Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Author Archives: Jovina Coughlin

Sausage Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

1 ½ lbs sweet Italian sausage
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
`/2 cup finely chopped onion
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 containers (2- 26 and 1-14 oz) chopped Italian tomatoes
1 tomato container filled with water

Directions

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven and brown the sausage. Remove the sausage to a plate. Add the onion to the pan and site until tender about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, seasoning, and tomato paste. Stir and cook for 2 minutes, Add the tomatoes and water. Bring to a low boil, reduce the heat, and add the sausage to the sauce. Partially clever the pot and simmer the sauce until thickened for about 2 hours.

Baked Ravioli

Depending on how many ravioli you want to make, you can place the second layer of ravioli over the first layer. This is such an easy way to cook ravioli and makes clean up
easy plus the ravioli don’t come apart in boiling water.

Ingredients

1 lb frozen ravioli
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
Sausage Tomato Sauce

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Place 1 cup of sauce in an oiled 9 x 13 baking dish.
Make one layer of ravioli, cover completely with sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Continue with the second layer making sure ravioli are completely covered with sauce.
Cover and bake for 30to 40  minutes depending on how many layers are in the dish.
Uncover and sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese.
Bake an additional 15 minutes. Serve the sausage on the side.

Serve with a leaf lettuce salad with added sliced red onion and Kalamata olives.


Cauliflower Parmesan

Ingredients

½ cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg and ¼ cup water, beaten together
1 ½ cups panko Italian unseasoned bread crumbs
Kosher salt, as needed
Black pepper, as needed
1 small-medium head cauliflower, trimmed and divided into large floret clusters
½ cup of vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups Marinara Sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Place flour, eggs, and panko into three wide, shallow bowls. Season each with salt and pepper. Dip a cauliflower piece first in flour, then egg, then coat with panko. Repeat with remaining cauliflower.


Fill a large skillet with oil. Place over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, fry cauliflower in batches, turning halfway through, until golden brown. Transfer fried cauliflower pieces to a paper towel-lined plate.
Spoon the marinara sauce over the bottom of an 8-inch baking pan. Place the cauliflower evenly in the baking dish. Transfer pan to oven and bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the shredded mozzarella and return to the oven until the cheese melts.

Lemony Chicken or Turkey Cutlet Piccata

Ingredients

4 servings

1 lb boneless skinless chicken or turkey breast cutlets
Kosher salt and black pepper
½ cup flour for dredging
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons capers rinsed and drained
Fresh chopped parsley for garnish

Directions

Pat the chicken breast pieces dry and season with kosher salt and black pepper on both sides. Lightly coat the chicken on both sides with the flour (shake off any excess flour).
In a medium skillet, heat the extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Cook the chicken on 1 side for about 2 minutes, then turn over to cook for 3 minutes. Add the butter and capers. Drizzle the lemon juice over the cutlets and let simmer for 2 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Linguini with Pesto Cream Sauce

6 servings

Ingredients

Pistachio Basil Pesto Sauce
4 cups washed basil leaves
½ cup shelled pistachio nuts
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil

Cream Sauce
1 lb linguini
1 cup pistachio basil pesto sauce
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream

Directions

For the pesto sauce
Place the pistachios, garlic, salt, and pepper in a processor bowl. Process until the nuts and garlic are chopped. Add the basil leaves and process for a minute or two. In the opening spout at the top, pour the olive oil as you process. Keep processing until the mixture is smooth.
Cook the pasta al dente according to the package directions. Drain the pasta in a colander.
In the same pot add the pesto, cream, and Parmesan cheese. Warm over low heat and then add the cooked linguine. Cook for a minute or two. Pour into a serving bowl and top with freshly ground black pepper.


2 servings-double for 4 servings

Ingredients

5 ounces spaghetti
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 shallot, minced
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
8 oz salmon fillet
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons plain panko breadcrumbs, toasted
\
Direction

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large deep skillet. Add the salmon fillet and saute on both sides until cooked about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove to a plate, break into large pieces, and set aside.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup pasta cooking water.

Add the remaining oil, garlic, anchovy paste, crushed red pepper, and lemon juice to the skillet. Heat over medium-high heat until sizzling, about 3 minutes. Add the reserved pasta water, drained pasta, salmon, and salt. Cook, stirring, until the sauce coats the pasta, about 2 minutes. Divide between two pasta plates, top each with breadcrumbs and parsley. Serve immediately.

Leaf Lettuce Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

2 servings

Ingredients

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 orange
2 minced scallions
1/4 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
4 cups leaf lettuce
1 cup of green olives

Directions

In a medium salad bowl whisk together the olive oil, the orange segments and juice from the orange, scallions, salt, pepper, and oregano. Add the olives and lettuce. Mix well and serve in individual salad bowls.


Cherry Topped Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs (room temperature)
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup hot coffee
Vanilla Frosting, store-bought or recipe below
1 cup dried cherries, rehydrated, see below
Green sprinkles

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 cake pan with nonstick spray and set aside.

Add the brown sugar, white sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to a large mixing bowl or electric mixer and combine.

In another bowl add the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla extract and whisk together.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat together until well combined. Scrape down the sides as needed.

Slowly pour the hot coffee into the batter and mix on low speed until well combined. Continue to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is mixed well. The batter will be very thin.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 5 minutes until a toothpick can be inserted and comes out with a few moist crumbs.

Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool completely.

Spread the frosting over the cake. Decorate with cherries and green sprinkles.

To rehydrate the cherries:

Place the cherries in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of your favorite liqueur. I used Tuaca a fine spirit with subtle notes of vanilla and citrus, Pour enough boiling water over the cherries to cover them. Let sit for 15 minutes and then drain. Dry the cherries on a paper towel.

To make the vanilla frosting:

ingredients
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch salt

In a small bowl, beat together butter, sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt until light and fluffy.


For 2 servings-double for 4 servings

Ingredients

2 chicken thighs, skin and fat removed
2 medium baking potatoes, unpeeled and scrubbed
Marinade
1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

In a bowl, combine the marinade ingredients. Add the chicken and refrigerate for several hours.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cover a sheet pan with foil and coat with cooking spray.
Drain the chicken and reserve the marinade. Place the chicken at one end of the pan.
Cut the potatoes into wedges. Toss the potato wedges in the reserved marinade, then spread them out in a single layer on the sheet pan.
Bake for 20 minutes, until the potatoes are turning golden brown on the edges.
Turn the potatoes over, then bake for another 20 minutes, until golden brown all over.
Season with extra salt if desired. The chicken should register 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Divide the chicken and potatoes between two individual plates.

Spinach and Pear Salad

Ingredients

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 medium red pears, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 celery stalk, diced
1 (6-8ounce) package pre-washed baby spinach
1/4 of red onion, sliced
Dressing
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1/8 teaspoon coarse ground pepper

Directions

Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl; toss to combine.
Combine the salad dressing ingredients in a small bowl with a wire whisk until well blended. Pour dressing over salad; toss to coat. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts. Serve immediately.


Cod Parmigiana

Ingredients

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 egg
1/2 cup panko Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
12 oz cod or another firm thick white fish fillet
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 oz fresh mozzarella sliced
Cherry Tomato Sauce, below

Directions

Place flour on a plate and add a pinch of salt and pepper. In a bowl, beat the egg with a little water. On another plate, mix bread crumbs with Parmesan.

Coat fish fillets in flour, dip in egg mixture, shake off excess, and coat with bread crumb mixture. Heat oil in a deep skillet with a cover. When the oil is hot, add the breaded fish and cook on both sides until brown. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Clean out the skillet and add half to the cherry tomato sauce recipe. Heat for a few minutes and return the fish to the pan.  Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Uncover the pan and place the mozzarella cheese evenly on the fish. Cover the pan and heat on low until the mozzarella melts.

Cherry Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ cup diced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
28 oz can Italian cherry tomatoes (Cento)
1 large sprig of basil
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon capers

Directions

Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add onion, garlic, salt, and black pepper. When the onion is tender add the tomatoes, basil, and honey. Break the tomatoes up a little with a wooden spoon and cook for 15–20 minutes over medium heat. Stir in the capers.

Orzo with Diced Zucchini

Ingredients

1 cup whole wheat orzo
1 teaspoon salt plus extra for seasoning
1 medium zucchini diced into ½ inch cubes
½ cup diced white onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

Add salt to a large saucepan of boiling water. Stir in orzo and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside. In the same pot heat the oil and add the garlic and onion. Cook for two minutes and add the zucchini. Stir and cook for three more minutes. Add drained orzo, turn heat to low, and let the mixture heat. Serve with the cod.


Corn is very plentiful and has a long growing season where I live. So when it is at its best, I freeze many quarts of this vegetable to use during the off-season. Even after spending several months in the freezer, you can taste its sweetness when using it in your cooking. You certainly can use frozen corn from the supermarket in this recipe.

Chowder

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter

1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups) 

1 large carrot, diced

4 ribs celery with leaves, diced

1 1/2 pounds  Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced 

4 cups vegetable stock 

2 fresh whole sprigs of thyme  

1 teaspoon kosher salt 

¼ -½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1to 2 tablespoons honey 

7 cups frozen sweet corn kernels, divided

2 cups whole milk 

Additional salt to taste, pepper to taste

Directions

Heat the butter in a Dutch oven or large soup pot. Add the onion, celery, carrots, and potatoes to the pot and saute for ten minutes until soft.

Add honey if the corn isn’t sweet. 

Add 4 cups of corn, vegetable stock, cayenne, salt, and thyme. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for an hour. Remove the thyme branches.

Remove the pot from the heat and puree the contents with an immersion blender. Add milk, salt, and pepper to taste and the remaining 3 cups of corn.

Return the pot to the heat and simmer the soup for about 30 minutes.

Garnish the soup with cheddar cheese or toasted tortilla strips when serving, if desired.

 


Air Fryer or Broiler Porterhouse Steak

Servings 4

Ingredients

1 Porterhouse or T-bone steak, about 2 1/2 lbs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon steak rub or seasoning (such as Montreal)

For the Herb Butter
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 small clove garlic, grated
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Combine the herb butter ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Let the meat rest at room temperature for AT LEAST 30 minutes and 60 minutes is better.
Preheat the air fryer or broiler for 5 minutes at 400 degrees F
Then rub the olive oil all over the steak, and season both sides with steak rub or seasoning.
Place the steak in the air fryer on the broiler pan for 6 minutes, then tum and cook for another 5 minutes for medium-rare.
Transfer the steak to a platter and est for at least 5 minutes, before cutting. Cut the steak off the bone in two large pies, slice the meat and return it to its position around the bone for an attractive serving presentation. Spread the herb hutter over the sliced steak. Let sit for a minute or two and serve.

Twice Cooked Stuffed Potatoes

Ingredients

2 large baking potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon coarse sea salt
½ tablespoon coarse black pepper
For the stuffing
2 Tablespoon sour cream
1 Tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon chopped chives
Salt and pepper to taste

Direction

Wash and dry the potatoes.
Put the oil in a bowl and rub it on the potatoes.
Sprinkle salt and pepper over the potatoes.
Put the potatoes in an air fryer basket, leaving space around them for air to circulate.
Cook at 400 F for 30 minutes, turning over after 15 minutes.
Test for the potatoes’ doneness by seeing if a fork goes into them easily. Or check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer. They are done if they are at about 205 F.
Put them back in for another 10 minutes if necessary.
Or bake them in a 400 F degree oven for about an hour.

To finish the potatoes:
Cut the baked potatoes in half and scoop out the insides into a bowl.
Add the sour cream, chives, salt, pepper, and butter to the bowl with the potatoes.
Mash the potatoes and ingredients together with a potato masher until they have reached your desired consistency.
Spoon the filling back into the potato shells, mounding it to fit as necessary.
Bake the potatoes in an air fryer basket at 400 F for 10 minutes and serve with the steak.
Or bake in a 400 F degree regular oven until hot.

Creamy Spinach

Ingredients

20 ounces baby spinach leaves, washed and dried
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 large scallions, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 pinch ground nutmeg, optional
1 pinch of cayenne pepper, optional
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese, to serve

Directions

Melt the butter in a medium-sized pot over medium heat and cook the chopped scallions until soft (about 2-3 minutes), then add the garlic and spinach and cook until wilted.
Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne. Stir in the cream and mix thoroughly. Heat over low until hot. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

NOTE
*Instead of fresh spinach, you can use Two 10 ounce packages of frozen chopped spinach. Thaw and squeeze dry before adding to the sauce.


Ingredients

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
4 cloves garlic, grated
2 shallots, finely chopped
½ cup white wine
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
12 oz spinach linguini
¼ cup roughly chopped parsley

Directions

Cook pasta according to directions for al dente, drain, and place in a pasta serving bowl.
Cut the shrimp in half, crosswise.
Heat 3 tablespoons. butter and oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat; season shrimp with salt and pepper, and add to skillet. Cook, turning once, until beginning to turn pink, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate; set aside. Add chili flakes, garlic, and shallots to skillet; cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add wine and lemon juice; cook until bubbly.
Add reserved shrimp and remaining butter; heat for a minute or two. Pour sauce over the reserved pasta and toss well. Sprinkle with parsley and serve in individual pasta bowls.

A tomato salad goes well with this entree.


Easy Sausage and Pepper Stew

Ingredients

Olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
4 links spicy Italian pork sausage, or any style sausage, cut into one-inch pies
1 medium onion, diced
2 large bell peppers, cut into one-inch pieces
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into one-inch pieces
1/2 lb fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into one-inch pieces
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons tomato paste
28 oz container of finely chopped Italian tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Pour enough olive oil into the bottom of a Dutch Oven and heat over medium-low. Add the sausage and cook until brown on all sides, stirring the sausage pieces often. Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, and tomato paste and stir until completely combines. Add the remaining ingredients, stir well, and bring the mixture to a slow boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer the stew for about an hour or until all the vegetables are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon into individual bowls and serve with a slice of Italian beard.



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