Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Cheese


Pork Chops

Ingredients

2 bone-in pork chops, center-cut, 1/2-inch thick
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 cup Italian flavored Panko crumbs
½ teaspoon salt

Directions

In a flat shallow bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, with the Italian seasoning.
Cover the pork chops with a light coating of mayonnaise. then place the pork chops in the breadcrumb mixture and coat all sides evenly.

Air-Fryer Directions
Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F.
Place breaded pork chops into the air fryer in one layer and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, carefully flipping halfway through cooking. If cooking thicker pork chops, cook for 14-15 minutes.
Remove pork chops from the air fryer.

Oven Baked Directions
Preheat the oven to 425°F
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork chops to skillet and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer skillet with pork to oven. Bake until pork chops are crisp on the outside and the meat thermometer inserted into pork registers 150°F, about 20 minutes.


Panfried Potatoes

Ingredients

¼ cup olive oil
2 pounds of small Yukon Gold potatoes
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
4 cloves garlic, sliced
Flakey salt and freshly ground black pepper, for serving

Directions

Slice the potatoes into thin round circles. Heat the oil in a medium skillet along with the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper and add the garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly brown and tenders for about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Zucchini Tomato Saute

Ingredients

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 fresh tomato, seeded and chopped
1 zucchini, sliced
¼ cup onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
12 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup diced fresh mozzarella cheese

Directions

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the tomatoes, zucchini, onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper and stir to combine. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Top with the cheese. Top with the mozzarella and serve.


First Step

Poached Cod Fish

3 cups cold water
1 medium bay leaf
A large branch of fresh thyme
3 chive stalks
Salt and pepper
1 lb cod fillets
1/2 medium lemon, sliced paper-thin
3 fresh parsley sprigs, stems trimmed and coarsely chopped
Tomato Pesto Sauce for serving

Directions

Combine all the ingredients except the fish in a large, shallow-sided pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low until liquid is at a simmer. Add fish in a single layer, making sure it is completely covered with liquid. Sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper.
Poach until the cod flesh is opaque and flakes easily (the internal temperature should be 175ºF). Let cool in the poaching liquid off the heat.
Shred the cod.

Step Two

Cakes
1lb cod, poached and shredded
4 cups of mashed potatoes
1/2 cup of finely chopped onion
2Garlic cloves, minced
2 eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped parsley

For cooking
White rice flour
4 tablespoons butter

Directions

Combine the cake ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Coat a large piece of waxed paper lightly with white rice flour. Measure the cakes with a 1/4 measuring scoop and drop them on the floured paper. With floured hands shape into little patties. Coat highly in a little flour to remove any sticky areas. Makes about 18

Heat the butter in a large skillet and lightly brown the patties on both sides. About a minute on each side until light gold.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment and place the patties on the pan. Bake in a 400-degree oven for about 20 minutes until hot.

Serve with 2 cups marinara sauce and add 2 tablespoons of basil pesto to the sauce.

Creamy Orzo With Spinach

Ingredients

11/2 cups uncooked whole wheat orzo pasta
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 medium onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 cup heavy/whipping cream
1/2 cup grated Italian Fontina cheese
10 oz pkg frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

Bring the broth to a boil in a medium saucepan with a cover. Add the orzo, lower the heat, and cover the pan. Simmer the orzo until the broth is absorbed, about 30 minutes. Set aside in a bowl.
Melt the butter in the empty saucepan and cook the onion until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the spinach and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the cream, Fontina cheese, seasoning, salt, and pepper to taste. Add the orzo and cook over low heat until all the ingredients are hot.


As you can probably tell from recipes this past week, eggplant is in season in the south. The varieties are extensive and I am coming up with lots of recipes. Stay tuned for more.

Ratatouille Pot Pie

Ingredients

Filling

2 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
1 large onion, chopped
1 yellow pepper and 1 red pepper, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
2 teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
2 cups shredded Italian Fontina cheese
3 tablespoon olive oil olive oil

Pastry

1 pkg. Pastry dough for a 9-inch pie
11 egg, beaten

Directions:

Can be prepared a day ahead.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a greased 9×13″ pan, combine garlic, onion, thyme, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread out in an even layer on the bottom of the pan. Place the diced vegetables on top of the onion mixture, but do not combine. Drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for about an hour, or until veggies are softened and beginning to brown slightly. Drain the vegetables in a colander and set them aside.

When ready to bake – heat the oven to 425ºF.
Stir the cheese into the eggplant mixture.

Unroll the dough and arrange one crust in a 9=inch pie pan. Pour the eggplant mixture into the casserole. Place the top crust on and flute the edge. Brush with beaten egg.

Bake 45minutes until crust is golden brown and vegetables are bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Greek Salad

Creamy Greek Feta Dressing

½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
¼ cup feta plus extra for the salad
¼ cup Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon mint
Salt and pepper

Salad
8 large leaves of leaf lettuce, sliced crosswise
1/4 large red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into large dice
1 vine-ripened tomato, cut into wedges
1/2 English cucumber, halved lengthwise, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
12 Kalamata olives
6 Peperoncini peppers

Directions

For the dressing

Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.

For the salad
Combine the lettuce, onion, bell pepper, tomato, cucumber, olives, and feta in a large salad bowl. Pour the dressing over and toss until all of the ingredients are well coated. Add extra feta cheese if you would like more. Serve immediately/

 


Make extra lemon-herb butter. It’s delicious tossed with steamed green beans or hot cooked rice or pasta.

Butter Sauce
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon prepared basil pesto
1 teaspoon finely chopped shallots
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Fish
2 (6-ounce) skinless haddock, halibut, or cod fillets
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup rice or all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, cooked

Directions

Combine the ingredients for the butter sauce in a small bowl, stirring until well blended. Set aside

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle fish evenly on both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour and shake off any excess.

Add fillets to pan; sauté 5 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Divide the spinach evenly between two dinner plates. Place a piece of fish on top of the spinach. Spread each fish fillet with basil butter mixture.

Cacio e Pepe Penne Pasta

Ingredients

3 tablespoons salted butter
1 teaspoon freshly ground black peppercorns
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, finely grated
8 oz penne pasta
1/2 cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta
Chopped parsley for garnish

Directions
Cook pasta according to the package for al dente. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water.

Drain the pasta. Add the butter, garlic, and ground pepper into the pot over low heat. Add the cooked, pasta, pasta water, and cheese.

Top with a little more grated cheese, freshly cracked black pepper, and parsley.


 


Ingredients

2 eggplants, peeled and sliced lengthwise, about 1/4 inch thick, to get about 12 slices total
Salt
Olive oil
2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1 egg
!/2 cup flour
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 cups prepared tomato sauce, homemade or store-bought
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

Directions

Brush slices with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Roast ( or broil) in a 400-degree oven for 5-10minutes, just until they are soft enough to roll.

While eggplant is baking, make the filling: In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper, and mix well.

Drain eggplant on a paper towel if fried. When the eggplant has cooled for about 10 minutes, begin the rolling process. On each slice, put about 2 tablespoons of ricotta cheese mixture. Spread it on the eggplant and then roll. Repeat with all eggplant slices.

Carefully dredge the rolls in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs.
Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a skillet and brown the rolls until crispy on all slides.

Coat the bottom of a deep baking dish that will fit the rolls in one layer with tomato sauce. Start placing the rolled eggplants at the bottom of the pan.

 

When the pan is filled, put some sauce on top of the eggplant. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese.

Bake in a 400-degree F oven for about 15 minutes. The cheese should be melted and a little bubbling should be going on. Serve with Italian Sausage and a green salad.

 


 

Ingredients

Stuffing

1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 slices prosciutto, chopped

Braciole
1 pound beef round steak, cut into eight 1/4-inch-thick slices, then pounded as thin as possible
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Olive oil

Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
One 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 garlic clove. minced
A few basil leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Heat the oil in a medium skillet and add the stuffing ingredients. Cook until the onion is tender. Remove to a bowl to cool.

Arrange the beef slices on a clean work surface.

Evenly distribute the stiffing on the steak. Top with mozzarella.

Starting from the bottom, roll up the beef like a jelly roll, creating a cylinder. Tie with kitchen string.

Heat the olive oil in a large high-sided pan and heat over medium. Once the oil is shimmering add the beef rolls, in batches, being sure not to overcrowd the pan. Brown on both sides, about 2 minutes. Remove to a plate and brown the remaining rolls.

Add sauce ingredients to the pan. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then add the rolls back to the pan and turn the heat down to low. Baste the meat in the tomato sauce, cover the pan and cook on low, basting the meat 2 to 3 times during the cooking process, until the meat is very tender about 2 hours.
Serve over cooked pasta.


Tortellini with Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce And Crispy Prosciutto

Ingredients

Sauce
3 lbs cherry tomatoes, stems removed
1/4 cup good-quality olive oil, plus more for roasting
1 large y onion, diced
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
3–4 sprigs, fresh thyme, stems removed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Pasta
12 oz package shelf-stable cheese tortellini
8 slices of Prosciutto da Parma
A handful of basil leaves
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees℉.
Toss the tomatoes with the other ingredients large baking dish. Roast for 50-60 minutes, until the tomatoes have softened and are just beginning to shrivel. Remove from the oven, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and set aside.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Lay the prosciutto slices on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper so they don’t overlap, curling the edges like a nest so they don’t get too brown. Bake until the slices shrivel and turn golden, 10 -12 minutes. Set aside.

Cook tortellini according to package instructions. Drain.
Add tomato sauce to the drained pot and gently heat the sauce. Add the chili flakes, basil leaves, and cooked tortellini. Toss gently. Serve in individual pasta bowls. Top each bowl with grated cheese and pieces of crispy prosciutto.

 


 

Stuffed Eggplant

I served this entree with corn on the cob.

Yield: 2 Servings

Ingredients

2 small eggplant
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup ground beef
2 garlic cloves. minced
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup green pepper; chopped
1/4 cup onion; chopped
4 cherry tomatoes, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
½ cup shredded mozzarella

Directions

Cut a thin slice off the top of each eggplant. Set the tops aside. Scoop out eggplant flesh, leaving 1/2 inch shells. Chop the flesh into small
cubes. Lightly salt the inside of the eggplant shells.

Heat the oil in a medium skillet.
Add all the ingredients except the mozzarella and saute until the meat is cooked and the eggplant is tender. Pour the mixture into a small bowl to cool slightly. Stir in the mozzarella. Fill the two eggplants equally with the mixture. Place the tops on. Place the stuffed eggplant in a baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Bake in a 350-degree oven F for 45 minutes or until the eggplant shells are tender.


Summer Squash Potato Gratin

Ingredients

1 large sweet onion, diced
8-10 small yellow summer squash (each about 4-inches long) sliced into thin rounds
5 medium red potatoes, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
Olive oil
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400ºF
Coat the bottom of a large baking dish with olive oil. (I used a 12×8-inch oval baking dish.)

Cover the bottom of the dish with squash slices, overlapping them slightly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle ⅓ of the onion and 1 cup of shredded cheese over the squash.
Cover the squash with potato slices, overlapping them slightly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then ⅓ of the onion and 1 cup of shredded cheese.
Cover the potatoes with another layer of squash, overlapping them slightly, Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then ⅓ of the onion and 1 cup of shredded cheese.

Spray a large sheet of foil to cover the baking dish with cooking spray. Place the sprayed side down on the baking dish and press tightly to the edges of the dish.
Bake the casserole for one hour. Remove the foil and bake for 30 minutes more. Let the casserole rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Butter Braised Sea Bass

Ingredients

2-6oz sea bass fillets
3 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup chopped chives

Directions

In a small skillet, melt the butter, and add the sea bass. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. With a spoon scoop the butter up and over the fish. Cook for 5 minutes, turn the fish over and scoop butter over the fish as it cooks for 5-6 minutes more. Sprinkle with chopped chives and serve immediately.

Easy Corn On The Cob

Ingredients

2 fresh ears of corn, husked and silk removed
2 tablespoons butter
2 large sheets of waxed paper

Directions

Wash the corn well. Place each ear on a large sheet of waxed paper. Spread each ear with butter. Roll up and twist the ends closed. Place in the microwave and cook on high for 2 ½ minutes. Let rest for two minutes and serve.


Beef Brisket Enchiladas

Ingredients

8 flour tortillas
2 cups shredded cooked beef brisket {or any leftover beef}
1 cup fresh corn off the con
1 cup drained canned black beans
1-10 oz package red enchilada sauce
2-8 oz packages of green enchilada sauce
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl combine the beef, corn, beans, 1 cup of cheddar cheese, and red enchilada sauce.
Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Pour one package of green enchilada sauce into the bottom of the baking dish.

Place the tortillas on kitchen towels. Evenly distribute the beef mixture onto each tortilla. Roll each tortilla up and place it in the baking dish.

Cover the tortillas with the second package of green enchilada sauce. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cover the yop of the tortillas with the remaining shredded cheddar cheese. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

 



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