Chef Chuck's Lobster Salad

Insalata di Aragosta

Lobster salad is a refreshing summer recipe, using all your garden vegetables and served with a lemon honey vinaigrette. A wonderful lobster treat for your next garden party, serve salad in a hollowed out lobster shell.

Lobster Salad
2 lobster tails
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 lemon, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 baby zucchini, thinly sliced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
red roasted pepper, diced
a few pea leaves
a few black olives, sliced thin

5 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Using a sharp knife cut down the middle of the soft bottom, remove lobster. Steam lobster for 7 minutes in a pot using the vegetable broth, lemon slices and garlic. Slice celery, zucchini, onions, and red roasted peppers and place in bowl. When lobster is cooled, cut into chunks, and add to bowl. Toss in pea leaves and black olives. For Vinaigrette combine all ingredients in blender then pour over lobster salad. Arrange inside empty lobster shells. Serves 2.

Chef Chuck's Baked Layered Doughnuts


These unique style doughnuts are baked not fried, filled with a layer of vanilla mascarpone then topped with a chocolate hazelnut icing. A baked doughnut has a different texture then frying but are healthier. The doughnut was moist and light and the filling was sweet and delicious.

Baked Layered Doughnuts
1 1/3 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon yeast
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar plus 1 teaspoon
2 eggs, room temperature
5 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt

Cream Filling
16 ounces mascarpone
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped fine

1/2 cup chocolate
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tablespoon butter
hazelnuts, chopped fine

Heat milk to warm about 110 degrees, combine 1/3 cup milk, 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 tablespoon yeast, let sit for 5-7 minutes. In a food processor or mixer add butter, sugar, remaining milk (1 cup), and yeast mixture. Then add eggs, flour and salt combine till a ball forms. Place in a large buttered bowl cover with a towel and let rise for 1 hour. Roll out dough to a 1/2 inch thick cut out 2 inch rounds, then cut out a small center hole. Place on a silicone mat or parchment paper and let rise for 45 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes. Remove and place on a rack to cool. Cut in half.

Cream Filling
In a mixer blend together all ingredients. Spread filling with a knife.
In a double boiler on low heat combine chocolate, heavy cream and butter. Stir to obtain a smooth consistency. Dip donuts in chocolate and refrigerate. Makes about 1 1/2 dozen doughnuts.

Chef Chuck's Fried Pizza

Pizza Fritta

An airy crunchy homemade pizza dough, fried to perfection in olive oil then topped with marinara sauce, parmigiana cheese and oregano.

Fried Pizza
 2 cups warm water

1 tablespoon dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar

4-5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon salt

olive oil
marinara tomato sauce
parmigiano cheese

Add 1 tablespoon of yeast to warm water and sugar, stir. Let sit for 7 minutes (until foamy). Pour into mixer bowl, set to a medium speed, and olive oil. Mix in one cup of flour at a time with salt until it forms into ball of dough. Dust a cutting board with flour and knead dough for 3 minutes. Transfer to large bowl, lightly coat with olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and layer small towel on top. Let rise in a warm area for 1 hour 30 minutes - 2 hours. When dough becomes 2-3 times it's original size, remove and divide in half. Put one half back in bowl and cover, work with other half. Divide into 4 parts flatten and fry in hot olive oil, about 2 minutes. Turn over once and cook till golden brown. Place on paper towels. While warm top with sauce and cheese. Repeat with remaining dough.

Chef Chuck's Bucatini with Squid

Bucatini con Calamari

Italy's, Amalfi coast comes to mind as I indulge in this seafood pasta dish. Bucatini cooked al dente combines well with the tender squid. The sauce was created with walnuts, garlic and cherry tomatoes then topped with fresh picked basil. A refreshing summer pasta recipe for all the enjoy.

Bucatini with Squid
1 pound bucatini
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 ounces anchovies
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cups walnuts, chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, 2 cups, cut in half
1 1/2 cups squid, cut in rings
3 tablespoons fresh basil, thin strips
1/2 cup water
red hot pepper flakes
pasta water

Wash and cut squid in rings, trim tentacles. In a large frying pan heat olive oil add anchovies and stir until they begin to dissolve. Add garlic, walnuts, cherry tomatoes, squid and 2 tablespoons basil and water stir to combine all ingredients. Place lid on and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring once. Cook pasta till al dente about 10-11 minutes, using tongs place pasta in pan then add pasta water with ladle, about 1/2 cup. Sprinkle hot pepper flakes and remaining basil on and a drizzle of olive oil.

Chef Chuck's Italian Style Hot Dogs

Italian Style Hot Dogs

A old time favorite from my childhood, fried hot dogs with fried potatoes, green peppers and onions. Homemade bread is the best to use or a fresh baked roll. A full flavored sandwich, great for any summertime gathering.

4 hot dogs
2 onions, sliced
2 green peppers, sliced
3 large potatoes, sliced
fresh rolls
canola oil for frying
optional: mustard

Fry each vegetable separately then fry the hot dogs, assemble sandwich. 
If you like you may add mustard.

Chef Chuck's Italian Pan Fried Pork Chops

Braciole di Maiale Fritto in Padella all'Italiana

These succulent pan fried pork chops were moist and tender flavored by the Marsala wine, olive oil and butter. An earthy taste was detected from the sage and a salty touch from those plump capers. Another quick and simple Italian dish to serve your family and friends.

Italian Pan Fried Pork Chops

2 pork chops
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup Marsala wine
1 tablespoon butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons capers
12 sage leaves

Wash and pat dry pork chops, bring pork to room temperature, about 1 hour. Salt and pepper both sides, heat pan add olive oil cook chops on one side for 3 minutes. Flip pork chops lower heat add Marsala wine, butter, garlic, capers and sage leaves. Return heat to medium, tilt pan and spoon gravy onto chops a few times. Cook 2 to 3 more minutes, till internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. Remove pork chops place on a plate, cover with foil and let rest for 8-10 minutes. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil.

Chef Chuck's Chocolate Pistachio Torta

Pistacchio Torta al Cioccolato

An elegant light Italian Chocolate ricotta torta, layered with a creamy pistachio mascarpone filling, topped with a shiny ganache.

Chocolate Pistachio Torta
3 cups whole milk ricotta
4 eggs
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of salt

Cream Filling
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup pistachios, finely chopped
pinch of salt

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tablespoon butter

Separate eggs, in a mixer combine ricotta and egg yolks till creamy. Add sugar and vanilla, scrape down, on low speed add flour, cocoa, and a pinch of salt. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites till stiff and fold into batter. Butter two 9 inch pans, fill evenly and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean. Cool on a rack.
Cream Filling
In a mixer beat egg yolks and sugar till creamy, then add mascarpone one spoonful at a time. Add vanilla, pistachios and salt. In a separate bowl beat heavy cream till stiff, fold into ricotta mixture.Spread filling between the two layers, refrigerate torta.
Using a double boiler heat chocolate, cream and butter stirring till smooth. Place in refrigerator for 15 minutes. Spread on cake and let the chocolate drip down the sides. Sprinkle pistachios on top of the torta. Refrigerate, when chocolate is set, it's ready to serve. Store this torta in the refrigerator.

Chef Chuck's Sweet Corn Salad

Insalata di Mais

A sweet corn salad is the perfect summer side dish to accompany any meal. Using all organic vegetables ensures a healthy salad, lightly coated with balsamic, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper. Customize your corn salad with your families favorite vegetables.

Sweet Corn Salad

6 corn on the cob
1/2 red bell pepper
2 celery stalks
1/4 white onion
2 red potatoes
2 tablespoons parmigiano cheese, shaved
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 part balsamic vinegar
3 parts olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
salt and pepper to taste

Cook corn on the cob and cut kernels off. Boil potatoes till fork tender and cut in small chunks. Chop pepper, celery and onions in small chunks. Place all vegetables in a bowl and combine balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper and pour over corn salad. Top with parmigiano cheese and fresh parsley.