Blog Posts by Chow Ciao

  • Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

    From his Chicago restaurant, Fabio takes on one of America’s all time favorite comfort foods, deep dish pizza.

    Culinary tips:

    • DON’T SOG OUT A GREAT CRUST: Since the sauce goes on top, use drier cheeses like part-skim mozzarella or provolone to avoid a soupy slice.
    • Make sure your tomato sauce is reduced so it’s thick and strongly seasoned to avoid a watery pizza.
    • Turn up the heat: bake your pizza in a very hot oven for best texture and quicker results than you’d imagine!
    • Doctor up your toppings to add more flavor: roasting peppers or caramelizing onions can take your pizza to the next level.

    CHICAGO DEEP DISH PIZZA
    Recipe by Fabio Viviani
    Yield: 1 9-inch pizza

    Ingredients:
    1/2 batch of Fabio’s Pizza Dough (about 1 lb. of dough)

    For the Sauce:
    1 14.5-oz can crushed plum tomatoes
    1 tbsp. fresh chopped garlic
    1/8 tsp. fennel seeds
    1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
    1/2 tsp. white sugar
    1 tsp. dried basil
    1/2 tsp. dried thyme
    1/2 tsp. dried oregano
    1tbsp. dry red wine
    1/2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
    kosher salt and Read More »from Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
  • Kitchen Secrets Revealed: Peel Onions Without Tears

    Fabio puts several methods to the test in order to find the best method to avoid crying when chopping onions.

    Tips:

    • Refrigerating your onions may reduce the fumes, but the tears will still come.
    • Lighting a candle near your cutting board is not only dangerous, but it simply doesn’t burn off the fumes!
    • The only surefire way to prevent the irritating fumes of an onion from getting in your eyes is simply to protect your eyes.  Try Fabio’s goggle technique and discover the joy of no more tears!!
    Read More »from Kitchen Secrets Revealed: Peel Onions Without Tears
  • Kitchen Secrets Revealed: Peeling Garlic


    Peeling garlic doesn’t have to be a smelly challenge with Fabio’s super-simple technique!

    Tips:
    • Soaking garlic just makes the peels wetter, which isn’t any easier than dry cloves.
    • Smashing garlic definitely makes peeling easier, but does nothing to help you avoid stinky hands.
    • The two-bowl method not only strips your garlic quickly and easily, it leaves no oils on your fingers and can be used to peel multiple cloves at a time!
     
    MANGIA!Read More »from Kitchen Secrets Revealed: Peeling Garlic
  • Easy Italian Pastry

    You asked for it, and Fabio delivers!  Fabio shows some love to his fans and prepares a recipe chosen by his Facebook followers – homemade creamy ricotta cheese, which he transforms into a simple Italian dessert, cannoli with chocolate chips.
     
    Tips:

    • Ricotta is a cheese traditionally made in Italy with unpasteurized milk.  By using whole milk and cream, you can approximate the flavor of Italian ricotta safely in America.
    • The process of making homemade cheese requires patience.  Once the milk reaches a good temperature (185 degrees Farenheit), add the acidity and a pinch of salt and leave it alone!  Remember, homemade ricotta has no preservatives, so it needs to be consumed quickly.
    • Cannoli are simple Italian pastry shells filled with sweetened ricotta.  Once you have your cheese, the dessert comes together in just a few minutes.
    Cannoli with Homemade Creamy Ricotta Cheese
    Recipe by Fabio Viviani
    Yield: 2 cups Ricotta, 4 Cannoli
     
    Ingredients:
    For the Ricotta:
    4 cups whole milk
    2 cups Read More »from Easy Italian Pastry
  • Restaurant-Style Steak and Potatoes

    When people come to a restaurant, they come hungry.  So, treat them the same when they come to your house for a dinner party.  Using his restaurant as example, Fabio offers easy advice to create an elevated dining experience.

    Tips:
    •    PERFECTLY COOKED STEAK is achieved by searing the meat in a cast iron pan at a high temperature to give it a nice crust.  Finishing it off in the oven ensures a perfect, pink center.
    •    DON’T HAVE BORING POTATOES!  Blanche them first (cut and boil them for 5 minutes to make them tender) then season them up and bake them with herbs for a restaurant quality side dish.
    •    PLATE LIKE A ROCK STAR.  Presentation is everything, so slice open the steak to show it off and arrange it on top of the potatoes.  Height is impressive.


    Rib-Eye Steaks
    Recipe by Fabio Viviani

    Yield: 4 servings

    Ingredients:

    4 6 oz. center-cut rib-eye steaks
    kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    2 tbsp. light olive oil
    extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
    2 tbsp. fresh rosemary, finely

    Read More »from Restaurant-Style Steak and Potatoes
  • Italian Stuffed Chicken

    You haven’t lived until you’ve tried Fabio Viviani’s Saltimbocca with prosciutto. With special guest, Fabio Lanzoni.

    Tips:
    •    Try this easy Italian recipe to take boring chicken breasts over the top.
    •    Smart secret to evenly cooked chicken breast:  Use a meat mallet to pound the chicken breast with two pieces of plastic sheet to make them even thickness and mess free.
    •     The trick to cooking with wine:  You may not always drink the wine you cook with, but always cook with wine that you would drink.  To avoid metallic pan sauces, do not use cast iron pans when making sauces with wine. Use non-reactive pans or non-stick. 

    Chicken Saltimbocca
    Recipe by Fabio Viviani

    Yield: 6 servings

    Ingredients:

    6  (6-oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to ¼-inch thickness
    kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    12 fresh sage leaves
    12 slices Italian prosciutto
    3  tbsp    extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
    ¼ cup    fresh-squeezed lemon juice
    ½ cup    chicken broth
    ½ cup dry white

    Read More »from Italian Stuffed Chicken
  • Fabio's Green Eggs and Ham


    No it’s not crazy, it’s real and it’s delicious. Fabio sneaks veggies into a classic breakfast for kids of any age.

    Tips:
    • Chef’s trick to hide the greens.  If you blend it right, spinach’s creamy texture is something kids will love.
    • Easy egg cooking secrets: Scramble the eggs on a low heat, continuously stirring them.  Keep things moving in order to prevent the ingredients from separating, sinking to the bottom of the pan and scorching.
    • Season eggs at the end, once they're set. Seasoning with salt too soon breaks down the proteins and makes them watery.

    Green Eggs and Ham
    Recipe by Fabio Viviani

    Yield: 2 servings

    Ingredients:

    ½ tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
    3 slices prosciutto, chopped
    ½ cup frozen baby spinach, thawed completely and squeezed dry of water
    2 tbsp. milk
    8 leaves fresh basil, torn
    4 large eggs
    ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
    kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Method:

    Heat oil in a medium non-stick skillet over low heat.
    Cook chopped prosciutto until crispy, about 5 minutes.
    RemoveRead More »from Fabio's Green Eggs and Ham
  • Italian Chicken Fried Steak: Beef Milanese

    Fabio's classic Italian recipe provides decadent American comfort.

    Tips:

    • How to work with cheap cuts of meat: Pounding cheaper meats not only tenderizes them, it literally stretches your dollar. Pound meat between pieces of plastic to minimize mess and food borne illness.
    • Tricks to perfect chicken fried steak. Add salt to your egg wash to help break down the collagen and promote better breading. Panko (Japanese) breadcrumbs absorb less oil and gives the best crunch.

    Fabio's Beef MilaneseBEEF MILANESE and SALAD

    Recipe by Fabio Viviani

    Yield: 4 servings

    Ingredients:

    1 ½ cups flour

    2 cups Panko breadcrumbs

    3 large eggs

    pinch salt

    4 (6-oz.) sirloin steaks, pounded to ¼-inch thickness

    ¼ cup Extra-light olive oil

    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

    ½ lemon, cut into wedges


    Method:

    Prepare your breading station:

    Add flour and panko breadcrumbs in two separate, shallow dishes.

    In a third dish, beat the eggs with a pinch of salt.

    Dip each steak in

    Read More »from Italian Chicken Fried Steak: Beef Milanese
  • Fabio's Date Night Survival Guide: Cocktails


    While Fabio's date waits for him at an upscale bar, he gives us the skinny on how to make delicious low-calorie, scandalous drinks.


    Tips:

    • Skip the sugary syrups and reduce calories with natural flavor. Stevia, agave and pomegranate syrups all have great sweetening qualities without excessive sugar.
    • Muddling fruits and vegetables into a drink (mashing them up and straining them), imbues fresh flavors without adding calories.
    • To take champagne or sparkling wine over the top, combine it with absinthe.

    SMART & SEXY COCKTAILS

    Recipes courtesy of The Library Bar at Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

    Currant AttractionCurrant Attraction

    Yield: 1 cocktail

    Ingredients:

    5-7 red and black currants (substitute: raspberries and blueberries, respectively)

    4 wild arugula leaves

    ¾ oz. fresh lime juice

    ¾ oz. agave nectar

    juice of one blood orange

    2 oz. tequila

    Method:

    In a cocktail shaker, add the first five ingredients in layers, in order.

    Muddle all the ingredients together.

    Add tequila and 2 cups ice.

    Cover the shaker and

    Read More »from Fabio's Date Night Survival Guide: Cocktails
  • Fabio's Easy Minestrone

    Looking for a comforting warm way to fill up on everything that's good? Try Fabio's take on classic Minestrone.

    Tips:

    • Super charge your soup! Greens are an easy way to add flavor, iron, fiber, and other vital nutrients to your food. Even if your kids pick out the greens, your broth will still be full of good stuff.
    • For best results cut all your veggies (whichever you choose) the same size before cooking.
    • Easy stock secrets: Vegetable stock is a flavorful way to use up unsightly ends of carrots, onions, celery, and herbs.

    Minestrone Soup

    Recipe by Fabio Viviani

    Yield: 6 servings

    Ingredients:

    3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

    1 cup diced yellow onion

    ½ cup diced red onion

    3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

    1 cup diced carrots

    1 cup diced celery

    1 cup diced fennel

    1 cup diced red potatoes

    1 cup diced zucchini

    ½ bunch Swiss chard, bottom stems removed

    ½ bunch kale, bottom stems removed

    ½ bunch collard greens, bottom stems removed

    ½ bunch fresh spinach, bottom stems removed

    kosher salt and

    Read More »from Fabio's Easy Minestrone

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