Chef Chuck's Potato Sausage Croquettes

Crocchette di Patate e Salsiccia

Potato and sausage croquettes are tasty appetizers. The parmigiano cheese made the potatoes so creamy and buttery. A touch of sage with Italian sausage is a pleasant additive. Crunchy on the outside and smooth on the inside.

Potato Croquettes
3 potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

3 sausage links
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon fresh sage
4 ounces parmigiano cheese
2 eggs
1 cup panko breadcrumbs

Boil potatoes till knife tender drain and mash with butter, milk, salt and pepper set aside. In a pan heat olive oil and brown sausage, then add garlic and sage. In a processor, combine potatoes, sausage, cheese and 1 egg. Process till all combined and blended well. Make croquettes dip in scrambled egg then breadcrumbs, fry in 350 degree oil, till golden brown. Drain on towels salt and serve. Makes about 12-15, medium size.

Chef Chuck's Pasta and Broccoli

Pasta e Broccoli 

A favorite pasta dish that my Mom always made, usually with cavatelli pasta. Any short pasta will do, with just a few ingredients in this recipe be sure to use quality foods. Served hot or cold this is simple and delicious.

Pasta and Broccoli
1 pound pasta
1 pound organic broccoli, cut to bite size florets
4 garlic cloves minced 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups organic chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup parmigiano cheese

salt and pepper to taste
optional hot pepper flakes

Cook pasta according to al dente. In a large saute pan on medium heat add olive oil and garlic for 1 minute, stirring. Add broccoli and broth, cover and simmer until fork tender about 5 minutes. Add drained pasta to broccoli sprinkle on cheese, salt and pepper and toss. Can be served hot or cold.
Buon Appetito

Chef Chuck's Pasta and Arugula

Pasta e Rucola

This unique pasta dish has a peppery flavor from the arugula that pairs well with the nutty almond crunch. The soft texture of the potatoes helped to absorbed the salty anchovies, then topped with a creamy sheeps cheese,"pecorino".

Pasta and Arugula
1/2 pound small pasta
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 whole garlic cloves
4 ounces anchovy fillets
12-15 almonds, halved
1 cup marinara sauce
1 cup arugula
1/2 cup pecorino cheese, grated
salt and pepper

In a large pot of salted boiling water cook potatoes for 2 minutes then add pasta and cook till al dente. Meanwhile in a large frying pan heat olive oil and saute whole garlic cloves, anchovies and almonds for about 3 minutes. Remove and discard garlic add tomatoes bring to a boil and simmer till pasta is finished. Strain pasta into frying pan and stir. Add arugula, cheese, salt and pepper.

Chef Chuck's Lemon Risotto

Risotto al Limone

This Spring risotto had a light lemony touch that complimented the garden fresh parsley. The texture was so creamy due to the parmigiana cheese stirred in at the end. A wonderful and comforting meal to enjoy on a lovely Spring day.

Lemon Risotto

1 cup arborio rice
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons lemon juice
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup parmigiana cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste

In a large frying pan heat butter and olive oil saute onions for a few minutes, then stir in garlic. Add rice and toast for 2-3 minutes, stirring. With the heat on low, slowly add a little of the broth at a time when liquid is almost gone add a little more. This process should take about 20-25 minutes. Stir in lemon zest and juice, then add cheese, salt and pepper. Serve immediately, serves 4.

Chef Chuck's Profiteroles

A cream puff filled with scrumptious ice cream covered with rich chocolate. These profiteroles are an elegant dessert, made with quality vanilla ice cream and superior chocolate.

3/4 cup water
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup flour
4-5 eggs, 1 cup

1/2 cup chocolate
1/4 cup heavy cream
vanilla ice cream

In a small saucepan on medium heat add water, milk, salt and butter heat to boil remove from heat add flour and mix with a wooden spoon till ball forms, return to heat for 1 minute. Place in mixer and cool for 7 minutes. Add one egg at a time, batter should be smooth. Fill pastry bag and swirl dough in about 2" diameter circles or you can make mini eclair shapes or drop by tablespoon on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper or a silpat mat. Cook 20 minutes at 400 degrees or until golden brown. When cooled completely fill with ice cream and drizzle chocolate on top.
Ganache: In a small pot heat chocolate and heavy cream and stir with a wooden spoon.

Chef Chuck's Phyllo Dough Pizza

Crostata di Verdure Miste

A light and fresh tasting vegetable pizza with endless choices for toppings. Perfect for a springtime lunch or an appetizer.

Phyllo Dough Pizza
 10 sheets phyllo dough

5 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup parmigiana cheese, grated
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
1 tomato, chopped
artichoke hearts
1/4 cup red pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 cup goat cheese
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Using a 15x10 baking pan lay one phyllo sheet down, with about 1 inch over the sides of pan. This will be folded in later to form a crust. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle on a little parmigiana cheese. Repeat process till all sheets are used. Place zucchini, onions and tomatoes, peppers and artichokes on phyllo, salt and pepper. Sprinkle cheese and parsley over pizza. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Chef Chuck's Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Biscotti Cioccolato e Mandorle

A different twist with a chocolate biscotti and an almond biscotti combined. The best of both worlds with these twice baked delights.

Black and White Biscotti

Almond Biscotti
2/3 cup whole almonds
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups flour plus 2 tablespoons
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Bake nuts 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees, cool and chop, set aside. In a mixer cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, vanilla, almond extract, flour, baking powder, salt and nuts. Wrap in plastic wrap and make the chocolate biscotti.

Chocolate Biscotti
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup walnuts chopped
3/4 cup chocolate chips
2 tablespoons melted chocolate

Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder set aside. Cream together in mixer butter and sugar on high for 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and mix on high 2 more minutes. Set mixer on low and add flour mixture till combined. Stir in nuts, chocolate chips and melted chocolate. On a baking pan lined with parchment paper, divide dough into four equal parts. Spread one section to about 12 inches by 5 inches. Then take half of the almond biscotti and spread that on top of chocolate. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes let set on baking pan 5 minutes. Carefully remove using a spatula to a rack. Cool 10 minutes then place on board and cut 1 inch cookies, place back on baking pan and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Chef Chuck's Split Pea Soup

Zuppa di Piselli

The spiral ham on the bone certainly had a full smokey flavor for the split pea soup. The rich ham taste came through do to soft buttery fats, and savory bone marrow. Combined with green split peas, and bright healthy vegetables made it all the more enjoyable.

Split Pea Soup
1 ham bone
1 cup ham, cubed
1/2 pound dry green peas
3 tablespoon olive oil
4 carrots, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1/2 onion, diced
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 whole potato, peeled
2 bay leafs
1 teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium size bowl add dry peas, inspect and discard any pebbles, rinse peas, set aside.  In a large pot add ham bone, cubed ham, bay leafs, and 4 cups water.  Pour in olive oil, add 1 whole potato and dry peas, simmer with lid half on for 1 hour. Add cubed potatoes, carrots, celery, onions thyme, salt, pepper and peas to soup. Crush whole potato with a fork or hand blender and add to soup, this will help thicken soup, simmer an additional 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Chef Chuck's Rib Eye Steak Sandwich

Panino con Bistecca alla Griglia

A tender and juicy rib eye steak sandwich, accompanied with sweet caramelized onions, sharp provolone cheese and a mayo thyme horseradish dressing. This pan grill steak seemed to melt in your mouth with every bite. A perfect combination, served with a fresh green salad, dinner is served.

Rib Eye Steak Sandwiches
2 rib eye steaks
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper

provolone cheese, sliced
2 onions,sliced
Use ciabatta rolls or your favorite bread.

3 parts mayonnaise, 1 part horseradish, 1 teaspoon thyme

Wash and pat dry steaks and bring to room temperature, this takes about 30 minutes. In a frying pan on heat butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil and saute onions for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Olive oil, salt and pepper both sides of steaks, heat grill or frying pan and sear steaks 4-5 minutes on both sides. Internal temperature should be 140 degrees for medium rare. Combine dressing and assembly sandwich.

Chef Chuck's Creamy Roasted Asparagus Soup

Zuppa Di Asparagi Arrosto

Creamy Roasted Asparagus Soup
This smooth and creamy soup sets the springtime mood. The deep roasted flavors came as no surprise, lunch in the sun! The additive of mascarpone cheese was a prefect blend of tranquil heaven, so healthy for all to enjoy!

1 bundle of organic asparagus
2 potatoes cubed
3 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups of vegetable broth
3 tablespoons of mascarpone cheese
1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Cut asparagus ends off and place on a baking pan with whole garlic cloves, skins on. Drizzle with olive oil. In separate pan put cubed potatoes and also drizzle with oil, salt and pepper both pans. Roast pans in oven on broil until edges are blackened, turn vegetables occasionally. Rough chop parsley and all veggies, then peel garlic, add to stove top pot. Add vegetable broth, bring to a simmer. Then place mixture in blender with mascarpone cheese and blend to a smooth consistency.