Friday, January 27, 2012

Chef Chuck's Salmon and Capers


Salmonata e Capers

 I chose Salmon for Friday night dinner with these caper fruits, black riviera olives and sweet plump cherry tomatoes.  The combination gave the sauce a perfect balance to compliment the salmon. 

Salmon and Capers

2 Salmon Steaks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, sliced thin
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 tablespoons capers
12 small black olives
1 teaspoon dry oregano
salt and pepper

Wash and pat dry salmon steaks, salt and pepper.  In a large frying pan heat olive oil and saute shallots till translucent.  Add in tomatoes and sauce, oregano, salt and pepper.  Then add capers and olives, stir gently and simmer with lid on for 5 minutes.  Place in salmon skin side down cover and simmer for about 12 minutes, depending on the thickness.  
Ricette by Chef Chuck's Cucina

Monday, January 23, 2012

Chef Chuck's Chick Pea Soup


Zuppa di Ceci
Chick pea soup is a great vegetarian dish, and a popular soup found in Italy. 
A wonderful compliment to any meal or it can be the main dish. 
Add red hot pepper flakes to give this soup some spice.  

Chick Pea Soup
2 cups chick pea's,
drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup whole tomatoes, crushed
in a can
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
3 cups vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon thyme
parmigiano cheese, grated
red hot pepper flakes
1 cup small pasta

Saute carrots, celery and onions in olive oil and butter for about 3 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, add tomatoes season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Pour in vegetable broth and add crushed thyme bring to a boil.  Turn down heat to a simmer, add chick peas's place a lid on and cook for 20 minutes.
In a separate pot cook pasta in boiling salted water till al dente.  Drain and coat lightly with olive oil set aside.  Prepare each bowl with a little pasta and pour soup over add grated cheese and red hot pepper flakes.
Ricette by Chef Chuck's Cucina

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chef Chuck's Cucina

Hello Everyone!
I would like you to know a little something about myself.
My name is Chef Chuck from Chef Chuck's Cucina.
Thank you for visiting my blog.
My objective is bringing families around the dinner table, to share, laugh and eat!
Chef Chuck's Cucina is proud in bringing healthy Italian products into the kitchens across the world. These unique foods consist of only artisan handcrafted foods, using the freshest ingredients that Italy is famous for. Many of these food products come from the enriched soils of famous northern Italy region, which is proven in the wonderful flavors of these foods.
The pride involved in producing these foods is unsurpassed in the world !
For one example, the stuffed pasta's are carefully hand made, a long forgotten art.
The fact that I am now importing these fabulous foods, is only an extension of what my family roots was doing many years ago on the Amalfi coast in Italy in 15th century.
We were noble importers of olive oils, grains and spices plus other items.
I am also a regular on NBC for many years showing my passion for food to millions of my viewers and teaching them how to cook simple yet healthy Italian foods.
At this blog is where you will find over 350 great Italian recipes, some new and traditional.
I have dedicated my life to food, and this allows me in exposing to families and communities how to live healthy. I am also a culinary instructor within many school districts Internationally. I enjoy demonstrating to young people good eating habits. As we all come to realize we have an obesity problem in America. Recently a student came to me and cried as she explained to me how sad she feels about her weight and about her mother's bad case of diabetes. She was looking to me for some answers. She wanted to know how to bring healthy foods into her families life. She also wanted a better way of life. This motivates me to help the younger generation.
That is why I partnered with local families that produce healthy foods in Italy. I am now bringing these healthy foods into each of our homes. I am very proud to be associated with being a true ambassador of   "Made in Italy " food product's.
Simply doing what my family has done in the past.
Sharing wonderful foods and sharing a way of life!
Thank you very much…

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Chicken Chianti


Pollo al Chianti
This chicken recipe was very aromatic and so gratifying in taste.  Whats not to love bacon cooking in olive oil, then succulent sweet onions added, chicken and Chianti!  With little effort and time this dish was easily prepared and so enjoyed.
 
Chicken Chianti
Chicken thighs and legs
10 - 12 pieces
1 cup Chianti wine
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 slices bacon
1 onion, sliced
salt and pepper

In a large frying pan heat olive oil add bacon and cook for a few minutes.  Remove and add onions saute till soft.  Remove onions and brown chicken on all sides.  Place bacon and onions back in pan and pour wine over the chicken.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook with lid on for half an hour, turn chicken and cook an additional half hour.  Serve over pasta or rice.
Ricette by Chef Chuck's Cucina

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Chef Chuck's Sausage Stew


Spezzatino di Salsiccia

This sausage stew recipe was hearty and spicy, perfect for a winters evening.  Filled with lots of vegetables, beans and hot Italian sausage.  

Chef Chuck's Sausage Stew

3 hot Italian sausages, cut in chunks
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
4 mushrooms, chopped
  2 potatoes, chopped
5 mushrooms, chopped
1 can of white beans
3 cups beef broth
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dry oregano
1 teaspoon red hot pepper flakes
2 bay leaves

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil and brown sausages, remove and set aside.  Brown tomato paste for at least 3 minutes, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and saute onions, carrots, celery and peppers. Cook for about 5 minutes then add garlic, salt, pepper, bay leaves and oregano.  Add tomatoes, sausage and warm broth along with the red hot pepper flakes.  Simmer for 40 minutes, add potatoes, mushrooms and beans and simmer an additional 20 minutes.
Ricette by Chef Chuck's Cucina



Saturday, January 14, 2012

Chef Chuck's Ricotta and Spinach Loaf


Ricotta e Spinaci
A vegetarian loaf made with ricotta, spinach and mushrooms, served with a lemon mustard sauce. Swiss chard could be used in place of the spinach. A simple and delicious combination of flavors that can be the main dish or a side.

Ricotta and Spinach Loaf
2 cups ricotta
2 bunches fresh spinach, chopped
5 scallions, chopped
5 mushrooms, sliced
2 eggs
1/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1 cup parmigiano cheese, grated
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tablespoon mustard
7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Saute scallions and mushrooms in 3 tablespoons olive oil for a few minutes, add chopped spinach, salt and pepper. Cook till all spinach is wilted.  Remove from heat and set aside.  In a large bowl combine ricotta, eggs, parmigiano and breadcrumbs.  Combine the cheese mixture with the spinach and form into a log shape.  Using parchment paper, wrap loaf and place in a baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  Remove from oven and let set for 30 minutes.  Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to set and let all the flavors come together. Then peel off paper and serve with sauce.  In a small bowl whisk lemon juice, mustard, 4 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. Drizzle on plate and sprinkle with chopped scallions.
Ricette by Chef Chuck's Cucina

Monday, January 2, 2012

Chef Chuck's Apricot Cookies


Biscotti Marmellata e Mandorle
Light and delicate apricot marmalade cookies, with chopped almonds and a dusting of powered sugar. I used sweet apricot jam, which was made by my friend, Andrea, from Andrini Marmellate, in Italy.

Apricot Cookies
2 cups flour
2/3 cups powered sugar
pinch of salt
12 tablespoons butter, 
room temperature
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup apricot marmalade
1/4 cup almonds, finely chopped

Sift flour, powered sugar and salt together, set aside.  In a mixer blend butter, add one egg  and vanilla.  Slowly add in dry ingredients, just till combined.  On a floured board spread half the dough at a time, roll out to 1/4 inch thick and cut out shapes desired.  The bottom of each cookie does not have a hole in it, only the tops.  Place on a baking sheet and mix 1 teaspoon water with the yolk and brush on top side of cookies. Then sprinkle chopped nuts on tops only.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, let cool on pan 10 minutes.  Use about 1/2-1 teaspoon jam, spread on bottom of each cookie, place top on and sprinkle with powered sugar.  Makes about 35 cookies.
Ricette by Chef Chuck's Cucina