Chef Chuck's Strawberry Semifreddo with Lady Fingers

Semifreddo alle Fragole

A frozen dessert, Strawberry Semifreddo, is so creamy and sweet. This classic Italian treat is perfect for the summertime, when the strawberries are peaking. Semifreddo, is between an ice cream and a mousse. I used my homemade ladyfingers to layer in my semifreddo, and sliced strawberries too for an added texture.

Strawberry Semifreddo with Lady Fingers

2 cups fresh organic strawberries
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
3 eggs whites
1 cup heavy cream

Line a loaf pan or small ramekins with plastic wrap. Wash and remove stems from strawberries, cut in half, puree in a food processor or a blender, strain, set aside. In a small pot boil sugar, water, vanilla and salt for 2 minutes, stirring. In a mixer beat egg whites till foamy, carefully stream in hot sugar water. Beat on high for about 8 minutes, till mixture is cool and thick. Beat heavy cream till stiff peaks form. Fold strawberries and egg mixture together then fold in heavy cream. Pour into loaf pan or molds, if using the ladyfinger cookies place a layer in between the strawberries. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours. Remove from freezer and let sit for 10 minutes then place on serving plate. Garnish with fresh strawberries and whip cream. The recipe for ladyfingers can be found by entering Tiramisu in the search box.
Ricette by Chef Chuck's Cucina

Chef Chuck's Pork Sandwiches

Panini di Maiale

Here's another one of my pork recipes to indulge in for your summer parties. I love the combination of succulent slow cooked pork with grilled peppers, onions and potatoes. Behind every memorable sandwich lies great bread, these homemade Italian dinner rolls were warm out of the oven.

Pork Sandwiches

2-3 pounds pork shoulder
with bone
1 cup vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 onion, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
sprig of fresh rosemary
salt and pepper

Wash pat dry, salt and pepper both sides of meat, place in a crock pot set on low. Add all other ingredients and cook for 8 hours. Shred pork, set aside.

Grilled Peppers, Onions and Potatoes
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 onion, sliced
2 potatoes, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped fine
olive oil

Brush vegetables with olive oil and grill till soft and tender. Sprinkle potatoes with rosemary while cooking.

3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons horseradish

Using your favorite rolls assemble sandwich, shredded pork, potatoes, onions and peppers then the dressing.

Chef Chuck's Cherry Torta

Torta di Ciliege

Life's a bowl of cherries so live, laugh and have fun! I like the blended flavors of cherries and vanilla, this is one delicious cherry torta. Cherries are in abundance now so take advantage and try this simple dessert, it can be served warm or cold. So gather around the table and enjoy this moist summer time treat.

Cherry Torta

2-3 cups fresh organic cherries
6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup ground almonds
3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt

1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Wash and pit cherries, place in a bowl and sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar on top, set aside. In a mixer cream butter and sugar together for a minute, add 1 egg at a time, then vanilla. In a food processor chop almonds till powder form. Slowly add sifted ground almonds, flour, baking powder and salt. Using a 9 or 10 inch pan, butter well pour in batter, top with cherries. Bake 350 degrees for 35 - 40 minutes. Drizzle icing on a warm torta.

Chef Chuck's Shrimp Risotto

Risotto ai Gamberi
A premium risotto so creamy and smooth, flavored with the sea and the earth. The succulent shrimp were cooked perfectly, nestled in the arborio rice along with our sweet garden pea's.
The homemade shrimp stock gave this rice dish a special deep rich flavor.

Shrimp Risotto
1 pound medium shrimp
1 cup arborio rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
4 cups shrimp stock or vegetable stock
1/2 cup garden fresh pea's
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper

Shrimp Stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
5 cups water
shells from shrimp

Shrimp Stock
Peel and clean shrimp, cover and keep in refrigerator, reserve all shells. In a medium pot heat olive oil add celery, carrots and onions and saute for 3 minutes. Add garlic, tomato paste, salt and pepper and bay leaves stir well. Pour in 5 cups water and the shrimp shells cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Strain into a bowl, discard all shells and vegetables.

In a large frying pan heat olive oil and saute onions for a few minutes. Add rice and lightly brown for a minute or so. Slowly add a ladle or two of the broth, stir and simmer. As broth is absorbed, add another ladle, till all broth is used. This will take about 25 minutes. Last ladle of broth add shrimp and pea's, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in butter and parsley, serve immediately.

Chef Chuck's Roasted Garlic Pasta

Pasta all'Aglio Arrostito
A robust pasta dish with our homegrown Italian garlic roasted to perfection, extra virgin olive oil, red hot pepper flakes, parmigiana cheese and fresh parsley. This garlic has flavor with meaning because we purchased it in Italy, and grew it our fields. It's harvest time in the garlic fields, so we will have lots more recipes with fresh garlic to come.

Roasted Garlic Pasta

1/2 pound pasta
2 garlic bulbs, roasted
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red hot pepper flakes
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
salt and pepper
parmigiana cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, prepare garlic by removing some of the paper and cut off tops, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Wrap in foil and bake 400 degrees for 35 minutes. Open up and let cool, meanwhile cook pasta in salted boiling water till al dente. While pasta is cooking heat up a large frying pan add olive oil and squeeze out garlic and crush with a wooden spoon, add red hot pepper flakes and simmer for a minute or two. Add the pasta with a little pasta water (1/4 cup). Toss and add grated cheese, salt, pepper and parsley.