Shrimp Wrapped in Prosciutto di Parma (Saltimbocca)
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 fresh sage leaves
12 large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed
6 pieces Prosciutto di Parma, sliced very thin
Coarsely ground fresh black pepper
Cut each piece of prosciutto in half, lengthwise. Place a sage leaf on each shrimp. Wrap one Proscuitto half around each shrimp. Refrigerate for a few hours if you have time.
Heat a stovetop grill. Coat the pan with olive oil. Place the wrapped shrimp on the grill and cook for about 4 minutes on each side. The prosciutto will get crispy. Sprinkle with the black pepper and remove to a serving plate.
Spinach and Pear Salad
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 medium red pears, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 celery stalk, diced
1 (6-8ounce) package pre-washed baby spinach
1/4 of red onion, sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1/8 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl; toss to combine.
Combine the salad dressing ingredients in a small bowl with wire whisk until well blended. Pour dressing over salad; toss to coat. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts. Serve immediately.
Use your favorite store-bought mix or my quick biscuit recipe.
I use a cast iron biscuit pan.
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
10 tablespoons cold butter
5 tablespoons heavy cream
Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the flour mixture. Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender. Combine the cream and eggs. Mix into the flour mixture just until combined.
Coat a 6 cup biscuit baking pan with butter-flavored cooking spray. Divide the biscuit mixture evenly among the six wells. Refrigerate the pan until ready to bake.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the biscuits in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown.
Skillet Chicken Parm
2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts (about 12 oz total)
Freshly ground pepper
¾ cup Italian seasoned panko crumbs
1 large egg
Warm Marinara sauce, recipe below
6 ounces fresh Italian Fontina cheese, sliced thin
For the Sauce
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
26-28 oz container Italian chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt or to taste
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
Prepare the sauce:
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until lightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Prepare the chicken
Cut off any fat remaining on the chicken. Place a breast between two sheets of plastic wrap. Pound lightly with a meat mallet to an even thickness. Repeat with the second breast. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper. Spread out the flour and breadcrumbs on two separate plates. Beat the egg in a wide shallow bowl until thoroughly blended. Dredge the chicken in flour to coat lightly and tap off excess flour. Dip in the beaten egg, hold them over the bowl, letting the excess egg drip back into the bowl. Transfer the chicken, one piece at a time to the plate of breadcrumbs, turn it to coat with breadcrumbs, patting gently and making sure that each breast is well coated with breadcrumbs. If you have time refrigerate the breaded chicken for several hours.
Heat a layer of olive oil in a wide, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until a corner of one of the coated breasts gives off a sizzle when dipped in the oil. Add the chicken pieces without touching each other. Fry, turning once, until golden on both sides and cooked through about 6 minutes. Top each chicken breast with several spoonfuls of marinara sauce. Place the sliced cheese over the sauce to cover the chicken completely. Cover the pan and turn the heat to low. Cook a minute or two until the cheese melts. Serve immediately.
Pasta with Butter, Black Pepper, and Pecorino Romano Cheese
8 oz fettuccine pasta
1 cup freshly grated pecorino romano cheese
` tablespoon coarsely ground black peppercorns
4 tablespoons butter
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain the pasta in a colander and return the pot to the stove. Melt the butter in the pot and add the black pepper. Add the cooked pasta to the pan and slowly swirl in the pecorino cheese. Mix well and serve with the chicken parm and a green salad.
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
2 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 teaspoon rosemary sea salt
16-ounce tuna steak (1 inch thick)
1 tablespoon olive oil
To prepare the spice blend, grind all spices in a mini-food processor or spice grinder until they are powdery. Spread the spice mixture evenly on a large plate. I used half the rub for one tuna steak. save the remainder for another time.
Rinse the tuna fillets and pat dry. Place one side of the tuna on the spice mixture.
In a 10 inch non-stick skillet, heat olive oil over high heat until almost smoking. Carefully place the tuna steak, spiced side down, into the skillet. A spice crust should form within 1 minute. Cook 3 minutes more. Using kitchen tongs, turn the tuna over, lower the heat to medium, and cook for 4 minutes or to your desired doneness.
Cannellini Bean Salad
1 (15.5 ounces) can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed ( or 2 cups cooked dried beans; directions below)
1 cup frozen and cooked or jarred in water artichoke hearts
1 cup sliced fresh grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 cups arugula
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
In a serving bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients. Add the cooked or canned beans, sliced artichokes, sliced tomatoes, and red onion. Stir into the dressing. Refrigerate. Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before serving and let stand at room temperature until serving time.
How to cook dried beans
1 Pound Dried White Beans (Cannellini)
Pinch Baking Soda
Carrot, Cut In Half
1 Celery Stick, Cut In Half
1/2 Onion, Peeled And Quartered
1 Sprig Rosemary
The night before serving, rinse the beans picking out any bad ones and place in a large bowl. Cover with water, add a pinch of baking soda and let soak at least 12 hours.
The next day, drain well. Place the beans in a heavy stockpot with the vegetables and rosemary and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the beans are tender about 45 minutes. Drain, remove the vegetables and rosemary sprig.
Tzatziki with Feta
Half of an English cucumber, unpeeled
1 1/2 cups plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup crumbled Greek feta cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon Greek seasoning
Seed and finely chop the cucumber. In a medium bowl, stir together the cucumber and yogurt. Stir in the remaining ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate for several hours before serving.
Pepper-Crusted Filet Mignon
2 filet mignon steaks, (5 to 6 ounces each, about 1 1/2 inches thick)
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black peppercorns
2 teaspoons olive oil
Red Wine Sauce
1 cup red wine
2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes
Coarse salt to taste
For the beef:
Season the beef filets very generously on both sides with the salt and pepper, patting it firmly. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Move the oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Heat the oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.
Place the steaks in the skillet and cook, without moving the steaks, until a dark brown crust has formed, about 3 minutes.
Using tongs, turn the steaks over and cook until well browned on the second side, about 3 minutes.
Place the skillet in the oven and roast the steaks 5 minutes for rare or 7 minutes for medium-rare to medium.
Let the steaks rest for 5 minutes, then serve with the sauce.
For the red wine sauce:
Place 1 cup red wine in a small saucepan; boil until reduced to 1/4 cup, 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove from the pan from the heat and add the butter. Stir the sauce until the butter is melted and the sauce is thickened about 1 minute.
Season with salt according to taste, if needed.
Salad With Roasted Beets, Blue Cheese and Pistachios
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 large garlic clove, grated
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 bunch small golden beets, trimmed of leaves and washed well
4 cups romaine lettuce, cut into bite-size pieces
¼ red onion, sliced very thin
4 ounces blue cheese, cut into cubes
1/3 cup shelled, toasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
Homemade croutons, optional
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the beets on a large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil and seal the ends to create a package.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until tender. Cool; peel and slice or cut into ½ inch pieces. Transfer to a small bowl.
Make the vinaigrette:
Combine all the ingredients in a jar and shake until well combined
Toss the beets with 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette. Set aside until ready to prepare the salad.
Place the romaine and onion in a salad bowl and toss with some of the remaining vinaigrette.
Add the beets, pistachios and blue cheese and toss gently. Top with croutons, if using.
Though cod is not a fish found in the Mediterranean, Italians consume large quantities of it dried (called stoccafisso), and salted (called baccalà). In Venice, baccalà, creamed and spread on bread, is one of the most common and popular appetizers.
Codfish cakes are traditionally made with salt cod, which needs a day or more of soaking to soften and desalinate the fish. For the most part, though, salt cod has gone out of style, at least in North America. It’s too bad since there are so many wonderful Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and French dishes that feature it.
A simple solution is to use a light cure which gives the fish the seasoning it needs. It also helps keep the flesh firm when cooked and gives the cakes a moist texture. See the instructions below.
Sicilian Codfish Cakes
1 lb of cod fillets
1 teaspoon salt
1 lb potatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup minced onion
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup Italian seasoned panko bread crumbs
Olive oil, for frying
Curing the fish
Season cod fillet all over with the salt and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
Boil and mash the potatoes and set them aside.
Rinse the codfish briefly with cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
Cooking the cod
Fill a saucepan with water. Add a thyme sprig and a bay leaf and bring to a boil. Carefully slip fish into the water and turn off the heat. Wait 3 minutes and test with a fork; the fish should be just done. Drain fish and let cool, then transfer to a mixing bowl and flake.
Mix the flaked fish, the potatoes, parsley, cheese, garlic, onion, pepper andeggs together well by hand. Form into 4-6 patties and place them on a sheet of waxed paper.
Dredge the patties in panko crumbs, pressing them into the fish cakes. Refrigerate for several hours.
Heat enough oil in a large skillet to cover the bottom of the pan. Fry the fish cakes until brown on the bottom,2-3 minutes and turn the cakes over and fry 2-3 minutes more.
Roasted Butternut Squash Noodles
12 oz pkg. frozen butternut squash spirals, defrosted
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400*.F
Let the noodles drain in a colander and then place them on a kitchen towel. Gently squeeze out some of the water. Toss the noodles with the avocado or olive oil and spread out on a sheet pan in a single layer.
Transfer to the oven, and roast the squash until tender and al dente, about 10 minutes, stirring the noodles halfway through.
Remove the butternut squash noodles from the over and season with salt and pepper.and serve immediately.
Cucumbers in Dilled Sour Cream
Half of an English cucumber, sliced into thin rounds
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup sour cream
2 whole scallions, chopped
2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
Place cucumber slices in a colander; sprinkle with salt, tossing to coat. Let stand for 15 minutes, then rinse and pat dry with paper towels.
Combine sour cream, scallions, vinegar, sugar, and dill in a mixing bowl. Add cucumber slices and toss to coat. Let salad stand for at least 5 minutes before serving, or chill for up to one day.
Salmon Souvlaki with Tzatziki
For 2 servings
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 minced garlic cloves, divided
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper, divided
12 oz skinless salmon fillets, cut into 1-inch cubes
3/4 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
Half a cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely chopped ( about ¾ cup)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 scallions, finely chopped
Combine lemon juice, 1 minced garlic clove, parsley, oregano, 1 tablespoon oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper in a large shallow dish. Add salmon; toss gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Place the finely chopped cucumber and ¼ teaspoon salt in a small colander and let drain for 30 minutes. Blot dry on a paper towel.
Combine yogurt, scallions, and cucumber in a medium bowl. Stir in dill, 1 minced garlic clove, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Refrigerate the tzatziki until ready to serve.
Preheat an outdoor grill or grill pan to medium-high.
Remove the salmon from the marinade and blot dry with a paper towel. Carefully thread the fish onto 2 metal or wooden skewers.
Grill the skewers until seared on the bottom, 5 minutes. Use potholders or oven mitts to turn the skewers over. Continue grilling, turning the skewers as needed, until the salmon is cooked in the center, 4-5 minutes.
Serve the salmon and tzatziki with pita bread.
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon sugar or sugar substitute
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup of vegetable oil
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoon lemon juice
4 cups torn romaine lettuce
1/4 of red onion, sliced
Half cucumber, sliced
1 tomato, diced
12 kalamata olives
4 pepperoncini peppers
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Pour all the dressing ingredients into a large jar and shake well.
Place the jar in the refrigerator for a few hours to blend flavors.
Combine the Greek salad ingredients in a large serving bowl. Pour half of the dressing over salad and toss. Add more dressing if desired.
Italian Ribeye Steak
The rub adds delicious flavor to the steak.
2 tablespoons Citrus Rosemary Gray Salt Rub, recipe below
2 (10-ounce) ribeye steaks
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 thyme sprigs
Season the rib eye steaks all over with the citrus rosemary sea salt. Let the meat stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
In a large, deep skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the steaks and cook over high heat until crusty on the bottom, about 4minutes. Turn the steaks over and add the butter, thyme, and garlic to the skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, basting the steaks with the melted butter, garlic, and herbs, until the steaks are medium-rare, about 4 minutes longer.
Transfer the steaks to a serving platter and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice the meat and serve with the pan juices poured over the steak.
Citrus Rosemary Gray Salt Rub
1 cup of coarse gray sea salt
Grated lemon peel from 1 lemon
Grated orange peel from 1 orange
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon coarse black pepper
Combine the above ingredients and spread on a baking sheet lined with baking paper
Let it air-dry for 2 days or dry it in the oven at the lowest oven setting your oven has 2 hours
Store in an airtight container.
Spinach, Tomato, Blue Cheese Salad
5 oz baby spinach leaves
1 large or two small scallions, sliced
1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
1-2 tablespoon Italian vinaigrette
In a large salad bowl toss together the baby spinach, scallions, blue cheese, black pepper and 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette. Toss until salad is completely mixed and coated with dressing. If you need more dressing, add just a little bit more.
Baked Parmesan Garlic Breaded Mushrooms
This recipe can be doubled. I like to prepare this recipe earlier in the day and refrigerate the breaded mushrooms until baking time so that the crumbs are extra crispy.
1 tablespoon olive oil
10 tablespoons Panko bread crumbs
2 ½ tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
1 egg white
10 large white button mushrooms
Preheat the oven to 450 F degrees. Line an 8-inch baking dish with foil and spray the foil with olive oil cooking spray; set aside.
In a plastic ziplock bag combine the Panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and dried parsley. Add the oil and shake.
Place the egg white in another ziplock bag. Add all the mushrooms and shake until all are coated with egg white. Place all the mushrooms in the bag with the crumb mixture and shake.