All posts by dan

Too Chez Chicken Mélange

Too Chez Chicken Mélange
Serves 2
This recipe was a favorite at a restaurant in Novi, Michigan called Too Chez. This bistro style restaurant was a favorite destination for modern "comfort food" dishes and fine wines. You, of course, can add other ingredients to this Melange of ingredients including shrimp, sausage or other vegetables.
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  1. 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil, Extra Virgin
  2. 4 ea. Medium Large (3” diameter) White Mushrooms, cut in 1/4's
  3. 1 8 oz. Chicken Breast, Boneless, Skinless, cut in 1” pieces
  4. 1⁄3 cup Grape Tomatoes, Cut in half
  5. 2 ea. Garlic Cloves, Sliced Thin
  6. 1⁄4 tsp.. Italian Herb Seasoning Blend (Oregano, Basil, Thyme, Rosemary, Marjoram)
  7. 1⁄2 cup Red Skin Potatoes, Pre-Roasted, then cut in 1” pieces
  8. 1 cup Nino's Homemade Hearty French Onion Soup
  9. 1 cup Cornstarch
  10. 1 Tbsp. Water
  11. - Salt & Pepper, To Taste
  12. 1 cup Baby Spinach Leaves, Fresh
  13. 1 Tbsp. Parmesan Cheese, Grated
  1. In a medium size, non- stick fry pan over medium high heat, heat olive oil, then sauté mushrooms until JUST softened.
  2. When mushrooms are browned, add chicken pieces and continue to sauté until the meat is golden and the mushrooms begin to color.
  3. Add tomatoes, Italian herbs, garlic and potatoes. Continue to sauté 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add French onion soup and bring to a simmer.
  5. Mix together cornstarch and water and drizzle slowly into the sautéed mixture until a medium bodied sauce develops. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Turn off heat. Add spinach leaves and toss briefly (leaving the spinach leaves only wilted).
  7. Divide Melange between 2 plates and top with a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese.
Nino Salvaggio

Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan Roulade

Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan Roulade
Serves 2
This recipe takes Eggplant Parmesan to the level of a fine dining entree by adding the savory touch of rosemary and chicken. This dish can be prepped in advance of your meal and each portion layered on a non-stick sheet pan. Just pop the pan in your oven 20 to 30 minutes prior to serving and when thoroughly heated, you're ready to enjoy!
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  1. 1 Lb Chicken Breast
  2. 2 Tbsp. Fresh Rosemary
  3. 1⁄2 tsp. Coarse Black Pepper
  4. 1⁄2 tsp. Thyme
  5. 4 tsp. Olive Oil
  6. 4 each Roma Tomatoes
  7. 12 each Green Onion Stalks
  1. Prepare traditional Eggplant Parmesan Recipe with these additional steps.
  2. Marinate chicken breasts in 2 tablespoons of olive oil with fresh rosemary, thyme and black pepper for 1 hour, then, in a medium hot frying pan or skillet, heat the remaining 2 Tbsp. of olive oil and saute green onions until slightly colored and softened.
  3. Remove the onions from the pan and reserve at room temperature. In that same pan, sear the marinated chicken breasts on medium high heat and then continue to cook over medium heat until breasts are fully cooked through.
  4. Remove the cooked chicken from the pan and allow to rest. Cut the chicken breast into 1/4" to 1/2" strips approximately 4" long.
  5. Place the breaded and fried eggplant slice on a cutting board and place approximately 4 ounces of chicken strips at one end of the eggplant panel. Before rolling up, place 3 green onion stalks and 3 to 4 - 1/4" slices of Roma tomato on top of the chicken strips. Roll forward to create a tight roulade approximately 3" in diameter. Secure with 2 wooden skewers.
  6. Top with Marinara sauce, Mozzarella and Parmesan Cheeses and bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 - 25 minutes until cheese melts. Serve with additional Marinara Sauce.
Nino Salvaggio

Southwest Fajitas

Southwest Fajitas
Serves 6
One of my VERY favorite recipes! You can also substitute thinly sliced beef sirloin for chicken breast. This recipe also can be frozen very successfully and thawed anytime you're in the mood for a taste of the Southwest!
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  1. 2 1⁄2 lbs. Chicken Breast, cut in strips
  2. - Salt & Pepper, To Taste
  3. 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  4. 2 cups Red Bell Peppers, cut 1/4" x 1/4" x 3"
  5. 2 cups Yellow Bell Peppers, cut 1/4" x 1/4" x 3"
  6. 2 cups Green Peppers, cut 1/4" x 1/4" x 3"
  7. 4 cups Onion, cut 1/4" x 1/4" x 3"
  8. 1 cup Southwest Fajita Marinade & Dressing
  9. 16 each Flour Tortilla
  1. Grill meat on open char-grill or sear in saute pan. If grilling, baste meat with some of the fajita marinade while grilling.
  2. Cook meat/shrimp to desired doneness (usually medium well to well done).
  3. In a hot skillet or fry pan, sear peppers, then onions in olive oil until slightly charred and tender.
  4. Cut or slice meats into slender panels, imitating the vegetable sizes and toss with the vegetables.
  5. Heat the Southwest Fajita Marinade (recipe found in Sauces), for one minute in a microwave oven and pour over the fajita mixture, stir.
  6. Serve with flour tortillas and garnishments.
  7. To enhance the flavor of the flour tortillas, place each tortilla over a hot electric or gas burner to brown and slightly char the surface of each tortilla before stuffing and wrapping the fajita mix into each.
  8. Serve with suggested toppings.
Topping Options
  1. Shredded Iceberg Lettuce, Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese, Guacamole, Sour Cream, Salsa
Nino Salvaggio
Recipe for the Southwest Fajita Marinade & Dressing.

Rotisserie Chicken and Dumplings

Rotisserie Chicken and Dumplings
Serves 4
This recipe is a Comfort Food Classic and one you rarely find on a restaurant menu. Go heavy on the gravy and enjoy every spoonful!
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  1. 2 Pints Nino's Homemade Chicken Gravy
  2. 1 cup Chicken Broth or Stock
  3. 1 each Nino's Rotisserie Chicken
  4. 10 oz. Frozen Vegetables
  5. 1 cup Bisquick
  6. 1 Tbsp. Dry Parsley Flakes
  7. 1 cup Milk
  8. - Paprika
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a saucepan, heat Nino's Homemade Chicken Gravy, chicken broth, frozen vegetables and cooked, pulled Rotisserie chicken to a simmer. Pour mixture into an appropriately sized (approximately 9" x 13") oven proof casserole dish to a depth of at least one inch.
  3. Mix together 1/3 cup milk with the Bisquick & dry parsley flakes until a soft dough forms.
  4. Drop dough by 8 spoonfuls directly on top of hot chicken mixture, separating each spoonful from one another.
  5. Sprinkle mixture lightly with paprika, cover the dish lightly with aluminum foil and place in the oven approximately 20 to 25 minutes or until dumplings are firm and cooked through.
  6. Remove from the oven and serve.
Nino Salvaggio

Pulled Rotisserie Chicken Bistro Saute

Pulled Rotisserie Chicken Bistro Saute
Serves 4
One of my "Healthy Meal" favorites. This tried and true standby is chock full of meat, veggies and potato. I also like to add a handful of fresh baby spinach on occasions!
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  1. 1 Rotisserie Chicken, pulled meat, cut in 1" pieces
  2. 1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  3. 1⁄2 each Red Onion, cut in 3/8" strips
  4. 1 Tbsp. Fresh Garlic, sliced
  5. 1⁄2 head Broccoli, cut in florettes
  6. 1 Cup Baby Carrots, cut in half lengthwise
  7. 8 ea. Red Skin Potatoes, cut in half or 3/4" pieces
  8. 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  9. 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning Herbs (dry) or (1/4 tsp. of each - Basil, Oregano, Marjoram, Thyme)
  10. 1 Cup Chicken Broth
  11. 1 Tbsp. Cornstarch
  12. 2 Tbsp. Marsala Wine (optional)
  13. - Salt and Cracked Black Pepper, to taste
  1. Toss together red skin potatoes, 2 Tbsp. olive oil and Italian seasonings and place in a shallow roasting pan or oven-proof dish. Roast potatoes in a 375 F oven approximately 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown and soft. Remove potatoes from the oven and set aside while you begin the saute.
  2. In a medium saute pan over medium high heat, add the 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and when heated, add onions and saute to lightly color, then add the sliced garlic and saute only one minute longer. Add carrots and saute 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Dissolve the cornstarch into the chicken broth and add to the sauteed mixture. Bring the resulting sauce and vegetables to a simmer, then add the broccoli. Reduce sauce to a gentle simmer and stir occasionally until the broccoli is al dente.
  4. Add pulled chicken meat and stir to re-warm and add the (optional) Marsala Wine.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper and plate in a shallow rim soup bowl or a deep welled plate.
  6. Garnish with the roasted potatoes and serve.
Nino Salvaggio

Pete’s “Healthier” Turkey Burrito

Pete's "Healthier" Turkey Burrito
Serves 4
Here's my recipe for a "healthier" burrito. It really doesn't take much time to make this recipe AND if you make double the turkey filling part, then freeze the extra, its even quicker to enjoy this great dish the second time around.
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  1. 2 Tbsp. Canola Oil
  2. 1⁄2 Cup Sweet Onions, chopped
  3. 1⁄4 Cup Bell Pepper, chopped
  4. 1 Tbsp. Garlic, minced
  5. 1 1⁄4 lb. Ground Turkey Meat
  6. 1 Tbsp. Cumin, Ground
  7. 2 Tbsp. Chili Powder, Ground
  8. 1⁄4 tsp. Oregano, crushed
  9. 1 pinch Cayenne Pepper
  10. 1 Tbsp. Tomato Paste (optional)
  11. - Salt & Pepper, to taste
  12. - Filling
  13. 1 Cup Refried Beans (La Preferida Fat Free)
  14. 1⁄3 Cup Salsa (Garden Fresh, Jack's Special Medium)
  15. 8 slices Kraft Singles (Skim Milk American Fat Free, 25 calories per slice)
  16. 4 Flour Tortillas 10" (La Banderita Brand, no Cholesterol, 0g Trans Fats)
  17. - Vegetable Spray, as needed
  18. 2 Cups Enchilada Sauce (La Preferida Red Chile)
  19. 2 Tbsp. Cilantro, chopped (optional)
  20. 1⁄4 Cup Sour Cream, Low Fat (optional)
  1. Make the filling first by sauteing the onion, bell peppers and garlic in the canola oil over medium heat until softened.
  2. Add the ground turkey meat and cook through.
  3. Add the seasonings, tomato paste (optional) and season to your taste with salt & pepper.
  4. Cool this mixture.
  5. Mix together the refried beans and the salsa, season this mixture with salt & pepper.
  6. Pre-heat your oven to 400 F.
  7. To assemble your burritos, place a flour tortilla on a flat work surface and spread 1/4 cup of the refried bean mixture in a vertical stripe approximately 3" wide by 8" tall.
  8. On top of the bean mixture place 2 slices of the cheese, one above the other
  9. Portion approximately 1/2 cup of the turkey mixture at the lower end of the refried bean and cheese ingredients you've laid down (closest to your waist.) The mound of turkey mix should be about 4" x 2" and in a tube-like shape.
  10. Lift up the bottom edge of the flour tortilla closest to you and fold it over the turkey mixture. Next, fold both left and right sides of the flour tortilla over the turkey mixture and roll forward (away from you). You should end up with a roll about 4" x 2 1/2" in diameter.
  11. Repeat with the 3 remaining flour tortillas and place each, seam side down, on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet or baking pan.
  12. Before baking, spray each filled burrito with vegetable spray then place in a 400 F oven and bake approximately 20 minutes or until they are medium golden brown.
  13. Heat the enchilada sauce to a simmer and serve each burrito with a quarter cup of sauce and optionally with a dollop of low fat sour cream and chopped cilantro.
  1. This recipe is a good base, from here you can add ALL sorts of additional ingredients to your burrito like sweet corn, black beans, fresh green onions, more peppers, etc. And you can serve it with shredded iceberg lettuce, Spanish rice, guacamole or more fresh salsa.
Nino Salvaggio
Review Chef Pete’s blog of Healthy Turkey Burritos for more information.

Pan Fried Tuscan Chicken

Pan Fried Tuscan Chicken
Serves 4
The addition of fresh basil, sun-dried tomato and pine nuts turn an ordinary breading into a Tuscan inspired gourmet delicacy. Take special care to gently saute on medium heat so that you do not burn the sun-dried tomato bits. This dish can be served with a tomato pasta sauce, a Creamy Basil sauce or both.
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  1. 4 each Chicken Breasts (8 oz. each), skinless, boneless
  2. 1 Cup All Purpose Flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  3. 2 each Extra Large Eggs
  4. 1⁄2 Cup Milk
  5. 3 Cups Salvaggio's Seasoned Breadcrumbs
  6. 1 Cup Fresh Basil, finely julienned
  7. 1⁄2 Cup Sun Dried Tomato, finely julienned
  8. 1⁄2 Cup Pine Nuts, toasted and chopped
  9. 2 Cups Vegetable or Canola Oil, to fry
  1. Trim chicken breasts and pound uniformly flat between 2 sheets of waxed paper. Each breast should be approximately 3/8 to 1/2 inch thick.
  2. Dredge each breast in flour and shake off excess. Set aside.
  3. Have ready in a shallow bowl, an egg wash made from the milk with the eggs beaten in.
  4. Have ready in a separate shallow bowl, the coarse, fresh bread crumbs sprinkled on the surface with a little of the fresh julienne basil, sun dried tomato and chopped, toasted pine nuts.
  5. Take one of the floured chicken breasts and dunk in the egg wash to entirely coat. Then lift up, draining the excess egg wash off, then pressing down onto the bread crumbs. To bread opposite side, lift breast off of the crumbs RE-APPLY more basil, sun-dried tomato and pine nuts and lay down breast once again to coat.
  6. Repeat this process for all of the breasts and set aside on plastic film.
  7. Heat oil in a skillet or fry pan until 350 degrees or medium hot. Pan fry breaded chicken on both sides until golden brown and fully cooked through. Remove each cooked breast from the pan once cooked and rest on an absorbent paper towel briefly to absorb any excess oil before plating.
  1. Serve with Pesto Creme Sauce.
Nino Salvaggio

Pan Fried Chicken with Fresh Thyme and Mustard

Pan Fried Chicken with Fresh Thyme and Mustard
Serves 4
A simple and VERY healthy dish. Fresh thyme is a must in this recipe! If you don't have whole grain mustard don't sweat it, just use a nice dijon. Do not however, use your typical salad mustard.
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  1. 3 Tbsp. Whole Grain Mustard
  2. 1⁄3 Cup Plain Bread Crumbs
  3. 1 Tbsp. Flour
  4. 1 tsp. Fresh Thyme, chopped
  5. 1 Tbsp. Honey
  6. 1⁄4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  7. 2 tsp. Cider or Herb Vinegar
  8. 3 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
  9. 4 each Boneless Chicken Thighs or Breasts
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine mustard, flour, honey and vinegar then thoroughly brush onto both sides of the chicken pieces.
  2. On plate, combine crumbs, thyme and pepper; roll chicken in mixture to coat.
  3. In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.
  4. Add chicken; cook for about 6 minutes per side, turning once, until well-browned and cooked through.
Nino Salvaggio

Healthy Chicken Flautas

Healthy Chicken Flautas
Serves 4
Here is one of Chef Pete's favorite "healthy" recipes which he hopes you will enjoy and that will help you to get started on a healthy course.
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  1. 1 tsp. Chili Powder
  2. 1⁄2 tsp. Salt
  3. 1⁄2 tsp. Ground Cumin
  4. 1⁄2 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
  5. 1 Lb Pulled Nino's Rotisserie Chicken Meat
  6. 12 Flour Tortillas, 6”
  7. - Vegetable Cooking Spray, as needed
  8. 1 cup Green Cabbage, shredded
  9. 1⁄4 cup Green Onion
  10. 1⁄2 cup Red Bell Pepper, Finely Julienned
  11. 1⁄4 cup Cilantro, fresh, chopped
  12. 1⁄4 cup Black Beans, cooked
  13. 1⁄2 cup Reduced Fat Monterey Jack Cheese
  14. - Low Fat Sour Cream (Optional)
  15. - Low Soduim Teriyaki Sauce (Optional)
  16. - Avocado, small slice (Optional)
  1. In a medium size saute pan over medium high heat, spray the pan with vegetable spray and saute the green onion, cabbage and bell pepper until softened. Reserve in a small bowl.
  2. Again spray the saute pan with vegetable spray, toss together the first 5 ingredients and saute in the pan 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through.
  3. Warm the flour tortillas in a microwave oven for a few seconds or toast them (lightly) on both sides over an electric or gas range burner.
  4. Place one flour tortilla on a flat working surface. At the bottom edge of each place approximately 1/4 cup of the seasoned chicken and 1 tablespoon each of the vegetable mixture, the shredded cheese and the black beans. Sprinkle with a good teaspoon of the chopped cilantro on top of the above ingredients and roll up into a "flute" (flauta). Repeat for the remaining.
  5. Optional ingredients can also be added to your flauta.
Nino Salvaggio

Fire Roasted Tomato-Red Pepper Chicken

Fire Roasted Tomato-Red Pepper Chicken
Serves 4
Simple and easy. This recipe is all about the sauce which means it's all about the roasted freshness of both the tomatoes and red peppers. It's almost a Chicken Cacciatore style but much simpler. Having said that, feel free to add other sauteed ingredients like eggplant or mushrooms to garnish.
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  1. 1 1⁄2 lbs. Skinless Boneless Chicken Breast
  2. 2 each Large Ripe Tomatoes
  3. 2 each Red Bell Peppers
  4. 1⁄3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  5. 1⁄2 cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
  6. 1⁄4 cup Romano Cheese, grated
  7. 1⁄4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  8. 4 cloves Fresh Garlic, chopped
  9. 1 tsp. Salt
  10. 5 each Scallions (Green Onions), chopped
  1. Roast peppers and tomatoes, holding with tongs directly over open flame until skins are blackened.
  2. Place peppers and tomatoes in a paper bag for 5 minutes and peel skin off under cold running water.
  3. Discard pepper stems and seeds and chop tomatoes and peppers coarsely. Tomatoes and peppers can also be roasted on high under the broiler in oven if no open flame is available. Be sure to turn as skin blackens.
  4. Puree peppers, tomatoes, cheese, olive oil, red wine vinegar and salt in a food processor or blender until smooth. (Food processor works best.)
  5. Cut chicken breast into 1 inch cubes and saute in olive oil until brown.
  6. Add pepper-tomato mixture and finish cooking chicken, about 6 minutes on high.
  7. Chop scallions into 1/4 inch pieces and discard bottom white part.
  8. Chop parsley and garlic coarse and add with onions to chicken mixture and heat on high for 2 minutes more.
  1. Can also be served over pasta or rice, garnish with extra grated Romano.
Nino Salvaggio