Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Monthly Archives: September 2021

 

This recipe makes two large loaves of bread that can be used for toast, FrenchToast of sandwiches.

Ingredients

1 1⁄2 cups milk
1 cup warm water (must be between 110-115 degrees)
4 ½ teaspoons instant yeast
3 eggs
1⁄2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup raisins
8 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon or more if you prefer a stronger taste.

Directions

Soak the raisins in hot water while you prepare the dough.

Combine all the ingredients except the raisins in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment. Switch to the dough hook, sprinkle in the drained raisins.

Knead the dough until smooth.

Place in a large, buttered, mixing bowl and turn to grease the surface of the dough.

Cover with a warm, damp cloth and let rise until doubled. about 1 1/2 hours.

Divide the dough in half and form it into logs. Place the logs into two greased 9” by 5” bread pans. Let rise, covered, until the dough crowns over the top of the pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes or until loaves are lightly browned and sound hollow when tapped.

Remove from the oven and let cool in the pans for 20 minutes.

Remove the bread from the pans and cool completely on a rack.


Last week I shared the ratatouille recipe that I made with the freshest end-of-the-summer vegetables. The recipe is versatile and I was able to create a number of dishes from the recipe. The first was an appetizer with brie, the second a delicious pizza and the third was a hearty pasta dish.

Here is the link to the ratatouille recipe.

Pizza

Ingredients

1 lb of your favorite pizza dough

16 oz mozzarella cheese, sliced

2 cups leftover ratatouille

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 459 degrees F.

Oil a large pizza pan and place the dough on the pan. Using your fingers push the dough to the edges of the pan.

Distribute the cheese slices over the dough. Spread the ratatouille over the cheese. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

Place the pan in the oven and cook until lightly brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before cutting into serving pieces.

Pasta

Ingredients

5 Spicy Italian sausage links, casing removed

2 cups leftover ratatouille

2 cups canned Iranian tomatoes chopped

1 lb short pasta

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Place the sausage in a large deep skillet. Brown the meat breaking it into small pieces with a wooden spoon as it browns. add the ratatouille and tomatoes. Heat on low for 39 minutes.

Cook the pasta al dente according to the package instructions. Do not drain. Using a spider or slotted spoon, remove the cooked pasta from the skillet. Stir well and let the pasta cook in the sauce, Mix well and add the grated cheese. Serve in pasta bowls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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 its cooking methods, food, and spices to America. They farmed the soil, hunted game, and incorporated their ways into the food of America.

Gullah cuisine originated in the Gullah-Geechee community. These West African Slave Descendants farmed the rice plantations of the Lowcountry back in the 1700s. The Southern region now embraces its traditional food customs. Gullah Recipes are based on rice, simmered vegetables, and fresh seafood. Specifically, oysters, shrimp, grits, and okra are commonly incorporated. These beloved, cultural dishes boast a rich history and even richer flavors.

Crab cakes are popular in the Lowcountry, as blue crabs are abundant off the Carolina coast. While there’s nothing highly unusual about the way crab cakes are done here—the name is really to distinguish them from Maryland crab cakes, which are (presumably) sourced from the Chesapeake Bay and tend to use Old Bay seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard in their preparation—the typical way of doing these in Charleston is with lots and lots of fresh lump crab meat (and very little filler), some mayo, herbs like parsley, dill, or tarragon, and often a dash of hot sauce or cayenne for a little kick; then they’re almost always pan-fried/seared.

Shrimp, crab, peas, rice, okra, and greens – these are some of the nuts and bolts of Gullah dishes. Descendants of enslaved West Africans, the Gullah people have been preparing their recipes for centuries, with many of the dishes, rooted in a culture that is thousands of years old.

The cuisine of the Gullah, who still maintains a presence in South Carolina’s Lowcountry and sea islands, relies upon the gifts of land and sea. The ingredients are locally sourced in season in keeping with the ways of old. Okra soup, purloins (seasoned dishes of rice and meat), seafood soups, red rice, garlic crabs, and “Reezy Peezy,” a simple mainstay made from stewed field peas, are some of the delicious dishes that can be enjoyed today, thanks to the culinary traditions kept alive by this remarkable culture.

Though most Gullah cooking happens in the privacy of family kitchens, there is a small treasure trove of establishments where you can sample these special foods. Restaurants with dedicated Gullah menus are rare, so it’s likely you’ll find Gullah dishes mingled in with Southern or soul food fare. Click here to learn about these distinctions. Most Gullah-owned restaurants are modest and no-frills, but that’s part of the experience. Fancy is fine, but if you want a true taste of South Carolina’s culinary heritage, seek out these restaurants and eat the Gullah way.

Version One

I made this version because it is different from my usual recipe. It is delicious.

Charleston Grill 

Ingredients

Crab Cakes

1 pound crab meat

1 egg white

1/2 lemon, zested and juiced

1 tablespoon chopped chives

1 tablespoon thyme leaves

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2  cup fresh breadcrumbs or panko

Salt and freshly ground white pepper

Butter or olive oil, to cook

Sauce

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

6 shrimp, peeled and deveined, cut into thin strips

10 red pear tomatoes

10 yellow pear tomatoes

2 limes, juiced

2 shallots, finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh dill.

Directions

Crab Cakes

Mix together the mayo, salt, pepper, egg white, zest, juice, chives, and thyme. Fold in the crab meat. Add pano crums. Add just enough for the mixture to hold together.

Form mixture into patties and refrigerate for several hours, if possible.

Saute in butter or oil until crisp and golden on both sides.

Sauce

I made half the amount of sauce because it seemed to be too much for us.

1. Heat shallots in oil, then add shrimp and cook.

2. Add remaining ingredients and heat through.

3. Serve warm over crab cakes.

Version Two

Charleston Crab Cakes

Ingredients

1/2 cup minced red onions

1/3 cup minced red bell pepper

1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1lb lump or jumbo lump crabmeat (picked over for shells and drained of any liquid)

3/4 cup panko crumbs

2 teaspoons salt or to taste

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

6 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

Place onions, bell pepper, tarragon, and mayonnaise in a mixing bowl and combine. Gently fold in the crabmeat. Add the panko and season with salt, white pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste. Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes. The panko will absorb some of the moisture and the mixture will stay together.

Layout a large piece of plastic wrap on a clean counter surface. Place half of the crab mixture on it and use a spatula or a spoon to form it into a tube about 1 3/4 inches in diameter. Bring the wrap-up over the crab and roll the crab mixture up. Twist the ends to close. Pierce any air pockets with a toothpick or skewer. Twist the ends even tighter to compress the crab mixture. Tuck under the ends of the wrap and place the tube on a plate. Repeat with the second half of the crab cake mixture. Place the tubes in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight.

When ready to cook, Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Cut the tubes of crabmeat into 1 1/4-inch-thick cake.s. Gently remove the plastic wrap, leaving the cakes in nice cylinders.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan (non-stick works well here) over medium-high heat until very hot, but not smoking. Gently place 4 of the crab cakes in the pan and sear for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown. Gently turn the cakes over and sear the other side until golden brown. Place them on a baking sheet and into the oven to keep warm. Wipe the pan, add the remaining olive oil and repeat this process for the other 4 crab cakes. (If you have a big enough pan, you can cook 6 or 8 of them at the same time and skip the warming oven, but the cakes need room to sear properly and be turned so be careful not to crowd the pan).


 

Ingredients

2 zucchini (6 to 8 inches long), ends trimmed 

4 small eggplant,

1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded

1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded

1green bell pepper, seeded

1 red onion,l

2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)

1½ teaspoons dried oregano

½ cup extra Virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 large Roma tomatoes

¼ cup julienned fresh basil leaves

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Cut the zucchini, onion,  tomatoes, eggplant, and bell peppers into ½-inch cubes 

Place the zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, onion, ¼ cup olive oil,,1 tablespoon salt, and 1½ teaspoons black pepper in a large bowl and toss to combine. Pour the vegetables onto a large sheet pan. Roast for 30minutes.

Heat the teaming oil in a Dutch Oven. Add the roasted vegetables and remaining ingredients to the pan. Simmer for one hour. Refrigerate overnight to develop the flavors.

Serve at room temperature with crusty bread and Brie cheese.

 


Steaks Au PoivRE

I SERVED BAKED POTATO AND GREEN BEANS WITH THE STEAK.

Ingredients

2 beef tenderloin steaks, 6 oz each
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 tablespoon black peppercorn
1 1/2 tablespoons green peppercorns
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
1/4 cup red wine
1 tablespoon heavy cream

Directions

Place the peppercorns in a plastic bag and coarsely crush the peppercorns with a mallet


Pat the filets dry with paper towels. Place the steaks between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound to an even ½- inch thick.

Sprinkle the filets with salt and then press the crushed pepper evenly on both sides. Allow resting at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon butter and the oil in a medium saute pan over medium-high.. Place the steaks in the pan and lower the heat to medium. Saute the steaks for 4 minutes on 1 side and then for 3 minutes on the other side, for medium-rare. Remove the steaks to a serving platter and cover tightly with aluminum foil.

Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the saute pan. Add the shallots and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the wine and stir. Add the cream and stir. Return the steaks to the pan and the pan and coat the steaks in the sauce.



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