Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: peppers

Burritos

Ingredients

Marinade
1 orange
1 lime
¼ cup avocado oil
2 – 3 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
½ teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt
1 pound beef flank steak

Burrito
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
½ teaspoon ground cumin
Half a large sweet onion cut into thin rings and rings halved
2 medium sweet bell peppers, cut into thin strips
1 jalapeno pepper, sliced into thin strips
6-8 inch flour tortillas, warmed
¼ cup snipped fresh cilantro
1 cup of salsa

Directions

Zest the lime and orange. Juice both the orange and lime. In a large resealable plastic bag combine 1/4 cup orange juice, 1 teaspoon orange zest, 1 teaspoon lime zest, 2 tablespoons lime juice, avocado oil, chipotle peppers, cumin, and the salt. Add steak. Seal bag; turn to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 12 hours.

Remove meat from the marinade. Reserve 2 tablespoons marinade; discard any remaining marinade. Pat meat dry with paper towels. In a large grill pan, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high heat. Add steak to the pan. Cook for 14 to 18 minutes or until steak reaches desired doneness, turning once halfway through cooking. (Or, for a gas or charcoal grill, grill the steak on a greased rack of a covered grill over medium heat for 17 to 21 minutes or until steak reaches desired doneness.)

Transfer meat to a cutting board. Cover and let stand 10 minutes. Cut steak across the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

Heat the same grill pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and peppers to the drippings in the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Stir in the zucchini. Cook 1 minute more. Add the reserved 2 tablespoons marinade and 1/2 teaspoon cumin. Cook and stir 2 minutes more.

Lay tortillas on a flat work surface. Arrange the meat on the bottom third of the tortillas. Top with cooked vegetables, and cilantro. Roll up tortillas tightly. Serve with salsa.

Tips
If using a gas or charcoal grill, use a large skillet to cook the vegetables. Use 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in place of the drippings.

Cheese Sauce

ingredients

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese grated
1 teaspoon dijon mustard

Directions
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan.
Stir over medium-high heat until all cheese is melted.

Creamy Southern Succotash

Ingredients

1 recipe cooked southern field peas (see recipe), drained
2 cups fresh or frozen corn
1 teaspoon Mexican chili powder
Cheese sauce, recipe above

Directions

After the cheese sauce is complete, stir in the drained peas and corn. Add the chili powder and simmer over low heat until hot.
Serve with the burritos.


Pork Fried Rice

Ingredients

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg, beaten
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, grated
2 cups diced raw or cooked vegetables (see suggestions, below)
2 cups diced cooked pork (I used leftover spare ribs)
3 cups cold leftover cooked rice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
4 green onions, sliced
Fried rice veggie ideas: celery, bell peppers, mushrooms, carrots, bean sprouts, broccoli, zucchini, green beans, peas, snow peas, cabbage.

Directions
In a wok or a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over high heat. Add egg and cook, stirring, until the egg is scrambled. Remove the scrambled egg to a plate.
Pour the remaining oil into the wok. When it is very hot, add chopped onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 or 3 minutes or just until onion is softened. Add raw vegetables first, followed by any cooked vegetables (the first ones into the pan should be the veggies that take the longest to cook, like raw carrots). Already-cooked veggies should be added last. Now add cooked meat, stirring to mix well and heat through.

Add rice, stirring constantly to break up the lumps of rice, mix it with the other ingredients and heat thoroughly. Add soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil and cook, stirring and tossing, for 2 or 3 minutes. Stir in the scrambled egg and green onions and stir-fry for one more minute. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Fish Baked In Teriyaki Sauce

Ingredients

2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cod fillets, each 6 ounces
2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Directions

In a small bowl, whisk together the teriyaki sauce and garlic.
Lightly spray a small baking pan with cooking spray. Place the fillets in the pan. Pour the teriyaki marinade over both sides of the fillets. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to marinate the fish.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.. Sprinkle the fish with the sesame seeds.
Bake until the fish is opaque throughout when tested with a tip of a knife, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with the fried rice.

Asparagus in Ginger Garlic Sauce

Sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon grated garlic
1 pinch red pepper flakes

Stirfry
1 bunch medium-size asparagus spears, trimmed
1 tablespoon peanut oil

Directions

Combine sauce ingredients and set aside.
Cut the asparagus into two-inch pieces, on the diagonal.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high until hot, 3–5 minutes, and add oil and asparagus; season lightly with salt. Cook, tossing occasionally until asparagus is just beginning to brown around the edges, about 2 minutes. Add sauce and cook, tossing constantly, until asparagus is still crispy yet cooked through and coated in the sauce, about 30 seconds longer.

 


This recipe was inspired by a recipe posted on Lana Russo’s site, Friends Who Like Once Upon A Spice. The recipe is from the magazine: LA CUCINA ITALIANA

I adapted the recipe to my taste by broiling the eggplant shell instead of frying it and making the dish hearty enough to serve as an entree with the addition of some Italian sausage in the stuffing. This dish was delicious.

2 servings

Ingredients

3 plum tomatoes total about 6 oz, diced
¼ cup plain panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon capers
1 medium eggplant about 14-15 oz
½ cup (about 6 oz) diced sweet cherry peppers
1 garlic clove, grated
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½ teaspoon salt
6 oz cooked Italian sausage, diced
Extra-virgin olive oil
Basil leaves for garnish

Directions

Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and scoop out the pulp using a grapefruit teaspoon leaving a ¼ inch shell. Set the pulp aside.


Spray the eggplant shells with olive oil and place on a foiled lined pan. Broil the shells under high heat for 5-8 minutes until brown.

Chop the eggplant pulp and brown in a saucepan with 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil for 3-4 minutes. Add the cherry peppers, garlic, capers, oregano, diced tomatoes, salt, and tomato paste. Cook for another 3-4 minutes. Stir in the sausage and heat until warm.
Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs and mozzarella cheese.

Divide the mixture between the two eggplant shells. Transfer the stuffed eggplants to a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake the stuffed eggplant at 350°F for about 20 minutes or until hot. Remove to serving plates and garnish with basil leaves.


All varieties of peppers are in season right now in my area and they are abundant. They must like the weather. Here is a good recipe that uses peppers. I served the dish with Jasmine rice.
This is an easy Asian dish to prepare. Once you assemble and prep the ingredients in advance, dinner comes together in minutes.

Ingredients

1 pound flank steak, skirt steak, hanger steak, or beef tenderloin, cut into 1/4-inch thick strips
1/4 cup soy sauce (divided)
5 tablespoons Shaoxing wine or dry sherry (divided)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup low-sodium homemade or store-bought chicken or beef broth
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups green bell peppers, cored and cut into 1-inch squares
1 large onion, cut into 1-inch squares
2 medium cloves garlic, finely minced (about 2 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons finely minced fresh ginger
4 tablespoons vegetable, peanut, or canola oil
Kosher salt to taste
Garnish with chopped scallions if desired
Jasmine rice

Directions

Combine beef, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine in a bowl and toss to coat. Let marinate for at least 20 minutes at room temperature and up to 3 hours in the refrigerator.

Combine remaining soy sauce with cornstarch and stir with a fork to form a slurry. Add remaining Shaoxing wine, broth, sesame oil, sugar, and pepper. Set aside.

Combine peppers and onions in a bowl and set aside.

Combine garlic and ginger in a small bowl and set aside.

When ready to cook, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wok or large deep skillet over high heat until just beginning to smoke. Add the beef and cook until well seared but still pink in spots, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

Add 2 more tablespoons oil to the skillet, heat and add the peppers and onions. Cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and stir into the peppers and onions. Return the beef to the skillet and pour the prepared sauce over the mixture. Cook, stirring, until the sauce is glossy and thickened about 2-3 minutes more. Garnish with scallions if desired. Serve with rice.


This is a great time of year to make this sauce since all the vegetables included in the recipe are in season.

Ingredients

Eggplant
1 ½-2 lbs small eggplant
4 garlic cloves
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Peppers and Onions
1 ½ lbs Italian frying peppers
1 large sweet onion
2 garlic cloves
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Tomatoes
2 ½ lbs large vine ripe tomatoes
1 ½ lbs ripe cherry tomatoes
4 garlic cloves
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F

For the roasted eggplant
Peel the eggplant and then into ½-inch cubes. Pour the olive oil into a 13×9-inch baking pan. Smash the garlic cloves and place them in the pan. Add the eggplant and season generously with salt and pepper. Stir the ingredients until the eggplant is coated in oil. Bake 30 minutes stirring the eggplant several through the roasting time to prevent the eggplant from sticking to the pan. Scrape the eggplant into a Dutch Oven with a spatula and set the pot aside, Do not clean out the baking dish.

For the peppers and onions
Remove the seeds from the cut peppers and cut them into ½-inch dice. Peel the onion and cut into ½-inch dice.
In the same baking dish used for the eggplant, pour in the oil, add the smashed garlic, peppers, and onions. Add salt and pepper and stir the ingredients. Bake for 30 minutes stirring the ingredients several through the roasting time. Pour the peppers and onions into the Dutch Oven with the eggplant and reserve the baking dish.

 

For the tomatoes
Cut the large tomatoes in half. Pour the olive oil into the baking dish. Add the smashed garlic, large tomatoes, and cherry tomatoes. Generously salt and pepper the tomatoes. Bake for 30 minutes stirring the ingredients several through the roasting time.

Mash the tomatoes with a potato masher and add the ingredients to the Dutch Oven.

To make the sauce
Add 1 teaspoon of dried Italian seasoning and a sprig of fresh basil to the pot. Bring the sauce to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, partially cover the pot and cook until the sauce is reduced by half.

To use the sauce with pasta
Add 12 ounces of short pasta, such as Casarecce, Campanelle or Farfalle cooked al dente and 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan with the sauce and bring to a simmer, tossing until the butter melts and the pasta finishes cooking about 1 minute. Serve pasta with Parmesan cheese and hot pepper flakes
You can also serve the sauce over cooked spaghetti or as a sauce for lasagna.

To use the sauce for pizza
Cover the dough with sliced Fontina cheese and add about 2 cups of the Roasted Garden Vegetable sauce. Bake in a 450-degree F oven for 20 minutes.


This pie makes a great lunch or you can serve it for dinner with a big salad.

If you have lemon-flavored olive oil, it works very well in this recipe.

Ingredients

Olive Oil Press in the Pan Pie Crust
1 1/2 cups Italian flour (00) or 1 ¼ cups unbleached All-Purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup olive oil
3-4 tablespoons water

Directions

Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder in a 91/2 to 10-inch pie pan. Whisk together the oil and water, then pour over the dry ingredients. Stir with a fork until the dough is evenly moistened. Pat the dough across the bottom of the pie pan and up the sides. A flat-bottomed measuring cup can help you make the bottom even. Press the dough up the sides of the pan with your fingers, and flute the top. Set aside.

Filling

1 1/2 pounds medium zucchini, ends removed and sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 large roasted red pepper, diced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt

Directions

Place the zucchini in a colander set over a plate. Toss the zucchini slices with 2 teaspoons of salt and set aside for 30 minutes. Spread the zucchini out on a clean dish towel, roll it up, and squeeze gently to remove some of the liquid.

Put the zucchini slices into a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
With a fork, mash together the cheese, seasonings, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Spread the bottom of the pie dough with the cheese mixture. Lay the zucchini slices evenly over the cheese, sprinkle with the chopped red pepper. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and top with the Parmesan cheese.


Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until the filling is set and the dough is golden brown. Cut in wedges and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.


Grilled Steak Fajitas

Flank steaks are usually quite large. When I purchase one, I cut it in half and freeze one half for another meal.

Ingredients

1/2 pound or half of a large flank steak
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Salt to taste
1 red bell pepper
2 medium Poblano peppers (dark green)
1 small onion
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 chipotle pepper in adobo + 1 tablespoon sauce, chopped
4 small flour tortillas or 2 large tortillas

Directions

At least two hours before dinner, coat the steak with salt to taste, the ground black pepper, cumin, and chili powder. Let sit in the refrigerator until ready to cook.

Cut the peppers into thick strips, discarding the ribs and seeds. Next, cut the onion into thick slices.
Place oil, peppers, and onions in a medium skillet and cook turning frequently until they are tender. Stir in the chipotle pepper and sauce. Keep warm.

Prepare an outdoor grill or heat a stovetop grill pan.
Place the steak on the grill and cook until the steak reaches an internal temperature of 125-130 degrees F on a meat thermometer.
Remove steak from the grill and cut diagonally into thin slices and add to the pepper mixture in the skillet.

Warm the tortillas on the edge of the grill, keeping them away from direct heat, so they are warm and soften but don’t dry out or turn crisp. Or wrap in paper towels and warm in the microwave.
Place a portion of the steak mixture into each tortilla, fold and serve.

Homemade Coleslaw

I like to make coleslaw in small batches because I don’t think it tastes very good after several days. I also like to serve coleslaw with Mexican entrees.

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 covered for several hours before serving.


Serves 4

Ingredients

2 rib-eye steaks (about 1 ½ lbs total and 1 inch thick), trimmed of all fat
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil; more as needed
2 large onions, thinly sliced
3/4 lb Italian frying peppers, seeded and halved
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 ½ cups finely chopped Italian tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes.

Directions

Cut each steak into 1-inch strips removing as much fat as possible and pat them dry with paper towels. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Place on a foil-covered pan that can under the broiler.

In a 12-inch heavy frying pan over medium heat, place the oil, garlic and the onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened but not browned, Add the peppers and cook until tender.

Pour the wine into the pan. As it comes to a boil, deglaze the pan juices by scraping the bottom of the pan well with a wooden or silicone spoon. Add the tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer.

Set the broiler to low. Place the pan with the steaks under the broiler and cook for 4-5 minutes until lightly brown. Remove the pan from the broiler and place the steak strips and meat juices in the skillet with the tomato mixture. Stir in the meat and simmer for 1-2 minutes.

Serve this dish with mashed potatoes and green beans.


All three dishes can be baked in the oven together, staggering the cooking time needed by each dish.

Stuffed Sole Fillets

Stuffing Ingredients
4 large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 scallion, minced
1 medium garlic clove, minced
½ celery stalk, finely chopped
1 mini bell pepper, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
1 tablespoon chopped chives
Salt and pepper
½ oz oyster crackers crushed

Fish
12 oz sole fillets
Lemon juice
Butter

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a baking dish just large enough to hold the fish with olive oil cooking spray.


Combine the filling ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Spread the filling evenly over each fillet and add a few drops of lemon juice over the stuffing.

Roll each fillet, jelly-roll fashion, and skewer it with toothpicks and place in the prepared baking dish.

Dot each roll-up with butter and cover the baking pan loosely with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for another 10-15 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily when touched with a fork.

Easy Mac & Cheese

No need to make a white sauce to get creamy mac & cheese.

Ingredients

12 oz whole wheat elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup sour cream
Kosher salt and pepper
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup Velveeta cheese cut into small cubes
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions

Heat the oven to 400°F. Cook the pasta for half the time recommended on package directions; drain.
In a large bowl, whisk together the mustard, sour cream, and 1⁄2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Fold in the onion and the Velveeta.


Add the cooked pasta to the bowl and toss to coat.

Transfer the pasta mixture to a greased 12×8-inch baking dish and bake until beginning to brown, 20 minutes.
Remove the baking dish from the oven and sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese over the top of the casserole. Return the baking dish to the oven and bake until golden brown, 10 minutes more or until the cheese is melted. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Nut-Crusted Zucchini Sticks

Ingredients

1 medium-large zucchini, trimmed and cut into thin wedges
2 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch each of salt and pepper
1/2 cup finely ground nuts (any kind)
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray.


Place the zucchini wedges in a ziplock bag with the oil, salt, and pepper. Shake. Add the Italian seasoning and nuts. Shake until well coated. Place the zucchini on the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven. Roast the zucchini for 25-30 minutes until crispy and tender.


Sweet mini peppers are a hybrid sweet pepper, small in size and sold in assorted tri-color packs. They were originally developed in the late 1990s and range from 1.5 inches up to 4.0 inches. Each color is grown separately and consists of three separate varieties of seeds that have very similar characteristics in size, flavor, shape, and use. Their flavor and texture are similar to bell peppers but sweeter and with very few seeds.

Stuffed Mini Peppers

These little peppers are often used for appetizers but they also make for a delicious, easy dinner. Just add a side of coleslaw or salad and you have dinner.

Ingredients

8-10 oz. mini bell peppers
2 Mexican chorizo links, casing removed
¼ cup finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon cilantro paste
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 minced chipotle pepper with½ tablespoon chipotle sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 oz. shredded Colby Jack cheese
Salsa for serving

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375°F.
.Cook the chorizo and red onion over medium-low heat for 10 minutes in a small skillet. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Split the bell peppers lengthwise and remove the core.


Mix together the cream cheese, cooled chorizo mixture, spices and oil in a small bowl. Fill the bell peppers with the mixture and place them on a greased foil-lined baking pan.
Press shredded cheese on top of each pepper.


Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden brown
Serve with salsa, if desired.



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