Chef Chuck's Salmon Poached in Olive Oil

Salmone Affogato in Olio d Oliva

The salmon was poached in olive oil along with a sachet of fresh picked herbs and garlic.  This process highlighted the richness of the fish.  A recipe any guests would enjoy for this holiday season.
Serve with rice or roasted potatoes and a vegetable and or a green salad.

Salmon Poached in Olive Oil

2 Salmon Fillets
Olive Oil
3 garlic cloves
a few thyme stems
1or 2 rosemary sprigs
a small bundle of  sage leaves
salt and pepper

Leave salmon out for 1 hour to get to room temperature, wash and dry salmon salt and pepper set aside.   In a small pot large enough to fit your pieces of fish, pour in olive oil, enough to just cover the fish.  Add in a sachet made with cheese cloth of thyme, rosemary, sage and garlic cloves unpeeled and flattened with the back of a knife.  If you don't have cheese cloth put herbs and garlic right in oil.  Heat up to 180 degrees add fish and set timer for 12 minutes.  Remove and serve with lemon slices or wedges, salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
Ricette by Chef Chuck's Cucina

Chef Chuck's Fig Biscotti

Fiche Biscotti

This amazing cookie recipe certainly brings to mind the holiday's, so let the spirit begin after the first bite!  Figs are well known for that unique sweetness and softness that pairs so well with the crunchy 
cookie texture.  It all seems to go so well...
This fig jam is special to me because it is made by my friend Andrea, from Andrini  Marmellate, in Italy. Also his variety of jams can be found in my new food line,              
  ~ Chef Chuck's Cucina ~
As you can see this cookie looks like the famous one we grew up with named, "Fig Newton"
Happy Holidays!!

Fig Cookies

5 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, room temperature
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg white
powdered sugar, optional
fig jam

In a mixer cream together butter and brown sugar then add in sour cream, vanilla and eggs.  Add all dry ingredients, mix till all incorporated.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.  Divide into four sections and work with one at a time, roll out on a well floured board, this dough is very sticky.  Roll out about 1/8 inch thick and 3 to 4 inches wide.  Spread jam in middle of dough fold over one side press slightly, egg wash the top and fold over the other side, gently press down again.  Brush off flour and roll over on seam on a silicon mat or greased pan.  Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, cool on pan a few minutes then rest on a rack before cutting.  Cut in one inch squares, sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Ricette by Chef Chuck's Cucina

Chef Chuck's Turkey Pot Pie

Torta Di Tacchino

A savory recipe for Thanksgiving Day leftovers, turkey pot pie with homemade flaky crust.
I cubed white and dark turkey, sauteed vegetables, and stirred in gravy, broth and even sour cream.  A perfect and comforting dish for after the holiday.

Turkey Pot Pie
3 cups turkey, cubed
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 carrots, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1 large onion, diced
3 small potatoes, diced
1/4 cup corn, cooked
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup gravy
3/4 cup chicken broth, warm
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon rosemary, chopped
salt and pepper


3 cups flour 
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 sticks cold butter, cubed
8-10 tablespoons ice water
1 egg white

In a large frying pan heat olive oil and butter add carrots, celery, onions, potatoes, salt and pepper  saute for about 5 minutes.  Add mushrooms and corn and cook for another minute or two.  Add in turkey, and broth heat till boiling then stir in sour cream and gravy.  Add 1 tablespoon of flour to thicken the gravy, season with rosemary, salt and pepper.  Cover and cook on low for a few minutes.
Using a food processor combine flour, salt and baking powder combine add cubed butter
a little at a time.  Then add ice water till a ball forms.  Kneed on floured board and wrap
with plastic wrap. Butter your baking dish, cut off a small section of dough and roll out to fit bottom of dish.  I filled 6 individual dishes then put on a top.  Cut slits to allow steam to come out,  brush with egg whites.  Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes, crust should be golden.
Ricette by Chef Chuck's Cucina

Spicy Shrimp Soup

Gamberi Zuppa Piccante

A shrimp soup with a touch of heat from the red hot pepper flakes added.  I started with browning some bacon, adding lots of vegetables, beans and a hearty broth. This soup is quick and simple and very satisfying. Depending on how spicy you want the soup you can always add more pepper flakes at the table!

Spicy Shrimp Soup

1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and divined
3 strips bacon, cut in small pieces
3 carrots, cut small
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 scallions, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 can cannellini beans
4 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon red hot pepper flakes
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

In a large pot heat olive oil and brown bacon then add carrots, celery, garlic and scallions.  Salt and pepper the vegetables and simmer for a few minutes stirring occasionally.  Add tomato paste and brown for a few more minutes.  Pour in hot broth, vinegar, and beans cover and simmer for 30 minutes.  Add in shrimp and cook with lid on an additional 10 minutes.  Serve with chopped scallions, pepper flakes and a drizzle of olive oil.
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Chef Chuck's Stuffed Peppers

Peperoni Ripieni

    A satisfying and comforting meal on a fall evening, stuffed peppers.  I purchased
these bell peppers locally at a farm stand, so they were just picked.  I made a mixture of seasoned beef, rice and tomato sauce then I lightly packed the peppers placed the tops on and baked them. 

Stuffed Peppers

3 or 4 bell peppers, medium
1 pound ground beef
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups white rice
1/1/2 cups tomato sauce,
1/4 cup parmigiano cheese, grated
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Wash and slice off tops of peppers, clean out and place peppers and tops in a
 pot large enough to fit your peppers, cover the peppers with water, add salt and bring to boil, for 10-15 minutes. Drain carefully and set aside. You want them to be slightly soft.
 In a large skillet on medium high heat add olive oil and saute onions for about 5 minutes, add beef and brown. Add garlic, parsley, salt, pepper and cheese. Mix in cooked rice and 1 cup of your favorite tomato sauce. Fill and mound peppers place tops on and in a shallow baking dish pour 1/2 cup sauce over peppers. Grate parmigiano on top, cover and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

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Chef Chuck's Chicken Cous Cous

 Cous Cous di Pollo

A heart warming dish to start off the Fall Season, Chicken Cous Cous.  A one pot meal
full of depth and flavor, the chicken was so tender it fell apart.  I cook this recipe in a 
couscoussier where the cous cous cooks above the chicken and allows the flavor to flow through the cous cous.  This also would be wonderful over any kind of pasta.

Chicken Cous Cous

3 strips bacon
4 chicken thighs
1 green bell pepper, cubed
3 carrots, sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups chicken broth
red hot pepper flakes
salt and pepper

2 cups cous cous
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups water
pinch of salt

In a large pot or couscoussier  cook bacon remove and set aside.  Wash and pat dry chicken, salt and pepper them, then lightly coat with flour.  Add a little olive oil and brown chicken on both sides remove and set aside.  Cook vegetables for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally then add tomato paste and let it brown good about another 5 minutes.  It will stick but that's O.K. Add chicken back in along with bacon and slowly pour in broth.  Season with pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  Simmer for 1 hour and 45 minutes.
In a large bowl sprinkle the olive oil over the cous cous and mix with hands or use a wooden spoon.  Then splash the water on the cous cous a little at a time and mix, till all the water is incorporated.  Season with a pinch of salt.  Place in the couscoussier or you can cook it separately in a steamer.
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Chef Chucks Chocolate Parmigiano

Cioccolate e Parmigiano

I'm pazzo (crazy) about chocolate and parmigiano cheese, so I thought I would put them together. It's a sweet and savory bite to enjoy for an appetizer or a dessert!

Chocolate Parmigiano

1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate
parmigiano cheese chunks

Melt chocolate and cream in a double boiler, stir often for a smooth texture.  Cut parmigiano in small chunks and place on a fork, dip cheese into chocolate to coat.  Place on a rack and then into the refrigerator to set.  This takes about an hour.
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Chef Chuck's Bruschetta with Grapes and Goat Cheese

Bruschetta con Uva e Formaggio di Capra

A summer appetizer that is pleasing on the palate, toasted bread, creamy goat cheese and a variety of grapes.  I also drizzled olive oil on top and added a sprinkle of fresh thyme. Serve this appetizer with a glass of wine and enjoy your summer day. 

Bruschetta with Grapes and Goat Cheese

Italian bread, sliced 1/2" thick
creamy goat cheese
variety of grapes
olive oil
fresh thyme

Cut bread on an angle, place on a baking sheet, broil for 3-5 minutes till bread is toasty.  Crumble cheese on bread then cut grapes in half and place on top of cheese.  Broil for an additional minute or two till the cheese begins to melt.  Drizzle olive oil on bruschetta and a little fresh picked thyme.
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Chef Chuck's Cannellini Bean Cream

Crema di Fagioli Cannellini

This recipe is a  refreshing and healthy summer appetizer that is easy to assemble.  The texture of the beans are so creamy making it a good pair with the crunch of the homemade croutons.  Using the fresh vegetables and basil from the garden makes this dish the perfect vegetarian appetizer.

Cannellini Bean Cream

2 cans cannellini beans
1 zucchini, sliced
1 carrot, sliced thin
1/2 yellow bell pepper, sliced thin
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
chives, chopped
basil leaves, chopped
bread for croutons
olive oil
salt and pepper

In a food processor or blender process beans with salt and pepper till smooth.  Cut bread into small cubes and saute in olive oil, season with salt and pepper.  Saute in olive oil zucchini, carrots, pepper and onions for a few minutes.  Add in tomatoes along with salt and pepper.  Add bean cream to serving dish top with vegetables, basil, chives and croutons.  Drizzle with olive oil and serve.
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Chef Chuck's Spaghetti with Lemon Sauce

Spaghetti al Limone

A great vegetarian pasta dish so light, easy and quick to prepare.  It's made with fresh lemons, butter and cream, any ribbon pasta will work with this recipe.  Sprinkle parmigiano cheese and fresh cut basil on top. If your short on time here is the dinner choice for you! Serve with a white wine, a green salad and and some good crunchy Italian bread.

Spaghetti with Lemon Sauce

1 pound spaghetti
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup heavy cream
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
parmigiano cheese, grated
salt and pepper

Cook pasta in boiling salted water till al dente.  Meanwhile in a large frying pan heat butter add cream and lemon juice set aside.  Drain pasta reserving a 1/2 cup pasta water, and place in pan. Add lemon zest, pasta water, salt and pepper toss.  Sprinkle cheese and basil on top.
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Chef Chuck's Pasta with Mixed Greens

Pasta con Verdure Miste

The perfect summer salad, mixed greens and farfalle, of course you could use a similar pasta.  The greens were a mixture of organic baby greens and fresh basil.  A light dressing of fresh lemon juice and your best olive oil makes this summer salad delicious. 

 Pasta with Mixed Greens

1 pound farfalle pasta 
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Mozzarella, cubed
1/2 cup parmigiano cheese, grated
5 ounces mixed green salad
a few mushrooms, thinly sliced
 6 basil leaves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup pasta water
salt and pepper

Prepare salad by using greens, tomatoes, onions, cheeses, mushrooms and basil leaves.  Whisk all the ingredients for the dressing, set aside.  Cook pasta in boiling well salted water till al dente.  Reserve about a 1/4 cup of pasta water, drain pasta and put on salad.  Pour dressing and pasta water over salad and mix, season to your taste with salt and pepper.
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Chef Chuck's Eggplant Rollatini

Involtini di Melanzane

For this recipe, I used deep purple eggplants also known as aubergines, creamy mozzarella and basil leaves from my garden.  I prefer to lay my eggplant slices on paper towels instead of salting them to get the moisture out. Use your favorite tomato sauce to make this recipe a family favorite.

Eggplant Rollatini

2 eggplants
2 eggs
1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 cup parmigiano cheese, grated
mozzarella, sliced
basil leaves
tomato sauce
vegetable oil
salt and pepper

Peel eggplant and slice lengthwise about 1/2 inch thick.  Lay out on paper towels and cover with a paper towel for approximately a half hour to absorb moisture.  Using two shallow bowls place breadcrumbs in one and beat 2 eggs with some parmigiano, salt and pepper in the other.  Dip each slice into egg mixture then into the breadcrumbs, set aside.  In a large frying pan heat oil and fry each slice in hot vegetable oil.  Coat baking pan with tomato sauce place a piece of mozzarella and a basil leave in the middle of each eggplant slice. Sprinkle with parmigiano cheese and roll up. If needed use a toothpick to hold rolls together.  Place in pan, add a little sauce on top and cover with foil.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
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Chef Chuck's Cherry Ice Cream

Gelato di Ciliegie

A sweet scoop of cherry ice cream made with a lively red wine.  I used ripe and juicy dark organic cherries, red wine with an aroma of berries, and just cream, sugar, vanilla and a pinch of salt.  The ice cream was velvety and very creamy.  Make a day ahead because of the wine added it takes longer to freeze.  Feel free to add up to 1/4 cup of red wine.  I choose "Podere Cavaga" wine from my friend Eugenio, based in Valcalepio Valley in Italy.

Cherry Ice Cream

1 1/2 cups fresh cherries
2 tablespoons red wine
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt

Wash and pit cherries reserve a handful and place the rest in a food processor or a blender.  Add all ingredients and blend.  Put mixture in an ice cream machine for about 20 minutes. Then add the reserved cherries and freeze.
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Chef Chuck's Shrimp Cerviche

Gamberi Cerviche
A sensational Summer dish, raw shrimp submerged in fresh squeezed lemon and orange juice, garlic, onions, olive oil and red hot pepper flakes.  Marinate at least two hours or overnight which I prefer, for all these flavors to marry.  I served the shrimp over garbanzo beans, a good alternative would be roasted corn off the cob.  

Shrimp Cerviche

12-15 medium shrimp 
juice of 2 lemons
juice of 1/2 an orange
1/2 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
hot pepper flakes
parsley for garnish

Wash shrimp and place in a shallow bowl.  In another small bowl combine all ingredients and pour over shrimp, refrigerate for at least one hour.  I prefer to refrigerate overnight.  Serve over garbanzo or white beans, drizzle with olive oil.
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Chef Chuck's Affogato

Affogato al Caffe

It's time for a coffee treat!  Affogato, is a traditional and simply delicious drink
made with coffee and gelato or ice cream.  You will fall in love with this drink.

Iced Coffee

1 cup of coffee
1 scoop of vanilla gelato
or ice cream
whip cream
shaved dark chocolate

Make coffee, cool slightly add gelato to glass pour coffee over and top with whip cream and chocolate shavings.  Can also be made with chocolate or coffee gelato. Another option is to add 1 tablespoon of coffee liqueur.  Serve immediately.
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Chef Chuck's Raspberry Bars

Barrette di Lamponi

These scrumptious treats are, Raspberry Bars, so quick and easy to make you could whip up a batch before the company arrives.  I used the finest jams made in Italy, created the                                                         
 artisan way in huge copper vats.This method has been used for many years and it creates such deep flavors.  My friend Andrea, from Andrini Marmellate, is the maker of these fine jams, and this is part of my, Chef Chuck's Cucina, food line.

Raspberry Bars

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 egg
4 tablespoons raspberry jam
pinch of salt


4 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 teaspoons milk

In a mixer add chopped nuts, sugar and egg when combined add butter then incorporate a little flour at a time and a pinch of salt.  Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper over lapping the sides, for easy removal.  Butter the pan, reserve 1/2 cup of dough and put the rest in pan and press down.  Spread jam over the dough and then sprinkle the remaining dough on top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes.  Let cool 15 minutes and remove from pan then cool completely.  Make icing in a small bowl if needed add more milk and drizzle on top, cut in small squares and serve.
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Chef Chuck's Chicken Bacon Sandwich

Pollo e Pancetta Panino

A satisfying chicken and bacon sandwich, perfect for the holiday weekend.  I tenderized the chicken breast cutlet then dipped it in an egg bath and Italian seasoned breadcrumbs. Perfectly fried, topped off with a slice of provolone cheese, crisp grilled bacon, roasted red peppers and grilled zucchini.  The dressing was a mayo basil spread and I chose a ciabatta roll to contain all this goodness!

Chicken Bacon Sandwich

4 chicken breast cutlets
1 egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
vegetable oil
4 slices provolone cheese
red roasted peppers
1 zucchini, sliced thin
8 slices bacon
a few basil leaves
salt and pepper
olive oil

Wash and pat dry chicken, beat egg in a shallow bowl add salt and pepper.  In another shallow bowl add breadcrumbs.  Dip chicken in egg then breadcrumbs, set aside.  Grill bacon, set aside, grill zucchini and brush olive oil, salt and pepper on each slice.  Heat oil in a frying pan and cook chicken about 3 minutes on each side.  Mix mayo and chopped basil together.  Now it's time to assemble sandwich, first spread mayo on both sides of roll add chicken, provolone, red pepper, bacon and zucchini.
Makes 4 sandwiches.
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Chef Chuck's Baked Pasta

Pasta al Forno

I chose mostaccioli pasta for this springtime baked pasta dish.  Garden fresh steamed green beans along with sauteed plump grape tomatoes were coated with a ricotta mixture and baked to perfection.  A great way to get the kids to eat vegetables, just pair some with a baked pasta dish.

Baked Pasta

1 pound mostaccioli pasta
2 cups fresh green beans
1 cup grape tomatoes
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup parmigiano cheese, grated
1 egg
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, whole paper on
salt and pepper

Wash and cut green beans to about 1 inch,  steam for a few minutes, set aside.  In a bowl combine ricotta, parmigiano, egg, parsley, salt and pepper, set aside.  In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta till al dente.  In a large frying pan heat olive oil add garlic saute for 1 minute remove and discard.  Add tomatoes and green beans saute for a few minutes, then stir in pasta and cheese.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees butter a baking dish and bake pasta for 20 minutes.
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Chef Chuck's Ricotta Pistachio Pasta

Pasta con Ricotta e Pistacchi

This pasta dish is a favorite from Sicily since the finest pistachio's come from the beautiful island of Sicily.  The nuts give this dish a salty and crunchy texture while the ricotta, parmigiano and cream bring this pasta dish all together.  I enjoy the simplicity of this recipe.

Ricotta Pistachio Pasta

1/2 pound pasta
1 cup whole milk ricotta
1/2 cup pistachio's, shelled
1/2 cup parmigiano cheese, grated
1/4 cup cream
4 tablespoons olive oil
6 sage leaves
salt and pepper

Cook pasta in boiling salted water till al dente.  Meanwhile in a large frying pan heat olive oil, with the back of a knife bruise the sage leaves.  Add these to the olive oil and cook for a minute, then discard.
Toss in pistachio's cook a minute or two, stirring occasionally.  Add ricotta, parmigiano, cream, salt and pepper stir to combine.  Add cooked pasta and mix together.  Serves 2
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Chef Chuck's Blueberry Almond Torta

Torta di Mirtilli con Mandorla

A torta made with a flaky buttery crust, blueberry jam, fresh blueberries, and a sweet filling.  The sliced almonds on top gave a nice crunch to this dessert. 

Blueberry Almond Torta

1 teaspoon yeast
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon sugar
pinch of salt
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup almonds, finely chopped
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup flour
1/8 cup sugar
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup blueberry jam

Prepare dough by heating milk to 105 degrees add yeast and sugar, stir and let sit for 10 minutes.  In a mixer with a dough hook, or by hand combine yeast mixture along with sifted flour, salt, and butter.  Knead dough a few minutes form a ball and wrap in plastic wrap, let rest for 1 hour.
Prepare filling by mixing the finely chopped almonds with 1/4 cup sugar.  In a small bowl using a fork mix 1 egg white with 1/8 cup sugar, set aside.  In a mixer combine almonds and sugar, vanilla, the egg mixture then add honey and 1/8 cup sugar, gently fold in blueberries.  
Roll out dough to fit a buttered 9 inch pie pan, layer dough with blueberry jam then add filling top with 2 tablespoons of sliced almonds and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
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Chef Chuck's Egg Pie with Spinach

Torta di Mozzarella e Spinaci con Uovo

An egg pie that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  I made a simple crust together with fresh spinach, mozzarella, parmigiano and fresh eggs.  Eggs and cheese is always a great combination.

Egg Pie with Spinach

1 1/4 cups flour
pinch of salt
7 tablespoons cold butter
3-4 tablespoons cold water
10 eggs
1 cup cream
1 bunch fresh spinach
1 cup mozzarella cheese,  cubed
1/2 cup parmigiano cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients to form crust, roll out place in a pie pan, refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Wash and remove stems from spinach boil for a few minutes, chop and squeeze out excess water. Scramble eggs add cream, cheeses, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Add in spinach fill pie shell and place on a baking pan.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees for 30 minutes, let sit for 15 minutes before cutting.
Ricette by Chef Chuck's Cucina