Recipes and photos courtesy of Chef Angelo Romano & Paradiso Ristorante.
Chestnut & Fig Risotto
This is a great dish to serve as an accompaniment to a holiday or winter meal.
4 Cups Imported Arborio Rice
1 lb Cooked Chestnuts
1/2 lb Figs — fresh (preferably) or dried
1 Shallot finely chopped
5 tbs Virgin Olive Oil
2 tbs Unsalted Butter
1 gal Vegetable or Chicken Broth
5 tbs Grated Parmesan Cheese
In a risotto pan, braise finely chopped shallot until golden brown with virgin olive oil
Add and stir the rice in (stirring frequently)
Slowly add broth in intervals to the rice (keeping the broth just covering the rice)
As the rice absorbs, slowly add more.
Puree 1/2 of the chestnuts and figs
After about 10 minutes of cooking the rice, add in the fig/chestnut purée
Continue to add liquid to the rice. The rice should be cooked in 20 minutes.
Add the Parmesan, whole chestnuts and butter — the creamy consistency is determined by how well you incorporate this step.
Use the remaining figs as decor.
A few slices of filet mignon (raw and cut paper thin)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (divided)- I recommend using a boutique olive oil imported from Italy for this. In this kind of recipe, it pays to invest in a good bottle, somewhere in the $20-30 range, since you won’t be using a lot, and the flavor will really stand out and enhance the dish. Look for specialty stores that allow you to taste, and if you are dining somewhere that has olive oil you enjoy, don’t hesitate to ask for the name and where you might be able to find it–everyone’s tastes are different, the best advice is to taste and find an olive oil that works for you, both on the high end for drizzling over dishes, and a moderately priced oil for cooking with.
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon, divided and juiced
2 fresh baby artichokes, cleaned, trimmed to the white part, shaved very thin
1 cup arugula
sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
1-2 ounces shaved Reggiano Parmigiano cheese (may substitute Grana Padano, a slightly less aged cow’s milk cheese)
1 tablespoon mayonnaise (may use low fat mayonnaise for dietary purposes)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Place the filet slices on a plate. Mix one tablespoon olive oil with one tablespoon lemon juice, and spread over the meat, massaging it in.
- Take shaved artichoke pieces and place in a bowl with a half tablespoon of lemon juice to prevent oxidation. Add arugula, one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. I recommend rubbing the artichokes with lemon as you work with them to keep from oxidizing (turning color).
- Place the artichoke and arugula mixture over the slices of meat.
- Top the dish with shaved Parmigiano. Green peppercorns optional.
- Mix mayonnaise and Dijon mustard in a small bowl. Add a little water until reaches a thin consistency. Lightly drizzle over the carpaccio and serve!
To watch Chef Angelo make his famous Mushroom Risotto, click here on a link to the Palm Beach Post, where he did a demonstration.
Paradiso has been a favorite in downtown Lake Worth for some 20 years, with Chef/Owner Angelo Romano hailing from the beautiful Sorrento peninsula (Penisola Sorrentina) near Naples, Italy. The above recipes are great for any occasion–and when you are near Lake Worth, definitely stop in and enjoy a meal at Paradiso, and tell Angelo I sent you!
625 Lucerne Avenue
Lake Worth, FL 33460