Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: tartar

Feeling like an old fashioned fried seafood dinner at your favorite seafood restaurant but they are closed now due to the virus restrictions, so make this desire come true at home.

Ingredients for 4

Homemade Tartar Sauce

3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped sweet pickle relish
2 teaspoons dried dill
1 tablespoon minced scallions (white and light green parts only)
2 teaspoons chopped capers
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

Fish And Fries

Vegetable oil, for frying
3 russet potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch sticks
3/4 cup fine cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup milk
2 pounds firm white fish fillets (such as hake, haddock, pollock or cod), cut into 3-inch chunks
Tartar sauce (recipe above)
Lemon wedges, for serving

Directions

For the tartar sauce:

In a medium bowl, mix together mayonnaise, relish, dill, scallions, capers, lemon juice, mustard, salt, and pepper. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.

For the fish and fries:

Heat 1 inch deep of oil in a deep, wide skillet over medium-high heat. Preheat oven to 250°F.

Place a cooling rack onto a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven. Place fries in the hot oil and cook until golden brown and tender, about 6 minutes. Remove to the prepared baking sheet in the oven and sprinkle with salt. Keep warm in the oven while the fish fries.

In a shallow dish, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper. Pour the milk into another shallow dish. Dip the fish in the milk, then dredge it in the cornmeal mixture, shaking off the excess. If you like a thicker breading, repeat the process, dipping the seafood in the milk and cornmeal mixture again.

Reheat the oil in the skillet. Working in batches, lower the seafood into the hot oil and fry, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Serve immediately with tartar sauce and lemon wedges.

Homemade Coleslaw

Ingredients
¼ of a large cabbage, shredded or sliced thin
1 carrot, shredded
2 scallions, minced

Dressing
1 teaspoon honey or another sweetener
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions

In a medium serving bowl with a cover, combine the dressing ingredients using a whisk.
Add the shredded cabbage, carrot, and scallions and stir gently to mix.
Refrigerate for several hours before serving.


As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I recently purchased an air fryer. While I used my air fryer for cooking the salmon cakes and sweet potatoes, I also give directions for stovetop and oven baking methods.

Air-Fryer Salmon Cakes

When I make salmon or tuna fillets for dinner, I always make extra so I can make fish cakes at a later time.

Ingredients

Spicy Tartar Sauce:

1/2 cup olive oil mayonnaise
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
1 teaspoon capers
1/4 teaspoon hot Cajun seasoning
Pinch of salt

Salmon Cakes:

Cooking spray
10 oz cooked salmon (or you can use canned salmon)
1 to 11/4 cups plain panko breadcrumbs, divided
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 large egg

Directions

Mix the Tatar sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and refrigerate until needed.

Coat the basket of an air fryer with cooking spray.

Place the salmon in a mixing bowl and break up into small pieces. Add ½ cup panko crumbs, dill, mayonnaise, mustard, egg, and pepper; stir gently until combined. Shape the mixture into four cakes. Lightly coat the outside of the cakes in panko crumbs.

Coat the cakes with cooking spray and place them in the prepared air fryer basket. Cook at 375 degrees F until browned and heated through about 15 minutes. Serve with the Tatar Sauce.

Directions for stovetop:
Heat ¼ cup vegetable oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Place salmon cakes in the skillet and cook without moving until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Carefully turn cakes and cook until the second side is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer cakes to a paper towel-lined plate to drain 1 minute. Serve with the Tatar Sauce.

Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients

16 ounces of sweet potatoes
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons avocado oil

Preheat your air fryer to 375 degrees F.

Slice the sweet potatoes into finger-sized sticks (mine are between 1/4 and 1/2 inch). They don’t have to be perfect but try to keep the size fairly consistent.

Place the potato slices in a ziplock bag or mixing bowl, along with the oil, salt, pepper, and paprika, and toss to coat.

Transfer the sweet potatoes to the air fryer, and cook until tender and crispy (about 20 minutes). Shake the basket a few times to rearrange the fries, and use a metal spatula to turn them. Use your own judgment, cooking longer or shorter, if needed, keeping an eye on the fries to make sure they don’t burn.

Directions for Oven-Baked Sweet Potato wedges
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees K. Spread the coated potatoes in an even layer on a baking sheet. Roast the potatoes, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Quick Saute Of Baby Spinach Leaves

Ingredients

1 clamshell package(5oz) of organic baby spinach leaves
1 large clove garlic, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Heat the oil in a medium skillet. Add the garlic slices and then the spinach leaves. Cover the pan and let the spinach cook on medium for one minute. Remove the cover, reduce the heat to low and cook the spinach, stirring often until wilted, about another minute or two. Serve immediately.


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When the children come for a visit, they are not interested in experimental dishes. So, I don’t make recipes that I am testing, when they are here. Tried and true – old favorites –  is what they look for. I have shared some of their favorites in the past and here are a few more. Hope you like them, also.

Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

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Serve this dish with a green vegetable or salad.

Ingredients

Chicken

4 chicken breast halves, bone-in and skin removed
1 slice sandwich bread
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Potatoes

1 pound medium baking potatoes, cut into ¼ inch rounds
One lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 F.

In a roasting pan or baking dish, combine the sliced potatoes, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread mixture evenly over the bottom of the baking pan. Set aside.

Place the slice of bread in the food processor and process until bread into crumbs.

In small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, garlic powder and tarragon.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Brush the mayonnaise mixture on top of the chicken breasts and spread evenly to coat.

Sprinkle each breast with 1/4 of the bread crumbs, pressing them to adhere to the chicken.

Place the chicken on top of the potatoes in the baking pan. Place the pan in oven and roast for about 45 minutes, or until a meat thermometer registers 165 degrees F.

Oven Fried Fish with Tartar Sauce

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I have found that heating the baking pan in the oven before placing the fish on it, will make the fish extra crispy.

Serve this dish with broccoli or spinach and macaroni and cheese.

For every 2 servings, you will need:

Ingredients

1 lb white fish fillets
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 drops hot pepper sauce
1 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
1/4 teaspoon white ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil for the baking pan
Tartar Sauce, recipe below

Directions

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Spread the olive oil in a baking pan and place the pan in the oven when you turn it on.

Dry the fillets with paper towels. Combine the lemon juice, buttermilk, hot pepper sauce and garlic in a shallow dish.

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Combine the white pepper, salt and onion powder with panko crumbs and place in a second shallow dish.

Let fillets sit in the buttermilk mixture for a few minutes. Then coat the fillets on both sides with seasoned crumbs, pressing the crumbs onto the fish.

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Place the coated fish on a plate and refrigerate for several hours.

When ready to cook, place the fillets on the hot baking sheet and bake 12 minutes on the middle oven rack. Using a wide spatula, turn the fillets over after 6 minutes. Serve with tartar sauce, if you like it.

Homemade Tartar Sauce

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Ingredients

½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sweet pickle relish
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 teaspoon minced capers
Few drops of hot sauce
½ teaspoon agave syrup

Directions

Whisk all the ingredients together in a small serving bowl. Refrigerate until serving time.

Italian Sausage, Tomato and Ricotta Pasta

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Ingredients

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb hot Italian sausage
1 clove garlic, minced
Half a medium onion, finely diced
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups fresh (or canned) seeded, diced, plum tomatoes or roasted red peppers
4 large basil leaves, torn into small pieces
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 lb. rigatoni pasta
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, divided
1 cup ricotta cheese
¼ cup chopped parsley
Salt and black pepper

Directions

Brown the entire sausage on the grill or in a skillet. Set aside until cool enough to handle. When cool enough to touch, slice the sausages into ¼ inch slices.

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.

In a large skillet heat the oil and add the onion and garlic. Cook about 3 or 4 minutes to soften the onion. Add the wine and cook over medium high for a few minutes.

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Lower the heat and add the sausage, tomatoes, basil, the red pepper flakes and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down, 6 to 10 minutes.

Cook the pasta in the boiling water, stirring frequently until al dente, about 11 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water and drain well.

Return the pasta to the pot, add the sausage/tomato sauce, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, for 1 minute so the sauce and pasta combine.

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Add some of the reserved pasta water to moisten.

Combine the ricotta with the parsley, ¼ cup of the Pecorino cheese and salt and pepper to taste.

Turn the pasta and sauce into a large serving bowl. Drop tablespoons of ricotta on top of the pasta and sprinkle with the remaining Pecorino cheese.

Italian Sourdough Bread

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Some Italian dinners need bread to finish off the meal. This bread is one of the family’s favorite.

Ingredients

3/4 cups lukewarm water
1 cup sourdough starter
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons instant yeast

Directions

Combine all the ingredients in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment until the dough leaves the side of the bowl. Switch to the dough hook and knead for 5 minutes.

Let the dough rest in the bowl for 5 minutes. Then, knead again for 5 minutes.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover and let rise until doubled, about 60-90 minutes.

Place the dough on a floured board and divide in half (about one pound each).

Shape each piece into an 18-inch long loaf and place the loaves, at least 4 inches apart, on a parchment-lined baking sheet or in a lightly greased baguette pan.

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Cover the loaves with lightly greased plastic wrap and let them rise for 1 hour, or until they’re puffy and twice the size. Cut slits across top.

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Spray the loaves with water and bake them for about 15 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Remove the loaves from the oven and cool them on a wire rack.

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