Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Author Archives: Jovina Coughlin

 

The Tri-Tip goes by so many (often incorrect) names — California cut, Newport steak, sirloin tip, sirloin butt, culotte, bottom sirloin, top sirloin and more — that it’s sometimes confusing.
The term tri-tip is correct and descriptive because the steak is triangular and is the tip of the sirloin.
Serve this main dish with a salad or sauteed greens.

Ingredients

Cherry Tomato Marinara Sauce

One 28-ounce can whole cherry tomatoes (Cento brand)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 anchovies packed in olive oil
1/3 cup red onion, diced
1 tablespoon capers, drained and rinsed
3 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

Steak

1 tablespoon olive oil
One 24 oz trip-tip steak
1 medium onion, sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry red wine (such as Chianti, Montepulciano)
8-10 oz spaghetti
Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley for garnish

Directions

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Combine all the ingredients for the marinara sauce together in a bowl and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Season the roast lightly with salt and pepper. Put the roast fat-side down in the pot. Cook until the bottom is browned, about 3 minutes, then carefully turn the roast to brown on the other side, an additional 3 minutes. Remove the meat to a plate.

 

Add the onions and stir periodically until they soften and start to brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in the sauce ingredients and wine. Add the meat with all its juices back to the pot. Bring the liquid to a simmer. Cover, transfer the pot to the oven and cook until the meat is very tender about 2 hours. Place the meat on a cutting board and slice into thin slices.

Cook the pasta to the al dente stage. Drain and stir into the sauce in the Dutch Oven. Pour the pasta onto a platter and place the sliced steak on top. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and parsley.


Tuna Coating
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground fennel
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon flour

Tuna
2 tuna fillets about 1 lb total
1 tablespoon olive oil

Peppers and Onions
1 cup sliced Italian Frying Peppers
1/2 cup sliced onion
1 garlic glove, smashed
1/4 cup torn fresh mint leaves
Coarse sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

Beans
One 15 ounce can cannellini or navy beans, drained, rinsed or ½ cup dried beans soaked overnight and cooked. (See recipe below)
1/2 cup jarred baby artichoke hearts, cut in half
1/2 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

For the peppers and onions
Heat oil in a large deep skillet and add the garlic clove. Add the peppers and onions. Saute until tender about 5-6 minutes. Add the mint and season with coarse salt and pepper. Remove from the skillet and place on a serving platter.

For the tuna
Combine the coating mixture in a shallow dish.
Rinse the fillets in cold water, letting the water drip off but don’t dry the fish.
Coat the tuna fillets in the coating mixture.

Add the 1 tablespoon oil and heat. Carefully place the tuna fillets into the skillet. A spice crust should form within 1 minute. Using a wide spatula, turn the tuna fillets over, lower the heat to medium, and cook for 2-5 minutes to the desired doneness. Place the cooked tuna on the bed of onions and peppers.

For the beans
Heat the oil in a small saucepan and add the remaining ingredients. Heat over low just until hot. Serve with the tuna fillets.

How To Cook Dried Beans

Ingredients

8 ounces (1 cup) dried beans
1 small onion
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled, lightly smashed
Half a serrano or jalapeño pepper seeded, or 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 to 4 fresh thyme sprigs or ½ teaspoon dried
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

Place the beans in a large saucepan, add enough cool water to cover by 1½ inches, and soak overnight at room temperature. Drain.
Place the soaked beans in a large saucepan with water to cover by 1½ inches. Add the onion, garlic, chili, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a low boil over moderate heat, then reduce the heat to low. Cook the beans at a bare simmer until they are just tender but not mushy, about 30-45 minutes. If necessary, replenish the water, so that it stays 1 inch above the top of the beans. Halfway through the cooking time, stir in the salt.

Remove from the heat. If you are using them right away, drain the beans. Remove and discard the onion, garlic, chili, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf. If you are not using the beans immediately, allow the beans to cool in their cooking liquid before draining. (Keep the cooking liquid to reheat the beans or to use in many of the recipes that follow.) You can keep beans, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days.


If you are looking to reduce some of the carbs in your diet, this is a good meal to make. Serve this wintertime dinner with pickles, Giardiniera, pickled peppers or olives on the side.

Italian Burgers With Garlic Lemon Aioli

Since I usually cook just for two, I cut this recipe in half.

4 burgers

Ingredients

1 1/4 lbs ground beef, shaped into four patties
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
Sprig of rosemary
1 large clove garlic, crushed
4 slices (1/4 inch thick) sweet onion
4 slices fresh tomato (1/4 inch thick)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
4 slices 1/2-inch-thick and 4 inches wide of Focaccia bread, toasted

Quick Lemon Garlic Aioli
5 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Sprinkle of salt
1/2 cup olive oil mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Optional: ½ teaspoon anchovy paste

Directions

 

For the aioli
In a small, shallow bowl, combine the garlic and lemon juice. Stir to combine and spread it into an even layer. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Let the mixture rest for 10 minutes, so the lemon juice can absorb the garlic’s flavor.
Place a fine-mesh strainer over another bowl. Using a silicone or rubber spatula, scoop the contents of the bowl into the strainer, then press on the garlic with the spatula to get as much juice out as possible. Discard the garlic.
Stir the mayo into the garlicky lemon juice until combined. Add the Dijon mustard and anchovy paste. Aioli will keep well in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 10 days. It will thicken up more as it chills.

For the burgers
Season the burgers with salt, pepper, and dried Italian seasoning.
Heat a large deep skillet over medium-high to high. Add the olive oil to the pan and tilt the pan to distribute the oil..Add the patties and onion slices. Cook, about 6 minutes for rare or 8 minutes for medium-rare. Turn the patties and onion slices over halfway through the cooking time. Remove the onion slices and place them on the toasted bread. Leave the burgers in the pan.

Add the butter, rosemary, and garlic to the pan. Using a large spoon, baste the patties for about 2 minutes with the garlic-rosemary butter; top each burger with a slice of tomato. Place ¼ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese on top of each tomato. Cover the pan to melt the cheese, about 1 minute.
Serve the burgers on top of the toasted bread with the garlic aioli. I had baked Foccacia that was one-inch thick and I cut the pan into 4-inch square pieces. I then cut one square in half lengthwise to use for the base of the burger.

Red Cabbage Slaw

If you do not have lemon-flavored olive oil, add a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice to the dressing.

Ingredients

1/4 of a head of red cabbage, about 8 oz., shredded
1/2 cup shredded carrot
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons lemon-flavored extra virgin olive oil

Directions

Cover cranberries with water and let sit for 15 minutes while you prepare the remaining ingredients. Drain.
Toss together the cabbage, carrots, parsley, walnuts, and cranberries.
In a serving dish with a cover whisk together the vinegar, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the oil. Toss with the cabbage, carrots, parsley, walnuts, and cranberries.
Taste, adjust seasonings and serve. Alternately, allow to sit for 30 minutes to an hour in the refrigerator, then serve.


This entire meal may be baked in the oven together at the same temperature. Just stagger placing the dishes in the oven according to their baking times.

Baked Stuffed Shrimp

2-3 servings. This recipe is easily doubled.

Ingredients

12 jumbo raw shrimp, peeled, deveined and tail-on
1 large scallion, minced
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 celery stalk, minced
Half a jalapeno pepper, minced
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
1 slice finely chopped cooked bacon
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Lemon wedges for serving

Directions

Preheat to 375 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
Using a paring knife, cut along the outside curve of each shrimp, from the bottom of the neck to tail, almost all the way through. Arrange the shrimp on the prepared pan, laying them open, cut-sides down, pressing gently to flatten.

For the stuffing
Combine scallions, mayonnaise, celery, jalapeno, breadcrumbs, bacon, salt and cayenne in a small bowl.
Spoon 1 teaspoon of stuffing onto each shrimp. Fold the tail over the filling and press gently.

Bake until the shrimp turn pink and the stuffing is warmed through, 10-12 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and serve with lemon wedges.

Zucchini Au Gratin

Bechamel Sauce
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Au gratin
2 cups. shredded cheddar cheese
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 medium zucchini, about 2 lbs, sliced crosswise into 1/4” circles
1 shallot, minced
Bechamel sauce, recipe above

Directions

To make the Bechamel sauce

Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over moderately low heat. Whisk in flour and cook the roux, whisking, 2 minutes. Add the milk in a stream, whisking, and bring to a boil over high heat, whisking constantly (sauce will thicken). Reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, 2 minutes, then whisk in the salt and pepper Remove from heat and cover the pan.

For the zucchini

Toss the zucchini slices with 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a large bowl or plastic bag. Pour into a large colander and let sit for at least 30 minutes. This will pull moisture from the zucchini so your casserole will not be watery. Dry the zucchini in a kitchen towel.

Preheat oven to 375°F and butter a medium casserole dish. Add a layer of zucchini to the baking dish, overlapping the zucchini slices. Season with pepper and pour about one-half of the cream mixture over the zucchini. Scatter the minced shallot over the zucchini and sprinkle with half the cheese.
Make another layer with the remaining zucchini slices and top with the sauce and cheese. Bake until bubbly and golden on top, 40 to 45 minutes.

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

If you don’t have garlic-flavored oil, add two minced garlic cloves.

Ingredients

1 (10 oz) container cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons garlic-flavored olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F.


In a medium baking dish, toss together tomatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Top with thyme sprigs.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soft and very fragrant.


Pork Cutlets with Maple Flavored Applesauce & Red Cabbage

Servings 4

Ingredients

2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 – 4 oz carton unsweetened applesauce
2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
4 – 1/2-inch-thick center-cut boneless pork loin chops, (about 1 pound), trimmed of all fat
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
⅓ cup flour
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs

Directions

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Set a wire rack on a foil-lined baking sheet and coat with cooking spray.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add applesauce, cabbage, onion and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to soften, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in maple syrup. Reduce heat to low and cook until the cabbage is tender, about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat, cover and keep warm.

Meanwhile, place each pork chop between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Pound with the smooth side of a meat mallet or a heavy saucepan until 1/4 inch thick. Season the pork on both sides with salt and pepper. Place flour on a large plate. Whisk egg and mustard in a shallow dish. Mix panko and 1 tablespoon oil in another shallow dish. Dredge the pork in the flour, dip in the egg mixture, then dredge in the panko. Place on the wire rack. Coat both sides with cooking spray.

Bake until the pork is cooked through and the breadcrumbs are just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Season the cabbage mixture with pepper and serve with the cutlets.

Seasoned Baked Rutabaga Wedges

Ingredients

1 rutabaga, peeled and sliced into wedges
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt and coarse black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 °F. Soak the rutabaga wedges in cold water for several hours. Drain and dry on paper towels.
Cover a sheet pan with foil and coat with cooking spray. In a large ziplock bag, mix the garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, salt, and pepper and shake to combine. Place the rutabaga wedges in the bag and shake to evenly coat them. Add the oil and shake again.
Arrange the wedges on the prepared sheet pan so they are not touching.
Bake about 20 min and turn the wedges over. Bake another15-20 minutes or until they are brown and crispy


Oven Roasted French Cut Ribeye Steak

 

Ingredients

Onion Topping
1 large sweet onion, sliced
2 tablespoons butter

Steak
1 ½ lb bone-in rib-eye steak, frenched
Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper
5 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

For the onions: In a medium skillet melt the 2 tablespoons butter and add the sliced onions. Cook until golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Season steaks generously with salt and pepper; let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon. oil in a large heavy ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and add the steak to the skillet. Cook until seared and golden brown, 2 minutes per side. Scatter thyme and rosemary sprigs evenly in the skillet and dot with 2 tablespoons butter.

Roast steak in the oven, turning halfway through cooking and basting frequently with the herb butter in the skillet until an instant-read thermometer inserted into steak registers 125° for medium-rare, 12-15 minutes, or to your desired doneness.
Transfer steak to a cutting board. Drizzle with herb butter from the skillet and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice against the grain and divide among serving dishes. Top each serving with some of the sauteed onions.

Pan-Fried Potatoes

Ingredients

1 pound small potatoes, cut in half
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 lemon, sliced
Kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil

Directions

Place the sliced potatoes in a skillet cut side down. Top with the garlic, thyme and lemon slices. Add salt to taste. Cover with cold water. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 5 minutes. Drain well and reserve the garlic. Return the potatoes to the pan cut side down, add the garlic and olive and cook the potatoes until brown.

Sauteed Spinach

Ingredients

10 pkg, frozen spinach, defrosted and drained
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat until the spinach is hot and tender about 6-7 minutes.


Sea Bass with Spinach Pesto

4 servings

Ingredients

1 lb Sea Bass fillets cut into ½ inch thick pieces
4 tablespoons butter
Spinach pesto, recipe below
Lemon quarters
Fish Coating
1/2 cup Flour
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

Mix the flour and seasonings together. Coat the fish fillets in the flour mixture. Melt the butter in a large heavy skillet. Place the coated fillets in the butter and cook for 3-4 minutes per side. Cover each fillet with several tablespoons of spinach pesto and heat for 2 or 3 minutes.

Spinach Pesto

Ingredients

2 cups lightly packed baby spinach leaves (about 2 ounces)
1/4 cup pine-pignoli (or any nuts) nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 to 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Directions

Combine the spinach, pine nuts, lemon juice, and lemon peel in a processor. Lightly pulse. With the machine running, gradually add 1/3 cup of the oil, blending until the mixture is creamy. Add salt and pulse.
Stir in the Parmesan. Season the pesto with salt and pepper, to taste.

Tomato Mozzarella Salad

Ingredients

2 tomatoes, sliced into ½ inch thick slices
5-6 slices fresh mozzarella cheese, ½-inch thick
5-6 Pitted oil-cured olives
Extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

Arrange the tomato slices alternating with mozzarella slices on each serving plate. Drizzle with olive oil and top with olives.

Oven Roasted Asparagus

Ingredients

1 bunch asparagus
Coarse sea salt to taste
Crushed black pepper to taste
!/4 teaspoons roasted garlic powder
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C). Remove the woody ends of the asparagus spears.

Arrange the asparagus spears on a foil-lined baking sheet and coat with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and the Parmesan cheese.

Bake until the cheese begins to brown and the spears are tender about10-12 minutes.



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