Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Sauces

There are many versions of this recipe in Italian cuisine. Some call for the addition of peas or meat. I like to keep them simple and I like to use leftover risotto instead of plain rice because risotto has more flavor, especially the Lemon flavored Risotto I shared with you last week.

This recipe makes 10 rice balls

Ingredients

Tomato Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves minced
¼ cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon chili tomato paste
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
14 oz box or can of finely chopped Italian tomatoes

For the Arancini {Rice Balls}
4 cups leftover risotto or cooked white rice
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
2 eggs
10 ½-inch pieces of mozzarella cheese
⅓ cup flour
½ cup Italian seasoned panko crumbs
Vegetable oil for frying

Directions

For the tomato sauce

Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer for 30 minutes.

For the arancini

Beat one egg in a mixing bowl. Add the chopped parsley and risotto. Mix well.


Using a ¼ cup muffin scoop form 10 rice balls and place them on a waxed paper-covered plate. Push a piece of mozzarella into each rice ball and with floured hands form them into smooth balls. Beat the second egg with a few tablespoons of water in a deep bowl, In a second deep bowl place the flour, and in a third deep bowl place the panko crumbs.


Roll one rice ball in flour, then in the egg, and then in the panko crumbs. Return the ball to the paper-lined plate. Repeat the process with all the rice balls. Refrigerate for several hours.

 

In a deep dutch Oven heat several inches of oil to 350 degrees F. Fry the ball in the oil until they are brown on all sides. Drain on paper towels.

To serve
Place several tablespoons of tomato sauce on a serving plate. Place 2 or 3 arancini on top of the sauce and serve.


Filet Mignon In Mushroom Sauce

2 servings

Ingredients

4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 beef tenderloin steaks 5-6 ounces each)
Fresh thyme sprig
1 clove garlic, cut in half
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms or a 4oz can, drained
1 tablespoon chopped shallot
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
Dash pepper
2/3 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Directions

With a meat mallet flatten the steaks between sheets of plastic wrap to ½ inch thickness.
In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons butter and oil over medium-high heat; Add the thyme, garlic, and steaks. cook steaks to medium-rare, a thermometer should read 125°F, 4 minutes per side. Remove the steaks from the pan to a plate and cover with foil. Discard the garlic and thyme.


In the same pan, heat drippings and remaining butter over medium-high heat; saute mushrooms and shallot until tender. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper until blended; gradually stir in broth and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Return steaks to the pan and simmer in the sauce for 2 minutes, turning them over after 1 minute.

Oven Roasted Asparagus

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 bunches asparagus
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 garlic clove. chopped
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup Italian seasoned Panko breadcrumbs

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Break off the woody bottoms of the asparagus and wash in cold water.
Arrange trimmed asparagus in a 13 X 9-inch dish. Drizzle with the oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle with garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon zest.
Top with breadcrumbs and bake for 20 minutes.

Twice-Baked Potatoes

2 servings

Ingredients

1 large russet potato, 12 ounces
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 slice bacon cooked and crumbled
2 tablespoons chopped chives

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prick the potatoes all over with a fork. Brush lightly with the oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast on a sheet tray covered with foil until tender, 50 minutes to 1 hour.

While still hot, slice a thin layer off the top of the potato and scoop the potato flesh into a medium bowl, leaving a 1/4-inch shell all around on the potato shell. Season the insides of the potato shell lightly with salt and pepper.

To the bowl with the potato flesh, add the sour cream and butter. Use an electric hand mixer or potato masher and mix until almost smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mound into the potato shell and bake for 15-20 minutes until hot. Sprinkle with bacon and chives. Cut in half and serve.


Easy Knockwurst and Sauerkraut

Ingredients

1 cup sauerkraut, drained
2 large beef knackwurst
¼ of a large onion, sliced
2 tablespoons butter

Directions

Melt butter in a skillet and add the knockwurst. Cook until lightly brown on all sides,Add the onion. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Spread the sauerkraut over the knockwurst. Cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes.

Crispy Zucchini Cakes

For the zucchini:
1 1/2 pounds of zucchini (about 3 cups coarsely grated}
1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the dipping sauce:
1/2 cup sour cream (can substitute plain Greek yogurt)
1 clove garlic, minced, about 1 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Pinch of salt

For the fritters:
1 large egg
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 green onions, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon minced fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon kosher salt (more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil or canola oil

Directions

Sprinkle grated zucchini with about 1 teaspoon of salt. Place in a sieve or colander over a bowl. Let sit for 30 minutes.

Press down with a wooden spoon to push out more of the water. Wrap the shredded zucchini in paper towels and try to squeeze out more liquid.

Make the dipping sauce:
Whisk together the sour cream, minced garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

Make the fritter batter:
Whisk the egg in a large bowl. Add the grated zucchini, flour, minced green onions, thyme, basil, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Mix to combine well.

Heat the oil in a large skillet or a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until the oil is shimmery and hot. Test the oil by flicking a little flour into it. If the flour sizzles, it’s ready.

Working in batches, drop ¼ cup of the batter into the skillet. Flatten slightly with the back end of a spoon or spatula. Cook, turning once, until browned, 4-6 minutes on each side.

Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the remaining batter.. Serve with the dipping sauce.


The traditional pizzaiola sauce is made with just tomatoes but I like to add peppers and onions.

4 Servings

Ingredients

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, pressed or finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
One 14-ounce container of chopped Italian tomatoes
6 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1 lb cod fillets, cut into 3-inch pieces

Directions:

Warm the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, the dried seasoning. Cook, stirring, until the onion is soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the peppers and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, basil, parsley, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the cod fillets and ladle some of the sauce over the fillets. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 10 minutes or until just cooked through.

Oven-Fried Zucchini Sticks

2 servings

Ingredients

1 large zucchini
1 egg
1/3 cup AP flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 cup Italian seasoned panko bread crumbs
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Olive oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 °F.

Cut zucchini into fry size pieces about 2 1/2 inches long.
Beat egg with a splash of water.
Season the flour with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper.
Dust zucchini with flour.
Dip in beaten egg.
Coat with Panko bread crumbs mixed with Parmesan cheese.
Place on a greased cookie sheet, careful not to crowd, and drizzle with olive oil.
Bake for 10 minutes. Turn the zucchini sticks and bake for another 10 minutes or until crispy and lightly browned. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese before serving. if desired.


This recipe uses some of the leftovers from the post-Rainy Day Pot Roast Dinner.

Ingredients

4 cups chopped leftover pot roast
2 cups leftover brown pot roast gravy
3 leftover cooked carrots, diced
10 oz. package frozen peas
1 large baking potato, peeled and cubed.
1 medium onion, chopped
One store-bought 9-inch pie crust pastry

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a deep 10-inch casserole dish with cooking spray.

Add all the ingredients except the pastry to the casserole. Mix well. Transfer the dish to the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Turn the oven up to 400 degrees F. Unroll the pastry.

Remove the casserole from the oven and lay the pastry on top of the beef mixture.

Return the casserole to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.


Simple Pot Roast

You will have leftovers and if you like pot pies save 4 cups of diced meat,2 cups of gravy, and 3 carrots for later in the week. Recipe next week.

Ingredients

One (4-5pound) boneless beef chuck roast, tied
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
1 onion, sliced
2 large garlic cloves, grated
4 cups beef broth
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
¼ cup Instant flour {Wondra}

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Pat the beef dry with a paper towel. Season the roast all over with salt & pepper.
In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the roast and sear on all sides of the meat until browned.
Aff the onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, and beef broth. Bring the liquid to a boil. Cover the pot and. place it in the oven for 3 hours or until fork-tender.

Remove the roast to a platter and cover with foil. Remove ½ cup of the beef broth and mix thoroughly with the flour. Stir the mixture back into the pot and cook until thickened. Add salt and pepper if needed. Slice the roast and serve with the gravy.

Oven Roasted Carrots

Ingredients

1 bunch fresh organic carrots about 6
2 tablespoon butter
Slat and pepper
Foil

Directions

Cut the ends off the carrots and wash well. Dry.
Place a large sheet of foil on a sheet pan.
Place the carrots close together in a single layer on top of the foil.
Sprinkle 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 pot roast for the last hour of cooking the pot roast.
Serve with the roast and potatoes.

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. Serve with the roast.


Enchilada Sauce

1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
4 oz container chopped green chilies
2 tablespoons Instant flour
2 cups chicken broth (low sodium)
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce or finely chopped tomatoes (low sodium)
1 teaspoon agave syrup or honey

Enchilada Filling

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 lbs lean ground beef (sirloin or round)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup corn
1 cup jarred salsa
8 flour tortillas (8-inch)
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

For the sauce:
Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a medium saucepan. Whisk until smooth.
Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes

 

For the filling:
Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, another minute. Add the ground beef and salt. Turn the heat to medium-high, break the beef up, and cook until all pink is gone from the meat. Stir in the corn and salsa and cook until all liquid has evaporated for about 15 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and let cool slightly. Stir in 1 cup of enchilada sauce into the beef mixture.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Oil a 9 ×13-inch glass baking dish.

To make the enchiladas:
Place the tortillas on kitchen towels or wax paper.

Spoon 2 cups of sauce into the prepared baking dish and spread it out on the bottom. Divide the filling evenly among the 8 tortillas. Roll up each tortilla tightly and place seam-side-down into the baking dish. Pour remaining sauce over all and sprinkle with cheese. Spray one side of a sheet of foil large enough to cover the baking den with cooking spray. Place the sprayed side down over the casserole.

Place enchiladas into the oven and bake15 minutes. Remove the foil and return the baking dish to the oven and bake for 18 more minutes until the cheese is completely melted and the sauce is bubbling.
Remove the dish from the oven, let it cool for 5 minutes before serving.

 


If you do not have an air fryer use the broiler. You may need a few more minutes for cooking depending on how well you like your fish cooked. Salmon and swordfish also work in this recipe.

Air Fryer Tuna Kabobs

Sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Kabobs
2 fresh tuna fillets, about 6 oz each cut into 1-inch cubes
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch cubes
½ red onion, cut into 1-inch cubes
Bamboo sticks soaked in hot water or metal skewers that fit your fryer
4 oz cooked thin spaghetti

Directions

 


Combine the sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl and set aside.
Thread the tuna on two long skewers. Thread the vegetables on 4 skewers, alternating the vegetables. Place the skewers on a platter and brush with some of the sauce. Let the skewers rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees F and heat for 5 minutes.
Place the prepared skewers into the air fryer basket for 4 minutes. Brush with the sauce and turn the kabobs over. Brush that side with sauce. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes more depending on how well cooked you like your fish.
spread the cooked spaghetti on a platter. Place the kabobs on top of the spaghetti and pour the remaining sauce over the kabobs. Swerve immediately.


Codfish Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Makes 12 medium cakes

2 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 lb cod fillets or any white fish fillets you like
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup plain panko crumbs
1 large clove of garlic, grated
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
Kale sauteed with garlic
Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, see below

Directions

Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water. Drain and mash.

Put about an inch of water in the bottom of the large nonstick skillet and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Season fish with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and add it to the pan. Cover the pan and simmer fish over low heat until just done 6 to 8 minutes.

Remove Fish from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Pour out the water and dry the pan.

Allow fish to cool slightly, about 5 minutes, and pat completely dry. Place in a mixing bowl and flake the fish with a fork. Add mashed potatoes.  yogurt, parsley, egg, Italian seasoning, lemon juice, garlic, pepper, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir to combine.

Shape mixture into 12 (¼ cup) round cakes. I prefer smaller portions but if you would like larger cakes use a ⅓ or ½ cup measure. Freeze extra cakes for another meal. They heat well in a hot oven.

Coat cakes in panko. If you have time refrigerate cakes up to 4 hours before cooking. Chilling for a while actually helps them hold together and keep their shape.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add 6 cakes and cook until brown and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn cakes, and cook until golden brown on the other side, 2 to 3 minutes longer. drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining cakes and oil. Serve hot with roasted red pepper sauce and sauteed kale.

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

In a blender, puree 1/2 cup roasted red bell pepper (jarred is fine) with 1 clove garlic, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Add 1/4 cup olive oil and blend.

For the kale

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled, sliced
2 bunches kale, washed, stalks removed, roughly sliced, blanched for 2-3 minutes in salted water, drained
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Heat the oil in a deep skillet over medium heat and add the garlic. Stir-fry for one minute, then add the kale and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes, or until tender. Add the lemon juice and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.


Ingredients

4 servings

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large sweet onion, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
4 large garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ cup dry white wine
1 28-oz can whole cherry tomatoes
1 cup seafood broth
2 tablespoons capers
2 lb skinless sea bass fillet, about 1 ½-inch thick, cut into 4 pieces
8 large fresh or frozen medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
12 large sea scallops
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
½ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves stems removed
Crusty Italian bread for serving

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet with a cover over medium heat. Add onions, celery/ Cook, stirring regularly until softened (about 4 minutes). Add thyme, red pepper flakes, and garlic and cook briefly until fragrant (about 30 more seconds).
Stir in the white wine. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, broth, salt, pepper, and capers. Cook for 20 minutes over medium heat until flavors combine.


Pat the fish dry and season lightly with salt and pepper. Insert the fish pieces into the cooking liquid, and give everything a gentle stir. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and cover the skillet. Let sit off the heat for another 5 minutes so that the fish will finish cooking. Fish should be flaky when gently pulled apart with a paring knife. Finally, stir in the chopped parsley.
Ladle the hot fish stew into serving bowls. Serve with your favorite crusty bread.



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