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Archive for the ‘Best Italian Chef’ Category

Best Italian Chef: Behind the Scenes

Written on June 19, 2014

As you may recall, Isabel M. from New York is our reigning Best Italian Chef grand prize winner. She’s well-known by us and our Chefs for this winning recipe. Take a look at some of our behind the scenes shots from our video shoot this week:

Best Italian Chef: Behind the Scenes

It was a pleasure to meet and work with Isabel. She and Chef Jeff Mann are two naturals on camera. Look for Isabel’s dish (and maybe some photos of her best Italian Chef grand prize trip to Italy) this July. Stay tuned for more details!

Best Italian Chef Behind the Scenes2

Best Italian Chef Behind the Scenes3

We invite you to the warm atmosphere at Maggiano’s Little Italy for your next meal or special occasion. We also invite you to like us on Facebook – for every new “like” we will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish® through July 2nd, 2014, up to $25,000! Join our E-club, follow us on InstagramTwitter and Pinterest, and watch us on YouTube for more chef tips, recipes and ideas.

Between 4/24 – 7/2/2014, Maggiano’s Little Italy will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish from each select menu item, 50¢ per lemonade, $5 from every Meal for Two and 100% of each Star Card sale, with a minimum guarantee of $150,000 from all in-restaurant promotions and donate $1 to Make-A-Wish for each new Facebook Like, up to $25,000. For more information, visit wish.org

 

3rd Annual Best Italian Chef Winner

Written on March 5, 2014

Congratulations Isabel and thank you to all of the fans and supporters for voting Orecchiette with Scallops and Leeks onto our features menu later this year. Here’s the recipe for you to recreate this winning dish at home:

Best Italian Chef Orrechiete

Recipe & Instructions
Drizzle olive oil
1 leek, cleaned & sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes
Salt & pepper to taste
¼ cup white wine
½ cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 lb orecchiette
1 lb sea scallops

Cook pasta al dente. In a sauté pan, drizzle olive oil and sauté leeks for a couple of minutes, add garlic, red pepper, salt, pepper, wine, broth and cream. Simmer to thicken. Salt and pepper scallops and sear in hot pan with oil. Mix pasta and sauce, place in dish, top with scallops.

A special congratulations goes to our runners up for submitting wonderful dishes that you can also try at home:
2nd place – Pollo di Trifone
3rd place – Garlic Shrimp & Shells
4th place – Pesto Cavatappi with Ricotta, Peas & Prosciutto
5th place – Creamy Shrimp Saffron Risotto with Wilted Baby Spinach
6th place – Fettuccine Fanelli

We also want to thank those of you who voted. The ten randomly selected winners below will receive a $50 gift card:

Sarah Maggitt
Johnnie Saunders
Sowmya Nanjaiah
Ruth Pelfrey
Brian DeCataldo
Maggie May
Pamela Bolin
Dee Heszler
Bob Edland
Brian Roe

If you’ve won, please email us (from the email address that links to your Facebook and Best Italian Chef vote) at maggianos.socialmedia@brinker.com with your name and mailing address.

 

Best Italian Chef Finalist: Fettuccine Fanelli

by John F. - Pflugerville, TX | Written on February 17, 2014

Fettuccine Fanelli is a different take on Fettuccine Alfredo. While an Alfredo sauce is thick and creamy, I wanted a thinner more flavorful sauce that delicately coheres to the pasta. A wonderful combination of shallots, garlic, baby spinach, white wine, heavy cream, chicken, and mushrooms build an elegant yet hardy and satisfying dish sure to please the palate of the masses.

Best Italian Chef Fettuccine Fanelli

Vote for this dish!

As far back as I can remember food has been an integral part of growing up with my Mexican-Italian family in El Paso, TX. Every family gathering signifies Thanksgiving for us where we are thankful for the love and bond that we share while at the same time indulging in fine cuisine. My momma (Nona to the grandchildren) is the Executive Chef of our family’s home kitchen and has become a master of infusing food from both the Mexican and Italian cultures. She taught me that there were no rules and creativity is what makes cooking a form of art. My love for cooking made it easy to soak up what Nona has taught me and has stayed with me for many years. For the past 22 years, I have lived in Austin, TX and have been blessed with a whole new family consisting of my closest friends. I quickly became the one hosting the gatherings sharing with my friends the love that Nona has taught me. I have become the Executive Chef of my home kitchen now – well at least until Nona comes to town!

Recipe
6 oz. Barilla fettuccine noodles
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 boneless (trimmed) chicken thighs
1 cup quartered crimini mushrooms
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1 cup whole baby spinach
1 1/2 ounces of finely chopped basil
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup of dry white wine
1/2 cup shaved parmigiano-reggiano
1 whole head of garlic
Sea salt
Black pepper

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente, stirring occasionally.
Season both sides of the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
Heat extra virgin olive oil on high in a large sauce pan.
Sear both sides of the chicken thighs and remove from the pan onto a clean cutting board.
Add the garlic and shallots.
De-glaze the pan with the white wine.
Add the heavy whipping cream, mushrooms, and spinach to the pan.
Dice the semi-cooked chicken thighs and add to the sauce.
Simmer on high for about 15 minutes stirring occassionally.
Sauce is ready when it coats the back of a spoon (season to taste).
Roasted Garlic
Pre-heat the oven to 385 degrees.
Slice the tips off of the head of garlic, drizzle olive oil over the top and wrap in foil.
Roast for about 20 minutes in the oven until the cloves are tender.
Presentation
Combine with Barilla pasta in a large serving dish and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Coarsely shave parmigiano-reggiano over the dish. Serve with focaccia bread, slathered with roasted garlic and extra virgin olive oil.


Best Italian Chef Finalist: Orecchiette with Scallops and Leeks

by Isabel M. - Poughkeepsie, NY | Written on February 17, 2014

Subtle flavors come together to create a rich luxurious pasta dish. With simple preparation, you can feel special while dining on this creamy, flavorful scallop and pasta creation.

Best Italian Chef Orrechiete

Watch the video

I love to entertain and have dinner parties often. One evening, we had friends coming over and I almost forgot! So I made a challenge: to come up with a dish using ingredients I already had on hand. I didn’t want to go to the store. Luckily, I am a freezer full kind of girl! That’s how Orecchiette with Scallops and Leeks was born.

Recipe
Drizzle Olive Oil
1 Leek, cleaned & sliced
2 Cloves garlic, sliced
1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes
Salt & pepper to taste
1/4 Cup white wine
1 /2 Cup chicken broth
1 Cup heavy cream
1 Pound Orecchiette
1 Pound Sea Scallops

Cook pasta al dente. In a sauté pan, drizzle olive oil and sauté leeks for a couple of minutes, add garlic, red pepper, salt, pepper, wine, broth and cream. Simmer to thicken. Salt and pepper scallops and sear in hot pan with oil. Mix pasta and sauce, place in dish, top with scallops.

Reserve your table now to try Isabel’s Scallop Orecchiette. We invite you to the warm atmosphere at Maggiano’s Little Italy for your next meal or special occasion. We also invite you to join our E-club, follow us on InstagramTwitter and Pinterest, and watch us on YouTube for more chef tips, recipes and ideas.