Thursday, May 27, 2010

Chef Chuck's Beef Short Ribs

Costole di Manzo


A perfect meal for this Memorial Day weekend, slow cooked beef short ribs with sweet cherry peppers. Served with mash potatoes, drizzled with a thick rich beefy onion gravy.


Beef Short Ribs
5 beef short ribs
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
garlic cloves, lightly crushed
1/2 onion, diced
jar of sweet cherry peppers, cut in half
1 tablespoon dry oregano
1 1/2 organic beef broth


Wash and pat dry ribs, salt and pepper both sides. In a frying pan heat olive oil add tomato paste cook on low heat for 4 minutes. Add garlic and onions cook an additional 3 minutes, discard garlic. Brown meat, about 2 minutes on each side, add cherry peppers, oregano and beef broth. Simmer with lid on for 1 1/2 hours, turning ribs once. Skim fat off of gravy and discard. Serve with creamy mash potatoes, and sweet corn on the cob.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Chef Chuck's Strawberry Mascarpone Cream Torta


Torta di Fragole e Mascarpone


Strawberry mascarpone cream torta is a decadent dessert! Made with fresh organic strawberries, sweet cream, a layer of ganache, and a soft cookie like almond crust.

Strawberry and Chocolate Torta



Crust
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup almonds, finely chopped
8 tablespoons butter, chilled
5-6 tablespoons cold water


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


Strawberry Cream Filling

1/2 cup heavy cream
2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar
8 ounces mascarpone
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup crushed strawberries
1 cup sliced strawberries


Toast almonds in a small frying pan on low heat for 10 minutes, chop fine. In a food processor combine flour, sugar, salt and almonds. Add butter in small pieces then add 1 tablespoon of water at a time. Knead on a well floured board for a minute wrap in plastic and let rest 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees roll out dough to fit a 9 inch pie or torta pan. Grease pan and fit dough in cutting off the excess. Bake on a cookie sheet for 20 minutes, remove and cool on a rack. When crust is completely cooled make the chocolate.
Chocolate
In a double boiler heat chocolate and heavy cream together, stirring. Pour chocolate into crust and smooth out to the edges. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour.
Cream
In a mixer beat egg yolks and 2 tablespoons of sugar together then add mascarpone a little at a time. Scrape down bowl, add vanilla. Fold in crushed strawberries. In a separate bowl whip cream with 1 tablespoon sugar till stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. Pour onto the chocolate. Add slice strawberries.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Chef Chuck's Steak Pizzaiola



Bistecca Pizzaiola


The New York strip steak was so tender, it broke with a fork, there is no need for a knife!
Organic beef and vegetables along with the slow roasting makes this dish a true comfort food.


Steak Pizzaiola


2 New York strip steaks
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 onion, sliced
3 carrots, slice large
3 celery stalks, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 large green olives
1 cup red wine
1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves


Preheat oven to 320 degrees. Bring steaks to room temperature, salt and pepper both sides. Use an oven proof pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and brown steaks 2 minutes on each side, remove and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and brown tomato paste for 3 minutes, stirring. Add onions, carrots, celery, garlic and olives saute an additional 3 minutes. Pour in wine and let simmer a minute or two. Pour in tomatoes and bay leaves stir all together. Place steaks on top of vegetables, put lid on, bake in oven for 3 hours.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Chef Chuck's Italian Butter Cookies

Biscotti al Burro


A Mother's Day special, Italian butter cookies, a sweet treat for all the lovely Moms. These cookies are light, crisp and buttery. Dip in chocolate then coat with sprinkles, coconut, or even nuts.

Italian Butter Cookies
1 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten

2 1/4 cups flour
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

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


In a mixer cream butter and sugar together, add egg. On low speed add flour, salt, cream of tartar and baking soda. Form small balls and flatten or use a cookie press to form cookies, place on an un greased baking pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Makes about 5 dozen small cookies. In a double boiler melt chocolate and heavy cream, stirring to combine. Dip half the cookie in the chocolate and then into the sprinkles. Arrange on a plate and refrigerate till chocolate hardens. Store in an air tight container.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Chef Chuck's Homemade Giardiniera

Giardiniera


Homemade giardiniera, meaning gardening, is a blend of fresh vegetables pickled and stored in the refrigerator. Great to add to chicken or beef also it is delicious chopped coarsely on your favorite sandwiches, or on crusty bread. My organic blend of veggies always becomes a healthy and tasty additive to most foods.


Homemade Giardiniera
3 carrots, sliced
4 celery stalks, sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut in strips
3 serrano peppers, sliced
2 cups cauliflower, small florets
1 can kidney beans, rinsed
1 tablespoon salt
20 peppercorns
2 bay leaves
4 tablespoons honey
2 1/4 cups white vinegar
1 cup water
4 tablespoons olive oil



Wash and cut vegetables steam for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables still have a light crunch. Place in a bowl add beans, salt, peppercorns and bay leafs. Fill 4 jars, combine honey, vinegar and water pour over vegetables. Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil on top of each jar, seal and refrigerate.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Chef Chuck's Walnut Cake


Torta di Noci

A spongy light texture that makes this walnut cake one to enjoy. Combined with a chocolaty smooth creamy butter cream icing. A perfect combination to please any sweet palate.

Walnut Cake
6 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
4 tablespoons water
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
walnuts, chopped for topping


Eggs should be room temperature, then separate. Beat egg yolks and sugar on medium speed for 7 minutes. Add vanilla, flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl beat egg whites till stiff peaks form. Fold in some of the egg whites then 1 tablespoon water and alternate till whites and water are gone. Fold in walnuts. Grease 2 round pans and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.


Chocolate Butter Cream Icing


1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups confectioners sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons heavy cream
3 tablespoons milk


Combine all ingredients, when cake is completely cooled ice, top with nuts. Wrap and refrigerate.