All posts by Chris

Chicken Vesuvio

Chicken Vesuvio is an Italian-American dish that originated in Chicago in the 1930’s. The key ingredient is the white wine. Make sure that you select one that you would drink.

Four Tablespoons of Olive Oil

Six White Potatoes, Peeled, Each Cut into 4 Wedges

A Whole Chicken Cut-Up into 8 Pieces

A Teaspoon of Ground Black Pepper

Two Teaspoons of Sea Salt

Two Tablespoons of All Purpose Flour

Six Minced Garlic Cloves

¾ Cup of Diced Spanish Onion

A Jalapeno Pepper, Cored and Seeded, Diced

Two Roasted Red Peppers, Chopped

14 Ounces of Canned Quartered Artichoke Hearts

¾ Cup of Dry White Wine

Two Cups of Low Sodium Chicken Stock

A Teaspoon of Lemon Zest

The Juice of ½ Lemon

A Teaspoon of Dried Oregano

A Cup of Frozen Peas

A Tablespoon of Finely Chopped Fresh Italian Parsley

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Spread the potatoes out on a sheet pan. Brush the potatoes with two tablespoons of the olive oil. Sprinkle the potatoes evenly with a teaspoon of sea salt and ½ teaspoon of the black pepper. Roast in the preheated oven for one hour until the potatoes are golden brown. Set them aside.

Sprinkle the chicken pieces equally with a teaspoon of the sea salt and ½ teaspoon of the black pepper. Heat a tablespoon of the olive oil in a Dutch oven on medium high heat for three minutes. Brown the chicken on both sides in the Dutch oven. Place the browned chicken on a sheet pan and roast it in the preheated oven set at 350 degrees for one hour. Set the chicken aside.

Reduce the temperature of the oven to 275 degrees.

Discard the chicken grease in the Dutch oven but retain the brown bits that have accumulated on the bottom of the pan. Put the Dutch oven on medium heat. Add a tablespoon of the olive oil, the onion, the peppers, the garlic and the dried oregano to the pot. Cook while stirring for two minutes. Add the white wine. Scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen the brown bits that have accumulated. Cook the wine for four minutes. Add the flour. Whisk while cooking making a roux.  Add 1 ½ cups of the chicken stock. Continue to whisk until the mixture thickens. Turn off the heat.  Taste the sauce and add sea salt and/or black pepper, if desired. Add the artichoke hearts and the chicken pieces to the pot. Loosely cover with aluminum foil and place the Dutch oven in the oven. Cook for one hour. Add the potatoes and cook for an additional twenty minutes.

Remove the chicken from the pot to a serving plate. Add the lemon zest, the lemon juice, the peas and the parsley to the sauce. Stir well. Serve the potatoes, the artichoke hearts and the sauce with the chicken.

Heirloom Tomato And Roasted Beet Salad

Heirloom Tomato and Roasted Beet Salad

A Medium Yellow Heirloom Tomato Cut Into About ¼ Inch Slices
Two Roasted Beets Cut Into About ¼ Inch Slices
A Minced Garlic Clove
A Teaspoon Of Finely Diced Red Onion
A Teaspoon Of Lemon Zest
A Teaspoon Of Raspberry Wine Vinegar
A Tablespoon Of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ Teaspoon Of Sea Salt, Divided
¼ Teaspoon Of Black Pepper, Divided
Six Basil Leaves, Torn In Half

Combine the garlic, the red onion, the lemon zest, the raspberry wine vinegar, the extra virgin olive oil, ¼ teaspoon of sea salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper in a mixing bowl. Whisk well. Taste and add more sea salt and/or black pepper, if needed.

Arrange the tomato slices and the beet slices on a plate overlapping them slightly. Sprinkle evenly with ¼ teaspoon of sea salt and 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper. Pour the dressing evenly over the top of the tomato slices and the beet slices. Garnish with the basil and serve. Note: you can serve this salad with roasted red peppers and assorted olives, if desired.

Baked Shrimp Piccata

Baked Shrimp Piccata

This recipe has the great flavor of a piccata preparation but without the work.

A Pound Of Shrimp Deveined, Cleaned And Patted Dry
¼ Cup Of Panko Bread Crumbs
A Tablespoon Of Unsalted Butter
A Tablespoon Of Olive Oil
½ Cup Of Savignon Blanc White Wine
A Teaspoon Of Lemon Zest
A Minced Garlic Clove
A Tablespoon Of Capers
A Tablespoon Of Finely Chopped Italian Parsley
¼ Teaspoon Of Sea Salt
1/8 Teaspoon Of Ground Black Pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the olive oil, the garlic, the lemon zest, the parsley, the capers, the sea salt and the black pepper in a saucepan. Cook on medium heat for one minute. Add the white wine and stir well. Let the mixture cook until the wine has reduced by a half. Off the heat, whisk in the butter. Taste and add more sea salt and/or black pepper, if needed.

Place the shrimp into a ceramic baking dish and evenly pour the butter, wine sauce over them. Sprinkle the bread crumbs uniformly over the top of the shrimp. At this point, you can add a small amount of olive oil on top of the bread crumbs so that they become crispier when finished cooking, if desired.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Let cool and serve with lemon wedges.

Veal Burger Presented On Ciabatta Bread Topped With Provolone Cheese, Roasted Red Peppers and Baby Arugula

I am using tomato sauce as ketchup for my burger in this recipe. I have made my own tomato sauce for this recipe but your favorite jarred tomato sauce will work well. I like the roasted red peppers to be marinated in vinegar and olive oil for extra flavor.

Two Pounds of Ground Veal
¼ Cup of Grated Parmesan Cheese
½ Cup of Panko Bread Crumbs
A Teaspoon of Garlic Powder
A Teaspoon of Onion Powder
½ Teaspoon of Dried Oregano
½ Teaspoon of Dried Basil
A Tablespoon of Finely Chopped Fresh Italian Parsley
½ Teaspoon of Red Cayenne Pepper
A Teaspoon of Sea Salt
A Beaten Egg
Three Cups of Tomato Sauce
Two Roasted Red Peppers Cut Into About ½ Inch Strips
A Loaf of Ciabatta Bread Sliced in Half Lengthwise
A Cup of Baby Arugula Leaves
Six Slices of Provolone Cheese

Combine the veal, the parmesan cheese, the bread crumbs, the garlic powder, the onion powder, the oregano, the basil, the parsley, the red cayenne pepper, the sea salt and the beaten egg in a large bowl. Mix well. Form the mixture into six equal patties.

Cook the veal patties on a hot grill for six minutes on each side or 12 minutes total cooking time. After 12 minutes, top each burger with a provolone cheese slice. Cook for an additional minute until the cheese melts. Remove the patties from the grill.

Place the ciabatta bread on the grill cut side down. Cook the bread for one minute just to heat it slightly.

To assemble, remove the warmed bread from the grill and slather both sides with an equal amount of tomato sauce.  Place the arugula leaves evenly on the bottom half of the bread. Place the burgers on top of the arugula. Top the burgers equally with the roasted red pepper strips. Close the bread and press down slightly. Cut into equal pieces with a serrated knife. Serve while hot.

Lemon and Lime Brined Roast Pork Loin

A Four Pound Boneless Pork Loin (Ask Your Butcher to Tie It for Roasting)
A Whole Lemon Cut in Half
A Whole Lime Cut in Half
½ Cup of Brown Sugar
½ Cup of Sea Salt
6 Cups of Cold Water
10 Whole Black Peppercorns
10 Whole Mustard Seeds
A Whole Fresh Rosemary Stalk
Three Whole Fresh Thyme Sprigs

Combine the brown sugar, the sea salt, and the water in a pot large enough to hold the liquid and the pork loin. Put on high heat until the sea salt and the brown sugar dissolve. Turn off the heat. Squeeze the juice of the lemon and the lime into the pot. After squeezing the juice out, add the lemon and the lime to the pot. Add the black peppercorns, the mustard seeds, the rosemary stalk, and the thyme sprigs to the pot. Stir well. Allow this brining liquid to cool. When the mixture reaches room temperature, add the pork loin to the pot. Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.

When you are ready to roast the pork loin, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Pat the pork down well with a paper towel. Cook the pork in the oven on a rack in a roasting pan for two hours. Allow the meat to cool for at least 15 minutes before carving. Remove the butcher’s twine before slicing.

Surf And Turf Featuring Pan Roasted Beef Tenderloin Fillets And Pan Seared Sea Scallops

Serve with a baked potato and a Caesar salad.

Two Beef Tenderloin Fillets (About Six Ounces Each)
Twelve Large Sea Scallops
Six Whole White Mushrooms Sliced In Half
A Tablespoon of Unsalted Butter Divided In Half
¼ Cup Of Dry Red Wine
A Teaspoon Of Sea Salt (Approximate)
½ Teaspoon Of Ground Black Pepper (Approximate)
Two Tablespoons Of Olive Oil

Beef Tenderloin Fillets

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Wrap the fillets with butcher’s twine going around each fillet twice to form a round shape. Sprinkle each fillet generously with sea salt and ground black pepper. Press the seasoning with your fingers into the meat.

Put a non-stick skillet on high heat for four minutes. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Place the fillets into the skillet. Cook without touching for three minutes until the cooked side achieves a dark brown crust. Place the mushrooms in the pan. Place the skillet in the preheated oven for 12 minutes for medium rare.

Remove the fillets to a plate. Put the pan on medium low heat and add the red wine. Cook for three minutes while scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen the brown bits that have formed. Turn the heat down to low and add ½ tablespoon of unsalted butter. Stir until the butter has melted into the sauce. Take the skillet off of the heat. Taste and add more sea salt and/or black pepper, as needed. Pour the sauce right over the top of the fillets and serve.

Sea Scallops

Sprinkle both sides of the scallops with sea salt and ground black pepper. Put a non-stick skillet on high heat for four minutes. Add ½ tablespoon of unsalted butter and a tablespoon of olive oil. Cook while stirring. When the butter has melted, add the sea scallops. Allow the scallops to cook without touching them for 3-4 minutes until a brown crust is formed on the cooked side. Turn the scallops over and reduce the heat to medium. Cook the scallops while basting them with the butter and the olive oil for three more minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.

Tomato Pie

This pizza is a perfect way to utilize leftover tomato sauce or you can just use your favorite jarred sauce.

A Twelve-Inch Pre-Baked Pizza Crust (Available In Most Supermarkets)
Two Tablespoons Of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 ½ Cups Of Tomato Sauce
¾ Cup Of Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Evenly brush the top of the pizza crust with the olive oil. Spread out the tomato sauce uniformly over the top of the pizza. Sprinkle the grated cheese equally over the sauce. You can add more grated cheese, if you desire.

Bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes or until the crust turns golden brown and the cheese melts slightly. Let the pizza cool for at least 5 minutes before slicing.

Pasta Shells with Pancetta, Tomatoes, and Potatoes

This dish is Italian comfort food at its best.

One Pound Of Large Pasta Shells
A Russet Potato Peeled And Diced Into About ½ Inch Wide Cubes
¼ Cup Of Cubed Pancetta
¼ Cup Of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ Cup Of Chopped Italian Parsley
¼ Cup Of Finely Chopped Onion
12 Ounces Of Hand Crushed San Marzano Tomatoes
A Minced Garlic Clove
A Tablespoon Of Finely Chopped Celery
½ Teaspoon Of Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
¾ Teaspoon Of Sea Salt

Combine the pancetta and the olive oil in a large pot. Cook on low heat until the pancetta becomes crispy. Add the potatoes and cook on medium low heat stirring frequently for three minutes. Add the onion, the tomatoes, the celery, the garlic, the sea salt, and the red pepper flakes. Continue to cook on medium low heat while stirring frequently until the potatoes are tender but not falling apart. Taste and add more sea salt and/or red pepper flakes, if desired.

In the meantime, cook the shells in a pot of boiling, salted water according to the package instructions. Before draining the pasta, remove one cup of the pasta cooking water and set it aside.

Drain the pasta well in a colander when cooked al dente (tender but still firm to the bite). Add the cooked pasta and the pasta water to the pot with the potatoes, tomatoes, and the olive oil. Cook on medium heat while stirring for two minutes until the sauce thickens slightly and then coats all of the shells. Add the chopped parsley and mix well. Serve with grated cheese.

Basil, Parsley, And Peanut Pesto

This pesto is great on spaghetti or any cooked vegetable.

Twenty-Four Large Fresh Basil Leaves (Without Stems)
Twelve Fresh Italian Parsley Leaves (Without Stems)
A Tablespoon Of Grated Parmesan Cheese
A Tablespoon Of Unsalted Peanuts
A Minced Garlic Clove
¼ Cup Of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ Teaspoon Of Sea Salt
A Pinch Of Ground Black Pepper

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until a smooth paste is formed. If the mixture appears too thick, add some more olive oil and pulse again to achieve the desired consistency. Taste and add more sea salt and/or black pepper, if desired.

Braised Pork Shanks Osso Bucco Style

Four Pork Shanks
¼ Cup Of Roughly Chopped Red Onion
A Minced Garlic Clove
Two Fresh Italian Parsley Stalks
A Fresh Rosemary Stalk
Two Whole Fresh Basil Leaves
Two Fresh Thyme Stalks
A Cup Of Dry Red Wine (Select One That You Would Drink)
A Cup Of Tomato Sauce (You Can Use Your Favorite Jarred Sauce Or You Can Make My Recipe For Marinara Sauce Published On This Web Site 10/27/10)
A Teaspoon And A Pinch Of Sea Salt, Divided
¼ Teaspoon And A Pinch Of Ground Black Pepper, Divided
Two Tablespoons Of Olive Oil

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Season the shanks on both sides with a teaspoon of the sea salt and ¼ teaspoon of the ground black pepper. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven on medium high heat. Add the shanks to the pot. Brown the shanks on all sides. Transfer the pork shanks to a plate.

Turn the heat down to medium. Add a pinch of sea salt, a pinch of ground black pepper, the red onion and the garlic to the pot. Cook while stirring for one minute. Add the red wine. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen the brown bits that have accumulated. Add the tomato sauce, the parsley stalks, the rosemary stalk, the basil leaves, and the thyme stalks. Stir well. Return the pork shanks to the pot along with any of the meat juices that are on the plate.

Cover and place the pot into the preheated oven. Bake for two hours removing the lid for the last thirty minutes of cooking time. Serve with polenta, rice, or pasta.