Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: peppers

Serve with Sausage and Peppers. Recipe follows.

Ciabatta Rolls

Starter
1 1/2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup room temperature water
1/16 teaspoon instant yeast
Or you can substitute 1 3/4 cups of sourdough starter
To make the biga: Mix all of the ingredients until well blended. Cover the bowl, and let rest at room temperature for 12 to 20 hours, until the mixture is very bubbly.

Dough
All of the starter (from above)
2 teaspoons instant yeast
3 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons Baker’s Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk powder
1 cup lukewarm water
3 tablespoons olive oil

To make the dough: Mix the biga with the remaining ingredients for 2 to 4 minutes, using an electric mixer set on slow speed. Increase the mixer speed to medium, and mix for about 4 minutes; the dough will be soft and slightly sticky.

Let the dough rise in a greased bowl, covered, for 1 to 2 hours, until very puffy.
Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface, and shape it into a 6″ x 12″ rectangle. Using a bench knife, cut out eight 3″ square rolls. Space the rolls out evenly on the board. Let them rise for about 45 minutes, covered with a thin kitchen towel until they’re puffy.
Place a baking stone in the top third of the oven, and preheat the oven to 450°F. With a wide spatula place the rolls on the hot baking stone.
Bake the rolls for 15-18 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack.
Yield: 8 rolls.

 

Sausage and Peppers

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 lbs hot Italian Sausage, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large onion, diced
2 bags of mini bell peppers, stems sliced off
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups finely chopped Italian tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Heat the oil in a large skillet with a cover. Add the sausage and cook until lightly browned. Add the onion and peppers and stir fry for about 5 minutes. Cover the pan and let the mixture simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes and seasoning and simmer the mixture covered for 15 minutes more.



Ingredients

1 garlic clove grated
1 tablespoon olive oil
l1 tablespoon butter
¼ cup finely chopped onion
¼ cup finely chopped celery
3 mini red sweet peppers, finely chopped
10 oz raw shrimp (about 18), peeled and chopped
6 oz firm white fish such as sea bass, chopped
8 oz lump crab meat
1 teaspoon seafood seasoning (Old Bay)
1 cup whole milk Ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded Mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus extra for the top
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
24 large pasta shells

White Sauce
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup of water
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
3/4 teaspoon seafood seasoning

Directions

Cook the jumbo shells in boiling salted water for two minutes less than the package instructions. Drain in a colander and run cold water over them for a minute or two. Place the shells on kitchen towels while you make the filling.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.Butter a large baking dish

In a skillet, heat oil and butter over medium heat. Add in garlic, onion, celery, and mini peppers, and cook until the vegetables are softened; about 3 minutes. Add in shrimp and sea bass and season with Old Bay seasoning. Cook until the shrimp become pink and the sea bass is cooked; about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the skillet and let cool.

In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella, egg, and fresh ground black pepper. Stir in cooled shrimp mixture and crab meat.

In the same skillet, you cooked the shrimp in, bring the cream and milk to a low boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, add the seafood seasoning. Remove the skillet from the heat and whisk in the flour and parmesan cheese. Return to a simmer, and cook until the sauce thickens about 5 minutes.

Fill each pasta shell with 2 tablespoons of the seafood filling and place them in the baking dish.

Pour the sauce over the filled pasta shells in the baking dish. Sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Serve with a green mixed salad.


Ingredients

1 ½ pounds hot Italian sausage links
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into eighths
1 pound sweet mini peppers, stem end removed but left whole.
1 large onion. sliced
1 teaspoon roasted garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl toss together the oil, sliced potatoes, peppers, onions, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
Spread the mixture in a large roasting pan. Top with the sausage and roast for 60-75 minutes until the sausage is cooked and the vegetables are brown turning the mixture halfway through the baking. Serve with some crusty Italian bread.



Fillet of Fish Francese

2 servings

Ingredients

¼ cup olive oil
12 ozs white fish filets cut in half (I used triggerfish)
1/4 cup of flour
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 egg
2 tablespoons of heavy cream
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions

Pour flour mixed with salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a shallow dish. Whisk egg, cream, lemon juice, and Parmesan cheese in another shallow bowl..
Heat oil in a large skillet.
Dredge the fillets in the flour, make sure you coat both sides and then dip the fish in the egg mixture, and make sure it’s evenly covered.
Repeat with all of the fillets and add to your skillet. Cook each side for 3-4 minutes; you want the bottom of the filet to get lightly brown,

Squash Saute

2 servings

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 plump garlic cloves, minced
2 medium yellow summer squash, diced
1 small red pepper, diced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat, and add the onion. Stir often and cook until tender, five to eight minutes, then add the garlic, summer squash, red pepper, and about ½ teaspoon of salt. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, until the squash is translucent and the red pepper tender, about 10 minutes. Add freshly ground pepper, taste and adjust salt. Stir in the parsley, and remove from the heat. Serve with the fish.

Air-Fryer Baked Sweet Potato

You may bake the potato in a regular oven at 400 degrees F for 45-50 minutes.

2 servings

Ingredients

1 large sweet potato
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

Directions

Wash the sweet potato and then poke air holes in the potato with a fork.
Sprinkle them with the olive oil, pepper & salt, then rub evenly on the potato.
Once the potato is coated place it into the basket.
Cook potato at 390 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until fork-tender.
Cut in half and top with a pat of butter.


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.



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