Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Cheese

Salmon Cakes

Ingredients

One 6-8 oz skinless salmon fillet
¼ cup chopped onion
¼ cup chopped celery1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
½ teaspoon seafood seasoning
⅓ cup bread crumbs
1 tank; teaspoon coarse Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup panko crumbs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Lemon wedges for serving

Directions

Poach the salmon in one inch of simmering water for 3-4 minutes. Drain and flake.
Combine the salmon with the vegetables, seasoning, bread crumbs, mayonnaise, mustard, and lemon juice until well mixed.

Divide the mixture in half and form two patties. Coat the patties in panko. Refrigerate for several hours before cooking, if you can.
Heat the oil in a skillet and cook the patties until golden brown on both sides, about

Serve with lemon wedges.

 

Creamy Vegetable Pasta

Ingredients

14 oz pkg of vegetable-flavored noodles
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons cream cheese
2 tablespoon butter
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Cook pasta about 2 minutes less than al-dente – the time listed on the package. Drain.


In the pasta pot, add the cream, cream cheese, and butter. Heat over low until the cheese and butter melt. Add the pasta and simmer for several minutes in the sauce. Add the Parmesan and parsley and pour into a pasta serving bowl/

Green Bean Salad

Ingredients

1 lb of very thin green beans
Salt to taste
½ cup Italian salad dressing

Directions

Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling. Add the green beans and blanch for 3 minutes. Drain.
Place in a bowl, drizzle with the dressing, cover the bowl and refrigerate until serving time. Toss gently before serving.


 

Pork Seasoning

2 teaspoons dried parsley
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced dried onions

Combine all ingredients in a jar and stir well. Store in an airtight container.
To use: Stir 4 teaspoons of seasoning into 1 pound of lean ground pork and set aside for the recipe below. Save the remaining seasoning for another recipe.

 

Pasta Sauce

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 chopped garlic cloves
1 lb seasoned pork, see recipe above
2 tablespoons tomato paste
28 oz can of whole cherry tomatoes {Cento}
28 oz can fire roasted red pepper strips, undrained
5 fresh basil leaves,
2 pinches of sea salt

Pasta
1 lb bucatini pasta
Parmesan cheese

Directions
For the sauce
Melt the butter and olive oil in a large, deep skillet with a cover.
Add the seasoned pork to the pan and cook until lightly brown. Add the onion and garlic. Cook until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook 1 mi ute. Add the remaining sauce ingredients.

Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, with the cover ajar cover cook the mixture until it thickens for 2 hours.

For the pasta
Cook the pasta according to package directions to just the al dente stage. Using tongs transfer the pasta from the cooking water to the pan with the sauce and cook gently for 2 minutes Serve in pasta bowls topped with grated Parmesan. add a green salad and bread if you want a fuller meal.

 


 

Spiced Tuna Fillets

2 servings

Spice Blend:
1/2 tablespoon coriander seeds
1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns

Tuna:
2 tuna fillets 1/2 inches thick
2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt to taste
Lemon wedges

Directions

To prepare the spice blend, grind all spices in a mini-food processor or spice grinder until they are powdery. Spread the spice mixture evenly on a large plate.

Rinse the tuna fillets and pat dry. Place one side of each piece of tuna into the spice mixture. Shake off any excess.

 

In a 10-inch non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat until almost smoking. Carefully place the tuna fillets, spiced side down, into the skillet. A spice crust should form within 1 minute. Cook another minute. Using kitchen tongs, turn over the tuna, lower the heat to medium, sprinkle with salt, and cook for 2-3 minutes to the desired doneness. Swerve with lemon wedges.

 


Easy Three Cheese Mac & Cheese

You can prepare this dish early in the day and refrigerate covered with plastic wrap without the breadcrumb topping. Remove from the refrigerator one hour before baking and add the breadcrumb topping.

Ingredients

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces fusille pasta
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
1 cup grated sharp cheddar
1 cup diced Velveeta cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 cup panko breadcrumbs

Directions

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Butter an 8-inch baking dish.

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water for about 5 minutes, 3 minutes less than the package instructions. Drain.

In the empty pot, combine the cream, Gruyère, cheddar, Velveeta, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Add the hot pasta and stir well. Turn the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Combine the panko crumbs with the butter and sprinkle over the top of the casserole. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Baked Zucchini

Ingredients

2 medium zucchini trimmed and cut into ½- inch cycles
2 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1! 2 teaspoons kosher salt

Directions

Oil a baking dish. Bake the zucchini in a 400-degree F oven with the dish of macaroni and cheese.
Combine the zucchini slices with the seasonings. Mix well. Arrange the slices overlapping each other in the prepared baking dish. Drizzle with the oil. Place the dish in the oven after the macaroni has baked for 15 minutes. Bake the zucchini for 15 minutes/

 

 


 

Ingredients

2 16-20 ounce skin-on, bone-in split chicken breasts
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
`/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1- 9 oz package of fresh butternut squash ravioli
1 medium zucchini
Sauce
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup chicken stock or chicken broth
1 cup heavy whipping cream
4 ounces parmesan cheese, shredded or grated

Directions

Preheat your oven to 400°F. In a small bowl, combine the oil, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Place the breasts in an oiled baking dish, Rub seasoning all over the chicken on both sides. Bake for 20 minutes.

In a 9-inch pie plate, alienate the ravioli and zucchini slices. Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl and pour over the ravioli;i. Place the side in the oven with the chicken and bake both dishes for 20 minutes.


 

Italian Ribeye Steak

Ingredients

2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black peppercorns
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 (8-ounce) ribeye steaks, trimmed

Directions

Combine all the ingredients except the steaks in a bowl, stirring well. One hour before cooking time, remove the steaks from the refrigerator. Rub the mixture evenly over both sides of the steaks. Let rest at room temperature for one hour.

 


Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add steaks to pan; cook for 3 minutes. Turn steaks over; cook for 3 minutes or until the desired degree of doneness.

 

You can also cook the steaks in an air-fryer for the same amount of time. Let steaks stand for 10 minutes.

Baked Potatoes

Ingredients
2 Russet Baking Potatoes
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Black pepper

Directions

Wash and dry each potato. Brush a layer of oil over the entire surface of each potato. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the top portion of each potato. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F for about an hour or until it pierces easily with a fork. Serve with butter and sour cream.

Sugar Snaps

Ingredients

4 cups sugar snap peas (about 12 ounces)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 garlic clove, grated
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice or more to taste
Pinch kosher salt
Pinch sugar
1/4 cup fruity extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Directions

Cut the sugar snap peas on a diagonal into halves and cut off the stem ends. Parboil the snaps in boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Drain and retain in the pan.

Combine the remaining ingredients except for the cheese and heat on low. Add the drained peas and cheese. Toss over the heat until hot and then serve with the steak.


 

I find a dish of risotto to be enough for dinner, however, if you would like more add a green salad and some Italian bread.

2-3 servings

Ingredients

1/2 pound shrimp, with shells

Stock
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Shells from 1/2 pound of shrimp
4 cups water
1 teaspoon seafood seasoning

Risotto
4 cups shrimp stock
1/4 cup butter
¼ cup minced shallots
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper
½ cup diced sun-drained tomatoes
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Chopped parsley

Directions

Make the shrimp stock
Place the ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, turn the heat to a simmer and cook for 1- minute. Strain the stock and return the liquid to the pot. use the stock to make the risotto.
Bring the stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan; keep at a gentle simmer.

Heat a wide saucepan or deep skillet over medium heat. Add the butter, shallots, and garlic and cook until the shallots have softened about 2 minutes. Pour in the rice and cook, stirring pretty much constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes, so the rice can absorb the oil.
Pour in the wine and stir. Season with salt and white pepper and bring to a simmer. You want the liquid at a steady simmer. Stir often, scraping the bottom of the pan. When most of the wine has been absorbed – ladle in 1 cup of the shrimp stock. Keep at a simmer, stirring until the rice absorbs most of this liquid. Continue the process, adding stock by the cupful, until you’ve added 3 cups of stock.

Add the shrimp and tomatoes with the last cup of stock and simmer until the rice is al dente. Stir in the cream and cheese and heat until the mixture is hot. Spoon into serving bowls and sprinkle with chopped parsley.


Ingredients

1/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 white fish fillets, such as haddock, halibut, etc.
1 tablespoon. olive oil
1/2 cup marinara sauce
4 slices of mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
Line a baking sheet pan with foil and spray it with baking spray.
Season fish with salt and pepper and lightly brush one side of the fish with mayonnaise. Cover with breadcrumb and press gently to help adhere. Turn the fillets over and brush with a\mayonnaise and dredge in breadcrumbs. Sprinkle each with Parmesan cheese. Place fish in the prepared pan and drizzle with the olive oil.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven.
Spoon ¼ cup of tomato sauce onto each fillet and then top each with two slices of cheese. Return to the oven just until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

Potatoes With Kale

Ingredients

Potatoes

4 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup olive oil

Kale
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
One bag of fresh chopped kale from the produce department
½ cup water

Directions

For the potatoes: Combine the potatoes, garlic, and salt in a 5-quart saucepan with enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain in a colander and return the potatoes to the pan and mash the potatoes until smooth using a potato masher. Add the olive oil.

For the kale: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, salt, and pepper. Cook until translucent, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, for about 30 seconds. Add the kale and water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and tender, 15 minutes. Drain.
Stir the kale into the mashed potatoes. Adjust salt and add more olive oil if dry.


TI cut the recipe in half because the full recipe is too much for two people. The full recipe is good for entertaining I make the entire sauce recipe and save half for another time and I used an 8×8 inch baking dish. Serve the pasta with some cooked sausage and a salad.

Ingredients

For the sauce:
1 lb Italian sausage links
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
5 cups canned, finely diced tomatoes (about 46 ounces)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper

For assembly:
1 pound dried ziti or penne pasta
1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (about 2 cups), divided

Directions

For the sauce:
Heat the oil in a large pot and lightly brown the sauce links. Add the garlic and onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add the remaining sauce ingredients, stir well and bring to a simmer. Partially cover the pan and cook the sauce until thickened, about 1 hour.

Heat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray

Cook the pasta al dente and drain.

Cook the pasta. When the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook until just tender. While the pasta is cooking, make the ricotta filling.

Make the ricotta filling. Stir the ricotta, egg, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan,1/2 of the mozzarella cheese, and salt together in a small bowl; set aside.

Return the pasta to the now-empty pot. Add half of the sauce (about 3 cups) and stir until the pasta is well-coated. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Transfer half of the pasta into a 9×13-inch baking dish and spread it into an even layer. Spread the ricotta filling over the pasta.

Top with the remaining pasta in an even layer.

Pour the remaining sauce over the pasta and spread it into an even layer. Sprinkle the surface evenly with the remaining mozzarella and the remaining Parmesan.

Bake uncovered until the edges are bubbling and the cheese is completely melted and browned in spots, about 30 minutes.


Ingredients

1 lb pizza dough, at room temperature
16 oz whole milk mozzarella cheese, sliced thin
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Sauce
14 oz container of finely chopped Italian tomatoes
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, sliced
12 oz fresh button mushroom, sliced
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

Directions

For the dsauceSaute the mushrooms and onions in oil until tender. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes/
To assemble the pizza
Spray or oil the pizza pan and spread the dough to the edges. Place the sliced mozzarella on top of the dough. Spread the tomato mixture over the cheese. Spread the squash mixture over the tomatoes. Top with shredded mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, oregano, and crushed red pepper.
Bake the pizza on the bottom rack of the oven for 15-20 minutes.


 

Ingredients

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 (15 ounces) can of diced tomatoes
1-28 oz can of Fire Roasted Red Pepper strips
1 cup of corn
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 corn tortillas, cut into strips

Directions

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeno peppers and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add broth, tomatoes, red peppers chili powder, and cumin. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.

Toss the tortilla strips with 1 tablespoon oil and place on a sheet pan. Toast the strips in a 425-degree F oven until crispy, about 10 minutes.

Add chicken. Remove from heat. Add cheese and tortilla strips. Stir well. Return the pot to medium heat and cook until hot, 1 to 2 minutes.

 



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