Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

America’s Culinary Stories-She Crab Soup

America is a melting pot that was formed by the hard-working people who migrated here from lands as far east as China and Japan, as far north as Russia and Europe. They utilized American supplies and prepared them in ways that they had prepared them in their homeland. True American food is a collection of these culinary traditions passed down from generation to generation”.Each culture brought its cooking methods, food, and spices to America. They farmed the soil, hunted game, and incorporated their ways into the food of America.

She-crab soup is a rich soup, similar to bisque, made of milk or heavy cream, fish stock, Atlantic blue crab meat, and (traditionally) crab roe, and a small amount of dry sherry. It may be thickened either by heat reduction or with a purée of boiled rice; it may also include such seasonings as mace and shallots or onions. The soup is named for the “she-crab”, or female crab, originally a gravid (roe-carrying) crab, as the orange crab roe comprise a chief ingredient in traditional she-crab soup.

The soup is a regional specialty from Tidewater Virginia, the South Carolina Lowcountry, and the Georgia coast. It is commonly featured on the menus of many Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia restaurants.

Culinary historian John Martin Taylor credits the Scottish settlers who arrived in the Carolinas in the early 1700s with bringing their famous seafood bisque recipes called partan-bree, a crab and rice soup, to the area.

The addition of the crab roe (or crab eggs) is credited to William Deas, a butler and a cook to R. Goodwyn Rhett, mayor of Charleston. According to the local legend, William Howard Taft (1857-1930), 27th president of the United States, was being “wined and dined” by Mayor R. Goodwyn Rhett (1862-1939), mayor of Charleston from 1903 to 1911 residence – the home of one of the original signers of the United States Constitution, John Rutledge. Rhett’s most prominent guest was William Howard Taft, who visited Charleston in 1909 and again in 1910. Supposedly, the Rhetts’ asked their butler to “dress up” the pale crab soup they usually served. The butler added orange-hued crab eggs to give color and improve the flavor, thus inventing the Charleston delicacy known as She Crab Soup.

Today this historic home is known as The John Rutledge House Inn and is a well-known bed and breakfast offering gracious southern hospitality. John Rutledge built this elegant home as a wedding gift for his bride Elizabeth Grimke in 1763.

John Rutledge House Inn She Crab Soup Recipe

8 servings

Ingredients

5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
2 cups crab meat
3 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup chicken stock
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2/3 teaspoon mace
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 cup heavy cream
Salt to taste
1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
3 tablespoons sherry
2 eggs, hard-boiled and grated (optional)
Paprika

John Rutledge House Inn She Crab Soup Instructions:
Recipe courtesy of The John Rutledge House Inn.

In a large heavy pot over low heat, melt butter; add celery, mace, and white pepper. Cook until the celery is almost transparent.

king, heat the milk and chicken stock in a small saucepan, until just hot, but not boiling.

When the celery mix is done cooking, stir in the flour to make a Roux-type mixture. Do not brown but heat enough to bubble for several minutes.

Slowly stir in the hot milk mixture and salt to the roux. Add the crab meat, cream, Worcestershire Sauce, and sherry. Let simmer for approximately 30 minutes or until thickened to appropriate consistency.

To serve, sprinkle with grated hard-boiled eggs and some paprika.

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo

Chicken Broccoli And Gnocchi

Ingredients

17.5 oz {500 gr} package shelf-stable potato gnocchi {DeCecco}
1 1/2 lb chicken breasts, boneless skinless (about 2), cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups medium broccoli florets
1 recipe alfredo sauce, see below
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Parmesan cheese for serving
Basil leaves

Directions

Cook gnocchi per instructions.As they rise to the top of the water, scoop them out with a large spider or slotted spoon onto a large mixing bowl. Add the broccoli florets and bring the water back to a boil. Cook for 6 minutes. Drain in a colander.
Season chicken on both sides with garlic powder, salt, and pepper

In a skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Once hot, add the seasoned chicken and sear 2 minutes per side, until crispy. Turn down heat to low, cover the skillet and cook for another 5 minutes, until chicken is cooked and tender.
Prepare the alfredo sauce recipe in the pasta pot.
Add the drained gnocchi and broccoli to the sauce. Toss until well combined. Gently fold in the chicken. Warm over low heat.

Pour into a serving bowl.
Top with fresh parmesan cheese and basil leaves.

Alfredo Sauce

Ingredients

1 stick butter {8 tablespoons}
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat until the butter is melted and the ingredients are combined.

What Is In Season-Green Beans

Sicilian Potato and Green Bean Salad

Ingredients

1 ½ pound {about 5} unpeeled red new potatoes, steamed
1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup sun-dried tomato strips packed in olive oil
Salt

Dressing
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon capers, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 hard-cooked [steamed} egg, steamed and mashed
¼ cup olive oil from the sun-dried tomatoes
¼ cup packed fresh basil leaves, cut into very thin strips

Directions

How to steam the eggs and potatoes

I don’t boil eggs in water, instead, I steam them and they come out perfect every time. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a pot with the steaming basket in it. When the water is boiling add the eggs to the basket, cover the pot, and set a timer for 12 minutes. When the timer goes off, put the eggs in a bowl of ice water until completely cooled.

ill a pot with one inch of water and put a steamer basket inside. Place the potatoes in the steamer basket and bring water to a boil. Cover and cook until potatoes are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain. As soon as they are cool enough to handle, thinly slice the potatoes.
If you do not have a steamer basket, you can cook the eggs and potatoes in the conventional; way.

In a 4-quart Dutch oven combine green beans and enough salted water to cover. Bring to boiling over high heat; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Drain. Let stand at room temperature for about 1 hour or until cool.

For the dressing

Finely shred peel from lemon; measure 2 teaspoons lemon peel. Juice lemon; measure 3 tablespoons of juice.

For the salad

in a salad bowl combine oil, 2 teaspoons lemon peel, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, the capers, anchovies, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Mash the egg and stir it into the dressing.

Oven-Baked Chicken Thighs

Ingredients

2 lbs {5} chicken thighs
5 teaspoons lemon pepper
5 tablespoons Dijon Honey Mustard
1 cup unseasoned panko crumbs

Ingredients

Season the thighs with lemon pepper and refrigerate for several houses.

When ready to cool:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and oil a baking dish.
Brush the chicken with mustard on all slides and dredge in panko. Place in the baking dish.

Cook for 45 to 50 minutes and the chicken is crispy and registers 165 degrees on an instant meat thermometer.

Oven Roasted Vegetables And Pork Chops

Pork
2 thick-cut bone-in pork chops
olive oil
2 tablespoons pork seasoning
¼ cup honey Dijon mustard
½ cup unseasoned panko crumbs

Directions

Coat the pork with the seasoning and refrigerate for several hours. When ready to cook , brush the mustard on the chope
S and dredge the meat in the panko. Press the crumbs on firmly.
Preheat an oven to 400 degrees.F.

Heat an oven-safe heavy skillet over high heat.add 2 tablespoons of oil and Sear the pork chops for 2 minutes on each side.
Transfer skillet immediately to the oven and cook until the internal temperature of the chop reaches 145 degrees, about 15 minutes.
Let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Vegetables
1 large sweet potato
2 large yellow squash
5 large carrots
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
¼ cup orange juice
2 fresh thyme sprigs
¼ cup chopped fresh chives

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Scrub the vegetables with a vegetable brush,
Trim the ends pff the carrots, squash and potatoes. Leave the carrots whole. Cut the squash into quarters lengthwise and the sweeter potato into sixths lengthwise.
Place vegetables on a 16 x 12 x 1 inch baking sheet or in a baking dish large enough to hold the vegetables.
Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Season with salt amd pepper. Sprinkle with orange juice and place pieces of thyme on top.
Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, remove from the pan from the oven and toss vegetables. Place back in the oven and bake for an additional 10=15 minutes, until fork tender. Place the vegetables on a serving platter and sprinkle with chopped chives.

Italian Style Tuna Steaks For Dinner

Tuna Steaks

2 servings

Ingredients

2 5-oz. boneless, skinless wild-caught yellowfin tuna steaks
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup flour
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup green olives, such as Cerignola
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Directions

Season the tuna with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour. Shake off any excess.
Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange the tuna in the skillet in a single layer and cook, turning once, until done to your liking (3 to 4 minutes for medium-rare). Transfer the tuna to a plate.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the shallot to the skillet. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, olives, basil, and a few grinds of pepper; cook until warmed through and the tomatoes are just softened, about 2 minutes more. Remove the skillet from the heat and gently stir in the lemon juice.
Return the tuna steaks to the skillet to warm over low heat.

Serve with the sauce and a pasta side dish.

Lemon Green Bean Pasta

Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches

You can buy rolls if you choose but homemade really make these sandwiches. Serve the sandwiches with pickles and your favorite sandwich sides.

Italian Sub Rolls

6 rolls

Ingredients

Overnight Starter
3/4 cup (85g) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup (113g) lukewarm water
1/8 teaspoon instant yeast

Dough
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2/3 cup (152g) lukewarm water
2 3/4 cups (326g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/4 teaspoons (8g) salt

Directions

To make the starter: Mix the starter ingredients in a small bowl, cover, and let rest at room temperature overnight.

To make the dough
Combine the starter and the remainder of the dough ingredients, and mix and knead by hand, or using a stand mixer, to make a smooth dough.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover it, and let it rise at room temperature until it’s very puffy, about 90 minutes, turning it over and gently deflating it after 45 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface. Divide it into six equal pieces.

Roll the pieces into cylinders, 4 1/2″ in length. Flatten the cylinders slightly; dough rises more in the center, so this will give a gently rounded top versus a high top.

Place the loaves on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes. While they’re rising, preheat the oven to 425°F.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 190°F.

Remove the rolls from the oven and transfer them to a rack to cool. Store, well-wrapped, at room temperature for several days.

Easy Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches

2 servings

Ingredients

1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, grated
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
10 oz shaved deli roast beef
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 sub rolls, split
4 thin slices of Provolone or American or Processed cheese, about 1 ounce each

Directions

In a mixing bowl combine the onion, peppers, garlic, oil, and Italian seasoning. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat evenly.

Spread the vegetables on a stovetop grill pan or large skillet in a single layer. Grill over high heat until they start to brown and are tender, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a bowl.
Place the beef slices in a medium bowl, add just enough oil to coat them lightly, and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat.

Grill the steak slices on the grill pan over high heat, 1 minute, Turn the beef slices over with a wide spatula and cook for 1 minute

Warm the rolls.
Build the sandwiches with cheese on the bottom, meat, onions, and peppers. Serve warm.

 

Chicken And Vegetables Over Poienta

Chicken And Vegetables

ingredients

4 chicken cutlets, about 2 lb
8 slices Prosciutto di Parma
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 small zucchini, about 1 ½ lb, sliced ¼-inch thick circles
2 cups diced plum tomatoes
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
½ cup finely diced red onion
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 cup shreddedMozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
Polenta, recipe below

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 F.
Sprinkle the cutlets lightly with salt and pepper
Wrap two slices of prosciutto around each chicken cutlet.
Pour the olive oil into a 9×13-inch baking dish and spread the oil over the bottom of the dish.
Layer the zucchini slices overlapping each other across the bottom of the baking dish.
Place the prosciutto-wrapped chicken on top of the zucchini.
Top the chicken evenly with the diced tomatoes, onion, and bell pepper.
Sprinkle the mixture with salt and Italian seasoning.
Bake for25 minutes or until the chicken registers 155-160 degrees F on an instant meat thermometer.
Sprinkle the cheese over each breast and return the dish to the oven. Bake 10 minutes or until the cheese melts and the chicken registers 165 degrees F.

Creamy Polenta

4 servings

Ingredients

2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cups whole milk
1 cup polenta
¼ cup cream cheese
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

Place the broth and milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add polenta, whisking to prevent clumping. Reduce heat to low. Add thyme and the cream cheese, and cook, stirring constantly, until liquid is absorbed and polenta is creamy and thoroughly cooked for about 10 minutes.
Add cheese and salt, stirring gently until incorporated.

To serve
Spread 1/4th of the polenta on a serving plate and top with baked chicken breast and vegetables.

 

Brunch Casserole

Suggested dishes to serve with the casserole: baked ham, sliced tomatoes, muffins, fruit salad.

8 servings

Ingredients

2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 large shallot, minced
1 bunch Tuscan kale {spinach/swiss chard}
1 large baking potato, peeled
1 garlic clove, minced
6 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Coat a medium baking dish with vegetable spray.
Remove the stems from the kale. Wash the kale well. Chop and dry the leaves.
Shred the baking potato on a box grater.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, and mustard. Add the garlic, shallot, and, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, the shredded potato, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
Stir the kale into the egg mixture, Mix well.
Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Top the casserole with the remaining mozzarella cheese,
Cover with foil. and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake,
uncovered, for 15 minutes, until the top is lightly brown. Let rest 10 minutes before cutting into serving pieces.

 

Lemon Green Bean Pasta Dinner

Pasta

Ingredients

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups green beans, cut into 2-inch lengths
1 lb bucatini pasta
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for drizzling
4 cloves garlic, grated
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Zest and juice of 3 lemons
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup grated Pecorino-Romano cheese, plus more for serving
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook until bright green and just barely cooked through, 2 minutes. Use a spider or strainer to transfer the green beans to a colander.
Add the bucatini to the same pot of boiling water. Let cook to al dente, about 3 minutes less than the package instructions. Reserve ½ cup of pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta.

Return the pot to the stovetop and add the olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute, then add the lemon zest and juice and 1/4 cup pasta water. Return the pasta to the pot. Add the butter and green beans, then toss to coat the pasta and beans in the sauce. Keep tossing until the sauce is glossy and thickened, about 3 minutes more.

Turn off the heat and gradually stir in the cheese, tossing constantly. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Divide pasta among 4 serving bowls and garnish with parsley, more Pecorino, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Italian Sausage And Peppers

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb Italian sausage
2 bags of mini peppers, stems removed
1 large onion cut into thick slices
2 garlic cloves, grated
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Directions

Heat the oil in a large skillet with a cover. Cut the sausage links in half and add them to the skillet. Brown the sausage on all sides. Add the remaining ingredients. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the ingredients until the vegetables are tender.

Italian Style Pork cutlets

Pork Cutlets

2-3 servings {easily doubled or tripled}

Ingredients

5-6 lean pork cutlets,½ inch thick
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup unseasoned Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 plum tomatoes, sliced thin
5-6 slices of mozzarella cheese

Directions

Spread the mustard evenly over the pork.
Sprinkle the thyme and pepper over the cutlets.
Coat each piece of pork with the panko breadcrumbs.

.Heat oven to 425°F. Spread the olive oil over the bottom of a baking dish just large enough to hold the cutlets.
Between sheets of plastic wrap or waxed paper, flatten each pork cutlet to about 1/4-inch thickness.
Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown. Top each cutlet with tomato slices and mozzarella cheese. Return to the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Swiss Chard And Mashed Potato Combo

Chard Recipe

2 cups cooked Swiss Chard
4 medium baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 garlic cloves
Salt to taste
Olive oil

Directions

Cook the potatoes and garlic in boiling salted water until soft. Drain and return the potatoes and garlic to the pot. Mash well. Moisten with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the drained cooked Swiss Chard. Mix well, Heat over low heat until hot.

 


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