Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Author Archives: Jovina Coughlin

Pork Cutlets

2-3 servings {easily doubled or tripled}

Ingredients

5-6 lean pork cutlets,½ inch thick
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup unseasoned Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 plum tomatoes, sliced thin
5-6 slices of mozzarella cheese

Directions

Spread the mustard evenly over the pork.
Sprinkle the thyme and pepper over the cutlets.
Coat each piece of pork with the panko breadcrumbs.

.Heat oven to 425°F. Spread the olive oil over the bottom of a baking dish just large enough to hold the cutlets.
Between sheets of plastic wrap or waxed paper, flatten each pork cutlet to about 1/4-inch thickness.
Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown. Top each cutlet with tomato slices and mozzarella cheese. Return to the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Swiss Chard And Mashed Potato Combo

Chard Recipe

2 cups cooked Swiss Chard
4 medium baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 garlic cloves
Salt to taste
Olive oil

Directions

Cook the potatoes and garlic in boiling salted water until soft. Drain and return the potatoes and garlic to the pot. Mash well. Moisten with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the drained cooked Swiss Chard. Mix well, Heat over low heat until hot.

 


Springtime Vegetables and Eggs

6 servings

Cut all the vegetables into ½ inch cubes

ingredients

¼ cup olive oil
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1 medium baking potato, peeled and diced
1 cup diced red onion
1 large yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
½ teaspoon salt1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil1/4 teaspoon drie4d oregano
1 medium zucchini, diced
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 cup leftover cooked asparagus {see recipe}
8 eggs, beaten
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions

Heat the broiler and move the rack down to the center of the oven.
In a large 12-inch ovenproof skillet or omelet pan, heat the oil.
Add the garlic. potato. Bell pepper android onion. Cook over medium heat until soft, 10=12 minutes. Add the seasonings, zucchini, and asparagus. Cook until heated through.
Pour the beaten eggs over the vegetable and cook over medium until the eggs are set on the bottom. Distribute the cheese evenly over the egg mixture.
Place the pan on the oven shelf under the broiler and cook until the cheese is completly7 melted and the eggs are set on top.
Let the frittata rest for 10 minutes before cutting into serving pieces.


There are many versions of this recipe in Italian cuisine. Some call for the addition of peas or meat. I like to keep them simple and I like to use leftover risotto instead of plain rice because risotto has more flavor, especially the Lemon flavored Risotto I shared with you last week.

This recipe makes 10 rice balls

Ingredients

Tomato Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves minced
¼ cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon chili tomato paste
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
14 oz box or can of finely chopped Italian tomatoes

For the Arancini {Rice Balls}
4 cups leftover risotto or cooked white rice
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
2 eggs
10 ½-inch pieces of mozzarella cheese
⅓ cup flour
½ cup Italian seasoned panko crumbs
Vegetable oil for frying

Directions

For the tomato sauce

Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer for 30 minutes.

For the arancini

Beat one egg in a mixing bowl. Add the chopped parsley and risotto. Mix well.


Using a ¼ cup muffin scoop form 10 rice balls and place them on a waxed paper-covered plate. Push a piece of mozzarella into each rice ball and with floured hands form them into smooth balls. Beat the second egg with a few tablespoons of water in a deep bowl, In a second deep bowl place the flour, and in a third deep bowl place the panko crumbs.


Roll one rice ball in flour, then in the egg, and then in the panko crumbs. Return the ball to the paper-lined plate. Repeat the process with all the rice balls. Refrigerate for several hours.

 

In a deep dutch Oven heat several inches of oil to 350 degrees F. Fry the ball in the oil until they are brown on all sides. Drain on paper towels.

To serve
Place several tablespoons of tomato sauce on a serving plate. Place 2 or 3 arancini on top of the sauce and serve.


Ingredients

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

Topping

1 medium zucchini, finely diced

1 yellow bell pepper, finely diced

2 plum tomatoes, seeded and finely diced

One-quarter of a large red onion, finely diced

16 oz block whole milk mozzarella cheese, sliced thin

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

Crushed red pepper flakes for serving

Directions

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.

Place in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled.

For an overnight rise:  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 pizza.

Turn the oven to 450 degrees F and let the oven heat for 30 minutes.

Prepare the crust: flour your hands lightly and pat the dough evenly into a lightly oiled 16″ pizza pan.

Top the crust in the following order: slices of mozzarella, vegetables, oregano, salt, pepper, and shredded mozzarella cheese.

Bake the pizza on the bottom rack of the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.


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.

The earliest known reference to French toast is found in the Apicius, a collection of recipes dating to the 1st century, where the dish is described as simply “aliter dulcia” (“another sweet dish”. The recipe says to “Break [slice] fine white bread, crust removed, into rather large pieces which soak in milk [and beaten eggs] fry in oil, cover with honey and serve”.The usual French name is pain perdu.It may also be called pain doré, “golden bread”.

An Austrian and Bavarian term is pafese or pofese, from zuppa pavese, referring to Pavia, Italy.The word “soup” in the dish’s name refers to bread soaked in a liquid, a sop. In Hungary, it is commonly called bundáskenyér (lit. “furry bread”)

French toast was served in railroad dining cars in the early and mid-20th century. Santa Fe was especially known for its French toast.

So, if the French did not invent this breakfast treat, who did? According to some, it was a man named Joseph French. He created the dish in 1724 and advertised it as “French Toast” because he forgot to add the apostrophe to his name.

Still, others say that there are recipes from the early 5th century AD and the dish we now know as French toast existed as early as the Roman Empire/ Romans would soak bread in a milk and egg mixture, then fry it in oil or butter.

Others believe that French toast was created by medieval European cooks who needed to use every bit of food they could find to feed their families. They knew day-old bread could be revived when moistened and heated. They added the eggs for additional moisture and protein.

The phrase “French Toast” first appeared in print in the Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink in 1871. But it is known by a variety of names including German toast, eggy bread, French-fried bread, gypsy toast, Poor Knights of Windsor, Spanish toast, nun’s toast, and pain perdu which means “lost bread” in French.

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Risotto al Limone

I adapted this recipe from Da Filippo Restaurant in Sorrento, Italy. Leftover risotto is excellent for making Arancini {Rice Balls{.

Lemon Risotto

Serves 4

Ingredients

3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 onion, finely chopped
1 3/4 cups arborio rice
3 ½ cups water
1/2 cup lemon juice
⅓ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest plus additional for garnish
1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
Garlic shrimp, recipe below
Salt to taste

Directions

Bring the water to a boil over high heat on a back burner. Remove the pot from the heat and add the lemon juice, keep warm.

Heat2 tablespoons butter in a heavy-duty medium pot over medium heat. Add shallot and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, until translucent, about 3 minutes.

Add 1 cup of lemon water to the rice, using a ladle, and cook, stirring constantly, until the water is, absorbed, 2±3 minutes. Repeat this process with the remaining lemon water until the rice is al dente.

Add cream and grated lemon zest and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat, stir in remaining butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano, and season to taste with salt. (If risotto seems too thick, add more water to adjust to desired consistency.)

Spoon risotto onto individual plates, garnish with lemon zest, and top with Garlic shrimp.

Gamberi in Padella


Garlicky Pan-Roasted Shrimp)

4 servings

Ingredients ts

1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, grated on a Microplane
Pinch of dried red-pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley

Directions

In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and hot pepper and sauté gently until the garlic softens but is not browned about 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and sauté, turning once, until they are opaque, about 2 minutes on each side. Add the wine, stir and cook for an additional 30 seconds to allow alcohol to evaporate. Remove the pan from the heat. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with the risotto.

Kale With Garlic and Olive Oil

4 servings

Ingredients

2 large bunches of kale (about 1 1/4 pounds)
Salt, preferably kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Freshly ground pepper

Directions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil while you stem the kale and wash the leaves in two rinses of water. When the water comes to a boil, add a generous amount of salt and the kale. Blanch for four minutes, until the kale is tender. Transfer to a colander, drain and squeeze the water from the leaves. Chop coarsely or cut in strips.

Heat the oil over medium heat in the same pot. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Add the kale and stir for a couple of minutes, until the kale is coated with garlic and oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and serve


Filet Mignon In Mushroom Sauce

2 servings

Ingredients

4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 beef tenderloin steaks 5-6 ounces each)
Fresh thyme sprig
1 clove garlic, cut in half
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms or a 4oz can, drained
1 tablespoon chopped shallot
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
Dash pepper
2/3 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Directions

With a meat mallet flatten the steaks between sheets of plastic wrap to ½ inch thickness.
In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons butter and oil over medium-high heat; Add the thyme, garlic, and steaks. cook steaks to medium-rare, a thermometer should read 125°F, 4 minutes per side. Remove the steaks from the pan to a plate and cover with foil. Discard the garlic and thyme.


In the same pan, heat drippings and remaining butter over medium-high heat; saute mushrooms and shallot until tender. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper until blended; gradually stir in broth and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Return steaks to the pan and simmer in the sauce for 2 minutes, turning them over after 1 minute.

Oven Roasted Asparagus

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 bunches asparagus
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 garlic clove. chopped
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup Italian seasoned Panko breadcrumbs

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Break off the woody bottoms of the asparagus and wash in cold water.
Arrange trimmed asparagus in a 13 X 9-inch dish. Drizzle with the oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle with garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon zest.
Top with breadcrumbs and bake for 20 minutes.

Twice-Baked Potatoes

2 servings

Ingredients

1 large russet potato, 12 ounces
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 slice bacon cooked and crumbled
2 tablespoons chopped chives

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prick the potatoes all over with a fork. Brush lightly with the oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast on a sheet tray covered with foil until tender, 50 minutes to 1 hour.

While still hot, slice a thin layer off the top of the potato and scoop the potato flesh into a medium bowl, leaving a 1/4-inch shell all around on the potato shell. Season the insides of the potato shell lightly with salt and pepper.

To the bowl with the potato flesh, add the sour cream and butter. Use an electric hand mixer or potato masher and mix until almost smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mound into the potato shell and bake for 15-20 minutes until hot. Sprinkle with bacon and chives. Cut in half and serve.


Easy Knockwurst and Sauerkraut

Ingredients

1 cup sauerkraut, drained
2 large beef knackwurst
¼ of a large onion, sliced
2 tablespoons butter

Directions

Melt butter in a skillet and add the knockwurst. Cook until lightly brown on all sides,Add the onion. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Spread the sauerkraut over the knockwurst. Cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes.

Crispy Zucchini Cakes

For the zucchini:
1 1/2 pounds of zucchini (about 3 cups coarsely grated}
1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the dipping sauce:
1/2 cup sour cream (can substitute plain Greek yogurt)
1 clove garlic, minced, about 1 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Pinch of salt

For the fritters:
1 large egg
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 green onions, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon minced fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon kosher salt (more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil or canola oil

Directions

Sprinkle grated zucchini with about 1 teaspoon of salt. Place in a sieve or colander over a bowl. Let sit for 30 minutes.

Press down with a wooden spoon to push out more of the water. Wrap the shredded zucchini in paper towels and try to squeeze out more liquid.

Make the dipping sauce:
Whisk together the sour cream, minced garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

Make the fritter batter:
Whisk the egg in a large bowl. Add the grated zucchini, flour, minced green onions, thyme, basil, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Mix to combine well.

Heat the oil in a large skillet or a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until the oil is shimmery and hot. Test the oil by flicking a little flour into it. If the flour sizzles, it’s ready.

Working in batches, drop ¼ cup of the batter into the skillet. Flatten slightly with the back end of a spoon or spatula. Cook, turning once, until browned, 4-6 minutes on each side.

Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the remaining batter.. Serve with the dipping sauce.


The traditional pizzaiola sauce is made with just tomatoes but I like to add peppers and onions.

4 Servings

Ingredients

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, pressed or finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
One 14-ounce container of chopped Italian tomatoes
6 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1 lb cod fillets, cut into 3-inch pieces

Directions:

Warm the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, the dried seasoning. Cook, stirring, until the onion is soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the peppers and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, basil, parsley, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the cod fillets and ladle some of the sauce over the fillets. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 10 minutes or until just cooked through.

Oven-Fried Zucchini Sticks

2 servings

Ingredients

1 large zucchini
1 egg
1/3 cup AP flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 cup Italian seasoned panko bread crumbs
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Olive oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 °F.

Cut zucchini into fry size pieces about 2 1/2 inches long.
Beat egg with a splash of water.
Season the flour with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper.
Dust zucchini with flour.
Dip in beaten egg.
Coat with Panko bread crumbs mixed with Parmesan cheese.
Place on a greased cookie sheet, careful not to crowd, and drizzle with olive oil.
Bake for 10 minutes. Turn the zucchini sticks and bake for another 10 minutes or until crispy and lightly browned. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese before serving. if desired.


Orecchiette Pasta with Sausage and Kale

4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

16 ounces orecchiette pasta
16 ounces Italian sausage
1 large bunch Tuscan kale, de-stemmed, and leaves chopped
1 large shallot, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 cup salted pasta water
1 lemon, juiced
Salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions

Fill a large pot with water and set it over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of kosher salt (or 2 teaspoons table salt) per quart of water.

When the water is boiling, add the pasta and stir it rapidly to separate the pasta, since the orecchiette has a tendency to stick together. Cook until al dente, 9-11 minutes. Scoop out 1 cup of the pasta water, then drain.

Cut the sausage into small chunks.
Add the sausage into a large skillet coated with olive oil over medium heat. Cook for 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sausage is cooked through.

Add the chopped kale, shallot, red pepper, and garlic to the skillet. Stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes until kale is wilted.

Add the cooked orecchiette, 1/2 cup pasta water, and lemon juice to the skillet. Toss to combine and heat until the pasta water thickens to form a light sauce. If the pasta seems dry, add more pasta water. Add Parmesan cheese and serve pasta in shallow bowls.



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