Ciao Bello restaurant is participating in Houston Restaurant Week between August 1 and 21. Executive chef Michael Dei Maggi shows food radio talk show host Cleverley Stone how to make two dishes that are on the menu for Houston Restaurant Week including Margherita Pizza as an appetizer and Jeff’s Chicken for an entree.
These dishes are part of the three course dinners that are available at Ciao Bello during Houston Restaurant Week, which benefits the Houston Food Bank.
For more information about food, wine and dining in Houston, catch Cleverley’s radio show on Saturdays at Noon on KIKK-Talk 650 AM. (By the way, she gives out free restaurant gift certificates on every radio show!)
By Tony Vallone
1.5 ozs Honey
1 oz Yeast
1 oz Salt
1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 cup 105 degree water
4 lbs All Purpose Flour
1 16 oz can Italian Peeled Tomatoes, crushed
4 T Oregano, Dry Mexican
2 T Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Mozzarella Cheese, Fresh
Pizza Dough Prep
1. Place the yeast 1 tsp of sugar, 1 cup warm water, and honey into the bowl of mixer. Allow 10-15 mins for yeast to activate.
2. Add remaining wet ingredients to mixer bowl, and incorporate. In a separate bowl, mix together all dry ingredients.
3. Slowly add the dry ingredient to wet, on low speed setting with dough hook attachment.
4. When all ingredients are mixed together, turn speed up to medium and work 5 minutes.
5. Remove and place in a warm environment, covered, and allow 45 mins to rise.
6. Punch down and shape dough into formed balls. Reserve
Pizza Sauce Prep
1. Add all ingredients in a medium sauce pan, bring to a boil, and turn off.
2. Allow sauce to cool to room temperature before placing in a refrigerated environment.
Pizza Margherita Dish Assembly
1. Roll 4 oz dough ball extremely thin, using a floured rolling pin on a floured surface.
2. Preheat oven to 450-500 degrees.
3. Place an upside down sheet pan or pizza stone on middle rack of the oven and allow to preheat to temperature.
4. Lightly dust your pizza peel with a fine layer of semolina.
5. Place the dough on semolina dusted surface.
6. Top dough with 1.5-2 ozs of pizza sauce, spread evenly with the back of a spoon, being extremely careful not to rip the dough.
7. Place 2-3 ozs of hand shredded mozzarella on the top of sauce.
8. Scatter paper thin slices of Roma tomatoes on the top of pizza, and place in preheated oven on top of stone or upside down sheet pan.
9. Cook 8-12 minutes depending on oven, dough should be thin, crispy and beginning to brown around the edges.
10. Top finished pizza with torn basil, brush the crust with olive oil or herb oil, and cut as desired.
11. The final step is the most critical, and can potentially ruin your pizza making experience…YOU MUST ENJOY THE PIZZA WITH GOOD FRIENDS AND/OR FAMILY!
By Jeff Vallone
4 ea 6 to 8 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
½ lb log of Cheesygirl Goats Cheese, or soft spreadable chevre (goat cheese)
1 quart marinara sauce
3 red bell peppers
3 yellow bell peppers
1 pint sauce bianco
Extra virgin olive oil blend
2 ea 16 oz cans Italian peeled tomatoes, whole (pomodori pelati)
3 T crushed garlic
½ yellow onion, small dice/mince
2 cups torn basil leaves
2 T sugar, granulated
¼ cup extra virgin blend
½ cup white wine
¼ cup lemon juice
3 shallots, minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb fresh, cold, unsalted butter (cut into pea-sized cubes)
¼ cup cold cream
1. Place a sheet of wax paper or a sheet of plastic wrap on a thick cutting board.
Set one defatted chicken breast on top of the plastic/wax paper, and cover with another sheet of the corresponding material.
2. With the bottom of a sauté pan or meat mallet begin to pound the chicken evenly without tearing the flesh.
The finished product should be approximately 1/16th of an inch thick.
3. Cut the pounded chicken into medallions. Each medallion should weigh 1-1.5 ozs.
4. Dredge the chicken in flour, then egg wash, then seasoned bread crumbs. Ensure even coating
and that no bare spots of chicken are exposed. Set aside.
Marinara Sauce Preparation
1. Open the cans of tomato and place into a large bowl. Crush with your hands, dig in and have fun.
A great activity for your “little helpers.”
2. Place olive oil blend, garlic and onion into a large heavy bottomed stock pot.
Cook over medium low heat until translucent, there should be no color to the onions or garlic.
3. Add tomatoes, stir evenly and begin to simmer over medium low heat. Add a pinch of salt or two, and the granulated sugar.
4. Cook 1.5-2 hours until rich red color, deep, sweet tomato flavor. Finish with pieces of torn basil.
Set aside and enjoy for days to come! PS: this sauce freezes really well, and can be enjoyed for a while to come!!!
Sauce Bianco Preparation
1. In medium sauce pan place lemon juice, white wine, garlic and shallots.
Cook and reduce over medium high heat until thick and syrupy.
2. Take pan off the heat, add the cream and begin to whisk in your cold butter, whipping evenly.
The finished texture should be velvety and buttery, with a bite of citrus acidity.
4. Adjust seasoning with salt, and reserve. DO NOT HOLD HOT, sauce will break up.
This sauce does not refrigerate well, so make immediately prior to use and hold at room temp.
Cooking Chicken & Dish Assembly
1. Pre-heat a heavy bottomed sauté pan over medium high heat.
2. Place roughly ¼ of an inch of blended oil in the pan and heat until approximately 350 degrees.
3. Take the breaded chicken cutlets and drop in the oil. Cook 2-4 minutes on each side until the chicken is evenly browned.
Remove from oil and place on paper towel to drain dry.
4. Sautee red and yellow peppers, cut into 1×1 pieces. When peppers are soft and beginning to take color, add the prepared marinara sauce.
5. Place crispy browned chicken medallions into an oven proof Pyrex casserole dish. Top chicken with pepper marinara sauce.
6. Place a thin stripe of goat cheese on top of the chicken medallions.
7. Preheat broiler, and slide the casserole dish under the direct heat, 1-4 minutes to properly soften the goats cheese. DO NOT BURN.
8. When the cheese is melted remove and top with a thin drizzle of sauce bianco, chopped parsley and crushed red pepper, if desired.
9. NOW ENJOY THIS VALLONE FAMILY FAVORITE WITH YOUR LOVED ONES, in the comfort of your own home!