Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Roasted Lemon Chicken For Dinner

Roasted Lemon Chicken with Potatoes and Onions

Leftovers make a great Chicken Pot Pie.

Ingredients

1 lemon, cut into thin circles
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon. kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
11/2 lbs large Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into eighths
1 large onion, cut into eighths
2 lbs chicken parts, trimmed of excess fat and skin (I used 3 thighs and 1 large breast half cut in half.)

Directions

Place 2 tablespoons of the oil in a baking dish. Add the garlic loves, onions and potatoes. Sprinkle with half the salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Place the chicken on top of the vegetable mixture and sprinkle with the remaining seasoning. Place the lemon slices on top of the chicken. Drizzle the mixture with the remaining oil.

Cover the baking pan with aluminum foil and put it in a preheated oven at 275 degrees F (135 C) for 60 minutes. Remove the foil, turn the oven temperature to 375 degrees F (190 C) and roast the chicken and potatoes for 30 minutes more.

Roasted Broccolini

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 small bunch of broccolini

Directions

Place the oil in a baking dish and place the broccolini in the dish in a single layer. Top with the chopped garlic, chili flakes, salt, and pepper. When the oven is raised to 375 degrees F for the chicken dish, place the broccoli in the oven and let it roast for 30 minutes. Remove the broccolini from the oven and squeeze the lemon over the stalks. Serve with the chicken and potatoes.

Greek Dinner Tonight

Grilled Lamb Chops

2 servings

Ingredients

4 loin lamb chops

Marinade
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried Greek seasoning or oregano
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

Combine the marinade ingredients in a ziplock food storage bag. Give it a shake. Add the lamb, seal the bag, and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat an outdoor or stovetop grill. Place the lamb on the grill and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side. Remove to a serving platter and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Beets With Tzatziki Sauce

Ingredients

2 large beets washed well
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt
1cup plain whole-milk yogurt, preferably Greek-style
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
Black pepper

To roast beets:
Trim the greens off the beets to within 1 inch and scrub the beets. Arrange the beets in a small roasting pan, add 1/8 inch water, and cover loosely with foil. Roast at 450 degrees F for 45-60 minutes, until they are tender when pierced with a knife. When cool enough to handle, peel the beets: Cut off the stem and root ends and scrape the thin layer of skin off with a knife. Quater each beet and place them in a serving bowl. To serve top with several tablespoons of tzatziki sauce.

To make the sauce
In a mixing bowl, combine garlic, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir in yogurt and olive oil and dill. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Chill until ready to serve.

Greek Salad

Dressing

1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon sugar or sugar substitute
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup of vegetable oil
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoon lemon juice

Salad

4 cups torn Romaine lettuce
1/4 of red onion, sliced
Half cucumber, sliced
1 tomato, diced
12 kalamata olives
4 pepperoncini peppers
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions

Pour all the dressing ingredients into a large jar and shake well.
Place the jar in the refrigerator for a few hours to blend flavors.
Combine the Greek salad ingredients in a large serving bowl. Pour half of the dressing over the salad and toss. Add more dressing if desired.

Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo

Alfredo Sauce

Ingredients

2 cups heavy cream
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt & Black Pepper

Directions:

Heat together the cream and butter over medium heat until bubbling.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add the cheese and mix well over medium heat until the sauce thickens. Keep warm.

Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo

4 servings

Ingredients

8 oz fettuccine
1 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp
2 green onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 recipe of Alfredo Sauce

Directions

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta in a colander.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil; swirl to coat. Add shrimp, green onion, and garlic; sauté for 4 minutes or until shrimp are done.

Reduce heat to medium and add the alfredo sauce. Cook 1 minute and add drained pasta. Stir gently and cook until the pasta is coated and warmed.

Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

 

America’s Culinary Food Stories-Bialys

America is a melting pot that was formed by the hard-working people who migrated here from lands as far east as China and Japan, as far north as Russia and Europe. They utilized American supplies and prepared them in ways that they had prepared them in their homeland. True American food is a collection of these culinary traditions passed down from generation to generation”.Each culture brought their cooking methods, food, and spices to America. They farmed the soil, hunted game, and incorporated their ways into the food of America.

If you once lived in the New York area you may remember some of the wonderful Eastern European foods you could purchase on the Lower Eastside. But if you live anywhere else in the country, or the world, it’s not likely that you’ would have had the pleasure of enjoying one of these chewy, baked onion-stuffed bialys.

The bialy is not a type of bagel;  it’s a thing unto itself. Round with a depressed middle filled with cooked onions and poppy seeds, it is simply baked (bagels are boiled, then baked). This means the outside is crispy and the inside is soft and tender, They can be eaten with cream cheese or straight-up shortly out of the oven.

The bialy was brought to the United States by Polish Jewish refugees in the late 1800s and became a staple of the Jewish bakeries in the Northeastern United States. Thousands of Jewish immigrants arrived from Poland and settled on the Lower East Side of New York City. Like most ethnic groups, they brought with them their local traditions and foods from their homeland. The Jews from Bialystok, Poland brought their local bread, called a “bialy” that they ate with every meal. The word “bialy” is actually a shortened version of “Bialystoker Kuchen” which in Yiddish means “little bread from Bialystok.”

Bialys became a popular bread and also breakfast for people in New York City, and the outlying areas; especially by American Jews. Bialys are considered an iconic food representative of New York City and can be difficult to find outside that area. However, bialys are sold frozen by a number of brands such as Ray’s New York, and others, in supermarkets across the country. Or you can make them at home.

 

New York Bialys

Dough
3 cups High-Gluten Flour
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons lukewarm water

Filling
1 medium-large onion, peeled and finely diced
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
Heaping 1/8 teaspoon salt
Topping
Coarse salt and poppy seeds

Directions

Place the dough ingredients in a mixer bowl, and mix and knead for about 7 minutes, until a smooth, fairly stiff dough forms.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover it, and allow it to rise for about 90 minutes until doubled in bulk.
While the dough is rising, make the filling. Fry the diced onion in the oil over high heat; it’ll brown very quickly, so stir often. Sprinkle with the salt, stir to combine, and remove the pan from the heat. Transfer to a small bowl to cool.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper and sprinkle lightly with cornmeal.

On a floured board or counter, punch dough down and roll into a cylinder shape. With a sharp knife, cut the cylinder into 8 rounds. Gently pat each dough round into circles each about 4 inches in diameter. I placed English Muffin rings on the baking sheets and placed the dough in each so that they would hold their shape.

Place bialys on prepared baking sheets, cover with a kitchen towel and let rise 30 minutes or until increased by about half in bulk.

Make an indention in the center of each bialy with two fingers of each hand, pressing from the center outward, leaving a 1-inch rim. Place approximately 1 teaspoon of the onion mixture in the hole of each bialy. Dust lightly with flour, cover with a kitchen towel, and let rise 15 minutes.
Sprinkle with salt and poppy seeds. (Remove the muffin rings if used.)

Bake on upper and lower shelves of the oven for 10 minutes, then switch pans and reverse positions of pans and bake another 10 minutes until bialys are lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool on wire racks. Serve with cream cheese, if desired.

 

 

 

Easy One-Pan Sausage Bake

Ingredients

1 ½ pounds hot Italian sausage links
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into eighths
1 pound sweet mini peppers, stem end removed but left whole.
1 large onion. sliced
1 teaspoon roasted garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl toss together the oil, sliced potatoes, peppers, onions, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
Spread the mixture in a large roasting pan. Top with the sausage and roast for 60-75 minutes until the sausage is cooked and the vegetables are brown turning the mixture halfway through the baking. Serve with some crusty Italian bread.

Easy Weeknight Dinner

Franks and Sauerkraut

2 servings

Ingredients

4

4 all-beef organic  frankfurters, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried dill or 1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill
2 cups sauerkraut, drained

Directions

Heat a skillet with a cover on medium heat. Melt the butter, add the onion, garlic, and paprika, cook until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the franks and sauerkraut, simmer, covered, 20 minutes.

Serve with rye bread or mashed potatoes.

My Homemade Rye Bread recipe.

Cucumbers in Sour Cream

Makes About 2 Cups

Ingredients

2 large cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, sliced into 1/4″-thick half-moons
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sour cream
3 tablespoons green onion (scallions), minced
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey or sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried

Directions

Place cucumber slices in a colander; sprinkle with salt, tossing to coat. Let stand for 15 minutes, then pat dry with paper towels.

Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, onion, vinegar, honey, and dill in a mixing bowl. Add cucumber slices and toss to coat. Let salad stand for at least 5 minutes before serving, or chill for up to one day.

Working With Sourdough

Sourbreads are delicious and are not difficult to make at home. Of course, if you live ina metropolitan area, buying good bread is not a problem. Where I live it is. You do need a stater and I bought mine from The King Arthur Baking company and follow their directions. Here is their guide: Sourdough Baking.

No-Knead Sourdough Bread

Ingredients

1 cup (227g) sourdough starter
1 3/4 cups (397g) lukewarm water
5 cups (602g) Unbleached Bread Flour
1 tablespoon (18g) salt

Directions

Stir together all of the ingredients (or use a stand mixer) to make a sticky dough. Continue to work the dough enough to incorporate all the flour, or beat for several minutes in a stand mixer.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it rest at room temperature overnight, or for at least 8 hours; it’ll become bubbly and rise quite a bit, so be sure your bowl is large enough.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. To make a single loaf, choose a 14″ to 15″ long lidded stoneware baker; a 9″ x 12″ oval deep casserole dish with cover; or a 9″ to 10″ round, 4″ deep lidded baking crock.

Shape the dough to fit, and place it in the lightly greased pan of your choice, smooth side up. Cover and let rise at room temperature for about 1 hour, until the dough has become puffy and fills the pan about 1/2 full.

Slash the loaf in 3 diagonal slashes just before placing it into the oven.

If baking in a lidded crock or pan, place it into a cold oven. Set the oven temperature to 450°F. Bake the bread for 45 to 50 minutes, then remove the lid and continue to bake for another 5 to 15 minutes, until the bread is deep brown, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers about 205°F.

To bake on a baking sheet, preheat the oven to 400°F, and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes until bread is a deep brown. Remove the bread from the oven, turn it out onto a rack, and cool before slicing.
Yield: 1 large loaf.

 

Sourdough Rye Bread

Makes 1 large (about 2-pound) loaf

1 cup sourdough starter
2 1/4 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 3/4 cups rye flour
1/4 cup potato flour
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1 1/2 teaspoons Deli Rye Flavor
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons instant yeast
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups lukewarm water

Directions
Combine all of the ingredients, stirring until the dough comes together.
Knead the dough until smooth, adding additional water or all-purpose flour if needed — the dough should be soft and somewhat sticky.
Cover the dough, and let it rise until puffy, 60 to 90 minutes.
Lightly grease a hearth bread pan (or other 2-pound capacity loaf pan); a 10″ x 5″ loaf pan; or a long covered baker or 13″ pain de mie pan, both without the cover, work well here. Use long hearth metal pan
Gently deflate the dough and shape it into a log the length of your chosen pan. Place it in the prepared pan, and let the dough rise until it’s just about doubled in size, 60 to 90 minutes. If you’re using a long baker, it will crown about 1/2″ over the lip of the pan. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake the bread for 40 to 45 minutes, tenting it with aluminum foil after about 20 minutes to prevent it from getting too dark. The bread should be a nice golden brown when finished, and its internal temperature will register at least 200°F on a digital instant-read thermometer.
Remove the bread from the oven, turn it out of the pan, and allow it to cool completely before slicing.
Yield: 1 large (about 2-pound) loaf.

Chili Sauce Meatloaf

Serve this dish with your favorite sides. I had leftover potato salad and greens beans so I used them as sides for the meatloaf.

Ingredients

1 cup milk
1 ½ cups plain panko breadcrumbs or 4 slices of bread crumbled
2 pounds ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chili sauce
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Coarse salt and ground pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, with a rack placed in the center.

In a large bowl, pour milk over breadcrumbs or bread; stir until combined and let soak, about 5 minutes. Add beef, pork, onion, garlic, chili sauce, parsley, Parmesan, eggs, 11/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Using your hands, mix until combined; do not overmix or the meatloaf will be dense.


Gently pat into a log and place it in a greased baking dish or large loaf pan.
Bake 60-75 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 160 degrees.
Remove the pan from the oven; let rest 5 minutes and slice each into 3/4-inch-thick slices.

My Favorite Chicken Dish

Skillet Chicken Parm

Ingredients

2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts (about 12 oz total)
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
All-purpose flour
¾ cup Italian seasoned panko crumbs
1 large egg
Olive oil
Warm Marinara sauce, recipe below
6 ounces Italian Fontina or Mozzarella cheese, sliced thin
Cooked spaghetti

For the Sauce
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
26-28 oz container Italian chopped Italian tomatoes
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt or to taste
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

Directions

Prepare the sauce:
Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until thickened, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Prepare the chicken
Cut off any fat on the chicken. Place a breast between two sheets of plastic wrap. Pound lightly with a meat mallet to an even thickness. Repeat with the second breast. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper. Spread out the flour and breadcrumbs on two separate plates. Beat the egg in a wide shallow bowl until thoroughly blended. Dredge the chicken in flour to coat lightly and tap off excess flour. Dip in the beaten egg, hold them over the bowl, letting the excess egg drip back into the bowl. Transfer the chicken, one piece at a time to the plate of breadcrumbs, turn it to coat with breadcrumbs, patting gently, and making sure that each breast is well coated with breadcrumbs. If you have time refrigerate the breaded chicken for several hours.

Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a wide, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until a corner of one of the coated breasts gives off a sizzle when dipped in the oil. Add the chicken pieces without touching each other. Fry, turning once, until golden on both sides and cooked through about 6 minutes. Top each chicken breast with several spoonfuls of marinara sauce. Place the sliced cheese over the sauce to cover the chicken completely. Cover the pan and turn the heat to low. Cook a minute or two until the cheese melts. Serve over spaghetti.

Green Beans With Garlic

Ingredients

Salt
2 pounds green  beans, trimmed
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium-size garlic cloves, minced

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and fill a large bowl with ice water. Boil beans until just tender but still crisp and bright green. Start testing after 4 minutes or so, being careful not to overcook. When done, drain in a colander. Heat the oil in the pan over high heat. Add beans and garlic, and cook, stirring and tossing constantly, until beans are heated through. Sprinkle with salt and serve.

 

In The Mood For Ribs

The calendar may say Fall but where I live it is still hot. So ribs are still on the menu.

Easy Ribs

Ingredients

2 small slabs pork baby back ribs, each cut in half
BBQ sauce, optional

Rub
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons table salt
1 tablespoon ground white pepper
3 tablespoons celery salt
3 tablespoons garlic powder

Directions

Mix all the rub ingredients together in a medium bowl. Rub each side of the 4 pieces of ribs with 2-3 tablespoons of the rub mix. (Save any remaining rub for another time,) Wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.


Line a baking dish large enough to fit the ribs with foil and place the ribs meaty side up in the dish.
Bake at 250 degrees F for 3 hours. For extra crispiness, place the ribs on a hot grill or under the broiler for 5 minutes on each side. Serve with BBQ sauce if desired.

Simple Potato Salad

Ingredients

2 lbs whole medium red-skinned potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons pickle juice
1/4 cup minced bread and butter pickles or pickle relish.
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion or scallions
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1/2 cup olive oil mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and black pepper to taste
Chopped parsley for garnish

Directions

Place the potatoes in a large pot with a lid. Cover the potatoes with cold water and add 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and cook the potatoes with the lid ajar until tender, about 15 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and cool. When cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes. Slice the potatoes into a storage bowl.

Add the pickle juice and let sit at room temperature for an hour or so.

Add the remaining ingredients, mix well, and taste to see if the salad needs salt. Add black pepper to taste. Cover the bowl and chill in the refrigerator until serving time. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

Roasted Asparagus Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Ingredients

2 bunches thin asparagus, washed and ends trimmed
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Vinaigrette
1 medium shallot, minced (about 11/2 tablespoons)
2 lemons, juiced
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons smooth Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

Option one – Roast asparagus in the air-fryer at 400 degrees F for 7-8 minutes.

Option two- Adjust oven rack to uppermost position and heat broiler.

Toss asparagus with olive oil and salt and pepper, then lay spears in a single layer on a heavy rimmed baking sheet. Broil about 4 inches from heating element, shaking the pan halfway through to turn spears, until asparagus is tender and lightly browned 8 to 10 minutes.

Cool asparagus 5 minutes and arrange on serving dish.

Whisk shallot, lemon juice, honey, mustard, and olive oil in a small bowl; season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle over asparagus and serve immediately.


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