Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Author Archives: Jovina Coughlin

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.


Almond Cream Cheese Coffee Cakes

Makes 2 cakes

Dough

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup salted butter, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ½ teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 cup milk at room temperature
2 eggs at room temperature
4 cups bread or all-purpose flour

Filling

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
8 ounces almond paste, broken into small pieces

Glaze

2 cups confectioners’ sugar
4 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
¼ cup toasted slivered almonds

To Make the Dough:

Mix all the dough ingredients in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment until the dough comes to a ball or comes away from the sides of the mixer bowl.

Switch to the dough hook and knead the dough for 10 minutes or until the dough is soft and smooth.

Remove the dough to a floured surface. Grease the bowl and return the dough to the bowl. Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 1 hour, or until it’s puffy (though not necessarily doubled in bulk).

To Make the Filling:

While the dough is rising, prepare the filling by beating the cream cheese and the almond paste together until smooth. Chill until ready to use.

Assembly:

Cover two large baking pans with parchment paper.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and divide in half.
Rol one half into a large rectangle, about 12 x 140inches.

Spread half of the filling on the dough, leaving a half-inch border all around the dough.

Fold the dough into thirds like a letter from the long side. Seal the ends tightly. Form the roll into a horseshoe and pinch the ends together.

Place the dough on the prepared pan. Using kitchen scissors, cut two-thirds through the dough from the outer rim of the circle at 1-inch intervals.


Repeat with the remaining ingredients to form another cake.

Allow the cakes to rise, covered with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel for 1 hour until almost doubled in size.

Baking

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Bake the cakes for 30 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Switch pans after 15 minutes to alternate on the oven racks.

Remove the cake from the oven and slide with the parchment paper to cool on a wire rack.

To make the glaze:

Combine the powdered sugar, almond extract, and enough milk to make a thin frosting. Sprinkle with sliced almonds and allow the glaze to set before serving.


This recipe uses some of the leftovers from the post-Rainy Day Pot Roast Dinner.

Ingredients

4 cups chopped leftover pot roast
2 cups leftover brown pot roast gravy
3 leftover cooked carrots, diced
10 oz. package frozen peas
1 large baking potato, peeled and cubed.
1 medium onion, chopped
One store-bought 9-inch pie crust pastry

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a deep 10-inch casserole dish with cooking spray.

Add all the ingredients except the pastry to the casserole. Mix well. Transfer the dish to the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Turn the oven up to 400 degrees F. Unroll the pastry.

Remove the casserole from the oven and lay the pastry on top of the beef mixture.

Return the casserole to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.


Simple Pot Roast

You will have leftovers and if you like pot pies save 4 cups of diced meat,2 cups of gravy, and 3 carrots for later in the week. Recipe next week.

Ingredients

One (4-5pound) boneless beef chuck roast, tied
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
1 onion, sliced
2 large garlic cloves, grated
4 cups beef broth
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
¼ cup Instant flour {Wondra}

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Pat the beef dry with a paper towel. Season the roast all over with salt & pepper.
In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the roast and sear on all sides of the meat until browned.
Aff the onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, and beef broth. Bring the liquid to a boil. Cover the pot and. place it in the oven for 3 hours or until fork-tender.

Remove the roast to a platter and cover with foil. Remove ½ cup of the beef broth and mix thoroughly with the flour. Stir the mixture back into the pot and cook until thickened. Add salt and pepper if needed. Slice the roast and serve with the gravy.

Oven Roasted Carrots

Ingredients

1 bunch fresh organic carrots about 6
2 tablespoon butter
Slat and pepper
Foil

Directions

Cut the ends off the carrots and wash well. Dry.
Place a large sheet of foil on a sheet pan.
Place the carrots close together in a single layer on top of the foil.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and dot with the butter.
Seal the foil on top and on the edges. Place the pan in the oven with the pot roast for the last hour of cooking the pot roast.
Serve with the roast and potatoes.

Garlic and Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

6 large baking potatoes (about 4 pounds), peeled and diced
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled
Salt and pepper

Directions

Place potatoes and garlic in a heavy large pot. Cover with cold salte4d water. Boil over medium-high heat until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 40 minutes.

Drain. Return potatoes to the dry pot. Stir over medium heat until any excess liquid evaporates. Add the olive oil and mash until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with the roast.


When all you want is a simple cookie to have with a cup of tea, the easy recipe below fits just perfectly.

Vanilla Shortbread

Makes 2 dozen

Ingredients

1 cup salted butter, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.

Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating until smooth.

Stir in vanilla extract and almond extract until blended.

Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed until blended.

On a large sheet of plastic wrap, with floured hands, shape the dough into a 12-inch by 2-inch log.

Wrap tightly and place in a large freezer bag. Freeze for several hours or even overnight hours.

The dough may be frozen for up to 1 month.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.

Let the log stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Cut the log into 24 ½-inch thick slices with a sharp knife.

Place shortbread slices 1 inch apart {12 to a pan{ on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake shortbread for 15 minutes or until the edges are golden. Reverse pans halfway through the baking time.

Remove shortbread from baking sheets after 10 minutes, and place on wire racks; let cool completely.

Store in airtight containers.


Broccoli Soup

8 servings

Ingredients

1 tablespoon butter
6 garlic cloves, sliced
4 shallots, sliced
1 large baking potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 sprig thyme  or 1 teaspoon dried
1 onion, diced
2 bunches broccoli {4 heads}
8 cups chicken broth
Pinch of freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup half-and-half or cream
1/4 cup snipped chives
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

Remove the broccoli florets and divide them in half. Save one half for another recipe and set aside the remaining florets. Dice the stalks into small pieces.

In a large soup pot, over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic, shallots,, onion and thyme. Sweat in the butter until softened.

Add the potatoes and broccoli stems. Stir the mixture several times.

Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low, partially cover the pot and simmer the soup for about 90 minutes until all the vegetables are very soft.

Puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender until very smooth.

Add the broccoli florets and cream and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover the pan and simmer over very low heat until the florists are softened for about 10 minutes.

Serve h garnished with chives.t.



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