Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Olive Oil

Pork Cutlets

2-3 servings {easily doubled or tripled}

Ingredients

5-6 lean pork cutlets,½ inch thick
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup unseasoned Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 plum tomatoes, sliced thin
5-6 slices of mozzarella cheese

Directions

Spread the mustard evenly over the pork.
Sprinkle the thyme and pepper over the cutlets.
Coat each piece of pork with the panko breadcrumbs.

.Heat oven to 425°F. Spread the olive oil over the bottom of a baking dish just large enough to hold the cutlets.
Between sheets of plastic wrap or waxed paper, flatten each pork cutlet to about 1/4-inch thickness.
Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown. Top each cutlet with tomato slices and mozzarella cheese. Return to the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Swiss Chard And Mashed Potato Combo

Chard Recipe

2 cups cooked Swiss Chard
4 medium baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 garlic cloves
Salt to taste
Olive oil

Directions

Cook the potatoes and garlic in boiling salted water until soft. Drain and return the potatoes and garlic to the pot. Mash well. Moisten with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the drained cooked Swiss Chard. Mix well, Heat over low heat until hot.

 


While I only wanted 2 servings of the lamb, I made extra vegetables so there would be leftovers for another meal. The vegetables are a great addition to a salad.

Ingredients

1 lb green beans trimmed
6 rainbow carrots trimmed and sliced in half
1 large yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin slices
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
6–8 sprigs rosemary, leaves stripped from stems and coarsely chopped
3 large cloves garlic, grated
1/4 cup lemon juice, divided
Salt and pepper
2 lamb chops (about 6 1/2 oz each)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 teaspoons seasoned panko crumbs
2 tablespoons capers

Directions

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven; preheat to 475°F.

In a large bowl, toss the green beans, carrots, and peppers with 3 tablespoons olive oil, half the rosemary, 2 garlic, and 3 tablespoons lemon juice; season with salt and pepper.

Spread the vegetables in a single layer on a foiled lined baking sheet. Roast 12 to 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk the mustard, 1 tablespoon olive oil, the remaining rosemary, the remaining garlic, and the lemon juice; spread the mixture all over the lamb chops.

Sprinkle with panko crumbs,

Place the lamb chops on the baking sheet with the vegetables and roast for 15 minutes.

Transfer the vegetables to a serving platter, add the lamb and sprinkle all with the capers. Serve immediately.


Ingredients

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
4 cloves garlic, grated
2 shallots, finely chopped
½ cup white wine
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
12 oz spinach linguini
¼ cup roughly chopped parsley

Directions

Cook pasta according to directions for al dente, drain, and place in a pasta serving bowl.
Cut the shrimp in half, crosswise.
Heat 3 tablespoons. butter and oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat; season shrimp with salt and pepper, and add to skillet. Cook, turning once, until beginning to turn pink, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate; set aside. Add chili flakes, garlic, and shallots to skillet; cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add wine and lemon juice; cook until bubbly.
Add reserved shrimp and remaining butter; heat for a minute or two. Pour sauce over the reserved pasta and toss well. Sprinkle with parsley and serve in individual pasta bowls.

A tomato salad goes well with this entree.


This is a great time of year to make this sauce since all the vegetables included in the recipe are in season.

Ingredients

Eggplant
1 ½-2 lbs small eggplant
4 garlic cloves
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Peppers and Onions
1 ½ lbs Italian frying peppers
1 large sweet onion
2 garlic cloves
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Tomatoes
2 ½ lbs large vine ripe tomatoes
1 ½ lbs ripe cherry tomatoes
4 garlic cloves
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F

For the roasted eggplant
Peel the eggplant and then into ½-inch cubes. Pour the olive oil into a 13×9-inch baking pan. Smash the garlic cloves and place them in the pan. Add the eggplant and season generously with salt and pepper. Stir the ingredients until the eggplant is coated in oil. Bake 30 minutes stirring the eggplant several through the roasting time to prevent the eggplant from sticking to the pan. Scrape the eggplant into a Dutch Oven with a spatula and set the pot aside, Do not clean out the baking dish.

For the peppers and onions
Remove the seeds from the cut peppers and cut them into ½-inch dice. Peel the onion and cut into ½-inch dice.
In the same baking dish used for the eggplant, pour in the oil, add the smashed garlic, peppers, and onions. Add salt and pepper and stir the ingredients. Bake for 30 minutes stirring the ingredients several through the roasting time. Pour the peppers and onions into the Dutch Oven with the eggplant and reserve the baking dish.

 

For the tomatoes
Cut the large tomatoes in half. Pour the olive oil into the baking dish. Add the smashed garlic, large tomatoes, and cherry tomatoes. Generously salt and pepper the tomatoes. Bake for 30 minutes stirring the ingredients several through the roasting time.

Mash the tomatoes with a potato masher and add the ingredients to the Dutch Oven.

To make the sauce
Add 1 teaspoon of dried Italian seasoning and a sprig of fresh basil to the pot. Bring the sauce to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, partially cover the pot and cook until the sauce is reduced by half.

To use the sauce with pasta
Add 12 ounces of short pasta, such as Casarecce, Campanelle or Farfalle cooked al dente and 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan with the sauce and bring to a simmer, tossing until the butter melts and the pasta finishes cooking about 1 minute. Serve pasta with Parmesan cheese and hot pepper flakes
You can also serve the sauce over cooked spaghetti or as a sauce for lasagna.

To use the sauce for pizza
Cover the dough with sliced Fontina cheese and add about 2 cups of the Roasted Garden Vegetable sauce. Bake in a 450-degree F oven for 20 minutes.


Swiss Steak is named Swiss Steak because the meat has undergone a process called “Swissing” in order to make it tender. Beef Steaks for Swissing are generally steaks that are not very tender unless they are cooked slowly in moist heat. It is made either on a stove or in the oven and does not get its name from Switzerland, as the name suggests, but the technique of tenderizing by pounding or rolling called “swissing”. In England and in some parts of the United States such as the Deep South, it is also called a smothered steak. Using round steak in this recipe makes for an economical dinner.

Swiss Steak

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
8 ounces fresh sliced mushrooms
1 onion, sliced thin
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 pounds boneless round steak, 3/4 to 1 inch thick
1 1/2 cups beef broth
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil and butter.
Cut round steak into serving-size portions. Pound the steak until1/2 inch thick with a meat mallet. Flour the steak pieces, pressing the flour into the meat; transfer to the skillet. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper; brown the round steak thoroughly, turning to brown the other side, Remove to a plate. Save the remaining flour.


Saute the onions and sliced mushrooms for about 5 minutes, until the onions are tender. Stir in the remaining flour and cook for a minute or two.


Add the beef broth, stirring well. Return the browned meat to the pan, cover, and simmer on low heat for at least 1 ½ hours or until the meat is very tender.

Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Serve with mashed potatoes.

 

Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
1 large garlic clove, peeled
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions

Peel potatoes and cut into 1-inch chunks. In a large saucepan, cover potatoes with cold water by 2 inches and add 1 tablespoon coarse salt. Add the garlic clove. Bring to a boil; cook until the potatoes are very tender and easily pierced with a fork, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and return the potatoes and garlic to the saucepan. Heat over very low heat for a minute or two to dry the potatoes.
Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes and garlic with olive oil until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Roasted Broccoli

Ingredients

Half a head of broccoli
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 lemon, squeezed
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Oil a baking dish.
Trim the ends of the broccoli and peel the stalks.
Place the broccoli stalks in the baking dish and top with the remaining ingredients.
Roast the broccoli until tender 15-20 minutes.


Roast Chicken

Ingredients

4 lb organic chicken
1 medium onion quartered
1 celery stalk cut into 4 pieces
A handful of fresh garden herbs (Sage, Rosemary, Oregano & Parsley)
2 cloves garlic
Juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup chicken broth

RUB

1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425F
Rinse the chicken thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels.
Place fresh herbs, garlic, onion, and celery inside the chicken cavity,
Mix together the rub ingredients and coat the chicken with it.
Pour the chicken broth into the bottom of the baking dish. Mix the melted butter with the lemon juice and pour over the chicken.

Roast for 30 minutes. reduce the temperature to 375F and roast for 30 minutes or until a digital meat thermometer registers 165 F. Baste the chicken several times during the roasting time.

Remove the chicken from the oven and let rest 15 minutes before carving. Serve the juices in the bottom of the baking pan poured over the sliced chicken.

Mashed Potatoes with Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

The better the oil, the better the flavor in the potatoes.

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into cubes
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Directions

Place potatoes in a heavy large pot. Cover with cold water. Add 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Boil over medium-high heat until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 40 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups potato cooking liquid.

Return the potatoes to the dry pot. Stir over medium heat until any excess liquid evaporates. Add 6 tablespoons of olive oil and mash until almost smooth. Mix in enough potato cooking liquid as needed to moisten. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon olive oil and serve.

Florida Green Beans with Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms

Ingredients

1 pound Florida green beans, stems trimmed
8 oz sliced button mushrooms
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Directions

Preheat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the preheated pan. Add sliced onions to the pan and cook them for 3 to 5 minutes until almost caramelized. Add the green beans and garlic to the pan and continue to cook ingredients for another 3 to 4 minutes until the green beans are almost to the desired tenderness. Add mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce, and butter. Cook another 4 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and serve.


Roast Lamb Chops With Potatoes and Broccoli Florets  – the Italian Way

2 servings

Ingredients

4 loin lamb chops
2 unpeeled Yukon Gold potatoes, about 12 oz total
2 large garlic cloves, sliced and divided
1 lemon zested and cut into quarters
1 cup white wine
2 chopped sprigs fresh sage leaves and 2 sprigs fresh oregano, divided
2 chopped fresh rosemary sprigs, divided
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
Coarse Sea Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
10 oz pkg frozen broccoli florets, defrosted

Directions

Place the lamb chops in a plastic ziplock bag, add some salt, the lemon zest, 1 sliced garlic clove, 1 sprig of rosemary, 1 sprig of sage, 1 sprig of oregano, a sprinkle of black pepper, the white wine and 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil. Marinate for about 2 hours turning them occasionally.

Cut the potatoes into long wedges and put them in a bowl or bag with cold water and let rest while the lamb marinates. (This helps remove the starch and creates a potato that does not get mushy).

Using a slotted spoon, drain the potatoes, transfer them to a roasting pan, large enough to also hold the lamb and broccoli; add salt to taste, 1 sliced garlic clove, the remaining chopped rosemary, sage, and oregano sprigs, a pinch of black pepper and 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil. Toss well and roast for 20 minutes at 400 F.

Remove the pan from the oven, tuck the chops in among the potatoes reserving the marinade, and scatter the broccoli florets around the outside of the potato/lamb mixture.

Sprinkle with the lamb marinade and roast another 15-20 minutes, depending on how you like lamb cooked. Serve with lemon wedges.


Smoky Eggplant Dip with Pita Chips

Ingredients

One Italian eggplant (about 1 pound)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon tahini paste
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Za’atar dry spice, for garnish

Pita Chips
8 large pita rounds, cut into triangles
2 tablespoons za’atar dry spice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt

Directions

Split the eggplant in half through the stem and score the flesh. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Grill the eggplant on a very hot grill pan or outdoor grill until the skins are wrinkled and black and the flesh side is charred.
When the eggplants are cool enough to handle, cut off the tops and scoop the flesh from the skin into a processor bowl.
Add the garlic, tahini, lemon juice, paprika, salt and cayenne pepper and puree until smooth. Add the olive oil and pulse again to incorporate. Taste and adjust seasoning, as needed. Pour into a serving bowl and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of .za’atar.

To make pita chips.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Put the pita triangles on two rimmed cookie sheets. Combine the za’atar spice mix and extra-virgin olive oil in a bowl or jar and drizzle over the pita. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until crispy.

Grilled Stuffed Yellow Squash

4 servings

Ingredients

2 large yellow squash
1 garlic clove, grated
2 scallions, minced
1 celery stalk, chopped
1/2 cup minced sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato oil (from the jar)
5 sage leaves, minced
1/4 cup jarred deli pepper rings, minced

Directions

Cut the squash in half lengthwise. With a grapefruit spoon, scoop out the squash flesh, leaving about a ¼ inch thick shell. Chop the squash flesh.

In a small skillet heat the sun-dried tomato oil over low heat. Add the garlic, scallions, and celery and cook until tender, 2-3 minutes. Add the squash flesh and saute until the squash is completely cooked and soft. Add the sage, sun-dried tomatoes and pepper rings, Stir and remove the pan from the heat. Cool to room temperature.
Fill the squash boats evenly with the stuffing.

Heat an outdoor grill to high and oil the grill grates. Turn the heat down to medium and place the squash boats on the grill, close the lid and grill for about 15 minutes until the shells are softened and the top of the stuffing is beginning to brown.

Swiss Chard Quiche

6-8 servings

You will need a 10-inch glass pie pan that is 2 inches deep.

Ingredients for Press in the Pan Pie Crust
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour or For Low Carb or Gluten-free Crust: 1 ½ cups blanched almond flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar or low carb sugar substitute
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 tablespoons cold water

Ingredients for the Filling
One large bunch of Swiss Chard
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 whole scallions (green onions) diced
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
6 large egg
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

Wash the chard and remove the stems. Save the stems for soup. Cut the leaves into smaller pieces. Heat the one tablespoon olive oil in a skillet and add the chard leaves. Cook just until wilted. Season with salt & pepper. Set the pan aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F

Coat a deep dish 10-inch glass pie plate with cooking spray. Place the flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder in the pie pan. Mix with a fork. Combine the vegetable oil and water in a measuring cup. Pour over the flour mixture in the pie plate. With the fork incorporate all oil mixture into the flour until it is completely moit=st. With your hands, press the mixture across the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate.

Prebake the crust in the oven for 10 minutes.

Beat the eggs in a medium bowl and add the cream.

Remove the pie pan from the oven and place the scallions on the bottom crust. Top with 1 cup of the cheddar followed by the wilted chard. Pour the egg mixture over the chard and sprinkle the top with the remaining one cup of shredded cheddar.

Bake in the center of the oven for 45 minutes until puffed and golden brown. Cool 15 minutes before cutting.

Noodles with Grilled Italian Sausage

2 servings

Ingredients

1/2 lb spicy Italian Sausage
Olive oil spray
2 oz thin spaghetti
1 zucchini, about 8 oz
1 yellow squash, about 8 oz
2 cups homemade marinara sauce
½ cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions

Prepare an outdoor grill with an area for indirect heat. Coat the sausage with olive oil cooking spray. Place the sausage over indirect heat and cook until golden brown on the outside and cooked through, about 30 minutes, turning them over after 15 minutes. Remove to a plate and cut into two-inch pieces

Using a spiralizer to make noodles with the zucchini and squash. Place on paper towels to remove the moisture.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the spaghetti al dente. Drain.

Combine the marinara sauce and grilled sausage in a saucepan and heat.

To assemble: In the pot that the spaghetti was cooked, place half of the hot marinara sauce. Add the vegetable noodles and spaghetti. Stir gently and heat.
Divide the noodles into two pasta bowls, top with sausage and remaining sauce. Garnish with cheese and serve immediately


Tripoli

The Mediterranean countries include France, Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal along the north; Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel on the east; the African countries of Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco on the south and the Mediterranean Island Countries of Cyprus and Malta. The Mediterranean countries utilize many of the same healthy ingredients but each country has a unique way of creating recipes with those same ingredients. So far in this series, I have written about Mediterranean cuisine in general and about the cuisine in the countries of Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Egypt. This series continues with the country of Libya.


Food in Libya is a very important part of family life. A well-known Libyan saying is “one must eat well”. Libyan cuisine is based on the traditions of the Mediterranean, North Africa, and Berber cuisines. Tripoli is Libya’s capital, and the cuisine in this city is especially influenced by the Italian cuisine. Pasta is common, as are many seafood dishes. Fruits, most often served, include figs, dates, oranges, apricots, and olives.

The sand in Libya gets so hot in the summer that walking on it with bare feet becomes unbearable. As a result, the Tuareg way of baking bread is to bury it in the hot sand, which is as effective as baking in an oven. The technique can also be used to bake potatoes and eggs by burying them whole in the sand and leaving them there for several hours.

Olive oil is the main ingredient of nearly all Libyan dishes. Its use in North Africa goes back thousands of years, and its life-prolonging properties were well-known to the ancient Libyans and Egyptians.


There are four main ingredients in the traditional Libyan cuisine: olives (and olive oil), palm dates, grains, and milk. These are very ancient foods and they have been in the Libyan cuisine since Neolithic times when humans first began to make use of their natural surroundings. Grains are roasted, ground, sieved and used for making bread, cakes, soups, Bazin, and other dough-based dishes. Dates are harvested, dried and stored for the rest of the year. They can be eaten as they are, made into syrup, fried or eaten with milk for breakfast.

Garlic is also one of the most important Libyan foods, as it is usually added to most dishes that involve sauces or stews, especially those served with couscous and pasta.

One of the most important social occasions in Libya is getting together for tea drinking. This activity brings families together, to chat, laugh, discuss and gossip about the highlights of the day and about life in general. Talking in Libya is a very important social activity and it firmly bonds the family. Libyan tea is a very strong, thick, syrup-like black tea. After boiling water in a traditional teapot, a handful of red tea leaves are added, and the leaves are boiled for a long time (about twenty minutes).

Bazin

Bazin is the most well-known Libyan dish. It is made by boiling barley flour in salted water to make a hard dough and then forming it into a rounded, smooth dome that is placed in the middle of a serving dish. The sauce around the dough is made by frying chopped onions with ground lamb, turmeric, salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, fenugreek, sweet paprika and tomato paste. Potatoes may also be added. Hard-boiled eggs are arranged around the dome. The dish is then served with lemon and fresh or pickled chili peppers, known as amsyar. Batata mubattana (filled potato) is another popular dish that consists of fried potato pieces filled with spiced ground meat and covered with egg and breadcrumbs.

Make A Libyan-style Dinner In Your Kitchen

Recipes adapted from http://libyanfood.blogspot.com/

Lentil Soup With Fried Onions

Ingredients

2 cups lentils
5 cups water
2 garlic cloves
1 medium carrot
1 onion
1 large tomato
1/2 -1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon salt

Fried Onions
2 medium onions
Oil for frying

For the Topping
Extra cumin
Toasted bread, cut into cubes or triangles

Directions

Wash and drain the lentils; wash and cut the carrot; chop the tomatoes and onion. Put the onion, tomatoes, carrot, lentils, garlic cloves, salt and cumin in a soup pot.
Add 5 cups of boiling water. Cook, until the lentils, become mushy. Let cool, puree, and add more boiling water if a thinner soup is desired, stir well.

For the topping: Cut the 2 onions into thin slices and fry in a little olive oil stirring constantly until dark brown.

To serve: Place a handful of toasted bread in the soup bowl before ladling on the soup. Then add a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of cumin to each bowl. Top with a tablespoon of fried onions.

Libyan Couscous with Fish

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

Steamed Couscous
500g couscous (ready-cooked variety can also be steamed)
1 cup of hot water + 3 tablespoons olive oil

Stock
1-2 fish heads (washed, gills removed)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 cup parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon black pepper, ground cumin
Salt, to taste
1 1/2-2 liter boiling water

Vegetable Sauce
1 medium onion
1 medium size potato
1 medium size aubergine (eggplant)
1 medium size squash
1 medium-size red bell pepper
1 cup cooked/canned chickpeas (or fresh/frozen peas)
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
5 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 chili peppers
3-4 garlic cloves

For the Fish and Marinade
4-6 portions of firm-fleshed fish, grouper is the Libyan favorite
4 large cloves garlic
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 chili pepper chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon of each salt and pepper
2 teaspoons cumin
Olive oil to brush the fish before grilling

Directions

In Libya, steamed dishes are cooked in a kaskas, but any pot with a steamer insert is fine. When steaming couscous you can place a square of cheese-cloth between the pot and steamer if its holes are larger than the couscous.

Put all the ingredients for the stock in the steamer pot. Bring to boil then reduce the heat and cook over medium heat.

Pour 1 cup of hot water and the 3 tablespoons of olive oil over the couscous, mix well. Put the couscous in the steamer, then place it above the stock pot. Lightly rake over the top layer only with a spatula a few times during the first steaming, so it gets steamed properly.

After 45 minutes, remove the steamer and put the couscous in a deep plat; pour about 5 ladles of hot stock onto the couscous.

Mix well, then return the couscous to the steamer for another 45 minutes. Stir lightly but thoroughly 2-3 times during the second steaming to break up lumps.

Put all the ingredients for the fish marinade in the food processor, then use this paste to coat the fish on both sides. Cover the fish with cling film (plastic wrap) and set aside.

Cut the onion, eggplant, potato and bell pepper into thick slices.

Prepare the vegetable sauce by putting olive oil, chopped onion, chopped chili and whole garlic cloves in a pot, then stir until they have softened. Add tomato paste and chopped tomatoes, cover and cook on low heat. Add the peas or cooked chickpeas and about 3 ladles of strained fish stock, so the liquid is just about covering the vegetables and cook for 15 minutes more.

Brush the cut vegetables generously with olive oil and grill until almost cooked. Remove the vegetables from the grill and cut them into cubes. Add the grilled vegetables to the sauce pot.

Grill the fish and keep warm to serve with the couscous.

Remove the couscous from the steamer and place in a serving dish, arrange the vegetables from the sauce on the couscous, spoon some of the remaining sauce around the vegetables. Serve with the grilled fish and lemon wedges.

Date Filled Semolina Cookies

Ingredients

Dough
3 cups semolina
1 cup flour
1 cup oil
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon orange blossom water added to a ½ liter of warm water

Filling
750g date paste
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoons grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 cup sesame seeds (lightly toasted)

Syrup
4 cups boiling water
3 cups sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 lemon slice
2 tablespoons orange blossom water

Topping
1/2 cup sesame seeds (lightly toasted)

Directions

Prepare the syrup by simmering all the ingredients except the orange blossom water over moderate heat for 30 minutes or until a syrupy consistency is reached. Add the 2 tablespoons of orange blossom water and set aside to cool. For a richer taste, add 1 tablespoon of honey while the syrup is still warm. Set aside.

For the dough: Mix the semolina, flour, and baking powder together in a mixing bowl. Add the oil and mix. Cover and let rest for at least one hour.

For the filling: Cut the date paste into small pieces and knead. Add some olive oil if the paste is not soft enough to be kneaded. Add cinnamon, grated nutmeg, sesame seeds and knead them in. Roll out the sesame date paste with your palm into 4 long ropes or sticks.

Divide the dough into 4 portions, take one portion of the dough and add the orange blossom flavored warm water a little at a time. Knead well until the dough becomes smooth and easy to shape. The dough will also become lighter in color. Form the dough into a furrow or trench shape and place one of the date rolls in the dough. Pinch closed and smooth the dough over the date roll.

Cut the roll into small pieces and arrange on a baking sheet. Place in a preheated oven at 425 degrees F/220°C until golden, for about 12 minutes. Place the cookies in a single layer in a deep dish. Pour the sugar syrup over the warm cookies.

Turn the cookies every 15 minutes, so they soak in the syrup on all sides. Remove the cookies from the syrup and place in a sieve to remove the excess syrup. Place the drained cookies on a platter and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Let rest overnight before serving.


Grilled Lamb Chops For Dinner

2 servings

Ingredients

4 loin lamb chops

Marinade

¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced.
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon dried oregano

Directions

Place all the ingredients in a ziplock bag and place the bag in the refrigerator for several hours.
Bring to room temperature before cooking.
Heat an outdoor grill and oil the grill grates.
Place the lamb on the grill and cook 4-5 minutes on each side. Remove to a serving platter and let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Stuffed Mushrooms

2 servings

Ingredients

8 large mushroom caps, stems removed
Olive oil

Filling

1 cup fresh bread crumbs
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Place 2-3 slices of firm bread in the processor and pulse until crumbs form. Combine the crumbs the remaining filling ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Stuff the caps with the mixture and place them in a small, oiled baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil.
Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bake the mushrooms for 20 minutes or until the crumbs are golden brown.

Asparagus Wrapped in Prosciutto

Ingredients

1 bunch thin asparagus spears (about 20-21 spears)
10 very thin slices Prosciutto de Palma
Olive oil
Coarse black pepper

Directions

Bundle 4 asparagus together and wrap each in two slices of prosciutto. Place the bundles on an oiled baking sheet. Sprinkle the prosciutto wrapped spears with olive oil and black pepper. Roast in a 425 degree F oven for 20-25 minutes.



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