Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Pork

AIR FRYER BONE-IN BREADED PORK CHOPS

Looking to save on calories but love fried pork chops. The air-fryer method of cooking sill does that for you.. I was amazed at how crispy the chops were, yet the meat was moist. Delicious.

Ingredients

2 bone-in pork chops, center-cut (thin OR thick)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 cup Italian flavored Pablo crumbs
½ teaspoon salt

Directions
Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F and spray the basket with cooking spray.

Trim any fat on the pork chops as needed. Sprinkle the chops with salt. Spread the mayonnaise over all sides of the chops. Sprinkle with the Italian seasoning. Press on the panko crumbs. Refrigerate for several hours, if you have time.

Place breaded pork chops into the air fryer in one layer and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, carefully flipping halfway through cooking. If cooking thicker pork chops, cook for 14-15 minutes.
Remove pork chops from the air fryer and serve with your favorite sides.

My Sides:

 

Eggplant Parmesan

This is not a dish that can be prepared quickly, but with some of my make-ahead tips, you can enjoy this entrée for dinner and have several leftovers for future use without spending all day in the kitchen. Eggplant freezes very well in all stages of its preparation. Additionally, I do not fry the eggplant, but bake it in the oven to reduce the calories.

For each one pound of eggplant, you will need:

1 pound eggplant, peeled
1/2 to 3/4 cup refrigerated egg substitute (such as Egg Beaters) or egg whites
1 cup Italian style bread crumbs
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Coat two large baking sheets with nonstick olive oil cooking spray.

Cut peeled eggplants crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices (no thicker). You want them to be thin.

Place the egg substitute in one shallow dish and the bread crumbs mixed with the cheese in another.

Dip the eggplant slices into the egg substitute, then coat with the breadcrumb mixture. Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, turn the eggplant slices over, and bake until crisp and golden, about 10-15 minutes longer.

To assemble the casserole, you will need:

Spray an 8 inch or 9 inch or 8-by-11 1/2-inch baking dish with olive oil cooking spray.

Preheat the oven to 375 °F.

2 ½ cups Marinara sauce (see recipe above)
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
1 recipe breaded and baked eggplant
Directions

Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Arrange half of the eggplant slices over the sauce, overlapping slightly. Spoon 1 cup of sauce over the eggplant and sprinkle with half of the cheese. Add the remaining eggplant slices and top with the remaining sauce and cheese. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake until the sauce bubbles, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Sauteed Green Beans And Onions

Ingredients

1 pound green beans trimmed and cut in half
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a large skillet, place beans and cover with water. Bring water to a boil. Boil green beans for five minutes, then strain and set aside.
Add oil. add sliced onions. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until onions are lightly browned and begin to turn translucent.

Add green beans to sauté pan, stirring to combine. Cook for one additional minute before removing from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then serve immediately.


Grilled Pork Chops

This recipe makes 6 servings but the recipe can easily be cut down to 2 or 3 servings.

Ingredients

1/2 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons lemon pepper seasoning
2 teaspoons minced garlic
6 boneless pork loin chops, about 2 lbs total, and cut 1-inch thick

Directions

Mix water, soy sauce, vegetable oil, lemon pepper seasoning, and minced garlic in a wide glass dish; add pork chops and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Preheat an outdoor grill or stovetop grill pan for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate.
Remove pork chops from the marinade and shake off excess. Discard the remaining marinade.
Cook the pork chops on the preheated grill until no longer pink in the center, about 5 minutes per side. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 145 degrees F (63 degrees C).

 Pan-Fried Lemon Potatoes

Ingredients

1 pound whole small potatoes
2 whole cloves garlic, peeled
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 lemon, cut in half
Kosher salt
Olive oil

Directions

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Add garlic, rosemary sprigs, and one lemon half to the water and season well with salt. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes. Drain well and reserve the lemon half, garlic cloves, and rosemary.

Let potatoes cool to room temperature and peel them. Cut potatoes in half. Place on a plate until ready to cook.
Zest the lemon half that was not cooked with the potatoes. Chop the reserved garlic and rosemary and mix together with the lemon zest. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the skillet and heat. Add the potatoes cut-side down to the skillet. Cook until the bottom of the potatoes are a deep golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a metal spatula, turn the potatoes and cook on the second side for an additional 3 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and drain well. Place the potatoes in a serving bowl. Squeeze both lemon halves (cooked and uncooked) over the potatoes and sprinkle with the garlic, rosemary reserved mixture.

Sauteed Spinach 

Ingredients

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
Two 10-ounce bags of frozen spinach
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Directions

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add spinach and toss to coat. Cover and cook until defrosted, about 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and add lemon juice, salt, and crushed red pepper. Toss to coat and serve immediately.


Farro

One of the seven original grains cited in the Bible, farro was popular for hundreds of years until modern baking techniques left it behind.  Americans are finding it again and realizing that this savory and tasty grain has many modern uses. Italians not only like to use it in bread but also in cakes, pizza, and soups. Related to wheat but very different, this grain is friendly to the body, a great source of fiber, and naturally contains high levels of nutrients, vitamins, and protein.

Farro with Artichokes

Makes 6 servings, about 1 cup each

In this dish, farro stands in for rice in a risotto-like dish, full of tomatoes, artichokes, and fresh basil.

1 1/2 cups farro, rinsed
1 sprig of fresh sage
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1-15-ounce can no sodium added, diced tomatoes drained well
1 9-ounce box frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1 1/2-2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, divided
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

Directions

1. Place farro in a large saucepan and cover with about 2 inches of water. Add sage and rosemary. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the farro is tender but still firm to the bite, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the herbs and drain.
2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until soft and beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the farro, tomatoes, artichokes, basil, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.
3. Add 1/2 cup broth (or water), bring to a boil over medium heat, and cook, stirring, until most of the broth is absorbed. Repeat with the remaining broth (or water), adding it in 1/2-cup increments and stirring until it’s absorbed and the farro is creamy but still has a bit of bite, about 10 minutes total. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese and lemon zest. Serve sprinkled with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese.

 Italy‘s Other National Dish-Polenta                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Polenta, a coarsely or finely ground yellow or white cornmeal, has been called by some the “Italian grits” and there are similarities to the hominy grits that are so popular in the southern United States. The key to the popularity of Polenta is its versatility. It can be served with nearly anything and that is why it has spread to every corner of Italy, where Italians always make use of what is locally grown or raised. Soft polenta is often a replacement for bread during a meal, or instead of the pasta course, served with butter and cheese and possibly shaved truffles. Polenta can also be served as a side dish to regional meat dishes such as Osso Bucco, chicken, and fish. Polenta in cake form can be layered with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and baked.

Italian Style Braised Pork Chops With Polenta

  • 4 boneless loin pork chops (about 1 inch thick) and trimmed of all fat
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup of sliced white mushrooms
  • 1-15 oz. can of diced tomatoes ( no salt added)
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper. Dredge chops in flour.

 Heat oil in a large skillet with a cover. Brown chops on both sides. Add onions, sweet peppers, garlic, and mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and oregano and cover and let simmer for about an hour until tender.

POLENTA

  • 6 cups of water
  • 2 cups of instant polenta
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Directions
Bring water to a boil and slowly add Polenta. Cook Polenta while whisking constantly for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add oil, cheese, salt, and pepper. Transfer Polenta to a lightly oiled 9×13-inch dish, smoothing until flat. Chill in refrigerator 30 minutes or until firm. Cut into 3 “ squares, brush with olive oil and grill, pan-fry, or broil until golden brown on the outside and heated through. Place pork chops and sauce over Polenta squares.

Extra squares of Polenta can be frozen for future meals.

Polenta Squares


While this post is about dinner for two, I am posting my traditional meatball recipe because when I make the entire recipe. That way I can freeze them in small batches for the future. Add a Garden Salad to round out the menu.

Italian Meatballs

Makes 18 to 20 meatballs. Make the meatball mixture early in the day.

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground veal
1 pound ground pork
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 eggs
1 cup freshly grated parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
3 tablespoons chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
3cups stale Italian bread, crumbled
1 ½ cups lukewarm water
Olive oil

Directions

Combine beef, veal, and pork in a large bowl. Add garlic, eggs, cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper.

Blend bread crumbs into the meat mixture. Slowly add the water 1/2 cup at a time. The mixture should be very moist but still, hold its shape. Refrigerate for several hours.
Shape the meat mixture into 3-inch balls.

Heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet. Fry meatballs in batches.

When the meatball is very brown and slightly crisp, remove it from the heat and drain on a paper towel. (If your mixture is too wet, cover the meatballs while they are cooking so that they hold their shape better.)
For dinner for two;
Place a ladle of sauce in a small baking dish. Place 4 meatballs in the dish. Cover with sauce. Cover the dish and bake in the oven with the ravioli.


Marinara Sauce

Ingredients

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 large cloves of garlic
¼ cup chopped onion
¼ cup tomato paste
¼ cup of chopped fresh basil leaves
½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper (optional)
Two 26 oz containers can of finely chopped Italian tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and stir until well mixed. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook partially covered for 1 hour.

Ravioli Bake

I love that ravioli; i can be cooked this. No more breaking apart in boiling water. If you double the recipe use two baking dishes that can go into the dishwasher. The ravioli need to be in a single layer to cook properly.

Ingredients

2 cups marinara sauce
Half a package of frozen cheese-filled ravioli (25 to 27 1/2 ounces)
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Defrost the ravioli on a plate in a single layer covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight.
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray bottom and sides of rectangular baking dish 13x9x2-inches, with cooking spray.

Spread 1 cup of the pasta sauce in a baking dish. Arrange the ravioli in a single layer over the sauce; top with half of the remaining pasta sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil; bake uncovered 15 minutes longer or until bubbly and hot in center.


Pork Chops

Ingredients

Dry Rub

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning or dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

The Pork

2 large bone-in pork chops (1-inch thick)

2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Oil a baking dish large enough to fit the pork chops.

In a small bowl, mix the dry rub ingredients.

Rub the pork chops with olive oil and season them with a dry rub. Make sure you rub the seasoning all over the pork chops (both sides).

Place the pork chops onto the prepared baking sheet.

Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 140 to 145 degrees. 

Remove from the oven and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes, tented with aluminum foil. While the meat rests – the temperature will redistribute (carryover cooking) and the internal temperature will rise about 5 to 10 degrees.

Oven Roasted Carrots

Ingredients

1 bunch fresh organic carrots about 6

2 tablespoon butter

Slat and pepper

Directions

Cut the ends off the carrots and wash well. Dry.

Oil a 13×9-inch baking pan.

Place the carrots close together in a single layer in the pan..

Sprinkle it with salt and pepper and dot with the butter.

Seal the foil on top and on the edges. Place the pan in the oven with the pork chops and cook until tender. They take about the same time as the pork chops. How tender you want them is up to your taste.

Garlic and Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

6 large baking potatoes (about 4 pounds), peeled and diced

7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, peeled

Salt and pepper

Directions

Place potatoes and garlic in a heavy large pot. Cover with cold salte4d water. Boil over medium-high heat until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 40 minutes.

Drain. Return potatoes to the dry pot. Stir over medium heat until any excess liquid evaporates. Add the olive oil and mash until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

 


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.


Pasta

Ingredients

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups green beans, cut into 2-inch lengths
1 lb bucatini pasta
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for drizzling
4 cloves garlic, grated
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Zest and juice of 3 lemons
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup grated Pecorino-Romano cheese, plus more for serving
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook until bright green and just barely cooked through, 2 minutes. Use a spider or strainer to transfer the green beans to a colander.
Add the bucatini to the same pot of boiling water. Let cook to al dente, about 3 minutes less than the package instructions. Reserve ½ cup of pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta.

Return the pot to the stovetop and add the olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute, then add the lemon zest and juice and 1/4 cup pasta water. Return the pasta to the pot. Add the butter and green beans, then toss to coat the pasta and beans in the sauce. Keep tossing until the sauce is glossy and thickened, about 3 minutes more.

Turn off the heat and gradually stir in the cheese, tossing constantly. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Divide pasta among 4 serving bowls and garnish with parsley, more Pecorino, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Italian Sausage And Peppers

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb Italian sausage
2 bags of mini peppers, stems removed
1 large onion cut into thick slices
2 garlic cloves, grated
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Directions

Heat the oil in a large skillet with a cover. Cut the sausage links in half and add them to the skillet. Brown the sausage on all sides. Add the remaining ingredients. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the ingredients until the vegetables are tender.


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.

 


Pork Cutlets

Ingredients

4 boneless pork loin chops (about 5 to 6 ounces each)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
4 cups plain dried bread crumbs or panko
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 sprig thyme minced
Lemon wedges

Directions

Begin by placing each chop between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and gently pounding them out with the flat side of a meat tenderizer until they are 1/4-inch thick.
Put the flour in a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. Whisk the eggs and milk in another shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. Put the bread crumbs in a third dish and again season with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge each piece of pork in flour, then in the egg, and finally into the bread crumbs, pressing the bread crumbs onto the pork gently so they have a nice even coating.
Lay the breaded pork cutlets in a single layer on a plate lined with parchment and refrigerate, uncovered, for 10 to 12 minutes to allow the coating to dry out a little and adhere to the pork.
Heat oil and butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the thyme sprig and let it fry for about 1 minute to infuse the oil. Remove the thyme sprig and reserve. Gently lay the cutlets into the pan and cook until golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes per side. Place on paper towels to drain. Season with salt and transfer to a serving platter while still hot. Garnish with lemon wedges and thyme before serving.

Crispy Brussels Sprouts

If you do not like the sprouts caramelized and crispy, cook for 10 minutes less.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds Brussel sprouts, washed and trim bottoms, cut in half
Salt and pepper to season
5 cloves garlic finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh shredded or grated parmesan cheese

Directions

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Spread evenly in a single layer on a large baking sheet (I cover mine with foil for easy clean-up).
Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes until browned and caramelized. Finish with a grinding of course sea salt.

Baked Tomatoes

ingredients

2 large Roma tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons fresh basil, roughly chopped\
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl combine the oil and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Place the omato in a small pan, brush with the oil mixture, and sprinkle an even amount of cheese on each tomato slice. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with chopped basil and serve warm.


Roasted Porterhouse Pork Chops

2-3 servings

Ingredients

2 Berkshire Porterhouse (Double) Bone-In Pork Chops
4 teaspoons pork seasoning/rub (If you don’t have this in your pantry, see recipe below.)
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper if your seasoning doesn’t contain these
Olive oil

Directions

Sprinkle one teaspoon of pork seasoning on each side of the pork chops. Rub it into the meat and refrigerate the chops for several hours.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Oil a baking dish just large enough to hold the chops. Drizzle with olive oil.
Place the baking pan in the oven and roast for about 40 minutes, turning the chops over after 20 minutes. A meat thermometer should read 140 F.
Remove from the oven and let the chops rest for 10 minutes.

 

Pork Seasoning

Combine 1 teaspoon of each in a jar and mix well.
Salt, garlic powder, white pepper, onion powder, ginger, and natural hickory smoke flavor,

 


Roasted Sweet Potatoes And Pears

Ingredients

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into eighths
2 pears, Peeled, cored, and cut into eights
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons butter

1 1/9 Pumpkin Pie spice or
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Oil a 9- inch by 13-inch baking dish.
In a large bowl, toss sweet potatoes with vinegar, seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste. Spread into a single layer in the prepared pan. Dot with the butter.

Bake 20 minutes. Add the peas and stir the mixture. Bake 20 minutes more. Serve with the pork.

Add a green vegetable to round out the menu. I made Swiss Chard. Here is my recipe

 



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