In the kitchen with Wayne Johnson

Windy City LIVE
Tuesday, October 6, 2020
In the kitchen with Wayne Johnson
EMBED <>More Videos

Chef Wayne Johnson shopped at Valli International Fresh Market and then created an entire meal using delicious Alessi ingredients.

This segment is produced with and sponsored by Alessi & Valli International Fresh Market.

For our "In the Kitchen" segment we send our cooks out to shop - to create a dish that they love! Today's theme - Game Day!!!

And back "In the Kitchen" with us is one of our favorites - food and lifestyle expert Wayne Johnson!

We followed Wayne as he shopped at the Valli International Fresh Market in Evanston to see what ingredients he wanted to use for his Game Day recipes.

Wayne's choice for food? Chicken Meatballs, Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil Skewers, Grilled Pesto Shrimp - and he shows us step-by-step on our social media - how to make his Pepperoni Cheese Bread with Roasted Red Peppers!

He also has a special dish to surprise us with! And all the recipes use authentic Alessi products!

Visit the Alessi website for all the Alessi products.

Alessi and Valli International Fresh Market have a surprise for our viewing audience. Until 2 a.m. tomorrow, go to the main page of, click on promotions and go to the WCL Grocery Instant Win contest for your chance at winning one of these great prizes:

-$50 gift certificate to Valli International Fresh Market

-$90 Alessi gift box

And you can opt in for a free package of Alessi Tuscan Farro & Bean Minestrone Soup.

Visit the Valli International Fresh Market website for a location near you.

For more on Wayne, check out his website or his YouTube channel, Wayne Bites.

Wayne's recipes:

Pepperoni Cheese Bread


1 cu Whole Milk

1/2 cu Butter

1 cu All-Purpose Flour

1 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Sea Salt

4 lg Eggs

1 tsp Alessi Garlic Puree

1 cu Mozzarella Cheese

2 oz Pepperoni, chopped

6 oz Alessi Roasted Red Peppers, drained and chopped

2 tbl Alessi Pine Pine Nuts

4-5 Whole slices of Pepperoni, for garnish

4-5 Cherry Tomatoes, for garnish

Fresh Parsley, for garnish


Heat oven to 400F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with a baking mat or non stick Aluminum Foil. Set Aside.

Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Whisk together eggs and garlic puree and set aside.

Heat milk and butter to rolling boil in 2-quart saucepan. Stir in flour mixture. Stir for about 1 minute until dough comes together. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and beat in egg and garlic mixture. Stir until smooth and add pepperoni and roasted red pepper.

Place a large pint glass in the center of a lined baking sheet. Drop dough in mounds around the glass using an ice cream scoop or serving spoon. Using a spatula, shape the mixture into a uniform ring around the glass. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese and pine nuts. Gently press the pine nuts into the dough so they stay in place. Carefully remove the glass by twisting it and lifting upward. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until puffed up and golden brown and sounds hollow when you tap it.

Remove bread from oven and allow to cool slightly. Transfer to a serving plate and fan whole or half sliced pepperoni into a circle and place in middle of ring. Top the pepperoni with a little parsley and cherry tomatoes.

Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.

Chicken Meatball Skewers

makes 24 skewers


1 lb Ground Chicken

1 lg Egg

1/2 cu Alessi Seasoned Breadcrumbs

1/4 cu Grated Parmesan Cheese

1 tbl Alessi Olive Oil

1 tsp Alessi Garlic Puree

1 1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Pepper

1 tsp Oregano

3 oz Alessi Sun Dried Tomatoes, drained, patted dry and chopped

2 tbl Whole Milk

1 tbl Parsley, chopped

24 Small Mozzarella Balls (1" size, Ciliegine)

24 oz jar Alessi Smooth Marinara Sauce

3/4 cu Chicken Stock

24 Cherry Tomatoes

Wooden Skewers

Fresh Basil Leaves (optional)


Preheat the oven to 400F. For this recipe, I use a 24 cup mini muffin pan sprayed with cooking spray. If you don't have one, use a flat rimmed baking sheet lined with non-stick aluminum foil or regular foil sprayed with cooking spray.

Place the ground chicken, eggs, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, olive oil, garlic puree, salt, pepper, oregano, sun dried tomatoes, milk, and parsley in a bowl. Gently mix until thoroughly combined.

Break mixture into 24 portions and roll each into a ball. Place in the muffin pan or baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour marinara sauce into a large saucepan. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Remove meatballs from the oven and transfer to the marinara sauce and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove meatballs to a separate bowl. Transfer marinara sauce to a serving bowl. When the meatballs have cooled slightly, place a cherry tomato, mozzarella ball, and a meatball on a wooden skewer. Optionally, you can thread a bit of fresh basil on the skewer between the tomato and mozzarella. Repeat with the remaining meatballs.

To serve, arrange the skewers on a platter and place the bowl of marinara sauce nearby for dipping.

Pesto Shrimp


1 lb Raw Shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 jar Alessi Pesto

1 lg Lemon

Wooden Skewers


Rinse shrimp and pat dry. Place shrimp in a bowl and pour pesto on top. Mix well to coat all the shrimp. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Soak skewers in water for 30 minutes. Preheat you grill. Slice half of the lemon into thin slices. Slice the remainder into wedges.

Thread 4-6 shrimp on wooden skewers, depending on the size of the shrimp and number of shrimp you prefer on each skewer.

Place shrimp on grill and cook 2-3 minutes per side, depending on their size, until cooked through. Transfer to a serving platter and squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top. Arrange the rest of the lemons on the platter along with some fresh parsley for garnish.