Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Monthly Archives: May 2022

In my part of the world, strawberries are ready for picking. This past weekend, a local farmer had beautiful ripe strawberries for sale.  I bought a few quarts and here are two recipes I made with these beauties.

Strawberry Summer Muffins

Ingredients:

1 cup sliced fresh strawberries, plus 15 strawberry halves
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup room temperature butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
⅓ cup sliced almonds

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside. For this batter, I needed 15 cups so I used three cups in a second muffin pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until combined and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium-low and add the eggs, beating just until blended. Scrape the side and bottom of the bowl well halfway through.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; then add half of the flour mixture to the mixing bowl with the butter mixture, beating just until blended. Add in the milk, lemon juice, almond extract, and remaining flour mixture, beating just until blended and scraping down the sides of the bowl. With a spatula, fold in the sliced strawberries and almonds.

Add 1/4-cup of muffin batter to each prepared muffin cup.
Top with a strawberry half.
Bake until tops are just dry to the touch (about 22-25 minutes). Let cool completely in the pan before removing to a serving plate.

Strawberry Waffle And Pancake Topping

Ingredients

2 cups sliced strawberries
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Directions

Place the ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a low boil. Turn the heat to low, partially cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator until needed or freeze some for a future meal.


Ingredients

2 bone-in pork chops, 6 oz each
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground chipotle pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons flout
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 small bell pepper, seeded and sliced
Half a medium onion sliced
¼ cup salsa

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Combine the flour, chipotle pepper, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Press the mixture on all sides for the pork chops.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high. Add the pork and cook until brown, about 3 minutes. Turn the pork chops over and transfer the skillet to the oven.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F. The cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the pork chops.

Remove the chops to a serving plate. Add the remaining oil, peppers, and onions to the skillet and cook until softened. Stir in the salsa and heat. Top the pork chops with the sauce. Serve with mashed potatoes and a vegetable.

Or make my Potato Stuffed Cabbage serve with the pork chops.


This recipe can accommodate any type of fresh fruit. Baking times will adjust. See below.

Pear Galette

ingredients

1 crust from 1 box (14.1 oz) refrigerated Pillsbury™ Pie Crusts (2 Count), softened as directed on the box
2 large, firm Bartlett or Anjou pears, cored, cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup honey
1teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter

Directions

Heat oven to 400°F. Line 15x10x1-inch pan with parchment paper.

Remove pie crust from pouch; place in the parchment paper on the baking sheet. Unroll.

In a mixing bowl, combine the honey, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Add the sliced pears. Mix well.
Mound the pears, about 3 cups, onto the center of the pie crust leaving a one-inch border all around\d. Crimp the edges of the pastry up around the pear mound.

 

For pears or apples

Bake for 30 minutes. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees F and bake for 15 minutes. +
For softer fruit such as peaches or berries, bake for 30 minutes only at 400 degrees F.

Remove the galette from the pan to a serving dish and allow it to cool to room temperature.


Pan-Seared Chilean Sea BassWith Asparagus Tortellini Anr roasted carrots

Pan-Seared Chilean Sea Bass

2 servings

Ingredients

Juice of 1 lemon
2 (8-ounce) wild caught Chilean Sea Bass fillets skin removed
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/2teaspoonlemon pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 large garlic clove finely chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
¼ cup heavy cream

Directions

Coat fish in flour mixed with salt and lemon pepper. Heat a deep medium skillet and add the oil and 1 tablespoon of butter.

Cook until fish is browned and just opaque in the center, about 6 minutes per side, lowering heat if lemons and fish brown too quickly. Transfer fish to a platter and lemons to a serving plate.

Place the skillet over low heat and add garlic. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice and cook for 1 minute. Remove the skillet from the heat and swirl in butter and cream.

Asparagus Tortellini

Ingredients

Half a bunch of asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
10 oz frozen mixed spinach and cheese tortellini, cooked al dente

Directions

Cook the asparagus the way you like them. I roasted them for the last 15 minutes during the time the carrots were roasting.

Combine the asparagus and cooked pasta. Add half of the creamy lemon sauce and mix well. Divide in half and place on individual dinner plates. Top with the cooked fish and pour the remaining sauce over the fish.

Roasted Carrots

Ingredients

3 large carrots, peeled
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F
Place the oil in a small baking dish
Cut eh carrots in half and then quarter each half. Place the cut carrots on the dish. Add salt and pepper. Add fresh herbs, if you like them with carrots. I use rosemary. Mix well. Roast for 30 minutes.


Filet Mignon With Mushroom Gravy

I served this dinner entre with mashed potatoes and spinach.

Ingredients

Steak
2 Filet Mignon steaks, each weighing 5-6 oz
Olive oil
Steak seasoning

Mushroom Gravy
1 shallot, diced
2 tablespoons butter
4 oz mushrooms, shiitake, cremini, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ teaspoon dried thyme1/4 cup flour
2 cups beef broth

Directions

Pound the steaks so they are both one inch thick. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Preheat the air-fryer to 400 degrees F for 5 minutes.
Rub the steaks with olive oil and season with steak seasoning or salt and pepper.
Place the steaks in the air fryer and cook for 3 minutes, turn the steaks over and cook for 4 minutes for medium-rare.

Use an instant-read thermometer to check the doneness. Although this recipe gives suggested times for how long to cook the steaks, it really varies based on the thickness of the steak. The thickest part of the steak should register 125°F for rare, 130 to 135°F for medium-rare and 140°F for medium. If you check the steaks and they’re not at your preferred temp, continue cooking them and check the temperature after two more minutes of air frying.

Remove to serving plates and let rest while you make the mushroom gravy.

For the Mushroom Gravy
Heat the butter in a saucepan until melted. Add the shallot and cook for one minute. Add the sliced mushroom and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the flour and cook for a minute. Slowly add the broth and bring it to a low boil. Cook until thickened. Pour some over the cooked steaks.


16 servings

Ingredients

For the crust:
Nonstick cooking spray
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the cheese filling:
16 ounces cream cheese, such as Philadelphia, at room temperature
¼ cup mascarpone cheese at room temperature
1 cup whole milk
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese (12 ounces)
1/2 cup Italian limoncello, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Position a rack in the center of the oven. Spray a 9 x13 x 2-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

For the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a medium bowl and mix until moistened. Press the mixture evenly on the bottom of the prepared pan/ Bake for 10 minutes and set aside to cool.

For the filling, place the cream cheese mascarpone, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed for 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the ricotta and beat for another minute, scraping down the bowl.

With the mixer on low, add the limoncello, vanilla, and milk and beat for one minute. With the mixer on medium-low, add the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and mix until the batter is smooth. Pour over the crust.

Place the baking dish on a cookie sheet.
Bake for 60-70 minutes, until almost set in the center and lightly brown in spots on the top of the cake.

Cool to room temperature. Cover the dish with foil and refrigerate overnight. Cut into 16 pieces to serve.


Pizza Pinwheels

Ingredients

Overnight Pizza Dough

1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup lukewarm water
3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Pizza Sauce
2 spicy Italian sausage links, cooked and diced
26 oz container of strained Italian tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil

Pinwheels
Overnight pizza dough, divided in half {about 12 oz. each}
Pizza Sausage Sauce
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Grated parmesan cheese

Directions

One day before making the pizza:

Combine all the ingredients for the dough in the large bowl of an electric mixer and with the paddle attachment mix until the ingredients come together around the paddle. Attach the dough hook and knead the dough for 5-6 minutes.

Spray a large ziplock plastic bag with olive oil cooking spray. Place the dough in the bag and close the top. Place the bag in the refrigerator overnight.

When ready to make the pizza, remove the bag from the refrigerator 30 minutes before making the pinwheels

For the sauce: Combine all the ingredients for the pizza sauce in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350℉. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray.

Lightly flour a large wooden cutting board. Roll out one piece of dough into a rectangle about 12 by 8 inches.

Sprinkle the dough with 2 cups pf shredded mozzarella chase. Spoon ½ cup of sausage sauce on top of the cheese and spread it out with the back of the spoon. Leave a 1-inch border all around the dough.

Roll pizza width-wise (the longest side) and seal the edges.

Slice the roll into 6 pieces and place them on one of the prepared pans.
With your hand, gently press down each pinwheel. Sprinkle the top with grated parmesan cheese.
Repeat with the second piece of dough.

Bake for about 30 minutes, rotating the pans on the oven shelves after 15 minutes.
Allow thee pinwheels to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Creamy Italian Dip With Cut-Up Vegetables

Ingredients

Dip
3 tablespoons dried Italian herbs
1 tablespoon of dried minced onion
1 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ cup warm water
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup sour cream
½ teaspoon salt

Vegetables Cut Into long strips: Cucumber, bell bells, carrots, celery. Radishes and cherry tomatoes are also good.

Directions

Soak the Italian seasoning, onion, and garlic powder in the warm water for 15 minutes. Sir in the mayonnaise, yogurt, and sour cream. Add the salt and mix well. Cover and chill for several hours or even overnight.

Place the dip in a serving bowl and arrange the vegetables on a serving platter.

 


Tip for crispy oven fried chicken:
Cover a cookie sheet with foil and spread 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil over the foil. Place the pan in the oven and leave it there while the oven preheats to your recipe’s oven temperature.

Chicken
2 large boneless chicken breasts, sliced in half to form 4 breats
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 egg
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 ½ cups panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and Pepper
Vegetable oil

Topping
2 medium tomatoes, cut into 8 slices
9 mozzarella balls {they about 1-inch in size}flattened slightly

Directions

Place the prepared cookie sheet in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In 3 separate shallow bowls: pales the flour, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon of black pepper in one bowl. In the second beat the egg with the mayonnaise and in the third place the panko, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and ½ teaspoon salt.

Place one chicken breast in the flour, then the egg, and finally the panko/ Repeat with the remaining chicken.

With potholders, take the pan out of the oven and place the breaded chicken on the hot pan. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Turn the chicken over and bake for 15 minutes.

Remove the pawn from the oven and place 2 tomato slices on top of each breast, followed by 3 mozzarella balls on each piece of chicken. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the cheese melts about 5 minutes.

Serve with a green vegetable. I baked asparagus in the oven along with the chicken.

 


SAUCE
1teaspoon wasabi powder
1 teaspoon water
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 garlic clove (crushed)
TUNA
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1⁄2teaspoon wasabi powder
2 fresh tuna fillets (5 oz eachand1 inch thick)

Directions

In a bowl mix wasabi and water to make a paste.
Let stand for 10 minutes.
Stir in vinegar, mayonnaise, and garlic.
Set aside.

Prepare a grill or preheat an air-fryer to 380 degrees F

In a cup, mix the soy sauce, oil, and wasabi powder.
Brush on the tuna fillets.

To Grill
Grill for 3-4 minutes on each side for rare tuna. Add 2 minutes more for medium.

To Air-Fry
Cook for 4 minutes[(for medium-rare tuna] then remove from the air fryer and let rest for about 5 minutes before slicing.

AHI TUNA STEAKS IN AIR FRYER TIMES
Rare: 3 minutes
Medium-Rare: 4 minutes
Medium: 4 ½ minutes
Well Done: 5 minutes

Place the fillets on the rice and top with the wasabi sauce.

Crispy Rice

Ingredients

2 cusp cooked rice
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sriracha
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Peanut oil

Directions
Place the rice in a bowl and sprinkle with the vinegar using a rice paddle to fold the vinegar into the rice. Add the remaining seasonings. And mix gently.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium skillet. When the oil is hot, add the rice and pan into a circle the size of the bottom of the skillet.
Fry the rice until crispy on the bottom. Turn the rice over with a spatula: hash brown style. Cook until brown. Divide in half and place on two individual dinner plates.



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