Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Italian Apple Olive Oil Cake

 

TORTA DI MELE (TUSCAN APPLE CAKE)

Ingredients

2 x large apples, peeled, finely chopped
Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 cup honey
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 large eggs

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray and line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment cut to fit the bottom of the pan.

Toss the chopped apples into a bowl with the lemon juice and zest.

Mix the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and a pinch of sea salt in a large mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the honey, extra virgin olive oil, and eggs together to combine.

Mix the extra virgin olive oil mixture into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon until you have a smooth thick batter.

Fold the apples into the batter. then pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake the cake for 45 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean when tested. Allow the cake to cool for 30 minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Dust with powdered sugar before slicing. You can serve it with honey yogurt. {Mix 2 tablespoons of honey with 1 cup of Greek plain yougurt}


.

Knockwurst Sskillet Dinner For Two

 

2 servings

Ingredients

2 All Beef  Knockwurst links, each about 4 oz
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, cut into thick slices
⅓ of a small head of cabbage, about 12 oz, cut into thick slices
1 large carrot, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 medium Yukon gold potato, cut into ½-inch thick slices
1 cup of chicken broth
1 teaspoon whole-grain dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon caraway seeds
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Directions

Combine the chicken broth, mustard, caraway, and black pepper in a small mixing bowl.
In a deep skillet with a cover melt the butter. Brown the knockwurst on all sides over medium heat. Remove the knockwurst to a plate. Add the cabbage and chicken broth mixture. Cover and cook on low for 10 minutes. Stir in the carrots and potatoes. Cover and cook for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

 

After 15 minutes, place the knockwurst on top of the vegetable, cover it, and cook for the remainder of the time.

 

 

Steak Dinner For Two

 

Italian Ribeye Steak

Ingredients

2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black peppercorns
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 (8-ounce) ribeye steaks, trimmed

Directions

Combine all the ingredients except the steaks in a bowl, stirring well. One hour before cooking time, remove the steaks from the refrigerator. Rub the mixture evenly over both sides of the steaks. Let rest at room temperature for one hour.

 


Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add steaks to pan; cook for 3 minutes. Turn steaks over; cook for 3 minutes or until the desired degree of doneness.

 

You can also cook the steaks in an air-fryer for the same amount of time. Let steaks stand for 10 minutes.

Baked Potatoes

Ingredients
2 Russet Baking Potatoes
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Black pepper

Directions

Wash and dry 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 on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F for about an hour or until it pierces easily with a fork. Serve with butter and sour cream.

Sugar Snaps

Ingredients

4 cups sugar snap peas (about 12 ounces)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 garlic clove, grated
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice or more to taste
Pinch kosher salt
Pinch sugar
1/4 cup fruity extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Directions

Cut the sugar snap peas on a diagonal into halves and cut off the stem ends. Parboil the snaps in boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Drain and retain in the pan.

Combine the remaining ingredients except for the cheese and heat on low. Add the drained peas and cheese. Toss over the heat until hot and then serve with the steak.

Italian White Bean Cassoulet

 

Ingredients

¼ to 1/3 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 medium white onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
4 stalks of celery, diced
2 stems fresh rosemary and 2 stems fresh thyme
1 dried bay leaf
2 cans Undrained cannellini beans, or 3 cups cooked dried white beans with cookies liquid
2 tablespoons tomato paste
15 oz can chopped Italian tomatoes
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon powder
1 lb spicy Italian sausage, cut into ½ inch slices
1/2 lb chicken tenders, each cut in thirds

Directions

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat the oil in a medium Dutch Oven. Brown the sausage and remove to a bowl. Add a little more oil if needed and brown the chicken. Remove to the bowl with the sausage.

 

Add the vegetables to the pot, stirring frequently, and cook until tender. Add remaining ingredients, 1 at a time. Bring to a simmer and transfer to the oven, Bake for 45 to 60 minutes until thickened slightly. Remove the herbs. Serve with crispy Ciabatta bread.

Scallopini Milanese With Arugula Salad For Dinner

I prefer pork cutlets for this recipe, but you can use veal in this classic northern Italian dish.

Ingredients

1/4 cup flour

1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water

1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus extra for shaving over the salad

1/2 cup dry Italian seasoned breadcrumbs

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 scallopini {veal, pork or chhicken}i, pounded to 1/4-inch thickness, about 6 ounces each

Vegetable oil

2 big handfuls of baby arugula or other salad greens

12 grape tomatoes, halved

Some fresh basil leaves

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

Place flour in one shallow bowl or pie plate and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place the beaten egg in a second dish. Combine parmesan and breadcrumbs in a third.

Dredge veal in flour, then egg. Allow excess egg to drip off, then transfer to breadcrumbs. Turn to coat evenly, pressing crumbs so they adhere. Transfer scallopini to a large plate.

Add oil to cover the bottom of a medium skillet and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Carefully add the scallopini to the hot oil. Cook, swirling pan occasionally until golden brown on the first side, about 1 1/2 minutes. Carefully turn with tongs and cook until the second side is golden brown, about 1 minute longer. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season immediately with salt. 

Toss arugula, tomatoes, and basil s in a medium bowl with olive oil and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Place a scallopini on a dinner plate, top it with half the salad and shave parmesan over the salad. Serve with Ciabatta bread.

Classic Chicken Picatta For Dinner

Ingredients

For 2 servings

1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 8 to 9 oz.), cut in half horizontally and pounded to 1/4 inch thick
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup flour
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil juice of 1 fresh lemon
1/2 cup homemade or store-bought chicken stock
2 tablespoons drained capers
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Fettuccini- 2 servings according to package

Directions

Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
Combine the almond flour and arrowroot flour on a shallow plate.
Dredge the chicken in the almond flour and shake off excess.
In a large skillet melt 2 tablespoons of ghee with the olive oil, over medium to high heat.
Cook the chicken in batches, if necessary, until golden and cooked through, 3 to 4 min per side.
Transfer the chicken to a platter.

Cook the pasta according to package instructions for al dente. Drain and reserve.
In the same skillet add the lemon juice, chicken stock, and capers, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.

Cook over medium heat until the liquid is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Add the remaining ghee and whisk for about a minute.

Return the chicken and any juices to the skillet and simmer for about 1 minute.
Sprinkle with parsley. Place a serving of pasta on each of the two dinner plates. Top with chicken breast. Pour sauce over the chicken.

Swiss Chard

Ingredients

2 bunches of Swiss Chard
4 garlic cloves, smashed
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste

Directions
Cut the thick stems of the chard. Cut the leaves into strips. Wash well and drain slightly. Place the washed chard in a large pot and cook over low heat until completely wilted. Drain well.

In the same pot heat the olive oil and garlic over low heat, add the chard and salt to taste, and simmer until tender and hot about 5-6 minutes.

Smothered Steak Burger Dinner

Ingredients

2- 8 oz Angus Beef steakburgers
1 tablespoon butter
Beef and Mushroom Gravy

Beef Broth Gravy Ingredients
2 cups beef broth
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup cold water + 3 tablespoons cornstarch
Salt and pepper to taste

Mushroom Gravy Ingredients
8 oz sliced button mushrooms
¼ cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups Beef broth gravy

Directions

For the Beef Broth Gravy
In a medium saucepan bring beef broth to boil over medium-high heat. Stir in garlic powder, onion powder, and Worcestershire sauce.
In a small bowl whisk together cold water and cornstarch until dissolved. Pour into boiling beef broth and reduce heat to medium-low. Stir until thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes 2 cups.

Heat a skillet and melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the burgers and brown the meat on both sides. Remove to a plate.

Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet and melt. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until all liquid is absorbed.

 

Season with salt. Add the beef broth gravy. Bring to a simmer. Add the steakburgers. Cover the pan and simmer the burgers in the gravy for 30 minutes.

Serve with mashed potatoes and cooked carrots.
I had leftover potatoes and kale, so I served that dish with the steakburgers and sauteed two diced carrots in butter until tender for a second side dish.

 

Baked Sausage Peppers And Potatoes

Ingredients

1 lb of Italian rope sausage with herbs
10 oz whole baby yellow potatoes
3 Italian long {frying} peppers, seeded cut into strips
1 medium onion cut into eighths
3 cloves sliced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil

Directions

Oil a large baking dish.

Arrange the sausage rope in the center of the dish and top it with peppers, onions, and potatoes

Arrange the vegetables and garlic evenly over the sausage and the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper over the ingredients. Drizzle with olive oil.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 90 minutes. after 60 minutes of baking time lift the sausage up with tongs and place it on top of the vegetables. This step browns the sausage. Serve with some ciabatta bread to sop up the delicious sauce that comes from baking the ingredients.

Easy To Make Giant Oatmeal Cookies

Makes 2 dozen

Remove the eggs and butter from the refrigerator the night before baking.

Ingredients

2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), very soft
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups old-fashioned whole rolled oats (not instant or quick cook)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 cups chopped walnuts

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350F, and line 4 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, butter, sugars, vanilla, and mix with a spoon until smooth.

Add the oats, flour, baking soda, salt, and stir to combine.
Add the walnuts and stir to combine.

Using a muffin {¼ cup} scoop, form mounds and place on a prepared baking sheet spaced about 2 inches apart (6 cookies on each sheet)

Bake 2 pans for about 20 minutes, switching pans halfway through baking.
Repeat with the second two pans. Cool the cookies on the parchment on the kitchen counter.

Cookies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Classic Risotto With Shrimp and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

 

I find a dish of risotto to be enough for dinner, however, if you would like more add a green salad and some Italian bread.

2-3 servings

Ingredients

1/2 pound shrimp, with shells

Stock
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Shells from 1/2 pound of shrimp
4 cups water
1 teaspoon seafood seasoning

Risotto
4 cups shrimp stock
1/4 cup butter
¼ cup minced shallots
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper
½ cup diced sun-drained tomatoes
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Chopped parsley

Directions

Make the shrimp stock
Place the ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, turn the heat to a simmer and cook for 1- minute. Strain the stock and return the liquid to the pot. use the stock to make the risotto.
Bring the stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan; keep at a gentle simmer.

Heat a wide saucepan or deep skillet over medium heat. Add the butter, shallots, and garlic and cook until the shallots have softened about 2 minutes. Pour in the rice and cook, stirring pretty much constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes, so the rice can absorb the oil.
Pour in the wine and stir. Season with salt and white pepper and bring to a simmer. You want the liquid at a steady simmer. Stir often, scraping the bottom of the pan. When most of the wine has been absorbed – ladle in 1 cup of the shrimp stock. Keep at a simmer, stirring until the rice absorbs most of this liquid. Continue the process, adding stock by the cupful, until you’ve added 3 cups of stock.

Add the shrimp and tomatoes with the last cup of stock and simmer until the rice is al dente. Stir in the cream and cheese and heat until the mixture is hot. Spoon into serving bowls and sprinkle with chopped parsley.


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