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Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Monthly Archives: September 2018

Mushroom Pork Chops

Servings: 2

Ingredients

2 (1 lb) boneless pork chops (each 1 inch thick) fat removed
3 tablespoons butter, divided
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 small-medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup unsalted chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sliced sage leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Cut the pork into 4 cutlets and pound to a 1/4 inch thickness. Remove the pork chops from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.

Sprinkle the chops with salt and pepper.
Heat a medium skillet and when hot, add 1 tablespoon butter. After the butter melts add the pork and cook for 2 minutes per side. Remove the pork chops to a plate and tent with foil.


Add the remaining butter, onion, garlic, and mushrooms and stir to coat. Cook until the onions are tender and the mushrooms have released their liquid. Add the wine and cook until mostly evaporated. Add the chicken broth, sage, and thyme and let simmer for a few minutes. Add the heavy cream and cook until the sauce thickens. Place the pork chops in the sauce to heat. Serve over sautéed cabbage.

Sautéed Cabbage

2 servings

Ingredients

Half of a medium head of Savoy cabbage, sliced into thin ribbons
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper

Directions

Melt butter in a deep frying pan. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Add the shredded cabbage and stir.
Lower the heat and continue cooking until the cabbage is silky soft.., about 20 minutes. Stir often. Season with salt and pepper.

Green Beans with Shallots

Ingredients

1 lb green beans, ends trimmed and cut in half
Salt
1 large shallot or 2 small, sliced into thin rings
Black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

Cover beans with water and add a 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, lower heat and cook for about 4 minutes. Drain in a colander.
To the empty pan add the olive oil and the shallots. Cook until tender and soft. Return drained beans to the pan and add a sprinkle of black pepper. Cook for a minute or two to reheat the beans.

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Serve with coleslaw and any other Mexican side dishes that you like.

Ingredients

1 ½ cups New Mexico Hatch Chile Pepper Sauce or any green chile sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs or chicken tenders
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups canned finely chopped tomatoes
One (8 ounces) package shredded Mexican cheese blend
Tortillas

Directions

For the chicken


Melt butter in a large deep skillet with a cover over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Pour chicken broth over thighs and bring to a boil. Cover skillet and reduce heat to medium. Cook the chicken thighs until no longer pink in the center, about 5 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). Remove the pan from the heat. Remove chicken from the chicken broth to a plate, reserving any broth in the pot in a small bowl. Shred the chicken and set aside.

For the sauce


Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook and stir onion, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper in hot oil until onion is soft about 6 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, reserved chicken broth, and the Green Hatch Chile Sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until thickened.
Stir the shredded chicken into the pot with the chile tomato sauce.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Spread half of the chile chicken sauce on the bottom of an oiled 9-inch pie dish and sprinkle with half the Mexican cheese blend over the sauce. Repeat with a second layer of chicken tomato chile sauce and cheese. Bake in the preheated oven until the sauce is bubbling, about 30 minutes.
Serve on heated tortillas and top with sour cream.

Coleslaw

Ingredients

6 ounces shredded cabbage
1⁄4 cup finely chopped green onions
1 cup shredded carrot
1 teaspoon honey or sugar substitute
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup heavy cream (whipping)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions

In a large bowl, combine the coleslaw, carrots and green onion.
Put aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the honey, salt, pepper, celery seed, mayonnaise, whipping cream, vinegar, and lemon juice, using a whisk.
Pour over the vegetables, stir gently to mix.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Stir before serving.

 


Chili Stuffed Peppers

Use any chili you have for this recipe but I really like my Texas-style chili for this recipe.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium red bell peppers, washed
2 cups leftover Texas Style Chili, divided
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Use the oil to coat a baking dish large enough to fit the peppers.
Cut the bell peppers in half and remove the seeds and membranes inside.
Fill the peppers with the chili, about ½ cup in each.
Place the chili stuffed peppers in the prepared baking dish, cover tightly with foil and place them in the oven.
Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the chili is bubbling and hot and the peppers have softened.
Top with shredded cheese, about ½ cup for each and bake, uncovered, an additional 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Golden Mashed Potatoes

4 servings

Ingredients

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
Salt
1/2 cup buttermilk or heavy cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain and place in a large bowl.

Mash the potatoes, adding the buttermilk until moist and the consistency that you like. Season with additional salt if needed. Sprinkle with chives and serve.

Roasted Acorn Squash

Ingredients

One 2 lb. acorn squash
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons minced fresh herbs or 1 teaspoon dried (combination of thyme, sage, rosemary, or oregano)
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and black pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 400° F.
Cut acorn squash into quarters and remove the seeds from the center of each quarter.
Slice the quarters into 1/4 inch thick pieces. In a small mixing bowl combine the melted butter, garlic and herbs.
Place the squash on a foiled lined baking pan coated with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brush the herb butter on both sides of the squash.
Roast the squash until tender, about 25 minutes.


Italian Style Crab Cakes

I use Penzey’s Tuscan Sunset Blend which is a combination of basil, oregano, red bell pepper, garlic, thyme, fennel, black pepper, and anise. You can also use dried Italian seasoning.

Ingredients

1 lb fresh lump crabmeat, cleaned and shells removed
2 tablespoons chopped red bell pepper
1 shallot, minced
½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon Tuscan blend seasoning or salt-free dried Italian seasoning
⅓ cup olive oil mayonnaise
2 tablespoons homemade or store-bought basil pesto
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
8 thin tomato slices

Lemon Butter Aioli

2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup olive oil mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 clove small garlic minced or grated
Pinch of cayenne
Pinch of salt and pepper

Directions

Make the aioli
Whisk the melted butter with the ½ cup mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic, pinch of cayenne, salt, and pepper in a medium-sized bowl until smooth and combined, cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Make the crab cakes
In a large bowl, mix together all crab the cake ingredients except the oil and the tomatoes. Using 1/3 cup mixture for each, shape into eight 3-inch patties.

In 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil and butter over medium heat until hot. Add patties; cook 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown and thoroughly cooked. Drain on paper towels.

To serve place each crab cake on a tomato slice and top each cake with a tablespoon of Lemon Butter Aioli.


I have family visiting, so this week I will share with you some of our main dish entrees. Complete this meal with meatballs or Italian sausage, salad and bread.

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Manicotti

Makes 8-10. Double the recipe for the crepes and filling to make two dishes.

Crespelle Batter
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1/8 teaspoon salt
Butter for crepe pan

To make the crepes:

Add the flour gradually to the milk with a whisk in a medium bowl with a cover. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Add the salt.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Heat the crepe pan and butter the pan.
Pour a scant ¼ cup of batter into the hot pan. Tilt the pan around with a circular motion so that the batter thins out and forms a round crêpe about the size of the pan. Cook until the edges of the crêpe become whitish and the inner portion yellow and partially solid.
Using a wide spatula, turn the crepe over and cook briefly (about 30 seconds).
Remove to a plate to cool. Repeat with the remaining batter, buttering the pan for each crepe. Place a sheet of wax paper between the layers to keep them from sticking together.

Marinara Sauce
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 (26-ounce) cartons Pomi finely chopped tomatoes
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus more as needed
4 fresh basil leaves, minced

Directions

Heat the oil in a large saucepan with a cover. Add the garlic and onion. Sauce for 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients. Simmer the sauce with the cover ajar for 1 1/2 hours or until thickened.

Spinach and Ricotta Filling
2 cups cooked spinach, squeezed dry
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for baking
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

Combine the filling ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble the manicotti.

To assemble the manicotti:

Heat the oven to 375 degrees F and lightly brush a 9×13 inch baking dishes with olive oil.
Spread a thin layer of sauce across the bottom of the baking dish.
Place 4 tablespoons of the filling down the center of a crepe. Roll it up and place it, seam-side-down the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining crepes and filling. Top with marinara sauce spreading it evenly over the manicotti and sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake the manicotti for 30 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.


I have family visiting, so this week I will share with you some of our main dish entrees.

Pulled Pork Tacos

Ingredients

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground chili powder
1 carton Pomi Tomato Sauce — 17.64 oz
¼ cup orange juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper
1 (2 1/2- to 3-pound) boneless pork butt roast
10-12 (6-inch) corn tortillas

New Mexican Green Hatch Chili Sauce, see recipe below

Directions

Adjust the oven rack to a lower-middle position and heat the oven to 275 degrees F. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Brown the pork on all sides. Remove to a plate,

Add the onion and cook until lightly browned 4 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and spices and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in tomato sauce. orange juice, vinegar, Worcestershire, bay leaves, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper, scraping up any browned bits.

Return pork to the pot and bring mixture to a boil. Transfer the pot to the oven, uncovered, and cook until pork is tender about 3 hours, ­stirring once halfway through cooking. Remove the pot from the oven and shred the pork with two forks.

Serve the shredded pork on top of the tortillas with Green Chili Sauce, cheese and other toppings of choice.

New Mexico Green Chile Sauce

Ingredients

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1⁄2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons masa harina flour (corn flour) or regular flour
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 1⁄2 cups chicken stock, see above
1 cup chopped roasted and peeled New Mexico Hatch green chilies
1⁄4 teaspoon dried oregano

Directions

To prepare the peppers:

The peppers need to be roasted on the grill or under a broiler before making the sauce.

Place the chiles on an outdoor grill or under the broiler and roast until the skin is charred and blistered, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Avoid completely blackening the chiles; you’re looking for them to be about 40% to 50% charred.

Using tongs, turn the chiles over and roast on the other side until the skin is charred and blistered about 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove the chiles from the grill or broiler and place them in a paper bag, food-safe plastic bag or heat-safe bowl.

Close the bag or cover the bowl, and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes. The steam will help loosen the peel from the chiles.

When cool enough to handle, pull the skins off and set aside.

To prepare the sauce:

(I do not like the sauce chunky, so I puree the chopped peppers with half of the chicken broth first and then add it to the sauce.)

In a medium saucepan, saute the onion and garlic in the oil over medium-high heat, until tender (about 3 minutes).

Stir in the flour, cumin, salt, and pepper and cook over medium heat, stirring, for 2 minutes.

Stir in the stock and simmer until thick and smooth.

Stir in the chiles and oregano.

Cool the sauce and store in the refrigerator, covered, for up to one day or the freezer for several months.


Classic Texas chili doesn’t include beans or tomatoes, only beef, homemade chili paste, and a few flavorings. It’s what Texans call a “Bowl o’ Red” and tastes intensely of its two main ingredients. I like to add tomatoes, so I call this dish Texas style.

Chili

Ingredients

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds boneless sirloin steak, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 lb lean ground beef cup finely chopped onion
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped bell pepper
2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons ground chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups beef broth
26-28 oz crushed Italian tomatoes
1 tablespoon honey
Topping Options
chopped avocado, shredded cheddar cheese, onion or scallions

Directions

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add half of the beef and lightly brown on all sides, 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with the remaining beef. Reserve. Repeat with the ground beef and add to the bowl with the sirloin cubes.

Add the remaining olive oil and heat it over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the bell peppers and jalapenos and cook for another 5 minutes.

Add the browned meat and the spices and salt. Stir well. The add in the broth, tomatoes, and honey. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and partially cover the pot. Cook for 3 hours until the liquid is reduced and the chili becomes thick and the meat is very tender.

Corn Muffins

12 muffins

Ingredients

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Butter the insides and the top of a regular muffin pan.
In a large bowl thoroughly combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
In a medium bowl, beat the egg with the milk and melted butter.
Combine with the dry ingredients until just evenly moistened.
Do not overmix.
Immediately spoon the batter into the muffin pan.
Bake 18 -20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.


For a low carb/gluten-free version:  “No-Corn” Bread Muffins

Makes 12

Ingredients

2 cups almond flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 eggs, beaten
4 tablespoons heavy cream
4 tablespoons water
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons honey substitute (such as Sukrin Gold)
1 teaspoon Amoretti sweet corn extract
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
Combine the almond meal, salt, and baking powder.
Add the cream, water, sweetener, and eggs, stir to combine.
Add the melted butter, stir to combine.
Divide the batter equally into the muffins cups.
Bake for 18-20 minutes until the edges are slightly browned and the tops are firm to the touch.

 



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