Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: mushrooms

Old-Fashioned Salisbury Steak

4 servings

for the patties

11/2 lbs. lean ground beef
1/4 cup fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons flour

For the sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups sliced onions( one large)
1 tablespoon minced garlic( one huge clove)
8 0z sliced mushrooms
1 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

Directions

Combine the beef, parsley, onion, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Divide the mixture evenly into 4 portions (about oz each) and shape each into thick oval patties. Place 2 tablespoons of flour in a shallow dish; dredge each patty in flour. Reserve the remaining flour.

Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. add patties and saute 3 minutes on each side, or until browned. Remove from the pan to a plate.

Add onions and mushrooms to pan; saute 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and tomato paste; saute 1 minute. Sprinkle the reserved flour over the mixture and stir; cook 1 minute. Stir in broth, the salt, and thyme. Return the patties to the pan and bring the sauce to a low boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes.

Steak House Baked Potatoes

Ingredients

4 medium russet potatoes
Olive Oil
Kosher salt
Black pepper
4 pats of butter

Directions

Wash and dry each potato. Make several slashes with a paring knife in each potato. Brush a layer of oil over the entire surface of each potato. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the top portion of each potato. Place the potatoes on a baking pan covered with foil. Bake at 400 degrees F for about an hour. Split open and place a pat of butter in each potato and serve.

Sauteed spinach In Garlic

Ingredients

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
Two 10-ounce bags 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 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.


This dish is easy to prepare early in the day. It reheats beautifully.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
8 ounces fresh sliced mushrooms
1 large onion, diced
1/2 cup flour
2 pounds boneless round steak, sliced thin (I used a 2 lb round roast)
2 cups low sodium beef broth
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Cut round steak into serving-size portions. Pound the flour into the steak pieces.

Reserve the remaining flour. Sprinkle the meat lightly with salt and pepper.

In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil and butter. Brown half the steak thoroughly, turning to brown the other side. Transfer to a platter. Repeat with the remaining steak. Add more oil if needed.


Saute the onions and sliced mushrooms in the skillet for about 5 minutes, until the onions are tender. Stir in the reserved flour.
Add the beef broth and stir until the flour is dissolved. Return the meat to the skillet, cover, and simmer on low heat for 2 hours or until the meat is very tender.

Check for drying out and add a little water if needed. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Serve steak with mashed potatoes and a green vegetable.
Serves 4 to 6.


Tetrazzini is an American pasta dish made with diced poultry or seafood and mushrooms in a butter/cream and cheese sauce flavored with wine or sherry. It is served hot over linguine, spaghetti, egg noodles, or some other types of pasta, garnished with parsley, and sometimes topped with breadcrumbs, almonds, or cheese (or a combination). Tetrazzini can also be prepared as a baked noodle casserole.

The dish is believed to be named after the Italian opera star Luisa Tetrazzini (1871–1940) an Italian coloratura soprano of great international fame. She enjoyed a highly successful operatic and concert career in Europe and America from the 1890s through to the 1920s.

This dish is widely believed to have been invented around 1908–1910 by Ernest Arbogast, the chef at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, California, where Tetrazzini was a long-time resident. However, other sources attribute the origin to the Knickerbocker Hotel in New York City. Good Housekeeping published the first reference to turkey tetrazzini in October 1908, saying readers could find the dish of cooked turkey in a cream sauce, with spaghetti, grated cheese, sliced mushrooms, and bread crumbs on top, at “the restaurant on Forty-second street.

Of course, there are many versions of this recipe and here is mine.

Turkey Tetrazzini

Ingredients

1 pound fettuccine
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups chopped cooked turkey
2 cups frozen peas
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried sage or poultry seasoning
1/4 cup sherry
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups whole milk or half-and-half
Topping
1/2 cup fine dried bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook until just al dente. Drain and return to the pot. Toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Stir in the turkey and peas and set aside.

While the pasta cooks, in a large deep skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 2 minutes.

Add the mushrooms, salt, and sage and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms have released their moisture and begin to brown slightly about 2 minutes.

Pour in the sherry and stir to lift any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook for 1 minute, until the liquid evaporates.

Set aside the vegetables and return the skillet to the heat. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons butter and let it melt, then sprinkle the flour into the pan and cook, stirring, until the flour has been absorbed and the mixture bubbles about 1 minute.

Gradually add the broth, stirring continuously, and when the mixture begins to thicken, add the milk and cook, stirring, until the sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes total.

Remove the skillet from the heat and pour the sauce over the pasta mixture in the large serving bowl. Stir in the mushroom mixture until well mixed.

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, and paprika with the melted butter. Sprinkle evenly over the pasta mixture and serve immediately.

This dish may be prepared ahead. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes or until the casserole is heated through and bubbling.


Roasting a turkey breast is a very economical dinner choice. There is little waste and a 5 lb roast will give you several meals later in the week. I was able to use the meat from this roast to make Turkey Tetrazzini, Pot Pie, Turkey Salad and sandwiches. I also made turkey broth from the breast bones.

Herb Roasted Turkey Breast

Ingredients

1 bone-in turkey breast (4½ to 5 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dry white wine

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the turkey breast on a rack in a roasting pan, skin side up.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, mustard, rosemary, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper. Rub the mixture evenly all over the skin of the turkey breast. Pour the wine into the bottom of the roasting pan.

Roast the turkey for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the skin is golden brown and an instant-read meat thermometer registers 165 degrees when inserted into the thickest and meatiest area of the breast. If the skin is browning too quickly, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.

When the turkey is done, remove the pan from the oven and cover the pan with aluminum foil. Let the turkey rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Slice and serve warm with the pan juices.

Corn Cakes

Fresh corn is ideal but frozen and canned works well in this recipe.

Ingredients

1 ½ cups cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar or sugar substitute
1 ½ cups buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
6 tablespoons melted butter, plus more for greasing the griddle
3 cups freshly shucked corn kernels, from about 4 ears
1 small jalapeño chile, finely chopped
3 tablespoons finely diced scallions

Directions

Stir together cornmeal, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, and 6 tablespoons melted butter. Add buttermilk mixture to the cornmeal mixture and mix briefly with a wooden spoon or whisk to obtain a thick batter. Add corn kernels, jalapeño, and scallions and stir to combine.

Place a griddle or large skillet over medium heat. When the griddle is hot, grease lightly with butter, using a folded paper towel or pastry brush. Spoon 1/4 cup batter onto the griddle. Adjust heat as necessary to keep griddle cakes from browning too quickly. Cook for about 1 1/2 minutes, then carefully flip with a spatula and cook for another 1 1/2 minutes.
Serve immediately or keep warm in a low oven until all the batter is used.

To serve with the roasted turkey, put 2 griddle cakes on an individual plate, top with sliced turkey and pan juices.

Broccoli and Mushroom Casserole

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter
4 oz sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour ( I use Wondra)
1 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 head fresh broccoli cut into small pieces

Directions

Steam or boil the broccoli for 3 minutes and set aside in a colander to drain.
Melt butter in a saute pan over medium-high heat until bubbling.
Place sliced mushrooms in the pan with the salt and white pepper. Saute until browned, about 5 minutes.
Add the flour and stir until dissolved. Slowly add milk and cook until thickened.
Stir in drained broccoli and heat for a few minutes.
Pour into a serving dish.


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.


Crispy Baby Kale Chips

The kale chips were tasty but small and fragile after baking. I think the next time I make this recipe, I will use regular-sized kale for a hearty chip.

Ingredients

1- 5-ounce package organic prewashed baby kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch sea salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets or rimmed baking pans with parchment and set aside.

Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl until the kale leaves are evenly coated.

Lay the leaves in a single layer on the pans and put them into the oven. Switch and rotate the pans halfway through baking to ensure even cooking. Bake for 30 minutes, until crisp.

Remove the pans from the oven and allow to cool before eating. Leftover chips can be stored in an air-tight container or ziplock bag for 4 days.

Southern Style Air Fryer Chicken

The chicken turned out delicious and crispy. The best thing about making fried chicken in the air fryer is that there is no messy/greasy clean up after cooking.

Ingredients

Chicken

4 skinless bone-in thighs, about 1 ¼ lb
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon paprika

Dry Coating
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1 cup self-rising flour
1/4 cup cornstarch

Wet Coating
1 egg room temperature
1/2 tablespoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons water
Butter flavored or olive oil cooking spray

Directions

In a bowl combine chicken with olive oil and then add the spices. Rub it in and set aside. In a large shallow dish, mix together flour, cornstarch, and spices. In a medium dish, mix together eggs, hot sauce, milk, and water.
Coat chicken very lightly in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess.
Place on a plate to allow time for some of the flour to be absorbed; set aside for about 10 minutes
Coat the chicken in the egg mixture; shaking off excess.


Immediately, coat the chicken in the flour mixture making sure all areas are coated, shaking off excess.
Let chicken rest for 15 minutes.


Coat the chicken all over with cooking spray.
Place chicken in greased Air Fryer basket, allowing room for the air to flow all around the chicken.
Cook on 350 F. for about 16 minutes, turning the chicken over halfway through the cooking time.


Remove and serve immediately.

Zucchini Crust Pizza

This recipe is amazing. It tasted like real pizza and you can actually hold the slice of pizza in your hand. Great for a low carb option.

Ingredients

2 medium zucchini about 1 1/2 cups shredded
1/3 cup almond or cassava flour
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 large egg
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
¾ cup pizza sauce
¾ cup mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
¾ cup optional Toppings: olives, mushrooms, peppers, pepperoni, cooked sausage, or whatever you prefer on pizza
Olive oil cooking spray.

Directions

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

Line a pizza pan (14-inch) with parchment paper and spray the paper with cooking spray, set aside. I use a cast iron pizza pan.
Place shredded zucchini on a kitchen towel.


Sprinkle with one teaspoon of salt.
Set aside for 10 minutes.
Squeeze the excess moisture out of the zucchini in the towel. Place the squeezed zucchini on a paper towel until ready to make the dough.

In a medium bowl, mix the shredded zucchini, flour, egg, cheese, Italian spices, and garlic powder with a spoon until combined; then by hand form the dough into a ball.

Transfer the mixture on to the greased parchment paper on the pizza pan.
Press the dough into a 12-inch round on the greased parchment paper.


Bake for about 10 minutes until the crust looks set and is starting to brown.


Remove the pizza crust from the oven.
Add the sauce, followed by the toppings and scatter the cheese on top.
Return the pan to oven and bake for another 8 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted. Let rest a few minutes and then cut into serving pieces.


Steak In Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Ingredients

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 pound ribeye steak
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
Half a sweet onion thinly sliced
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons sour cream

Directions

Slice the steak into very thin slices, about 2 inches long. Salt and pepper the steak slices.
Add 2 tablespoons of butter to a skillet on high heat and add the steak slices.
Sear the slices on high heat for 2 minutes on each side. Remove the slices to a plate.
Lower heat to medium turn the steak over and cook an additional two minutes on each side
Add one tablespoon of butter to the skillet.
Add the mushrooms and onions, and brown for 4-5 minutes before stirring.
Stir and cook another 2-3 minutes.
Whisk in the flour, cooking the flour for 30 seconds.
Add the beef stock and Worcestershire sauce to the pan and whisk until smooth.
Cook for 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.
Stir the sour cream into the sauce and then add the steak slices. Heat for a minute or two before serving.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Each pound of uncooked potatoes yields about 2 cups mashed potatoes

Ingredients

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
Coldwater, for cooking, enough to cover plus 1-inch
1 teaspoon table salt
¼to 1/2 cup heavy cream (depending on how thin you like mashed potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
Salt to taste

Directions

Scrub the potatoes well and peel. Cut potatoes into pieces of similar size. Drop the potato pieces into cold water as they’re prepped, then drain before cooking. Place the potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold water, then stir in table salt. Cover and bring to a boil on high, reduce the heat to maintain a steady low boil until the potatoes are tender and a knife moves easily through the center, about 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes.

While the potatoes cook, in a small pan, gently heat the butter and cream together, keep warm.
Return the drained potato to the hot pot, turn the heat to medium and let the excess water cook off for a minute or two, stirring occasionally.

Mash the potatoes until smooth. With a spatula, slowly turn the hot cream-butter mixture into the potatoes. Taste and adjust the salt to taste and serve immediately.

Skillet Green Beans

Serves 4

1 pound green beans, washed, ends removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed flat with the side of a knife
1/4 cup water stirred with 1/4 teaspoon honey
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

Heat the skillet on medium-high and oil until shimmery.
Add garlic, sprinkle with salt. Cook 30 seconds or until lightly golden, stirring.
Add the beans, turn a few times to coat well with the oil.
Stir in the water/honey mixture. Cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
Cover and cook 2 – 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the beans are slightly wilted but still crunchy.
Uncover and increase heat to high. Cook 2 minutes until the liquid has evaporated and the beans are cooked but still bright green.
Taste and adjust the salt as needed.
Transfer to a serving dish. Drizzle with the syrupy liquid from the skillet.


Crispy Oven Baked Shrimp

Servings: 2. Double for 4 servings.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 lb large peeled (about 12), deveined raw shrimp (16-20 count), tail-on
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 medium finely chopped garlic clove
2 tablespoons Italian flavored panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Coat the bottom of a glass or ceramic baking dish with 1 tablespoon oil.

Pat shrimp dry and place them in a single layer in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the shrimp evenly with pepper and salt.

Whisk butter, lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl; pour the mixture evenly over the shrimp.

In a mixing bowl combine the Panko, Parmesan cheese, chives, and the remaining oil; stir to combine.

Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the shrimp. Bake until the shrimp are pink and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.

Roasted Zucchini

2 servings. Double for 4 servings.

Ingredients

Olive oil cooking spray
1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
6 grape tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon garlic-flavored olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Coat a baking dish with the cooking spray.
Arrange zucchini halves, flesh side up, in the prepared baking dish. Arrange the grape tomatoes on the sides of the squash.

Drizzle olive oil over zucchini. Season the flesh with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle thyme, Herbes de Provence and garlic powder over the top. Roast 8 to 10 minutes, until tender and golden brown.

Rice Pilaf

4 servings

Ingredients

Rice

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup Lundberg wild rice blend
Salt to taste

Pilaf

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Half a red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 oz mushrooms, trimmed and chopped
1 chopped celery stalk
2 tablespoons toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoon dry sherry
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

Bring the broth, rice, oil, and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. When the liquid returns to the boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer 40 -50 minutes until the rice is tender and the liquid has evaporated. Set aside.

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet, and add the onion, garlic, celery, and mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, until tender, and the mushrooms have softened about 10 minutes. Stir in the cooked rice and the remaining ingredients. Cook, stirring until the sherry has evaporated. Taste and adjust seasonings.


Have you ever ordered fish cooked in a banana leaf wrap in a restaurant? Delicious; and so I thought I would try making such a dish at home.

Banana leaves are very inexpensive to buy – a few dollars for a large pack. Banana leaves come in large, flat plastic bags at your local Asian market or supermarket (check the freezer if you can’t find them on the shelf or in the produce section).

Banana leaves can be used for baking anything “wrapped”, in the same way, you would use tin foil or parchment paper. However, banana leaves are porous (unlike tin foil), so some of the “sauce” or juices from your food item may seep through. It’s, therefore, a good idea to place your banana leaf “packets” in a glass casserole dish, or a tray that has sides on it, so that the juices don’t drip to the bottom of your oven.

Banana leaves serve many purposes, from adding flavor to foods cooked inside them, to simply being used as a colorful and exotic background for serving plates and party platters.

Banana leaves contain large amounts of polyphenols that are natural antioxidants. These are found in many plant-based foods and green tea. Food served on the banana leaves absorbs the polyphenols which are said to prevent many lifestyle diseases. They are also said to have anti-bacterial properties that can possibly kill the germs in food. The leaf wrapping protects delicate fillets from harsh, dry heat.

You can also use banana leaves as a kind of “mat” for barbecuing fragile fillets of fish, smaller shrimp, or vegetables that have a danger of falling through the grill. Simply lay a piece of banana leaf on your grill, then cook your food items on top of it (as you would with tin foil). The banana leaf will turn bright green at first, then brown as you cook. It will give your food a hint of flavor that is very pleasant.

To store banana leaves, simply wrap them in plastic and place them in a ziplock plastic bag and keep in the freezer. Banana leaves only require about 30 minutes to thaw, so this is a convenient way to keep them fresh.

Use scissors to cut the banana leaves into the size you need, depending on your recipe. For wrapping and baking food items, you will need a large “sheet” or leaf. Place enough for one serving in the center of the leaf, then fold like a handkerchief to make a square packet.

Banana leaves are also excellent for steaming, as it allows the steam to penetrate the food inside or on top of it. You can use banana leaves to line a steamer or to wrap your food and then steam it.

Secure banana leaf “packets” with kitchen twine. Or simply place the packet “seam-side” down to keep it from opening.

Caribbean Inspired Fish Wrapped in Banana Leaves

Serves 2. Double the ingredients for 4 servings.

Ingredients

6 navel orange slices, rind removed
2 (6-oz.) sustainable skinless white fish fillets (such as snapper, halibut, or sea bass)
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 (12-in.-square) fresh or thawed frozen banana leaf pieces
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place the thawed banana leaves in hot water to soak for 10 minutes. Drain and place on a kitchen towel.

Coat fish fillets with oil and place them in the center of each banana leaf. Stir together salt, coriander, cinnamon, red pepper, ginger, and nutmeg; sprinkle evenly over the tops of the fish fillets. Place 3 orange slices on top of each fish fillet.

Fold each banana leaf piece to enclose the fish. Place packets, folded side down, on a baking sheet or in a glass baking dish. Bake at 400°F until fish is done, about 15-20 minutes. Unwrap and transfer fillets and orange slices onto serving plates. Garnish with chopped cilantro, if desired.

Wild Rice, Almond and Mushroom Pilaf

Ingredients

Rice

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup Lundberg wild rice blend
Salt to taste

Pilaf

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Half a red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 oz mushrooms, trimmed and chopped
1 chopped celery stalk
2 tablespoons toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoon dry sherry
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

Bring the broth, rice, oil, and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. When the liquid returns to the boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer 40 -50 minutes until the rice is tender and the liquid has evaporated. Set aside.

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet, and add the onion, garlic, celery, and mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, until tender, and the mushrooms have softened about 10 minutes. Stir in the cooked rice and the remaining ingredients. Cook, stirring until the sherry has evaporated. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with the fish.

Honey- Baked Squash

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 large acorn squash (1 1/2 pounds), seeds removed cut into 8 lengthwise wedges
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon honey

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Arrange the squash wedges on a foil-lined baking sheet.
Drizzle the olive oil over the squash wedges.


Sprinkle the squash with the cinnamon, salt, and pepper and drizzle with the honey. Bake, uncovered, for 45-50 minutes, or until browned at the edges and very tender when pierced with a fork.


Adapted from an article by Anthony Bourdain in Gourmet.

4 servings

Ingredients

4 tablespoons butter, divided
4 ounces small whole mushroom caps
1 chopped shallot
2 minced garlic cloves
1 cup of water
½ cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Bouquet garni (wrap two sprigs of parsley, two bay leaves, and a sprig of fresh thyme in a piece of cheesecloth. Tie into a neat bundle with string)
1 pound fresh sea scallops, dried well
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Bread crumbs for the topping
Grated Gruyère or Fontina cheese

Directions

In 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan saute the shallots, garlic, and mushroom caps until the mushrooms brown and lose their liquid. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Add the water, wine, bouquet garni, and lemon juice to the saucepan and bring yo a boil. Add the scallops, cover, and remove the pot from the heat. Let the scallops sit in the liquid for 5 minutes. Remove the scallops with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Strain the liquid and discard the bouquet garni. Set aside

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the saucepan and whisk in the flour. Do not let it get dark. Add 3 tablespoons of the scallop cooking liquid and mix until blended. Over very low heat, blend the flour mixture into the remaining scallop cooking liquid. Add the cream and simmer and stir until blended and thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the scallops and mushroom mixture, and stir.

Fill 4 scallop shells or shallow 6-inch ramekins almost to the top with the scallop mixture. (If you’re not ready to serve the scallops, cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate.)

Sprinkle the top lightly with bread crumbs and top with grated cheese.
Preheat the broiler. Broil the scallops until the mixture bubbles and the cheese melts and turns golden brown.

Roasted Vegetables

Save the leftover roasted vegetables for a delicious quiche. Recipe after Christmas.

Ingredients

1/2 cup olive oil
4-5 large carrots, peeled, cut on the bias, about 1-inch thick
3-4 parsnips, peeled, cut on the bias, about 1-inch thick
1 bulb fennel, trimmed and quartered
1 medium red onion, peeled and quartered
4 garlic, cloves, peeled and cut in half
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1/2 teaspoon Maldon sea salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cover a large baking sheet with sides in foil.

Heat the olive oil in the microwave until hot. Place the carrots, parsnips, fennel, onion, garlic, and thyme on the prepared baking sheet. Pour the hot oil over the vegetables. Sprinkle with the salt. Transfer to the oven and roast until tender and brown, about 45 minutes.



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