Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Cheese

 

Summertime Corn Chowder

For the corn stock ingredients

12 corn cobs (corn kernels removed and set aside for the chowder)
2 chive stalks
2 stems fresh parsley
2 stems fresh thyme
1 bay leaf

Directions

Put corn cobs, chives, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and cold water to cover in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat.

Reduce heat to low, cover the pot and simmer for 1 1⁄2 hours. Strain, discard the solids, and measure the broth.

If you do not have 6 cups add water to make the 6 cups. Set aside the broth.

For the chowder ingredients

2 tablespoons butter
2 leeks, white and light green sections, chopped
3 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 carrots, diced
1 bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
1 lb potatoes, peeled and diced
6 cups fresh corn kernels, divided
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup half-and-half or evaporated milk
6 cups corn stock or vegetable broth if you don’t make the corn stock
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
Grated cheddar cheese, chopped chives, or crumbled bacon, for garnish

Directions

Heat the butter in a Dutch oven or large soup pot.

Add the leeks, celery, carrots, bell pepper, jalapeno, and potatoes to the pot and saute for ten minutes until soft.

Add 3 cups of corn, the 6 cups of corn stock, chili powder, and thyme.

Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for an hour. Remove the thyme branches.

Take the pot off the heat and puree the contents with an immersion blender.

Add the half and half, salt and pepper to taste, and the remaining 3 cups of corn.

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

Corn Griddle Cakes

Ingredients

1 ½ cups cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar or sugar substitute
1 ½ cups buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
6 tablespoons melted butter, plus more for greasing the griddle
3 cups freshly shucked corn kernels, from about 4 ears
1 small jalapeño chile, finely chopped, or to taste
3 tablespoons finely sliced scallions
Salsa or Sour Cream, for serving

Directions

Stir together cornmeal, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, and 6 tablespoons melted butter. Add buttermilk mixture to the cornmeal mixture and mix briefly with a wooden spoon or whisk to obtain a thick batter. Add corn kernels, jalapeño, and scallions and stir to combine.

Set griddle or large cast-iron pan over medium heat. When the griddle is hot, grease lightly with butter, using a folded paper towel or pastry brush. Spoon 1/4 cup batter onto the griddle. Adjust heat as necessary to keep griddle cakes from browning too quickly. Cook for about 1 1/2 minutes, then carefully flip with a spatula and cook for another 1 1/2 minutes.
Serve immediately as soon as griddle cakes are ready or keep warm in a low oven until all the batter is used. To serve, put 3 griddle cakes on a plate. Top with a generous spoonful of salsa or sour cream.


Healthy Caesar Salad

Ingredients

Makes about 1/2 cup. Can easily be doubled.

Ingredients:

Dressing
1/2 small clove garlic
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon anchovy paste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Salad

Half a head of Romaine lettuce, torn into small pieces and1/2 cup croutons

Directions:

Place garlic and salt in a medium bowl and mash with the back of a spoon to form a paste. Add lemon juice, mayonnaise, mustard, anchovy paste, and pepper; whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in oil, whisking constantly. Add cheese and whisk to combine.

Chicken Piccata

Ingredients

Four 6 oz boneless, skinless cutlets (turkey, chicken, veal, pork, or fish), pounded until thin
Kosher salt
Ground pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour, preferably Wondra
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons white wine, or dry vermouth
1 lemon, juiced (4 tablespoons),
1 tablespoon capers

Directions

Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Lightly coat in flour. Shake off excess.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and butter, swirl them around the pan, and add the cutlets. Turn the heat to medium and saute for 2 minutes per side. Add the wine, lemon juice, and capers, swirl them around in the pan and turn off the heat. Serve immediately.

Orecchiette Pasta

Ingredients

Hakf Pound Dried Orecchiette Pasta
2 large zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
2 cloves garlic, minced
Half a red onion sliced thin
Salt & Pepper To Taste
1/3  cup sundried tomatoes packed in oil, sliced into thin strips

Directions

Heat a large pot of salted water to a boil, and add the pasta. Cook as per package instructions until the last 4-5 minutes of cooking. Drain pasta and reserve one cup of pasta water.

In the drained pasta pot, pour 3 tablespoons of the sundried tomato oil into the pot and heat until warm. Add the zucchini and remaining ingredients. Stir and cook for three minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Return the pasta to the pot and adding water as needed to keep it moist.



This is not your gourmet recipe for Eggs Benedict. It is my simplified version with an easy-to-make sauce. Store-Bought muffins are perfectly fine but occasionally I like to make the homemade version because they are sturdier for recipes like this than the stores.

Eggs Benedict

2 servings

Ingredients

4 slices of baked ham cut to fit the bottom of the muffins and warmed
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
2 English muffins, toasted {store bought or homemade}

Cheese Sauce
1/2 cup cubed Velveeta cheese
¼ cup milk

Directions
Fill a large skillet halfway with water and bring to a boil on medium heat. Add the vinegar and salt. Turn the heat down until simmering.
Break each egg into a small bowl and gently add to the simmering water. Cover the pan and turn off the heat. Let the eggs poach for 3 minutes.

For the sauce
Place the cheese and milk in a microwave bowl and heat in the microwave for 2’3 minutes until smooth.
Remove the eggs, one at a time with a slotted spoon, and hold the spoon over a clean kitchen towel to drain for a few seconds. Place the egg on top of the ham for each of the 4 muffin halves.
Place two muffin halves on each serving plate. Top each egg with 2 tablespoons of sauce and serve immediately.

Homemade Baked English Muffins

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups bread flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 cup + 2 tablespoons lukewarm milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 teaspoons vinegar, white or cider

Directions

Stir together all the ingredients in the large bowl of an electric mixer. Beat for 1 minute at the high speed of an electric mixer; the dough will become somewhat smooth.
Scrape the dough into the center of the bowl, cover, and allow it to rise for about 60 minutes until it’s quite puffy.
Cover two large baking sheets; or line with parchment. Grease twelve 3 ¾” English muffin rings, and place them on the baking sheets.
Turn the dough onto a lightly greased or floured work surface. Cut it into 12 equal pieces; each will weigh a scant 2 ounces..
Shape the dough into balls. Place each ball into a ring, pressing it down to flatten somewhat, and top with a greased baking sheet (or a sheet of parchment, then the baking sheet). The baking sheet should be resting atop the rings.
Let the muffins rise for about 60 to 90 minutes until they’ve puffed up noticeably. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 400°F.
Bake the risen muffins for 10 minutes. Flip the pans over, and bake for 5 minutes more. Remove the top pan, and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown, and the interior of one registers about 200°F on an instant-read thermometer.
Remove the muffins from the oven, and transfer them to a rack to cool. Remove their rings as soon as you’re able. When completely cool, store muffins in a plastic bag.
Yield: 12 muffins.
Adapted from King Arthur recipes

 


Insalata Caprese

Insalata Caprese (literally, the salad from Capri) is the perfect summertime dish for cooks in a hurry; slicing is the hardest part. The salad was created in the 1950s at the Trattoria da Vincenzo for regulars out for a light lunch. They’d order a just-picked tomato and freshly made buffalo mozzarella on Capri). The salad has evolved on the island to include a few leaves of fughetta (wild arugula) and a pinch of dried wild oregano, both local products; everywhere else in Italy it takes the form of tomato, mozzarella, and basil. The dressing is always a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil — only. Vinegar would destroy the delicate flavor of the cheese and is never used. Sometimes I add Italian black olives to the salad for a change but it is not traditional.

Ingredients

2 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes (about 4 large), sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced1/4 inch thick
1/4 cup packed fresh basil or arugula leaves, washed well, and spun dry
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled if using arugula instead of basil
3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

On a large platter arrange tomato and mozzarella slices and basil leaves, alternating and overlapping them. Sprinkle salad with oregano and arugula and drizzle with oil. Season salad with salt and pepper.


Baked Chiles Rellenos

I prefer to bake these chilies instead of frying them.

ingredients

8 fresh poblano chiles {peppers}
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
4 eggs, beaten
8 teaspoons granular flour, such as Wondra or Cassava

Directions

Preheat the broiler. Lay chiles in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with foil. Cook about 4 inches. from the broiler until the chiles are blistering and black, about 5 minutes. Turn chiles over and broil until blistering and black all over, about 5 minutes. Put chiles in a large metal bowl and cover with foil or plastic wrap. Let sit for 30 minutes. Peel the chiles and discard the skins. Cut a slit on the side of each chili. Remove the seeds. Set chiles aside on layers of paper towels to dry.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Stuff the chiles with 1 ½ cups of cheddar and place the chilies in a greased baking dish. Sprinkle each chile with one teaspoon of flour. Pour the beaten eggs over the stuffed chilies. Sprinkle chiles with the remaining cheese. Bake until the top starts to brown and the eggs are set but still soft, about 30 minutes.


Pizza Margarita

Marinara Pizza Sauce

1 cup Italian crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 dried Italian seasoning
Salt and black pepper

Dough

1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup lukewarm water
3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Topping

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
12 oz sliced fresh mozzarella
A large handful of fresh basil leaves
Olive oil

Directions

For the dough

Combine all the ingredients for the dough in the large bowl of an electric mixer and with Cthe paddle attachment mix until the ingredients come together around the paddle. Attach the dough hook and knead the dough for 5-6 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled.

For an overnight rise: 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. When ready to make the pizza, remove the bag from the refrigerator 30 minutes before making the pizza.

Turn the oven to 450 degrees F and let the oven heat for 30 minutes.

For the sauce

Combine the sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl

For the pizza

Prepare the crust: flour your hands lightly and pat the dough evenly into a lightly oiled 16″ pizza pan.

Brush the dough lightly with olive oil.
Spread the tomato sauce evenly over the dough leaving a ½-inch border. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the sauce,

Bake the pizza on the bottom rack of the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the pizza from the oven and cover the baked dough with fresh mozzarella slices and basil leaves.

Bake 8-10 minutes until the cheese has melted and the crust is lightly brown.

Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.


 

When yellow squash is abundant in your area, you can make this delicious bread with the squash. The bread is great for toast or serves with your favorite soup.

Cheesy Squash Yeast Bread

Ingredients

1 cup shredded yellow summer squash
3/4 cup lukewarm (90 to 95 degrees F) water
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 1/4 cups (13 3/4 to 14 ounces) bread flour
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, combine the flour, shredded squash, yeast honey, oil, and water.

Add the salt and cheese. Switch to the dough hook and mix for 8 minutes.

Place the dough into an oiled bowl and cover with oiled plastic wrap. l

Let rise until doubled, approximately two hours.

Oil a 9-inch inch loaf pan. Shape the dough into a log, and place it in the pan. Cover with oiled plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, about an hour.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F,

Place the loaf in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.

The bread should be browned and reach an internal temperature of about 190 to 200 degrees F.

Cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, De-pan the loaf, and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.


This frittata works for breakfast with fruit and toast. It is also good for lunch with a side salad or for dinner with vegetable side dishes and baked ham. The frittata also keeps several days in the refrigerator. Reheat for 2-3 minutes in the microwave.

6 servings

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
6 spears of fresh asparagus, cooked and diced
½ cup jarred roasted red bell pepper, chopped
½ cup cherry tomatoes halved
½ teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried basil
Salt to taste
8 large eggs
¼ cup whole milk
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions

Preheat the broiler.

Heat olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat; cook and stir asparagus and roasted red bell pepper until the vegetables are hot.. Stir in cherry tomatoes, garlic, oregano, basil, and salt, and continue cooking until the tomatoes are soft for another 3 minutes. Sprinkle mixture lightly t with salt.

Whisk eggs and milk in a bowl and pour into the skillet to cover the vegetables with egg mixture. Pull up an edge of the frittata with a spatula and tilt the pan to allow the unset egg to run underneath and continue around the pan, lifting the frittata edge, tilting the an, until all the egg mixture is set.

Sprinkle with feta and Cheddar cheese. Place the pan under the broiler. Cook 1 to 2 minutes until the cheese melts. Cut in slices to serve.


Shrimp Kabobs

Ingredients

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 chopped scallions
2 tablespoons feta cheese, mashed
1 teaspoon honey
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
10 large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 bell pepper, cut into 8 pieces
Half a red onion, cut into quarters
½ of a 10-ounce package coleslaw mix (with carrots and red cabbage)
½  cup pita thins broken into small pieces

4 to 6-inch skewers

Directions

Preheat an outdoor grill broiler or stovetop grill to medium-high.

Combine the parsley, scallions, feta, honey sal, pepper, t.vinegar, and oil in a mixing bowl and blend. Set aside.

Thread 5 shrimp and 4pepper pieces on each of two skewers. Place the red onion quarters on another skewer. Brush them with some of the dressing.

Grill the kabobs until the shrimp turn pink and the peppers are lightly charred, about 3 minutes per side. Grill the onion wedges until slightly softened and charred, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from the grill.

Combine the slaw mix and the pita chips with the dressing. Place on a serving pl; atter and serve the kabobs over the salad.

 

 

 


You can buy rolls if you choose but homemade really make these sandwiches. Serve the sandwiches with pickles and your favorite sandwich sides.

Italian Sub Rolls

6 rolls

Ingredients

Overnight Starter
3/4 cup (85g) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup (113g) lukewarm water
1/8 teaspoon instant yeast

Dough
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2/3 cup (152g) lukewarm water
2 3/4 cups (326g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/4 teaspoons (8g) salt

Directions

To make the starter: Mix the starter ingredients in a small bowl, cover, and let rest at room temperature overnight.

To make the dough
Combine the starter and the remainder of the dough ingredients, and mix and knead by hand, or using a stand mixer, to make a smooth dough.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover it, and let it rise at room temperature until it’s very puffy, about 90 minutes, turning it over and gently deflating it after 45 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface. Divide it into six equal pieces.

Roll the pieces into cylinders, 4 1/2″ in length. Flatten the cylinders slightly; dough rises more in the center, so this will give a gently rounded top versus a high top.

Place the loaves on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes. While they’re rising, preheat the oven to 425°F.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 190°F.

Remove the rolls from the oven and transfer them to a rack to cool. Store, well-wrapped, at room temperature for several days.

Easy Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches

2 servings

Ingredients

1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, grated
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
10 oz shaved deli roast beef
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 sub rolls, split
4 thin slices of Provolone or American or Processed cheese, about 1 ounce each

Directions

In a mixing bowl combine the onion, peppers, garlic, oil, and Italian seasoning. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat evenly.

Spread the vegetables on a stovetop grill pan or large skillet in a single layer. Grill over high heat until they start to brown and are tender, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a bowl.
Place the beef slices in a medium bowl, add just enough oil to coat them lightly, and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat.

Grill the steak slices on the grill pan over high heat, 1 minute, Turn the beef slices over with a wide spatula and cook for 1 minute

Warm the rolls.
Build the sandwiches with cheese on the bottom, meat, onions, and peppers. Serve warm.

 



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