Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Herbs

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, 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 its cooking methods, food, and spices to America. They farmed the soil, hunted game, and incorporated their ways into the food of America.

Gullah cuisine originated in the Gullah-Geechee community. These West African Slave Descendants farmed the rice plantations of the Lowcountry back in the 1700s. The Southern region now embraces its traditional food customs. Gullah Recipes are based on rice, simmered vegetables, and fresh seafood. Specifically, oysters, shrimp, grits, and okra are commonly incorporated. These beloved, cultural dishes boast a rich history and even richer flavors.

Crab cakes are popular in the Lowcountry, as blue crabs are abundant off the Carolina coast. While there’s nothing highly unusual about the way crab cakes are done here—the name is really to distinguish them from Maryland crab cakes, which are (presumably) sourced from the Chesapeake Bay and tend to use Old Bay seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard in their preparation—the typical way of doing these in Charleston is with lots and lots of fresh lump crab meat (and very little filler), some mayo, herbs like parsley, dill, or tarragon, and often a dash of hot sauce or cayenne for a little kick; then they’re almost always pan-fried/seared.

Shrimp, crab, peas, rice, okra, and greens – these are some of the nuts and bolts of Gullah dishes. Descendants of enslaved West Africans, the Gullah people have been preparing their recipes for centuries, with many of the dishes, rooted in a culture that is thousands of years old.

The cuisine of the Gullah, who still maintains a presence in South Carolina’s Lowcountry and sea islands, relies upon the gifts of land and sea. The ingredients are locally sourced in season in keeping with the ways of old. Okra soup, purloins (seasoned dishes of rice and meat), seafood soups, red rice, garlic crabs, and “Reezy Peezy,” a simple mainstay made from stewed field peas, are some of the delicious dishes that can be enjoyed today, thanks to the culinary traditions kept alive by this remarkable culture.

Though most Gullah cooking happens in the privacy of family kitchens, there is a small treasure trove of establishments where you can sample these special foods. Restaurants with dedicated Gullah menus are rare, so it’s likely you’ll find Gullah dishes mingled in with Southern or soul food fare. Click here to learn about these distinctions. Most Gullah-owned restaurants are modest and no-frills, but that’s part of the experience. Fancy is fine, but if you want a true taste of South Carolina’s culinary heritage, seek out these restaurants and eat the Gullah way.

Version One

I made this version because it is different from my usual recipe. It is delicious.

Charleston Grill 

Ingredients

Crab Cakes

1 pound crab meat

1 egg white

1/2 lemon, zested and juiced

1 tablespoon chopped chives

1 tablespoon thyme leaves

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2  cup fresh breadcrumbs or panko

Salt and freshly ground white pepper

Butter or olive oil, to cook

Sauce

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

6 shrimp, peeled and deveined, cut into thin strips

10 red pear tomatoes

10 yellow pear tomatoes

2 limes, juiced

2 shallots, finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh dill.

Directions

Crab Cakes

Mix together the mayo, salt, pepper, egg white, zest, juice, chives, and thyme. Fold in the crab meat. Add pano crums. Add just enough for the mixture to hold together.

Form mixture into patties and refrigerate for several hours, if possible.

Saute in butter or oil until crisp and golden on both sides.

Sauce

I made half the amount of sauce because it seemed to be too much for us.

1. Heat shallots in oil, then add shrimp and cook.

2. Add remaining ingredients and heat through.

3. Serve warm over crab cakes.

Version Two

Charleston Crab Cakes

Ingredients

1/2 cup minced red onions

1/3 cup minced red bell pepper

1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1lb lump or jumbo lump crabmeat (picked over for shells and drained of any liquid)

3/4 cup panko crumbs

2 teaspoons salt or to taste

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

6 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

Place onions, bell pepper, tarragon, and mayonnaise in a mixing bowl and combine. Gently fold in the crabmeat. Add the panko and season with salt, white pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste. Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes. The panko will absorb some of the moisture and the mixture will stay together.

Layout a large piece of plastic wrap on a clean counter surface. Place half of the crab mixture on it and use a spatula or a spoon to form it into a tube about 1 3/4 inches in diameter. Bring the wrap-up over the crab and roll the crab mixture up. Twist the ends to close. Pierce any air pockets with a toothpick or skewer. Twist the ends even tighter to compress the crab mixture. Tuck under the ends of the wrap and place the tube on a plate. Repeat with the second half of the crab cake mixture. Place the tubes in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight.

When ready to cook, Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Cut the tubes of crabmeat into 1 1/4-inch-thick cake.s. Gently remove the plastic wrap, leaving the cakes in nice cylinders.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan (non-stick works well here) over medium-high heat until very hot, but not smoking. Gently place 4 of the crab cakes in the pan and sear for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown. Gently turn the cakes over and sear the other side until golden brown. Place them on a baking sheet and into the oven to keep warm. Wipe the pan, add the remaining olive oil and repeat this process for the other 4 crab cakes. (If you have a big enough pan, you can cook 6 or 8 of them at the same time and skip the warming oven, but the cakes need room to sear properly and be turned so be careful not to crowd the pan).


Greek-Style Stuffed Collard Greens

Young collard greens remind me of grape leaves. Serve with grilled lamb chops.

Ingredients

Lemon Yogurt Sauce:
1 cup Greek yogurt
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus a sprig for garnish
1 teaspoon ground coriander
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil, for drizzling

For the lemon yogurt sauce: Combine the yogurt, lemon juice, dill, coriander and a pinch of salt and pepper to a bowl. Mix together, then drizzle some olive oil on top and garnish with a sprig of dill.

Collards:

12 medium collard leaves (from 1 to 2 bunches), bottom stems removed
1 ½ cup s cooked basmati or long-grain white rice
¼ cup olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
Salt to taste
4 tablespoons pine nuts
3 garlic cloves, minced
⅓ cup chopped fresh dill
⅓ cup finely chopped mint
½ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground pepper to taste
½ cup strained freshly squeezed lemon juice
Lemon zest from one lemon

Directions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil while you carefully stem the collard greens, trying to keep the leaves intact. Fill a bowl with ice water. When the water comes to a boil, salt generously and add the collard leaves, in batches. Blanch for 2 minutes and transfer to the ice water. Drain. Layout the leaves one at a time on a paper towel to blot, and use a sharp knife to cut out the thick center stems, cutting about three-quarters of the way to the top and making sure to leave 2 to 3 inches uncut at the top. Set the trimmed leaves aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the rice and pine nuts. Cook, stirring, until the rice is well coated about 1 minute. Add 3/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and remove from the heat. Stir in the dill, parsley, mint, and lemon zest.

Layout one collard leaf with the trimmed stem end pointing away. Spoon 2 level tablespoons of the rice filling in the center of the leaf. Fold the sides of the leaf over the filling, then roll the leaf up tightly away from you like a burrito, starting from the bottom and finishing seam-side down. Repeat with the remaining leaves and rice filling.

Add a splash of the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil to a deep, wide skillet. Arrange the collard rolls in a single layer on the bottom of the pan. Top with enough water to just cover the rolls, then drizzle in the remaining olive oil and the lemon juice.

Cover the rolls with a luncheon plate. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to a low simmer and cook, covered with a lid, for 11/2 to 2 hours. Add more water if the liquid evaporates.

Serve with the lemon yogurt sauce.

 


Pork
2 thick-cut bone-in pork chops
olive oil
2 tablespoons pork seasoning
¼ cup honey Dijon mustard
½ cup unseasoned panko crumbs

Directions

Coat the pork with the seasoning and refrigerate for several hours. When ready to cook , brush the mustard on the chope
S and dredge the meat in the panko. Press the crumbs on firmly.
Preheat an oven to 400 degrees.F.

Heat an oven-safe heavy skillet over high heat.add 2 tablespoons of oil and Sear the pork chops for 2 minutes on each side.
Transfer skillet immediately to the oven and cook until the internal temperature of the chop reaches 145 degrees, about 15 minutes.
Let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Vegetables
1 large sweet potato
2 large yellow squash
5 large carrots
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
¼ cup orange juice
2 fresh thyme sprigs
¼ cup chopped fresh chives

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Scrub the vegetables with a vegetable brush,
Trim the ends pff the carrots, squash and potatoes. Leave the carrots whole. Cut the squash into quarters lengthwise and the sweeter potato into sixths lengthwise.
Place vegetables on a 16 x 12 x 1 inch baking sheet or in a baking dish large enough to hold the vegetables.
Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Season with salt amd pepper. Sprinkle with orange juice and place pieces of thyme on top.
Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, remove from the pan from the oven and toss vegetables. Place back in the oven and bake for an additional 10=15 minutes, until fork tender. Place the vegetables on a serving platter and sprinkle with chopped chives.


Air Fryer or Broiler Porterhouse Steak

Servings 4

Ingredients

1 Porterhouse or T-bone steak, about 2 1/2 lbs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon steak rub or seasoning (such as Montreal)

For the Herb Butter
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 small clove garlic, grated
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Combine the herb butter ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Let the meat rest at room temperature for AT LEAST 30 minutes and 60 minutes is better.
Preheat the air fryer or broiler for 5 minutes at 400 degrees F
Then rub the olive oil all over the steak, and season both sides with steak rub or seasoning.
Place the steak in the air fryer on the broiler pan for 6 minutes, then tum and cook for another 5 minutes for medium-rare.
Transfer the steak to a platter and est for at least 5 minutes, before cutting. Cut the steak off the bone in two large pies, slice the meat and return it to its position around the bone for an attractive serving presentation. Spread the herb hutter over the sliced steak. Let sit for a minute or two and serve.

Twice Cooked Stuffed Potatoes

Ingredients

2 large baking potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon coarse sea salt
½ tablespoon coarse black pepper
For the stuffing
2 Tablespoon sour cream
1 Tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon chopped chives
Salt and pepper to taste

Direction

Wash and dry the potatoes.
Put the oil in a bowl and rub it on the potatoes.
Sprinkle salt and pepper over the potatoes.
Put the potatoes in an air fryer basket, leaving space around them for air to circulate.
Cook at 400 F for 30 minutes, turning over after 15 minutes.
Test for the potatoes’ doneness by seeing if a fork goes into them easily. Or check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer. They are done if they are at about 205 F.
Put them back in for another 10 minutes if necessary.
Or bake them in a 400 F degree oven for about an hour.

To finish the potatoes:
Cut the baked potatoes in half and scoop out the insides into a bowl.
Add the sour cream, chives, salt, pepper, and butter to the bowl with the potatoes.
Mash the potatoes and ingredients together with a potato masher until they have reached your desired consistency.
Spoon the filling back into the potato shells, mounding it to fit as necessary.
Bake the potatoes in an air fryer basket at 400 F for 10 minutes and serve with the steak.
Or bake in a 400 F degree regular oven until hot.

Creamy Spinach

Ingredients

20 ounces baby spinach leaves, washed and dried
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 large scallions, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 pinch ground nutmeg, optional
1 pinch of cayenne pepper, optional
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese, to serve

Directions

Melt the butter in a medium-sized pot over medium heat and cook the chopped scallions until soft (about 2-3 minutes), then add the garlic and spinach and cook until wilted.
Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne. Stir in the cream and mix thoroughly. Heat over low until hot. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

NOTE
*Instead of fresh spinach, you can use Two 10 ounce packages of frozen chopped spinach. Thaw and squeeze dry before adding to the sauce.


Tomatoes are at their peak now in my area and they are plentiful. Here are some ideas on what you can cook with them.

Greek Tomato And Eggplant Tart

Pastry
1 1/2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons of ice-cold water
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal or semolina flour
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into small pieces

Filling
1 small (about 1 lb) eggplant, thinly sliced
4 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
4 to 5 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves, stripped from stem
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
6 oz fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
1/4 cup feta cheese crumbled
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil for drizzling

For the pastry
Mix the yogurt and ice water together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Mix together the flours, cornmeal, and salt in a large bowl. Using a fork or pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until you have small pieces. Add the water/yogurt mix one tablespoon at a time to the flour mixture, mixing gently. Gather the wet dough pieces together and shape into a ball. Do not overwork the dough, it will be soft. Wrap in plastic and place in the refrigerator for at least two hours (can be frozen for one month).

Place tomatoes in a single layer on paper towels; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Let stand for 15 minutes.
Brush eggplant slices with oil and broil on high for 5 minutes on each side until tender. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375° F. Place a piece of parchment on a smooth surface and lightly flour. Top with another piece of parchment or plastic wrap. Roll the dough out to 11 inches in diameter, Transfer to an ungreased 9-inch pie plate.

Layer in the following order: eggplant slices, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, herbs, feta cheese, and drizzle with olive oil. Crimp the edges of the pastry.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the layers are bubbly and hot. Cool for at least ten minutes or until room temperature before serving.

Fresh Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

4-5 pounds of fresh Roma tomatoes, quartered and seeded retaining as much pulp as possible
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large sweet onion, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
2 large cloves of fresh garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (chili)
1-2 teaspoons honey, if needed

Herbs
Place the following herbs in a piece of cheesecloth and tie the cheesecloth closed.

1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1 sprig of fresh oregano
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs of parsley

Directions

Pour the olive oil into a large stockpot over medium heat.
Add the onions, celery, garlic, and carrots.
Saute for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
Add the tomatoes and sea salt.
Simmer on low heat, covered, for about an hour until the tomatoes cook down.
Remove the pot from the heat and using an immersion blender, process the mixture until smooth.
Return the pot to the heat and add the herb cheesecloth package.
Taste the sauce to see if the tomatoes were too bitter. Add the honey, if needed.
Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook until reduced and thick, an hour to an hour and a half more. Remove the cheesecloth package and discard it.
Pour the sauce into a refrigerator container and store the sauce up to 1 week, or freeze in batches.


Tomatoes with Herbed Ricotta

Use beautiful heirloom tomatoes that are in season now along with lots of fresh herbs.

For two servings:

Ingredients

1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1 scallion, white and green parts, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced\
1 large heirloom tomato, about 1 lb
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves, plus extra for garnish
Fleur de sel

Directions

In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, scallions, dill, chives, parsley, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Set aside for up to 30 minutes.
Slice the tomato into ¼ inch thick slices. You should get 4 slices. Place on paper towels and sprinkle lightly with salt. Let drain for 30 minutes. When ready to serve, place the tomato slices on a serving plate. Drizzle with olive oil. Spread ¼ of the ricotta mixture over each tomato slice. Sprinkle with reserved basil and fleur de sel, and serve at room temperature.

Summer Fresh Tomato Salad

2-3 servings

Ingredients

½ cup diced red onion
1 1/2 pounds ripe red tomatoes, cut into wedges
Shredded fresh basil leaves
½ teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

For the dressing, in a small bowl whisk together the mustard, vinegar, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Gradually whisk in the olive oil.

Place the onion, tomatoes, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt in a salad serving bowl. Toss with the salad dressing. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours, stirring occasionally.


Chicken Salad with Fresh Herbs and Pecans

6 servings

Ingredients

For the chicken
1 garlic clove, peeled
3-4 celery tops
Half an onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning or dried Italian seasoning
3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 1 ½ lb

For the salad
½ cup diced celery
½ cup diced onion
1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh herbs (such as parsley and tarragon)
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

Directions

To cook the chicken

Fill a 12-inch covered saute or large saucepan pan 3/4 of the way with water and bring to a simmer.

Add the garlic, celery tops, onion half, seasoning, salt, and pepper. Return the liquid to a simmer.

Add the chicken breasts to the poaching liquid, cover, and simmer until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F when tested with an instant-read thermometer, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove the chicken breasts to a plate and set aside to cool. Save the broth for soup or gravy.

To make the salad

Combine the diced celery, diced onion, mayonnaise, mustard, and herbs in a large serving bowl and mix well. Refrigerate until the chicken is cool

When the chicken is cool enough to handle, cut it into 1/2-inch dice.

Add the chicken and the pecans to the mayonnaise mixture, and mix well. Cover and transfer the salad to the refrigerator to chill until serving time.


Chicken Kiev is a dish made of chicken fillets pounded and rolled around cold butter and herbs, then coated with eggs and bread crumbs, and either fried or baked. In general, this dish of stuffed chicken breast is known in Ukrainian and Russian cuisines as côtelette de volaille. The history of this dish is not well documented, and various sources make controversial claims about its origin. In the 18th century, Russian chefs adopted many techniques of French haute cuisine and combined them with the local culinary tradition. The adoption was furthered by French chefs, such as Marie-Antoine Carême and Urbain Dubois, who were hired by the Russian aristocracy.  The use of quality meat cuts, such as cutlets, steaks, escalopes, and suprêmes became widespread in the 19th century, and a number of original dishes involving such components were developed in Russia at that time.

Kiev is the capital of Ukraine, and while the name of the dish may sound very much Ukrainian, it actually is not. It turns out that Chicken Kiev was invented by a French chef, Nicolas Francois Appert. Chicken Kiev was one of the most popular foods of the 1970s but fell out of fashion by the late 1980s. Ler’s bring it back since it is delicious.

Chicken Kiev

For the herb butter
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 teaspoon dried chives
1/4 teaspoon pepper

For the chicken
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Salt & pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 2 tablespoons of butter for cooking

Directions

Combine the ingredients for the herb butter in a mixing bowl. Place mixture on plastic wrap or waxed paper and roll into a small log; place in the freezer for several hours.


Place the chicken breasts, 1 at a time, between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Pound to 1/8-inch thickness. Season each piece of chicken with salt and pepper.
Lay 1 chicken breast on a new piece of plastic wrap and place 1/2 of the herb butter in the center of each breast. Using the plastic wrap to assist, fold in the ends of the breast and roll the breast into a log, completely enclosing the butter; roll very tightly. Repeat with the second breast. Place chicken in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Place egg and water mixture in 1 pie pan, flour in another, and bread crumbs in a third pie pan.
Dip each breast in the flour and then the egg mixture and then roll in the bread crumbs. Press on the crumbs to completely cover the chicken rolls.
In a frying pan over medium-high heat a mixture of 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon oi. Gently place each breast in the pan, sealed side down, and cook until golden brown on all sides including the ends, turning frequently until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

Or
Follow the same method for preparing the herb butter and chicken as above. Place the chicken rolls in a lightly oiled baking dish and dot the chicken with additional butter and bake at 375°F for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Lemon Parmesan Orzo

ingredients

1 cup uncooked whole wheat orzo pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions

Bring 2 cups salted water to a boil. Add in 1 cup of orzo, simmer for 7-8 minutes, test for al dente, drain; drizzle with oil. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Heat over low just until hot and serve.

Green Beans With Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Ingredients

1/2 lb green beans, tips removed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste
Pinch red pepper flakes

Directions

Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add the beans and cook just until they are tender-crisp. The time may vary depending on the size of your beans or how fresh they are but generally for 3 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside.

Heat the oil in the pan and add the chopped tomatoes, a teaspoon of water, and salt and pepper. Return the beans to the pan and toss in the tomato oil mixture and cook for a minute or two so the beans absorb the flavor of the oil. Remove from the heat and serve warm or at room temperature.


Roasting a turkey breast is a very economical dinner choice. There is little waste and a 5 lb roast will give you several meals later in the week. I was able to use the meat from this roast to make Turkey Tetrazzini, Pot Pie, Turkey Salad and sandwiches. I also made turkey broth from the breast bones.

Herb Roasted Turkey Breast

Ingredients

1 bone-in turkey breast (4½ to 5 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dry white wine

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the turkey breast on a rack in a roasting pan, skin side up.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, mustard, rosemary, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper. Rub the mixture evenly all over the skin of the turkey breast. Pour the wine into the bottom of the roasting pan.

Roast the turkey for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the skin is golden brown and an instant-read meat thermometer registers 165 degrees when inserted into the thickest and meatiest area of the breast. If the skin is browning too quickly, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.

When the turkey is done, remove the pan from the oven and cover the pan with aluminum foil. Let the turkey rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Slice and serve warm with the pan juices.

Corn Cakes

Fresh corn is ideal but frozen and canned works well in this recipe.

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
3 tablespoons finely diced scallions

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.

Place a griddle or large skillet 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 or keep warm in a low oven until all the batter is used.

To serve with the roasted turkey, put 2 griddle cakes on an individual plate, top with sliced turkey and pan juices.

Broccoli and Mushroom Casserole

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter
4 oz sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour ( I use Wondra)
1 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 head fresh broccoli cut into small pieces

Directions

Steam or boil the broccoli for 3 minutes and set aside in a colander to drain.
Melt butter in a saute pan over medium-high heat until bubbling.
Place sliced mushrooms in the pan with the salt and white pepper. Saute until browned, about 5 minutes.
Add the flour and stir until dissolved. Slowly add milk and cook until thickened.
Stir in drained broccoli and heat for a few minutes.
Pour into a serving dish.


Crispy Oven Baked Shrimp

Servings: 2. Double for 4 servings.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 lb large peeled (about 12), deveined raw shrimp (16-20 count), tail-on
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 medium finely chopped garlic clove
2 tablespoons Italian flavored panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Coat the bottom of a glass or ceramic baking dish with 1 tablespoon oil.

Pat shrimp dry and place them in a single layer in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the shrimp evenly with pepper and salt.

Whisk butter, lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl; pour the mixture evenly over the shrimp.

In a mixing bowl combine the Panko, Parmesan cheese, chives, and the remaining oil; stir to combine.

Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the shrimp. Bake until the shrimp are pink and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.

Roasted Zucchini

2 servings. Double for 4 servings.

Ingredients

Olive oil cooking spray
1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
6 grape tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon garlic-flavored olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Coat a baking dish with the cooking spray.
Arrange zucchini halves, flesh side up, in the prepared baking dish. Arrange the grape tomatoes on the sides of the squash.

Drizzle olive oil over zucchini. Season the flesh with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle thyme, Herbes de Provence and garlic powder over the top. Roast 8 to 10 minutes, until tender and golden brown.

Rice Pilaf

4 servings

Ingredients

Rice

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup Lundberg wild rice blend
Salt to taste

Pilaf

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Half a red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 oz mushrooms, trimmed and chopped
1 chopped celery stalk
2 tablespoons toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoon dry sherry
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

Bring the broth, rice, oil, and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. When the liquid returns to the boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer 40 -50 minutes until the rice is tender and the liquid has evaporated. Set aside.

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet, and add the onion, garlic, celery, and mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, until tender, and the mushrooms have softened about 10 minutes. Stir in the cooked rice and the remaining ingredients. Cook, stirring until the sherry has evaporated. Taste and adjust seasonings.


Have you ever ordered fish cooked in a banana leaf wrap in a restaurant? Delicious; and so I thought I would try making such a dish at home.

Banana leaves are very inexpensive to buy – a few dollars for a large pack. Banana leaves come in large, flat plastic bags at your local Asian market or supermarket (check the freezer if you can’t find them on the shelf or in the produce section).

Banana leaves can be used for baking anything “wrapped”, in the same way, you would use tin foil or parchment paper. However, banana leaves are porous (unlike tin foil), so some of the “sauce” or juices from your food item may seep through. It’s, therefore, a good idea to place your banana leaf “packets” in a glass casserole dish, or a tray that has sides on it, so that the juices don’t drip to the bottom of your oven.

Banana leaves serve many purposes, from adding flavor to foods cooked inside them, to simply being used as a colorful and exotic background for serving plates and party platters.

Banana leaves contain large amounts of polyphenols that are natural antioxidants. These are found in many plant-based foods and green tea. Food served on the banana leaves absorbs the polyphenols which are said to prevent many lifestyle diseases. They are also said to have anti-bacterial properties that can possibly kill the germs in food. The leaf wrapping protects delicate fillets from harsh, dry heat.

You can also use banana leaves as a kind of “mat” for barbecuing fragile fillets of fish, smaller shrimp, or vegetables that have a danger of falling through the grill. Simply lay a piece of banana leaf on your grill, then cook your food items on top of it (as you would with tin foil). The banana leaf will turn bright green at first, then brown as you cook. It will give your food a hint of flavor that is very pleasant.

To store banana leaves, simply wrap them in plastic and place them in a ziplock plastic bag and keep in the freezer. Banana leaves only require about 30 minutes to thaw, so this is a convenient way to keep them fresh.

Use scissors to cut the banana leaves into the size you need, depending on your recipe. For wrapping and baking food items, you will need a large “sheet” or leaf. Place enough for one serving in the center of the leaf, then fold like a handkerchief to make a square packet.

Banana leaves are also excellent for steaming, as it allows the steam to penetrate the food inside or on top of it. You can use banana leaves to line a steamer or to wrap your food and then steam it.

Secure banana leaf “packets” with kitchen twine. Or simply place the packet “seam-side” down to keep it from opening.

Caribbean Inspired Fish Wrapped in Banana Leaves

Serves 2. Double the ingredients for 4 servings.

Ingredients

6 navel orange slices, rind removed
2 (6-oz.) sustainable skinless white fish fillets (such as snapper, halibut, or sea bass)
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 (12-in.-square) fresh or thawed frozen banana leaf pieces
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place the thawed banana leaves in hot water to soak for 10 minutes. Drain and place on a kitchen towel.

Coat fish fillets with oil and place them in the center of each banana leaf. Stir together salt, coriander, cinnamon, red pepper, ginger, and nutmeg; sprinkle evenly over the tops of the fish fillets. Place 3 orange slices on top of each fish fillet.

Fold each banana leaf piece to enclose the fish. Place packets, folded side down, on a baking sheet or in a glass baking dish. Bake at 400°F until fish is done, about 15-20 minutes. Unwrap and transfer fillets and orange slices onto serving plates. Garnish with chopped cilantro, if desired.

Wild Rice, Almond and Mushroom Pilaf

Ingredients

Rice

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup Lundberg wild rice blend
Salt to taste

Pilaf

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Half a red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 oz mushrooms, trimmed and chopped
1 chopped celery stalk
2 tablespoons toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoon dry sherry
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

Bring the broth, rice, oil, and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. When the liquid returns to the boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer 40 -50 minutes until the rice is tender and the liquid has evaporated. Set aside.

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet, and add the onion, garlic, celery, and mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, until tender, and the mushrooms have softened about 10 minutes. Stir in the cooked rice and the remaining ingredients. Cook, stirring until the sherry has evaporated. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with the fish.

Honey- Baked Squash

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 large acorn squash (1 1/2 pounds), seeds removed cut into 8 lengthwise wedges
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon honey

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Arrange the squash wedges on a foil-lined baking sheet.
Drizzle the olive oil over the squash wedges.


Sprinkle the squash with the cinnamon, salt, and pepper and drizzle with the honey. Bake, uncovered, for 45-50 minutes, or until browned at the edges and very tender when pierced with a fork.



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