Blog Posts by Chow Ciao

  • Fabio's Microwave Secrets: Easy Roasted Garlic

    Click here for more videos from Chow Ciao! with Fabio Viviani!

    Your microwave can be used for so much more than just popcorn and leftovers! Oven-roasting garlic is easy enough, but it can take nearly an hour and heat up the whole house, so this summer, why not save some time with Chef Fabio's easy microwave method? This softened, mellowed version of garlic is perfect for any recipe calling for roasted cloves.

    Culinary tips:
    -Microwave ovens vary in power; be sure to stay close by when making this recipe for the first time in order to avoid burning your garlic.
    -Don't peel the cloves: simply remove the papery skin that comes off with ease.

    Make roasted garlic in minutes!

    Recipe by Fabio Viviani
    Yield: 1 head of roasted garlic

    1 head garlic, peeled of excess outer-layer skin
    3-4 tbsp. warm water
    1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
    kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

    Place the head of garlic, root-side up, in a very small microwave-safe bowl. We recommend Pyrex.
    Top with enough water to

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  • Fabio's Chicken Gumbo

    Click here for more videos from Chow Ciao! with Fabio Viviani!

    If you've never had Gumbo, head to the south for soup as Fabio takes on classic New Orleans cuisine with a one-pot, easy recipe. Serve over white rice for a heartier meal. No alligators allowed!

    Culinary tips:
    -Everything starts with the roux (cooked fat and flour), so it's important to cook it low and slow for best results. It's a great base for many Creole recipes.
    -Using flavorful boneless chicken thighs keeps this recipe affordable, and makes it much easier than using chicken on the bone. Save the breasts for another day.
    -Filé powder is a staple of Creole and Cajun cuisine. Made from the ground leaves of the sassafras plant, it adds great flavor and helps as a thickening agent.

    Fabio's Classic Chicken Gumbo


    Recipe by Fabio Viviani
    Yield: 6-8 servings

    2 tsp. vegetable oil
    1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cubed
    all-purpose flour for dusting
    1 lb. Andouille sausage, cut into ¼"

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  • Fabio's Fifteen Minute Spaghetti

    An amazing and flavorful spaghetti sauce comes together in less than 15 minutes with Fabio's easy Romesco sauce. This one is vegetarian-friendly and also full of complex flavors, with just a little bit of heat. Featuring special guest, Stevie Ryan of VH1's new series, Stevie TV.

    Culinary tips:
    -Romesco sauce is a traditional Italian sauce made with vegetables that are first pan fried to release the flavors and then blended to make a smooth sauce. Blenders are a quick solution to make complex sauces easy.
    -Using day-old bread in your sauce is a great way to thicken it and give it a great texture. It's also a great way to use up the bread!
    -Contents Under Pressure: when blending hot ingredients such as Romesco sauce, steamy pressure can build up in the jar. Be careful when handling and removing the lid.
    -Cook your pasta al dente for best results. This is typically 1-2 minutes less than the box will instruct.

    Fabio's Fifteen-Minute Pasta: Spaghetti Romesco

    Recipe by Fabio Viviani

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  • Fabio's Burgers and Dogs

    Fabio takes on hamburgers and hot dogs with spectacular results, and shows easy tips on how to set up your charcoal grill for awesome summer barbecues. Step up your game this grill season and turn up the heat with Fabio's awesome BBQ recipes! Featuring special guest, Dean McDermott.

    Fabio's Burgers and Dogs
    Culinary tips:

    • Simple foods don't have to be bland just because you're cooking on the grill. Seasoning and sauces add flavor to everything: add grilled, chopped veggies to hot dogs, or dress up burgers with a great barbecue sauce.
    • Fabio's simple charcoal grilling tips will help you cook everything to perfection.
      • Stack your coals into a pyramid before lighting them. This maximizes the heat you'll get out of them. When they are burning white, spread the coals out to create more surface area to cook.
      • Don't overuse lighter fluid. The flames may look pretty, but you want hot, radiant coals, not a fireball, which will burn your food on the outside and leave it raw on
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  • Fabio's Ultimate Veggie Lasagna

    Fabio goes to the garden to take lasagna over the top for the ultimate Italian family meal. Batch cook this one and make enough to feed yourselves all summer. Also, need to know tips & tricks to help you avoid the 5 most common mistakes made when cooking lasagna!

    Culinary tips:

    -Most common mistake people use with dry noodles is to use them! For perfect lasagna, use fresh noodles in large sheets. Fresh noodles are growing in availability in American markets and can be found in your grocer's refrigerator section.

    -Simple tip for perfectly moist lasagna? Grill your veggies first for great texture, more flavor, and less water. This is also a great way to transform leftover veggies!

    -Since vegetables hold so much water, use a thick sauce to avoid an overabundance of moisture.

    Fabio's Ultimate Veggie Lasagna


    Recipe by Fabio Viviani

    Yield: 6-8 servings


    1 batch Fabio's fresh pasta dough, rolled into large sheets

    1 pound fresh portabella mushrooms, cleaned with stems removed

    1 ea. green bell

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  • Mother's Day Menu: Easy Red Wine Risotto with Short Ribs

    For Mother's Day, Fabio whips up a fantastic Italian dinner to indulge the women in his life: his risotto with short ribs and red wine sauce. With a special appearance by Fabio's Mom.

    Culinary tips:
    -Risotto is easy when you add liquid in small amounts, reduce, then replenish with another small amount. Though it keeps you next to the pot, this method gives you the best texture and flavor and you don't have to stir all the time.
    -Ask your butcher to cube your short ribs to minimize your work!
    -Don't use water to make risotto. Instead, use flavorful liquids such as wine, broth, or stock. Your tongue will thank you.
    -When making risotto, measurements are a guideline. The basic rule of thumb: add just enough liquid to cover the rice.

    Fabio's Drunken Risotto with Short Ribs


    Recipe by Fabio Viviani
    Yield: 6 servings

    2 tbsp. unsalted butter
    1 lb. boneless beef short ribs, cut into 1/3 inch cubes
    kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
    ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
    ½ cup

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  • Fabio's Easy Baked Pasta

    After completing a rigorous training session with the men of Los Angeles Task Force 94, Chef Fabio heads to the firehouse kitchen to share the secrets of his tasty prosciutto-filled manicotti. This delicious baked pasta is an easy way to make dinner for the whole family and then some. With special guests Firehouse 94 Task Force, LAFD.

    Culinary tips:

    PASTA 101: Do not overcook the pasta shells. Not only will they cook more in the oven, but if over-cooked, they will be very hard to fill.

    No piping bag needed: roll filling into cigar-shaped tubes for easy assembly of your manicotti.

    Recipe by Fabio Viviani
    Yield: 4-6 servings

    1 Lb. manicotti pasta
    15-oz. container whole-milk ricotta cheese
    ½ c. mozzarella cheese
    ½ c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus an additional ¼ cup
    1 large egg
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    5 oz. prosciutto, chopped
    1 1/2 c. Fabio’s Marinara sauce
    fresh basil leaves

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and Read More »from Fabio's Easy Baked Pasta
  • Steak au Poivre

    If beef is what's for dinner, let Fabio show you how to create theultimate pepper steak. This elegant dishcomes together in less than 30 minutes, and is sure to impress. With special guest JOELLE CARTER, from“Justified” on FX.

    -Bring steaks to room temperature and patdry of all surface moisture to ensure a perfectly crispy crust.

    -While Fabio uses the traditional filetmignon in this recipe, you can easily substitute a New York Strip, ribeye, oreven sirloin.  Just make sure your steaksare thick!

    -Use a cast-iron pan instead of non-stickfor proper browning of your steaks.

    -If you fear the flambé, simply remove thepan from the heat when adding the cognac. Stir to incorporate and allow the flammable fumes to dissipate, thenreturn to heat to finish cooking.

    Steak au Poivre

    Recipe by FabioViviani

    2 6-oz filet mignonsteaks, ¾”-1” thick

    2 Tbsp. cracked black peppercorns

    1 Tbsp. kosher salt

    1 tablespoon light olive oil

    ½ cup beef stock

    ¼ cup cognac or brandy

    ½ tbsp. prepared Dijon mustard

    4 tbsp. heavy

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  • 5-Ingredient Chocolate Cookies

    These super-easy, fast-baking cookies come together in less than 15 minutes.  

    Culinary tips:

    • Keep mixer on low.  Over-mixing these cookies will make them chewy.
    • Using a cold egg is okay in this recipe, because the stand mixer will quickly bring it to room temperature!
    • No leavening agent required.  The chocolate hazelnut spread and flour combined with one egg come together in the oven in 10 minutes.
    5-Ingredient Cookies
    Recipe by Fabio Viviani
    Yield: 12-18 cookies, depending on scoop size

    1 cup chocolate hazelnut spread, like Nutella
    2 tbsp. brown sugar
    1 egg
    ¾ cup flour
    coarse sea salt

    Preheat oven to 350F.
    In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, combine Nutella, brown sugar, and egg.
    Mix on low speed, until blended.
    Slowly add the flour and mix just until a dough is formed.  Do NOT over-mix.
    Scoop cookies onto a sheet tray lined with parchment paper.  Top each with a sprinkle of sea salt.
    Bake for 10 minutes.
    Cool cookies before removing from sheet tray.


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  • Fabio's Eggs for Dinner

    Brinner? Fabio’s honeyed ham steak & fried eggs with green beans is a fantastic, easy egg recipe that’s good enough for dinner if you can’t get around to it at brunch. Plus, Fabio’s simple test to check the freshness of eggs in your refrigerator, and a sure-fire way to tell when your eggs are finished, so you don’t over-cook them.

    Culinary tips:

    • The freshest eggs have very small pockets of air inside of them, so if you drop one in a bowl of water, it should sink to the bottom and lay on its side.  As the egg ages, more air enters the shell, and a less-fresh egg will sink, but stand straight up.  A rotten egg will have so much air inside, it will float to the surface.
    • A perfectly cooked fried egg will easily detach from a non-stick pan.
    • Finish your green beans in the same pan as the ham steak for added flavor.
    EGGS FOR DINNER (Honeyed Ham and Fried Eggs)
    Recipe by Fabio Viviani

    1/2 lb. fresh green beans
    3 slices ¼” thick ham steak
    1 tbsp. honey
    1/2 tbsp. butter
    1 tbsp. olive oil,
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