Fabio kicks off going back to school with the best chicken parmesan from his childhood. The secret is a perfectly fried chicken breast that stays crisp under mounds of parmesan, marinara sauce and silky mozzarella.
Read More »from Fabio's Ultimate Chicken Parm
• Use a meat mallet to pound your chicken evenly. For best and easy results, cover the chicken breasts with plastic wrap before pounding.
• Bread the chicken in flour before the egg. The flour will stick to the chicken and help you build a spectacular coating with the eggs and the Panko breadcrumbs.
• Fry the chicken thoroughly to build a crisp "juice jail" for the pounded chicken. You want a nice brown color for ultimate crispness. The secret so it won't get soggy underneath the marinara? Cover the fried chicken with a blanket of Parmesan cheese before putting the marinara sauce on top of it. The cheese will protect the fried chicken, giving you a perfect texture.
Recipe by Fabio Viviani
Yields: 2-4 servings
2 cups light olive
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Fabio kicks off going back to school with the best chicken parmesan from his childhood. The secret is a perfectly fried chicken breast that stays crisp under mounds of parmesan, marinara sauce and silky mozzarella. Read More »from Fabio's Ultimate Chicken Parm
Fabio reveals how to choose the best squash and restaurant secrets on how to turn it into a perfect buttery textured filling wrapped up in decadent ravioli.
- Spaghetti squash has a unique noodle-like texture makes it a great gluten-free alternative to noodles, but is also delicious simply roasted. It also freezes well!
- Acorn squash tend to be small, making them great for simple roasting with butter.
- Kobocha squash is extremely versatile and can be cut up into strips and baked for a low-carb and delicious French fry.
- Butternut squash has a sweet, nutty flavor, making it great for sweet-savory dishes. Its non-stringy texture makes it perfect for ravioli.
- Pick squashes that feel solid and sound hollow when tapped gently. Acorn and Kobocha squash should be mostly dark green, butternut should be dark tan, and spaghetti should be bright yellow.
- Squash can be stored in a cool dark place for up to six months!
RAVIOLI FILLING 101:
- Add dry,
Fabio and Lou Diamond Phillips rock the kitchen with PENNE ALLA VODKA, featuring a flavorful, simple sauce made in less than 20 minutes. When the spirits start flowing, the flavor and the fun get rolling.
- Penne 101: Penne is perfect for dishes where the sauce is the star! The hollow center fills with sauce, and the angular ends act as simple scoops.
- Cooking with Booze 101: Use alcohol to awaken dormant flavors and enhance them. Vodka is a good ingredient because it imparts depth without flavoring (the way wine would.) Igniting a bit of vodka helps caramelize your sauce. All of the alcohol will never burn off, but most of it will. Make sure to reduce to avoid an overwhelming boozy taste.
- Vodka cream sauce is an extremely versatile sauce and goes great on almost anything. Remember when cooking that vodka lowers the boiling point in cream and cheese sauces.
Penne alla Vodka
Penne alla Vodka
Recipe by Fabio Viviani
When Fabio bathes bone-in chicken legs in his marinara sauce, he comes up winning big game. It's his Chicken Cacciatore, based on the Italian peasant food he ate as a child, and it's so good, so cheap and so easy!
- Chicken 102: Whether braising, stewing, or grilling, chicken legs are a low-cost way to pack your meals with protein, and they're always a hit with kids. Dark meat has more vitamins than white meat, and is typically more flavorful.
- Fabio already taught the secrets of cooking with boneless, so now it's time to conquer bone-in chicken without frying. The secret to great textured chicken skin is to flour the chicken first before frying.
- Onions, mushrooms and olives are a great flavor base to build your Cacciatore sauce. Once they caramelize at a high heat, lower the fire, add the crisped chicken, and braise with red wine and tomato sauce. In less than 30 minutes, you can eat a peasant meal fit for a king!
Fabio takes tomatoes cold for his ultimate Gazpacho, a phenomenally deep-flavored, chilled soup. What's the secret to making soup this good anytime of year? Hint: You don't really need fresh tomatoes!
- Use canned tomatoes for extra flavor and great texture without cooking.
- De-seed hot peppers to control the heat.
- Chill thoroughly to optimize the blending of flavors: since you're not cooking anything, the veggies need time to react to the vinegar, salt, and each other.
- Eat Fresh: gazpacho may not be cooked, but the vinegar will react in such a way that the soup will get "fizzy" and go bad after just a few days.
- Batch-cooking: Gazpacho that's made without bread, like this one, is low in fat and can be easily frozen!
Recipe by Fabio Vivani
Yield: 4 Servings
1 quart tomato juice
2 red bell peppers
1 green jalapeno
1 large English cucumber
20 leaves of fresh basil
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1-2Read More »from The Perfect Chilled Soup
Recipe by Fabio VivianiFoolproof Vegetarian Recipe
Yield: 6-8 servings
light olive oil for frying
2 medium eggplant
3 cups all-purpose flour
6 eggs, beaten
3 cups Panko breadcrumbs
4 4 oz. balls of Buffalo Mozzarella, hand-shredded
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
4 sprigs fresh basil
2 sprigs fresh oregano
extra virgin olive oil
fresh ground black pepper, to tasteEasiest Eggplant Parmigiana
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Heat light oil in a deep sauté pan, over medium high heat.
Peel and slice each eggplant lengthwise into 1" thick pieces.
Bread each piece of eggplant by dredging in flour, then egg wash, then Panko.
Fry each piece of eggplant in oil until golden brown.
To begin layering, start with a small layer of sauce on the bottom of a square baking dish.
Next, layer with fried eggplant, trimming larger pieces to fit.
Top with Parmesan cheese, then shredded Mozzarella, and topRead More »from Ultimate Eggplant Parmesan
To celebrate Italian sports, Fabio makes basil Pesto alla Genovese, great for making anything more Italian. He takes home the gold when he shares secrets to the ultimate Panini flat-pressed sandwich. It's a mouthful to be believed.
- Pesto 101: Another great basic sauce. Taken from the word PESTARE (to crush), pesto comes in many variations, but Pesto alla Genovese is the ORIGINAL.
- It's SO easy to make with a food processor. Pesto also stores easily, just remember to cover with a layer of olive oil to prevent oxidation.
- Good on pasta, bread, pizzas, anything, even with chips and veggies as a dip.
- Panini 101:Simple sandwiches don't need a ton of toppings if you use strong flavors!
- In Italy, panino refers to the type of bread used (small rolls), not the pressing of the sandwich.
- No Panini Press? Place the sandwich in a hot pan, and weigh the sandwich down with another heavy skillet. Flip after a few moments, and repeat.
Only a few simple ingredients melt together for an easy perfect combination
Basil Pesto Panini
Recipe by FabioRead More »from Ultimate Pressed Sandwich
Has your garden left you with more veggies than you can possibly eat? Fabio comes to the rescue with this flavorful cooked vegetable caponata, the ultimate Italian side dish, and shares some easy ways to imbue any veggies with even more flavor.
- Caponata originated out of an abundance of veggies and a desire not to waste them.
- Make veggies taste better by simply cutting them smaller: more surface area is meets the heat, sauces, and/or spices, resulting in more delicious caramelization and exposure to flavors.
- Use vinegar and brown sugar to heighten flavors.
- Dish comes together in less than 20 minutes.
An amazing side dish in less than 20 minutes!Caponata
Recipe by Fabio Viviani
Yield: 4-6 servings
¼ c light olive oil
2 cups carrots, large diced
2 cups onions, large diced
2 cups celery, large diced
3 sprigs thyme
1 whole eggplant, cut into ½ - 1 inch squares
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup green olives, sliced
1 cup pine nuts
2 tbsp. extra virgin oliveRead More »from The Ultimate Italian Side Dish
Tips: Leftovers worth loving don't always do well in the microwave. Fabio makes a classic Italian comfort food, his Arancini, a crispy-creamy, melt-in-your mouth delicacy that's a fun way to dress up leftover risotto.
- Instead of trying to reheat leftovers in the microwave which ruins textures, think about your leftovers as an opportunity to create a new dish with its own elements, and add new textures.
- Arancini is a great example of one Italian staple that's made by transforming another one. "Arancini "literally means "little oranges," a tribute to their size, thick skin, and golden hue.
Arancini (Easy Fried Risotto)
Recipe by Fabio Viviani
Yield: 6-12 pieces
NOTE: Whether you're using leftover Pancetta Risotto or making a fresh batch just so you can make Arancini, be sure to mix in up to one cup of grated Parmesan and up to two cups of green peas before spreading it on a sheet pan to cool.Ingredients:
1 batch Fabio's Pancetta Risotto, modified (seeRead More »from Fried Rice Balls
Fireworks are in the air with Fabio's over the top baby-back ribs with his balsamic BBQ sauce. Learn the secrets to making fall off-the-bone ribs on the grill and celebrate with flavor.
- Baby Back Ribs 101: To avoid drying out your pork ribs, use a dry rub first in the oven. Braising them in beer seals the deal. Wrap in foil and bake first till they are almost done, and finish on the grill to seal in the flavors.
- Grilling tips: Generously brush your wet rub as you grill. Let it coat the ribs as much as possible. Since the ribs are baked through in the oven, you only need to grill 5 to 10 minutes at very high heat to caramelize a delicious crust.
- Balsamic vinegar is a wonderful Italian ingredient that deeply flavors savory dishes, like Fabio's Italian Balsamic BBQ Sauce or Jacopo's refreshing Balsamic martini. The trick is to reduce it to a thick, flavorful base that makes anything a little more Italian.
BBQ Baby Back Ribs
Baby Back Ribs with BalsamicRead More »from BBQ Baby Back Ribs