Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Healthy Italian Cooking

Egg Batter Pan-Fried Flounder

Ingredients

½ pounds boneless flounder or sole fillets
Salt and pepper
1 large egg
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour for dredging
Mild olive oil or vegetable oil for frying
Chopped flat-leaf parsley
Lemon wedges

Directions

Season the fish fillets with salt and pepper. Make the egg batter by whisking together the egg, a pinch of salt,  and milk in a shallow bowl.
Submerge the fish in the egg batter.

Pour about 1/4 inch of oil into a wide skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil looks wavy, lift the fish from the egg batter one piece at a time, allowing excess batter to drip off. (Discard remaining batter.) Carefully lay each fillet in the pan and let fry gently until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Remove and blot briefly on paper towels, then transfer to a warmed serving platter.

Sprinkle with parsley, and garnish with lemon wedges.

Sauteed Corn

Ingredients

4 cups corn kernels
1 small onion dice
¼ of green bell pepper, finely diced
2 tablespoons butter
Salt & pepper to taste
2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/8 teaspoon dried

Directions

Combine onion, bell pepper, and butter in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add thyme.
Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Homemade Coleslaw

Prepare the day before serving.

Ingredients

Slaw
Half a medium head of green cabbage
Half a medium head of red cabbage
1 large garden carrot or 2 regular-sized carrots
2 scallions

Dressing
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey or agave syrup
/21 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions

Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a large bowl.
Finely shred the cabbages and carrots. Finely chop the scallions.

Add the dressing and stir well/ Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.
Stir well before serving


No need to turn on the oven for these easy and delicious recipes.

Easy Mac And Cheese

Ingredients

4 cups (1 lb) elbow macaroni
Salt
11/2cups milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
½ teaspoon yellow mustard powder
¼ cup panko crumbs
8 ounces processed Velveeta cheese, diced

Directions

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water for 5 minutes. Drain.
In the same pot over low heat, melt the cheeses in the milk, butter, and mustard until smooth. Stir in the drained macaroni. Serve.

Chesapeake Style Salmon Patties

You can use canned salmon, but I prefer this method for using cooked salmon in recipes because the fish stays fresh and moist.

Ingredients

1- 6 oz wild-caught salmon filet, skin removed
Celery leaves and parsley stems
1 cups saltine cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning or other seafood seasonings
1/3 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Lemon wedges and tartar sauce for serving

Directions

In a medium skillet, place a layer of celery leaves and parsley stems in the bottom of the pan and add ½ cup of water. Bring to a simmer. Sprinkle the salmon fillets with a bit of salt. Place salmon fillets, skin-side down on the pan, and cover. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove to a plate to cool for about 15 minutes. Shred the filet. Clean out the skillet.

In a mixing bowl, combine the cracker crumbs with the following 7 ingredients {egg}.

Fold in the salmon. With floured hands, form into two patties. Heat the oil in the skillet over medium heat.

Cook the patties for 3 minutes on each side or until lightly golden. Serve with lemon or tartar sauce.


Pasta Aglio E Olio With Zucchini

Ingredients

8 oz spaghetti
1 tablespoon salt for the pasta
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ of a small onion, minced
1 small zucchini, finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ cup Parmesan cheese

Directions

Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions for al dente. Drain.
While the pasta is cooking, saute the oil, onion, garlic, red pepper, and zucchini just until the zucchini is slightly softened. Toss with the cooked pasta and then with the cheese.

Arugula, Avocado, Bell Pepper, Tomato, and Cucumber Salad

Ingredients

3 cup arugula
1 large tomato cut into bite-size pieces
1 large avocado cut into bite-size pieces
1 Cucumber cut into bite-size pieces
1 small red bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 small red onion cut into bite-size pieces
Ranch Dressing

Place the arugula and vegetables in a salad bowl. Mix gently. Dress with Ranch dressing to taste.


Jewish Deli Style Pickled Green Tomatoes

Ingredients

½ serrano or jalapeno chile
1 pound firm green tomatoes about 4 green tomatoes
6 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons dill seeds
½ tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 cup of water
2 tablespoons Kosher Salt

Directions

Prep the ingredients. Wash the jalapeno and tomatoes. Cut the stem end off the jalapeno and slice it in half lengthwise. Cut the tomatoes in half and cut the big ones into quarters. . Peel the garlic cloves and slice them in half lengthwise.

Prep the bottle. Make sure you have a really clean bottle and lid. The lid insert should be new so that it has a good seal. The best thing to do is buy canning jars and lids from Ball. They are in a lot of hardware and grocery stores. Sterilize them by submerging them in a boiling water bath.

Put the garlic, dill seeds, chile, and peppercorns into the bottle first. Then cram the tomatoes in leaving about 1/2″ – 3/4″(12.7 – 19.1 mm) of space at the top.

Make the brine. Combine the vinegar, water, and salt in a saucepan or pot. Bring to a boil, and stir until all the salt is dissolved. Pour the hot brine over the tomatoes and cukes to within 1/4″ (6.4 mm) of the top. Wipe the jar top, put the lids on, and tighten.

Age. Let the pickles sit for 2 to 3 days (1 week is optimum) in the refrigerator before serving. Keep refrigerated for up to 3 months.

The brine will taste very salty at first, but don’t panic. The juices from the tomatoes or cucumbers will dilute the concentration of salt in a few days.

Zucchini Bread

one 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf

Ingredients

3/4 cup light brown sugar or dark brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 cups grated or shredded zucchini, somewhere between firmly packed
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted until golden

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan. I line my baking pan with parchment paper cut to fit the pan.

In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the brown sugar, milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.

Whisk the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon into the flour, then add the dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients in the bowl, stirring or beating gently until smooth.

Stir in the zucchini and walnuts.

Scoop the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing it if necessary.

Bake the bread for 55 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely. For best results, don’t slice until it’s cool.

Store the bread at cool room temperature, well wrapped, for several days; freeze for longer storage.

 


In my part of the world, strawberries are ready for picking. This past weekend, a local farmer had beautiful ripe strawberries for sale.  I bought a few quarts and here are two recipes I made with these beauties.

Strawberry Summer Muffins

Ingredients:

1 cup sliced fresh strawberries, plus 15 strawberry halves
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup room temperature butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
⅓ cup sliced almonds

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside. For this batter, I needed 15 cups so I used three cups in a second muffin pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until combined and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium-low and add the eggs, beating just until blended. Scrape the side and bottom of the bowl well halfway through.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; then add half of the flour mixture to the mixing bowl with the butter mixture, beating just until blended. Add in the milk, lemon juice, almond extract, and remaining flour mixture, beating just until blended and scraping down the sides of the bowl. With a spatula, fold in the sliced strawberries and almonds.

Add 1/4-cup of muffin batter to each prepared muffin cup.
Top with a strawberry half.
Bake until tops are just dry to the touch (about 22-25 minutes). Let cool completely in the pan before removing to a serving plate.

Strawberry Waffle And Pancake Topping

Ingredients

2 cups sliced strawberries
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Directions

Place the ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a low boil. Turn the heat to low, partially cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator until needed or freeze some for a future meal.


Ingredients

2 bone-in pork chops, 6 oz each
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground chipotle pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons flout
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 small bell pepper, seeded and sliced
Half a medium onion sliced
¼ cup salsa

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Combine the flour, chipotle pepper, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Press the mixture on all sides for the pork chops.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high. Add the pork and cook until brown, about 3 minutes. Turn the pork chops over and transfer the skillet to the oven.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F. The cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the pork chops.

Remove the chops to a serving plate. Add the remaining oil, peppers, and onions to the skillet and cook until softened. Stir in the salsa and heat. Top the pork chops with the sauce. Serve with mashed potatoes and a vegetable.

Or make my Potato Stuffed Cabbage serve with the pork chops.


This recipe can accommodate any type of fresh fruit. Baking times will adjust. See below.

Pear Galette

ingredients

1 crust from 1 box (14.1 oz) refrigerated Pillsbury™ Pie Crusts (2 Count), softened as directed on the box
2 large, firm Bartlett or Anjou pears, cored, cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup honey
1teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter

Directions

Heat oven to 400°F. Line 15x10x1-inch pan with parchment paper.

Remove pie crust from pouch; place in the parchment paper on the baking sheet. Unroll.

In a mixing bowl, combine the honey, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Add the sliced pears. Mix well.
Mound the pears, about 3 cups, onto the center of the pie crust leaving a one-inch border all around\d. Crimp the edges of the pastry up around the pear mound.

 

For pears or apples

Bake for 30 minutes. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees F and bake for 15 minutes. +
For softer fruit such as peaches or berries, bake for 30 minutes only at 400 degrees F.

Remove the galette from the pan to a serving dish and allow it to cool to room temperature.


Pan-Seared Chilean Sea BassWith Asparagus Tortellini Anr roasted carrots

Pan-Seared Chilean Sea Bass

2 servings

Ingredients

Juice of 1 lemon
2 (8-ounce) wild caught Chilean Sea Bass fillets skin removed
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/2teaspoonlemon pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 large garlic clove finely chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
¼ cup heavy cream

Directions

Coat fish in flour mixed with salt and lemon pepper. Heat a deep medium skillet and add the oil and 1 tablespoon of butter.

Cook until fish is browned and just opaque in the center, about 6 minutes per side, lowering heat if lemons and fish brown too quickly. Transfer fish to a platter and lemons to a serving plate.

Place the skillet over low heat and add garlic. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice and cook for 1 minute. Remove the skillet from the heat and swirl in butter and cream.

Asparagus Tortellini

Ingredients

Half a bunch of asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
10 oz frozen mixed spinach and cheese tortellini, cooked al dente

Directions

Cook the asparagus the way you like them. I roasted them for the last 15 minutes during the time the carrots were roasting.

Combine the asparagus and cooked pasta. Add half of the creamy lemon sauce and mix well. Divide in half and place on individual dinner plates. Top with the cooked fish and pour the remaining sauce over the fish.

Roasted Carrots

Ingredients

3 large carrots, peeled
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F
Place the oil in a small baking dish
Cut eh carrots in half and then quarter each half. Place the cut carrots on the dish. Add salt and pepper. Add fresh herbs, if you like them with carrots. I use rosemary. Mix well. Roast for 30 minutes.


Filet Mignon With Mushroom Gravy

I served this dinner entre with mashed potatoes and spinach.

Ingredients

Steak
2 Filet Mignon steaks, each weighing 5-6 oz
Olive oil
Steak seasoning

Mushroom Gravy
1 shallot, diced
2 tablespoons butter
4 oz mushrooms, shiitake, cremini, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ teaspoon dried thyme1/4 cup flour
2 cups beef broth

Directions

Pound the steaks so they are both one inch thick. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Preheat the air-fryer to 400 degrees F for 5 minutes.
Rub the steaks with olive oil and season with steak seasoning or salt and pepper.
Place the steaks in the air fryer and cook for 3 minutes, turn the steaks over and cook for 4 minutes for medium-rare.

Use an instant-read thermometer to check the doneness. Although this recipe gives suggested times for how long to cook the steaks, it really varies based on the thickness of the steak. The thickest part of the steak should register 125°F for rare, 130 to 135°F for medium-rare and 140°F for medium. If you check the steaks and they’re not at your preferred temp, continue cooking them and check the temperature after two more minutes of air frying.

Remove to serving plates and let rest while you make the mushroom gravy.

For the Mushroom Gravy
Heat the butter in a saucepan until melted. Add the shallot and cook for one minute. Add the sliced mushroom and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the flour and cook for a minute. Slowly add the broth and bring it to a low boil. Cook until thickened. Pour some over the cooked steaks.


Pizza Pinwheels

Ingredients

Overnight Pizza 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

Pizza Sauce
2 spicy Italian sausage links, cooked and diced
26 oz container of strained Italian tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil

Pinwheels
Overnight pizza dough, divided in half {about 12 oz. each}
Pizza Sausage Sauce
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Grated parmesan cheese

Directions

One day before making the pizza:

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.

When ready to make the pizza, remove the bag from the refrigerator 30 minutes before making the pinwheels

For the sauce: Combine all the ingredients for the pizza sauce in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350℉. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray.

Lightly flour a large wooden cutting board. Roll out one piece of dough into a rectangle about 12 by 8 inches.

Sprinkle the dough with 2 cups pf shredded mozzarella chase. Spoon ½ cup of sausage sauce on top of the cheese and spread it out with the back of the spoon. Leave a 1-inch border all around the dough.

Roll pizza width-wise (the longest side) and seal the edges.

Slice the roll into 6 pieces and place them on one of the prepared pans.
With your hand, gently press down each pinwheel. Sprinkle the top with grated parmesan cheese.
Repeat with the second piece of dough.

Bake for about 30 minutes, rotating the pans on the oven shelves after 15 minutes.
Allow thee pinwheels to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Creamy Italian Dip With Cut-Up Vegetables

Ingredients

Dip
3 tablespoons dried Italian herbs
1 tablespoon of dried minced onion
1 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ cup warm water
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup sour cream
½ teaspoon salt

Vegetables Cut Into long strips: Cucumber, bell bells, carrots, celery. Radishes and cherry tomatoes are also good.

Directions

Soak the Italian seasoning, onion, and garlic powder in the warm water for 15 minutes. Sir in the mayonnaise, yogurt, and sour cream. Add the salt and mix well. Cover and chill for several hours or even overnight.

Place the dip in a serving bowl and arrange the vegetables on a serving platter.

 



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