Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

The Beauty of Locally Grown Produce

 

Easy Corn Cakes

ingredients

2 cups corn kernels
¼ cup finely chopped green bell pepper
¼ finely chopped onion
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon honey
3/4 cup heavy cream
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying

 

Directions

In a large bowl, stir together the corn kernels, bell pepper, onion, honey, and cheddar cheese.
In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt, and the cayenne pepper.
Combine the flour mixture and corn mixture.
Stir in the eggs and heavy cream until the batter is well-combined.

Heat the oven to its lowest setting and have ready an oven-proof plate.

Coat the bottom of a large sauté pan with vegetable oil and place it over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, scoop 2- to 3-tablespoon mounds of the corn batter into the pan, spreading it lightly into a flat, circular shape. Cook the fritters for 2 to 3 minutes, then flip them once and cook them for an additional 3 minutes until they’re golden brown and cooked through.

Transfer the caked to the plate and place it in the warm oven.

Repeat the cooking process with the remaining batter, adding more oil to the pan if needed.

Zucchini Parmesan

Ingredients

2 small zucchini, cut into ½ inch slices
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

heat the oil in a small skillet. Place the zucchini slices in the pan in a single layer. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let for 2-3 minutes. Turn and cook another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with cheese.

Lemon Chicken Cutlets

Ingredients
Marinade
4 6-ounce thin, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
¼ cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
14 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large fresh thyme stem
Salt and pepper to taste

Coating
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Chopped fresh parsley

Directions

Combine the chicken cutlets with the marinade. Refrigerate, covered, for several hours.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and butter, and swirl them around the pan.
Season the flour with salt and pepper. Durian the chicken cutlets and dredge in the flout.

Add the chicken to the pan and turn the heat to high and saute the chicken for 2 minutes per side. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

Farm To Table Pizza

Pizza Dough

Ingredients
1 (.25 ounce) package of instant yeast
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
3 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

Combine all the ingredients for the dough in the large bowl of an electric mixer and with the paddle attachment mix until the ingredients come together around the paddle. Attach the dough hook and knead the dough for 5-6 minutes.

Spray a large ziplock plastic bag with olive oil cooking spray. Place the dough in the bag and close the top. Place the bag in the refrigerator overnight.

When ready to make the pizza, remove the bag from the refrigerator 30 minutes before making the pizza. Turn the oven to 450 degrees F and let the oven heat for 30 minutes.

Topping Ingredients

Tomato Mixture
1 ½ cups chopped Italian tomatoes
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small garlic clove, minced

Pizza Topping
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
Kosher salt
1 small clove of garlic, minced
2 medium yellow squash, trimmed and thinly sliced into circles
8 oz sliced mozzarella cheese
1 cup coarsely grated mozzarella
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Crushed red pepper flakes

Directions

Combine the tomato mixture ingredients in a mixing bowl and set aside.

Spread the squash slices on a kitchen towel and sprinkle lightly with salt. Let rest for 20 minutes and then squeeze the water out of the squash. Place in a bowl and add the onion, garlic, and oil. Mix well.

To assemble the pizza
Spray or oil the pizza pan and spread the dough to the edges. Place the sliced mozzarella on top of the dough. Spread the tomato mixture over the cheese. Spread the squash mixture over the tomatoes. Top with shredded mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, oregano, and crushed red pepper.
Bake the pizza on the bottom rack of the oven for 15-20 minutes.

 

Salads For Dinner

Shrimp Salad In Cantaloupe Rings

2 servings

Ingredients

8 oz cooked shrimp, diced into small pieces
¼ cup finely chopped onion
¼ cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 hard-boiled egg, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
2 center-cut slices of cantaloupe kept in circles, about 1-inch thick, peeled and seeded

Directions

Combine the salad ingredients in a mixing bowl. Chill in the refrigerator for several hours.
Place a cantaloupe circle on each of the two plates. Divide the shrimp salad in half and pole into the cantaloupe rings and serve with the Zucchini Salad and muffins.


Zucchini Salad

2 servings

Ingredients

Salad
1 medium zucchini, sliced into very thin circles
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1/4 cup toasted walnuts
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Lemon Vinaigrette
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, grated
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/4 to 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

Whisk together the dressing ingredients and set them aside.

In a medium serving bowl, combine the salad ingredients. Add half the dressing and mix well. Use the remaining dressing for another recipe.

Mini Corn Muffins

Ingredients

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons canola oil

Directions

Combine the cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, flour, and salt in a bowl. Whisk in the egg substitute, milk, and oil together.
Fill your mini muffin cups with batter up to three-fourths full.
Set your oven to 400 degrees F. Place the muffin cups inside the oven then let them cook for ten to twelve minutes or just until the toothpick inserted at the middle of the muffin does not have anything sticking to it when pulled out. Then allow them to cool down for five more minutes then place them on the wire rack.

 

 

Farm To Table Dinner

Cavatelli with Basil Pesto and Green Beans

4 servings

Ingredients

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 oz green beans, cut into 2-inch lengths
1 lb dried cavatelli pasta
1 cup grated Pecorino-Romano cheese, plus more for serving
½ cup basil pesto, see recipe below

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Let cook to al dente, about 3 minutes less than the package instructions. Add the green beans and cook for the remainder of the time. Reserve ½ cup of pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta. Place in a serving bowl. Gently mix in the [esto, pasta water, and cheese. Serve in individual serving bowls.

 


Basil Pesto

Ingredients

4 packed cups of washed basil leaves
½ cup shelled pistachio nuts, pignoli, or walnuts
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions

Place the pistachios, garlic, salt, and pepper in a processor bowl. Process until the nuts and garlic are chopped.

Add the basil leaves and process for a minute or two. In the opening spout at the top, pour the olive oil as you process.

Keep processing until the mixture is smooth. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Caprese Salad

2-3 servings

Ingredients

2 large vine ripe tomatoes
4 oz fresh mozzarella
Black Olives
Extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, sliced thin

Directions

Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella cheese into 1/4″ slices.

Assemble the salad by layering slices of tomato, mozzarella, and basil leaves on a serving plate.

Season with salt, pepper, and drizzle with olive oil.

Scatter a few olives around the serving plate and serve.

Fish Houise Dinner

Egg Batter Pan-Fried Flounder

Ingredients

½ pounds boneless flounder or sole fillets
Salt and pepper
1 large egg
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour for dredging
Mild olive oil or vegetable oil for frying
Chopped flat-leaf parsley
Lemon wedges

Directions

Season the fish fillets with salt and pepper. Make the egg batter by whisking together the egg, a pinch of salt,  and milk in a shallow bowl.
Submerge the fish in the egg batter.

Pour about 1/4 inch of oil into a wide skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil looks wavy, lift the fish from the egg batter one piece at a time, allowing excess batter to drip off. (Discard remaining batter.) Carefully lay each fillet in the pan and let fry gently until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Remove and blot briefly on paper towels, then transfer to a warmed serving platter.

Sprinkle with parsley, and garnish with lemon wedges.

Sauteed Corn

Ingredients

4 cups corn kernels
1 small onion dice
¼ of green bell pepper, finely diced
2 tablespoons butter
Salt & pepper to taste
2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/8 teaspoon dried

Directions

Combine onion, bell pepper, and butter in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add thyme.
Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Homemade Coleslaw

Prepare the day before serving.

Ingredients

Slaw
Half a medium head of green cabbage
Half a medium head of red cabbage
1 large garden carrot or 2 regular-sized carrots
2 scallions

Dressing
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey or agave syrup
/21 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions

Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a large bowl.
Finely shred the cabbages and carrots. Finely chop the scallions.

Add the dressing and stir well/ Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.
Stir well before serving

Warm Weather Cooking

No need to turn on the oven for these easy and delicious recipes.

Easy Mac And Cheese

Ingredients

4 cups (1 lb) elbow macaroni
Salt
11/2cups milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
½ teaspoon yellow mustard powder
¼ cup panko crumbs
8 ounces processed Velveeta cheese, diced

Directions

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water for 5 minutes. Drain.
In the same pot over low heat, melt the cheeses in the milk, butter, and mustard until smooth. Stir in the drained macaroni. Serve.

Chesapeake Style Salmon Patties

You can use canned salmon, but I prefer this method for using cooked salmon in recipes because the fish stays fresh and moist.

Ingredients

1- 6 oz wild-caught salmon filet, skin removed
Celery leaves and parsley stems
1 cups saltine cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning or other seafood seasonings
1/3 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Lemon wedges and tartar sauce for serving

Directions

In a medium skillet, place a layer of celery leaves and parsley stems in the bottom of the pan and add ½ cup of water. Bring to a simmer. Sprinkle the salmon fillets with a bit of salt. Place salmon fillets, skin-side down on the pan, and cover. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove to a plate to cool for about 15 minutes. Shred the filet. Clean out the skillet.

In a mixing bowl, combine the cracker crumbs with the following 7 ingredients {egg}.

Fold in the salmon. With floured hands, form into two patties. Heat the oil in the skillet over medium heat.

Cook the patties for 3 minutes on each side or until lightly golden. Serve with lemon or tartar sauce.

More Seasonal Favorites

Pasta Aglio E Olio With Zucchini

Ingredients

8 oz spaghetti
1 tablespoon salt for the pasta
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ of a small onion, minced
1 small zucchini, finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ cup Parmesan cheese

Directions

Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions for al dente. Drain.
While the pasta is cooking, saute the oil, onion, garlic, red pepper, and zucchini just until the zucchini is slightly softened. Toss with the cooked pasta and then with the cheese.

Arugula, Avocado, Bell Pepper, Tomato, and Cucumber Salad

Ingredients

3 cup arugula
1 large tomato cut into bite-size pieces
1 large avocado cut into bite-size pieces
1 Cucumber cut into bite-size pieces
1 small red bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 small red onion cut into bite-size pieces
Ranch Dressing

Place the arugula and vegetables in a salad bowl. Mix gently. Dress with Ranch dressing to taste.

Seasonal Favorites

Jewish Deli Style Pickled Green Tomatoes

Ingredients

½ serrano or jalapeno chile
1 pound firm green tomatoes about 4 green tomatoes
6 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons dill seeds
½ tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 cup of water
2 tablespoons Kosher Salt

Directions

Prep the ingredients. Wash the jalapeno and tomatoes. Cut the stem end off the jalapeno and slice it in half lengthwise. Cut the tomatoes in half and cut the big ones into quarters. . Peel the garlic cloves and slice them in half lengthwise.

Prep the bottle. Make sure you have a really clean bottle and lid. The lid insert should be new so that it has a good seal. The best thing to do is buy canning jars and lids from Ball. They are in a lot of hardware and grocery stores. Sterilize them by submerging them in a boiling water bath.

Put the garlic, dill seeds, chile, and peppercorns into the bottle first. Then cram the tomatoes in leaving about 1/2″ – 3/4″(12.7 – 19.1 mm) of space at the top.

Make the brine. Combine the vinegar, water, and salt in a saucepan or pot. Bring to a boil, and stir until all the salt is dissolved. Pour the hot brine over the tomatoes and cukes to within 1/4″ (6.4 mm) of the top. Wipe the jar top, put the lids on, and tighten.

Age. Let the pickles sit for 2 to 3 days (1 week is optimum) in the refrigerator before serving. Keep refrigerated for up to 3 months.

The brine will taste very salty at first, but don’t panic. The juices from the tomatoes or cucumbers will dilute the concentration of salt in a few days.

Zucchini Bread

one 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf

Ingredients

3/4 cup light brown sugar or dark brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 cups grated or shredded zucchini, somewhere between firmly packed
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted until golden

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan. I line my baking pan with parchment paper cut to fit the pan.

In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the brown sugar, milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.

Whisk the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon into the flour, then add the dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients in the bowl, stirring or beating gently until smooth.

Stir in the zucchini and walnuts.

Scoop the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing it if necessary.

Bake the bread for 55 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely. For best results, don’t slice until it’s cool.

Store the bread at cool room temperature, well wrapped, for several days; freeze for longer storage.

 

Strawberry Season

In my part of the world, strawberries are ready for picking. This past weekend, a local farmer had beautiful ripe strawberries for sale.  I bought a few quarts and here are two recipes I made with these beauties.

Strawberry Summer Muffins

Ingredients:

1 cup sliced fresh strawberries, plus 15 strawberry halves
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup room temperature butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
⅓ cup sliced almonds

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside. For this batter, I needed 15 cups so I used three cups in a second muffin pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until combined and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium-low and add the eggs, beating just until blended. Scrape the side and bottom of the bowl well halfway through.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; then add half of the flour mixture to the mixing bowl with the butter mixture, beating just until blended. Add in the milk, lemon juice, almond extract, and remaining flour mixture, beating just until blended and scraping down the sides of the bowl. With a spatula, fold in the sliced strawberries and almonds.

Add 1/4-cup of muffin batter to each prepared muffin cup.
Top with a strawberry half.
Bake until tops are just dry to the touch (about 22-25 minutes). Let cool completely in the pan before removing to a serving plate.

Strawberry Waffle And Pancake Topping

Ingredients

2 cups sliced strawberries
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Directions

Place the ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a low boil. Turn the heat to low, partially cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator until needed or freeze some for a future meal.

Chipotle Pork Chops

Ingredients

2 bone-in pork chops, 6 oz each
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground chipotle pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons flout
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 small bell pepper, seeded and sliced
Half a medium onion sliced
¼ cup salsa

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Combine the flour, chipotle pepper, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Press the mixture on all sides for the pork chops.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high. Add the pork and cook until brown, about 3 minutes. Turn the pork chops over and transfer the skillet to the oven.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F. The cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the pork chops.

Remove the chops to a serving plate. Add the remaining oil, peppers, and onions to the skillet and cook until softened. Stir in the salsa and heat. Top the pork chops with the sauce. Serve with mashed potatoes and a vegetable.

Or make my Potato Stuffed Cabbage serve with the pork chops.


%d bloggers like this: