peel outer leaves and cut a little off the end. Steam sprouts for about 4 minutes. In a frying pan heat olive oil and saute pancetta 2 to 3 minutes, add shallots, garlic, Brussel sprouts, broth, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes to combine all flavors.

Chef Chuck's Lemon Chicken Scaloppine

Scaloppine di Pollo al Limone

A tender and very flavorful chicken recipe made with chicken breasts, lemons, capers and Marsala wine. An elegant dish so easy and quick to prepare. The mushrooms and the fresh parsley made the gravy rich and earthy, each flavor of the dish was well defined.

Lemon Chicken Scaloppine

2 organic skinless boneless chicken breasts,
cut in half
flour for dredging
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup Marsala wine
2/3 cup chicken broth
1 cup portabella mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons capers
juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Wash and pat dry chicken then pound chicken to 1/4 inch thick, salt and pepper the flour and lightly dredge chicken. In a large frying pan heat butter and olive oil and brown chicken 1 to 2 minutes on both sides, remove from pan. Heat oven to 200 degrees, cover chicken and keep warm. In same pan de glaze with Marsala wine, then add chicken broth, and mushrooms cook for 3 minutes. Remove from heat add capers, lemon and parsley, place chicken back in pan and serve.
Ricette by Chef Chuck's Cucina

Chef Chuck's Mediterranean Crackers

This Mediterranean cracker recipe contains garden fresh herbs and sun dried tomatoes. Served here with parmigiano cheese, tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil. They are countless
ways to decorate your crackers!

Mediterranean Crackers
1 tablespoon yeast
1/4 cup warm water

3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 large egg
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped

3 1/2 cups flour
sea salt and olive oil

In a large bowl combine yeast and warm water, let rest 5 minutes. Meanwhile in a small saucepan heat milk over medium heat till small bubbles appear on side of pan. Remove from heat and whisk in sugar, butter and salt. Let cool for 5 minutes, then whisk in egg and herbs. Add milk mixture to yeast and add 2 cups flour, combine till smooth. Add another 1 1/2 cups of flour, then turn onto marble or a cutting board and knead for 5 minutes. Oil a large bowl place dough in and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Place in a warm spot for 1 hour ,it will double in size. Punch down dough and let rest 10 more minutes. Preheat oven to 450 degrees, and roll out to very thin or use a pasta machine to number 9. Cut to size you want I did 2 inch circles. Sprinkle baking pan with flour and place dough on pan and sprinkle with salt, bake 3 minutes.

Chef Chuck's Spaghetti and Clams

Spaghetti alle Vongole

Spaghetti and clams (vongole) a simple and inexpensive delicious dinner. Using fresh tomatoes and parsley give this recipe a brighter taste.
The baby tender clam juices coupled well with the white wine plus the aroma from the kitchen was like being in Italy's finest restaurants!

Spaghetti and Clams
1 1/2 pounds clams
6 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup white wine
3 garlic cloves, minced

6 ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
3/4 pound spaghetti
red hot pepper flakes

Soak clams in water for 1 hour. In a large pan heat 2 tablespoons olive oil add clams and wine cover and cook until shells open, eliminate those that have not opened. Strain the liquid and clams set aside. Add 4 tablespoons olive oil to pan cook garlic and tomatoes for 5 minutes. Add liquid, salt and pepper cover and cook for 15 minutes. Add clams and parsley for 2 minutes. Cook pasta in salted boiling water till al dente. Combine pasta to clams add parsley and hot pepper flakes mix and serve.