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Whole Wheat Rye Bread

Ingredients

1 ½ tablespoons instant yeast
1 ½ cups rye flour
2 cups warm water
1 ½ tablespoons caraway seeds
1 tablespoon deli rye flavor
3 cups whole wheat bread flour
2 tablespoons whole-grain bread improver
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

Directions

In the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together all the ingredients except the whole wheat bread flour and salt. Mix until smooth. Combine the bread flour and salt. Add 1 cup of the flour at a time to the rye mixture in the mixer. When smooth, change the attachment to the dough hook and knead the dough until smooth, about 5 minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover and let rise until double about 60 minutes.

Place a piece of parchment in a round cake pan. Turn the dough out onto a breadboard and shape it into an oval. Place the shaped loaf in the pan with parchment. Cover and let rise while the baking pan and oven heat.

Turn the oven to 500 degrees F and place a Cloche pan or Dutch oven in the oven while it is heating. After the oven temperature reaches 500 degrees F continue to heat the oven for 15 minutes.

With a sharp knife cut 3 slits in the top of the risen bread.

Carefully and using hot mitts remove the cover from the baking pan. Pick up the dough in the parchment-lined pan with the parchment and place it in the bottom of the baking pan. Cover and return the pan to the oven to bake for 15 minutes.

Turn the oven down to 450 degrees F, open the oven and remove the cover from the baking pan with hot mitts. Close the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes more or until the internal temperature of the bread reaches 200 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove the bread to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

Open-Faced Rueben Sandwich

2 servings

Ingredients

2 large slices of rye bread
2 tablespoons mustard
8 thin slices of corned beef
4 slices swiss cheese
½ cup drained sauerkraut
4 tablespoons thousand island salad dressing

Directions

Spread each slice of rye bread with 1 tablespoon of mustard. Lay 4 slices of corned beef on top of the mustard. Spread ¼ cup sauerkraut over the meat. Spread 2 tablespoons dressing over the sauerkraut. Top each slice with two pieces of cheese. Heat the sandwiches in a hot oven, air fryer or toaster oven until the cheese melts. Serve with a kosher pickle and some onion rings.


Greek Salad Topped With Chrispy Chicken Fingers

4 servings

Ingredients

Chicken
1 lb chicken tenders (about 8)
2 tablespoon olive oil
Flour (any type works here)

Chicken Marinade
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon dried granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
`1/4 teaspoon Greek seasoning or dried oregano
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Salad
1 head of romaine hearts
1/4 of a cucumber, peeled and sliced into half-moons
1/4 of a red onion sliced thin
1 celery stalk, sliced thin
Half a bell pepper, seeded and diced
20 grape tomatoes, halved
16 Kalamata olives
8 pickled pepperoncini peppers
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
4 mini pita breads, warmed

Dressing
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano and 1 teaspoon dried basil or 1 ½ teaspoons of Greek seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

For the chicken


Combine the chicken tenders and the marinade ingredients in a ziplock bag. Place in the refrigerator for several hours before cooking.
When ready to cook, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet. Drain the chicken from the marinade and dredge the tenders very lightly in flour. Place the tenders in the skillet and cook until brown on both sides, about 3 minutes on each side. Set aside on a plate to cool.

For the salad dressing
Add all dressing ingredients to a jar. Cover and shake for about a minute. Store salad dressing in the refrigerator. Remove the dressing from the refrigerator15 minutes prior to using it.

For the salad
Tear the romaine hearts into small pieces, wash well and spin dry. Place the washed romaine in a large serving bowl. Add the remaining salad ingredients except for the pita and add just enough salad dressing to moisten the salad. Start with about ¼ cup, mix well, taste and see if more dressing is needed. Place the salad in four serving dishes and top each with two cooked chicken tenders. Serve with pita bread.


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 and 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 their cooking methods, food, and spices to America. They farmed the soil, hunted game, and incorporated their ways into the food of America. This new series will be about what they cooked.

Brooklyn’s Lard Bread or Prosciutto Bread or Prosciutto Cheese Bread

There’s a bread that can be found at most Italian deli’s in New York City – it used to be called Lard Bread but now is referred to as Prosciutto Bread The lard bread story is not clear if you try to trace it back to Italy. Like Nicolo Mazzola, who founded their Brooklyn bakery in 1928 and whose family originated in Sicily, but on trips back to the homeland, he’s never seen anything like Mazzola’s lard bread on the streets of Palermo. Recipes for lard bread don’t appear much in Italian cookbooks either, and while stuffing fatty odds and ends into bread dough is a common theme throughout Italy, no particular region seems to have much connection to the peppery cured-meat-and-aged-cheese bread that’s popular on this side of the Atlantic.

For most Italian Americans who eat it, lard bread is mainly a Christmas and Easter tradition.
If you’ve never heard of lard bread—also called prosciutto bread—you’re not alone. The loaf is virtually unknown outside New York City and parts of New Jersey and Philadelphia, where a critical mass of Italian Americans has kept the tradition alive since their ancestors immigrated to the country in the 1800s. But even in the Northeast ItalianAmerican communities, you won’t find it in most Italian bakeries. “Lard bread” isn’t the most appealing name in times like these, especially after decades of healthy eating conditioning, it never captured the public imagination as you might expect for a bread stuffed with meat and cheese.

I thought it would be a fun thing to try at home and take to my Sons & Daughters Of Italy In America meeting. I doubled the recipe to make 2 loaves to take to the potluck supper we have before the meeting. I used my go-to pizza recipe for the bread dough and then added the traditional ingredients as described below.

Brooklyn Street Bread

Ingredients

Dough
3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Filling
4 ounces provolone cheese, diced
2 oz pancetta, diced
2 ounces prosciutto, diced
2 ounces pepperoni, diced
2 ounces Genoa salami, diced
2 ounces capicola, diced
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

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.

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. Alternately, place the dough in a greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubles, 60-90 minutes and make the bread the same day.

Place the dough in the center of a floured pastry board and flatten the dough with your hands into a large circle. Spread the black pepper, meat, and cheese over the top. Fold the dough over to cover the meat and cheese, and then flatten and fold the dough over a few times with your hands to distribute the ingredients throughout the bread.

Shape the dough into a large oval shape or into a baguette and place on a rimmed baking pan.

Cover with greased plastic and let rise at room temperature until puffy and dough springs back slowly when pressed lightly with your finger, about 45-60 minutes.

Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Using a sharp paring knife make a ½-inch-deep lengthwise slash along the top of the loaf, starting and stopping about 1½ inches from ends. Bake until the loaf register 205 to 210 degrees, about 30-35 minutes. Transfer the loaf to wire rack and let cool completely about 3 hours. Serve.


 

Sprouted grain bread is made from whole grains that have begun to sprout, or germinate.
The sprouting process offers several nutrition benefits, compared to bread made from unsprouted grain flours. Sprouting changes the nutritional profile of the grains, making their nutrients more readily available and possibly easier to digest. Sprouted grain bread is lower in carbs and calories and has less of an impact on blood sugar compared to other types of bread.


Sprouted grains are higher in several nutrients, including protein, fiber, vitamin C, folate and beta-carotene. In addition, sprouting decreases antinutrients, making the nutrients in the grains more readily available to your body. Sprouted grains are higher in antioxidants, which help protect against chronic diseases. Eating sprouted grain bread is an easy way to increase your consumption of these powerful compounds.

Homemade Sprouted Wheat Bread

Adapted from a King Arthur recipe

Ingredients

1 cup lukewarm water
1 large egg
2 tablespoons soft butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar or brown sugar substitute
2 1/2 cups sprouted wheat flour
1/4 cup bread flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup any mixed nuts and seeds, (I used 1 tablespoon flaxseed, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 1 tablespoon hemp seeds, and 1 tablespoon bagel seasoning seeds)

Directions

Stir all the dry ingredients together with the paddle attachment of an electric mixer until combined. Add the water, egg, and butter. Mix until the ingredients are combined. Turn off the mixer and let the dough rest, covered, for 30 minutes; this gives the flour a chance to absorb most of the water, which will make the dough less sticky and somewhat easier to knead.
Switch to the dough hook and knead for 4 minutes.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise until puffy, about 2 hours.
Line a long bread basket or a round bowl with parchment.
Place the dough on a lightly greased work surface, and shape it into a log (for a long loaf) or oval or round (for a round loaf).
Place the dough in the proofing pan, cover, and allow it to rise until the dough increases by about one-third, about 1 1/2 hours.

Begin preheating the oven and a covered oblong clay baker or round clay baker or Dutch oven to 500F 30 minutes before baking.
Use the parchment to move the raised dough from the proofing basket to the stone baker.

Cover the baker and bake at 500F for 20 minutes.
Lower the oven temperature to 450F and bake the bread covered for 7 minutes.
Then bake the bread uncovered at 450F for 7 minutes more.
The final internal temperature of the bread should be around 205F. Remove the bread from the baker to a wire cooling rack.

Avocado Toast With Over Easy Eggs

2 servings

Ingredients

4 thin slices sprouted wheat bread, toasted
1 avocado, mashed
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

Mash the avocado in a small bowl with a fork and add the lemon juice. Spread onto the slices of toasted bread. Sprinkle with a little salt.

In a large frying pan, heat the oil on a medium. Once hot, carefully crack the eggs, one at a time, into the oil and fry for 2 minutes or until the yolk is set. With a wide spatula, carefully turn the eggs over and cook for 1 minute.

Transfer the eggs to the top of the avocado covered toast then top with salt and pepper, to taste.


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.


Texas Chili

This style of chili does not contain beans.

Ingredients

2 pounds beef chuck roast or stew meat
1 lb ground beef
1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, diced
3 large garlic cloves, minced
4 fresh green jalapeños or 2 poblano peppers, diced
2 tablespoons ground chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1½ teaspoons ground coriander
1 (12-ounce) bottle beer
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
3 whole dried large Mexican chiles
Chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

Cut beef into 1/2-inch cubes and sprinkle with salt.
In a large, heavy pot over high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of oil until shimmering. Working in batches to avoid crowding the pan, brown the meat cubes, turning occasionally. Adjust heat to prevent scorching. As it is cooked, remove the meat to a bowl. Add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Remove to the bowl with the beef cubes. Add more oil as needed for browning and do not clean out the pot when finished browning.

To the empty pot, add the onion, bell peppers, garlic, jalapeños or poblanos, chili powder, cumin, coriander, and oregano. Cook, stirring, until the onion softens, 5 to 10 minutes. Add browned meat, beer, tomatoes, whole dried chiles, and 1-quart water. Bring to a gentle simmer and simmer about 3-4 hours, or until the meat is fork-tender and the liquid has reduced. Remove the dried chiles. Taste and add salt if necessary. Stir in cilantro to taste.

Serve immediately or let cool and refrigerate. The chili tastes best one or two days after it is made.
To serve, sprinkle with chopped onion and shredded cheddar cheese.

Cornbread

Feel free to substitute fresh buttermilk if you have it.

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups water
5 tablespoons buttermilk powder
1 stick unsalted butter
1 large egg

Directions

Melt butter in a baking dish (use 7×11 or an 8-inch square glass dish) in the microwave for 60 seconds.
Pour into a mixing bowl to cool. Spread residual butter around the edge of the baking dish to coat.
Add water and egg; stir. Add sugar, buttermilk powder, cornmeal, flour, and baking soda. Stir just until combined.

Pour into the prepared baking dish and even out. Bake 375 for 20 minutes.


Shrimp Wrapped in Prosciutto di Parma (Saltimbocca)

2 servings

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
12 fresh sage leaves
12 large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed
6 pieces Prosciutto di Parma, sliced very thin
Coarsely ground fresh black pepper

Directions

Cut each piece of prosciutto in half, lengthwise. Place a sage leaf on each shrimp. Wrap one Proscuitto half around each shrimp. Refrigerate for a few hours if you have time.

Heat a stovetop grill. Coat the pan with olive oil. Place the wrapped shrimp on the grill and cook for about 4 minutes on each side. The prosciutto will get crispy. Sprinkle with the black pepper and remove to a serving plate.

Spinach and Pear Salad

4 servings

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 wire whisk until well blended. Pour dressing over salad; toss to coat. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts. Serve immediately.

Homemade Biscuits

6 servings

Use your favorite store-bought mix or my quick biscuit recipe.
I use a cast iron biscuit pan.

Ingredients

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
10 tablespoons cold butter
5 tablespoons heavy cream
2 eggs

Directions

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the flour mixture. Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender. Combine the cream and eggs. Mix into the flour mixture just until combined.

Coat a 6 cup biscuit baking pan with butter-flavored cooking spray. Divide the biscuit mixture evenly among the six wells. Refrigerate the pan until ready to bake.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the biscuits in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown.



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