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Fried Asparagus, Ham & Cheese Bundles

Fried Asparagus, Ham & Cheese Bundles

9894b5c3637ce24410227644cacce0c24 thin slices mild, easy to melt cheese
4 Asparagus Spears, cooked until just tender
4 thin slices cooked Ham
Beaten Egg for coating
Flour for coating
Olive Oil

Put 1 slice of the mild cheese and 1 asparagus spear on each slice of cooked ham and carefully roll each one up to form a cylinder. Dip the ham rolls in the egg and then the flour, then fry them in a little hot oil until they are golden brown. Serve immediately.

Tiropita

Tiropita

1 lb. Feta cheese, coarsely shredded
7 oz. Ricotta
â…“ C. whole milk
27 sheets phyllo dough (~9″x10″)
Olive oil

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Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Mix and mash feta, ricotta, and milk together in a small bowl. Lay phyllo dough out flat and keep loosely covered with a damp cloth or towel between uses. On a large cutting board (or similar work surface), lay one sheet of phyllo dough out horizontally. Brush with olive oil. Repeat with two more layers of phyllo and olive oil. Spoon 2 tablespoons of filling along one short end, leaving about an inch border on each side. Spread filling in an even line. Roll it up fairly tightly, starting with a roll to cover filling, then folding in the inch overhang and continuing to roll. Brush the entire surface with more olive oil. Arrange in prepared pan (seam side up) and repeat with remaining phyllo to make 8 more rolls. Bake for ~30 minutes or until golden. Cool for just a bit until you’re able to handle. Enjoy warm.

Piperies me Tyri: Spicy Stuffed Peppers with Feta

Piperies me Tyri: Spicy Stuffed Peppers with Feta

peppers_cheese_170wh18-20 bull’s horn, Anaheim, or Cubanelle peppers
1 1/3 pounds of feta cheese
3 tablespoons of olive oil
4 heaping tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
2 small hot peppers (of your choice), finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
Bread

Preheat oven to 390°F (200°C). Cut a cap off the tops of peppers, and scoop out seeds, taking care not to break or tear the pepper. In a bowl, mash the feta with a fork until soft. Add oil, parsley, hot peppers, salt, and pepper and mix until very well combined. Using a small spoon, stuff the cheese mixture into the peppers (pressing down with the handle of the spoon to completely fill) to 1/2 inch from the top. Press a small piece of bread into the pepper to keep the cheese filling from melting out during cooking. Place the caps back on each pepper. Lay the peppers in a lightly greased or nonstick baking pan and roast for 20 minutes or until they soften in a 390°F (200°C) preheated oven.

Fried Tomato Fritters (Tomatokeftedes)

Fried Tomato Fritters (Tomatokeftedes)

tomato-fritters10½ ounces lovely ripe red tomatoes (about 3)
2½ ounces red onion, coarsely chopped (1 small)
3 heaping tablespoons coarsely chopped mint
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
olive oil. for frying

Cut the top hats off the unpeeled tomatoes and discard. Slice the tomatoes into 6 wedges, then chop each wedge into 4 or 5 pieces. Scrape off the board into a bowl but leave behind the excess juice. Add the onion, mint and half the flour to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper and knead in well. Leave for 10 minutes or so to soften. Make a paste with the remaining flour, the baking powder and 1/3 cup of water. Add to the bowl and mix in well. Heat olive oil to a depth of about 5/8 inch in a large nonstick skillet until very hot. Scoop up a good tablespoon of the mixture and with another spoon, scrape this into the hot oil in lovely irregular fritters. Fry a few at a time, turning them over when golden to fry the other side. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with a little extra salt and serve on a clean plate.

Saganaki

Saganaki

Saganaki dishes take their name from the pan in which they are made. A sagani is a two-handled pan that is made in many different materials. In the market, look for a small paella pan, small cast iron skillet, or even an oval au gratin dish.

Saganaki4585-thumb-596x350-174228

1 pound (about 1/2 kg) of kefalotyri or kasseri cheese
1/2 cup of olive oil
2/3 cup of flour for dredging
2-3 lemons, quartered

Cut the cheese into slices or wedges that are 1/2 inch thick by 2 1/2 to 3 inches wide. Moisten each slice with cold water and dredge in the flour. In a sagani (Greek pan used for this dish) or a small heavy-bottomed frying pan (cast-iron works best), heat the oil over medium-high heat, getting the oil very hot, not quite smoking, and sear each slice in 1 tablespoon of oil until golden-brown on both sides. Serve hot with a last-minute squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Pecorino Cheese Plate with Pear, Fennel and Walnuts

Pecorino Cheese Plate with Pear, Fennel and Walnuts

A large chunk (about 12 oz.) pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano (Parmesan) cheese

2 medium fennel bulbs (about 1 lb.)

2 ripe Bosc or Asian pears

About 4 oz. (1 C.) walnut halves

About 8 oz. green olives, preferably Picholine or Cerignola (optional)

Remove the cheese from the refrigerator at least 1 hour prior to serving.

 

Trim the stems from the fennel, cut out the cores and remove the tough outer layers. Slice the fennel lengthwise into thin, sickle-shaped slices.   Place in a bowl of ice water and refrigerate for up to several hours.  Using a paring knife, quarter the unpeeled pears lengthwise, remove and discard the stem and core and slice each quarter thinly or thickly, as desired.  If desired, toast the walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat, shaking the skillet occasionally, just until they are warmed, about 3 minutes.  Arrange the fennel, pear, cheese, walnuts and, if desired, olives on a cheese or cutting board and/or several small dishes. Serve immediately.

 

 

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Three-Pepper and Sweet Onion Roast with Kalamata Olives

Three-Pepper and Sweet Onion Roast with Kalamata Olives

1 large green pepper

1 large red pepper

1 large yellow pepper

1 large sweet onion, such as Vidalia

1 T. extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly

Ground pepper

8 Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped

1 T. chopped fresh rosemary leaves, or 1 tsp. dried rosemary leaves

 

Preheat BBQ or oven to 400°F. Cut bell peppers into quarters. Cut each quarter lengthwise into strips ½ inch wide. Cut the onion into 8 wedges. Combine the bell pepper strips and onion wedges in a shallow 9-by-13 inch baking dish, BBQ “veggie basket” or wrap in foil. Drizzle evenly with the olive oil and sprinkle with ¼ tsp. salt and pepper to taste. (Take care when adding salt, as the olives are very salty.) Roast the vegetables, turning them once or twice, until golden and tender, about 50 minutes. If using dried rosemary, sprinkle it over the vegetables halfway through the roasting time. When the vegetables are ready, sprinkle them with the olives and with the fresh rosemary, if using, and roast for 5 minutes longer. Transfer the vegetables to a warmed bowl and serve at once.

 

 

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Cracked Green Olives with Herbs and Preserved Lemon

Cracked Green Olives with Herbs and Preserved Lemon

1 lb. brine-cured cracked green olives

¼ C. chopped cilantro

3 T. chopped mint

Peel of ½ preserved lemon, julienned

3 T. preserved lemon juice

2 T. olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

¼ tsp. ground coriander

Red pepper flakes, to taste

 

In a bowl, cover olives with cold water and soak 4 hours to remove excess salt. Drain well. In a bowl, stir together olives and remaining ingredients. Marinate, covered and chilled, at least 6 hours or overnight. Olives may be prepared 1 week ahead. Serve at room temperature.

 

 

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Champinones al Ajillo – Mushrooms in Garlic Sauce

Champinones al Ajillo – Mushrooms in Garlic Sauce

shrooms3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (Spanish preferred)

1/2 lb medium mushroom, stemmed, quartered

4 -6 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced

½ fresh milk Red Chile, seeded and finely diced (or ¼ tsp. crushed Red Chile Flakes)

2 -3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons dry sherry (DO NOT use cooking sherry!)

1/4 cup vegetable broth

1/2 teaspoon spanish paprika

salt, to taste fresh ground black pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley, garnish

Lemon slices, garnish

Crusty Bread, serving

 

In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil until hot but not smoking. Sauté the mushrooms for about 1 minute, add the garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more being careful not to burn!  Add the remaining ingredients except for the parsley and lemon and simmer for 2 minutes more.  Garnish with parsley, add lemon slices to one side and serve with crusty bread for scooping.

 

From Easy Tapas

 

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Merguez Sausage with Halloumi Cheese and Flame-Roasted Peppers

Merguez Sausage with Halloumi Cheese and Flame-Roasted Peppers

8 merguez or spicy sausages (approximately 12 oz.)

1 (8-oz.) block halloumi cheese

1 (8-oz.) jar flame-roasted peppers

1 T. garlic oil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

 NL0209_Merguez_with_Halloumi_lg

Place the sausages into a low-sided roasting pan (this makes the cooking time quicker). Slice the halloumi into 1/4-inch slices and then lay them on and around the sausages in the pan. Take the peppers out of the jar and also strew them around the sausages and cheese, cutting them into smaller slices and pieces as you go, then drizzle over the oil. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, by which time the sausages should have browned and the cheese colored in places.

 

 

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Marinated Roasted Peppers, Olives and Cheese

Marinated Roasted Peppers, Olives and Cheese

6 large red or green bell peppers

1 C. whole Greek or pitted ripe olives

4 oz. mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes

1/4 C. olive or vegetable oil

1/4 C. lemon juice

2 T. chopped fresh parsley

1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano leaves or 1/4 tsp. dried oregano leaves

1 tsp. chopped fresh basil leaves or 1/4 tsp. dried basil leaves

1/2 tsp. chopped fresh sage leaves or 1/8 tsp. dried sage leaves

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

 

Set oven control to broil.   Broil bell peppers with tops about 5 inches from heat, turning occasionally, until skin is blistered and evenly browned. Place peppers in a plastic bag and close tightly. Let stand 20 minutes.   Remove skin, stems, seeds and membranes from peppers. Cut peppers into 1/4-inch strips. Place peppers, olives and cheese in glass bowl or jar.   Shake remaining ingredients in tightly covered container; pour over pepper mixture. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours to blend flavors, stirring occasionally.    Store tightly covered in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.  Turn this recipe into a scrumptious gift by filling a decorative glass jar with the roasted pepper mixture and tying with a pretty ribbon. Attach a copy of the recipe with a sprig of fresh herbs.

 

 

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Salsa Chili Pepper (Molho de Piri Piri)

Salsa Chili Pepper (Molho de Piri Piri)

Piri-piri is the Portuguese name for an extremely hot variety of pepper that traveled to Portugal via Angola. Much of the pepper’s heat comes from the seeds, so use all or part of them, depending upon how hot you want your sauce. Serve this fiery condiment as a marinade or sauce for grilled marinated shrimp (prawns), lobster or chicken.

molho1/2 C. coarsely chopped fresh hot red chili peppers

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 C. olive oil

1/4 C. red wine vinegar, optional

 

Combine all of the ingredients in a jar. Cover and let stand in a cool, dark place for at least 1 week or for up to 1 month. Shake well before using.

 

 

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Greek Chicken Skewers with Fired-Up Cheese

Greek Chicken Skewers with Fired-Up Cheese

8” skewers

1 English Cucumber

2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped

3 Lemons

Salt and Pepper

1 C. whole milk Plain Yogurt

1 1/2 lb. Chicken Tenders (about 20 pieces)

1 T. Oregano or Marjoram, chopped

5 T. EVOO

1 Egg

1/4 C. Flour

1 lb. Kasseri Cheese, 1/2 – 1” thick

1 T. Butter

2 oz. Ouzo or Grappa

Handful Parsley, chopped

 

Preheat grill pan or charcoal grill to high. Submerge bamboo skewers to prevent them from burning. Grate cucumber onto a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out water. Add dried cucumber to a bowl and add half chopped garlic, juice of one lemon, a little salt and plenty of pepper. Mix in the yogurt and reserve. Combine chicken tenders in a bowl with juice of one lemon, oregano, the rest of the chopped garlic, about 2 T. EVOO, salt and pepper. Toss to coat chicken completely. Thread chicken onto skewers. Grill for 3 minutes per side or until cooked through. Crack egg into a shallow dish and whisk well. Dust wedge of cheese in flour and shake off excess. Dredge in egg and flip to coat well. Return to flour, coating on both sides lightly. Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat with remaining 3 T. EVOO. When it just starts to smoke, add butter and swirl around to melt. Carefully add the coated cheese, browning on each side, 2 minutes per side. Remove pan from heat and add ouzo, then replace pan on heat. Stand back and be careful; the pan should flame up. Once flame extinguishes, squeeze juice of last lemon over cheese and sprinkle with parsley. Platter up cheese and serve with chicken skewers and the yogurt sauce.

 

 

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Zucchini Fritters – Meze

Zucchini Fritters – Meze

Although these fritters are at their best when hot, in many Turkish cafés they are served at room temperature accompanied by the yogurt-cucumber sauce called cacik. Traditionally part of the meze course, they also make a nice side dish for seafood, poultry or lamb.

1 pound small zucchini, coarsely grated

Salt

1/2 pound feta cheese, or equal parts feta and kasseri or ricotta

6 green onions, minced

1/2 C. chopped fresh dill

1/4 C. chopped fresh mint

1/4 C. chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1 C. all-purpose flour

Freshly ground pepper

Peanut oil for frying

Yogurt-Cucumber Sauce

Place the zucchini in a sieve or colander, salt it lightly and toss to mix. Let stand for 30 minutes to draw out the excess moisture. Using a kitchen towel, squeeze the zucchini dry and place it in a bowl. Crumble the cheese over the zucchini and add the green onions, dill, mint, parsley, eggs, flour and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to mix well.  In a deep frying pan over medium-high heat, pour in the peanut oil to a depth of 1/4 inch. When the oil is hot, using a serving spoon, drop spoonfuls of the batter into the oil, being careful not to crowd the pan. Fry, turning once, until nicely browned on both sides, 2-3 minutes per side. Using a slotted spoon or spatula, transfer the fritters to paper towels to drain. Keep warm until all the fritters are cooked.   Arrange the fritters on a warmed platter and serve hot.

 

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Asparagi Fritti al Proscuitto

Asparagi Fritti al Proscuitto

16 fresh asparagus spears, washed and trimmed

1 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons butter

2 eggs, beaten together

Flour, for dredging

16 slices prosciutto

1 tablespoon cooking oil

Asparagi Fritti al Proscuitto

Cook Asparagus in boiling salted water until barely tender, about 10  minutes. Drain in a colander, spray with cold water, and pat dry. Lay  asparagus out on a platter. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter and drizzle it  over asparagus spears. Put beaten eggs on one plate and flour for dredging  on another. Heat remaining butter and oil in a skillet. Wrap each asparagus  spear in a slice of prosciutto. Roll them in flour (brush off excess), dip  in egg, and sauté them until golden, about 2 minutes to a side. Drain on  paper towels and serve hot.

 

Roasted Onion Tapenade

Roasted Onion Tapenade

1 lg. Spanish Onion

~ ½ C. EVOO

1 C. packed pitted Kalamata Olives

2-4 T. Oil-packed or water-softened Sun-Dried Tomatoes, drained

3 plump Garlic Cloves, peeled

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Rub onion with 1 T. Olive oil, wrap in foil and bake until very tender, about 2 hours.  Remove onion from foil and let cool to room temperature.  Peel onion and place in bowl of food processor fitted with metal blade.  Add olives, 2 T. sun-dried tomatoes and garlic; pulse until pureed.  Taste and add more tomatoes, if desired.  With motor running, gradually add a quarter C. olive oil (more if you prefer a smoother, thinner tapenade).  Scrape into clean container, cover and store in refrigerator.  Bring to room temperature before serving.

 

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Marinated Mushrooms

Marinated Mushrooms

Marinated Mushrooms1 C. White wine

2 T. Brown sugar

1/4 C. Sliced green onion

1 tsp. Hot red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/2 tsp. Oregano leaves

1/2 C. White wine vinegar

2 Cloves garlic, minced

1/4 C. Diced red pepper

1 lb. Small fresh mushrooms, trim

1/4 tsp. Ground black pepper

 

Combine wine, vinegar, sugar, garlic, green onion, red pepper and red pepper flakes in 8 C. microwaveable casserole. Cover; microwave at high 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture is simmering. Add mushrooms. Cover; microwave at high 6 to 8 minutes or until mushrooms are tender but not mushy. Stir partway through cooking. Stir in salt, oregano and pepper. Let stand, covered, for 30 minutes. Transfer to covered jar or container. Refrigerate up to 1 week.

Marinated Feta and Olive Salad

Marinated Feta and Olive Salad

2 tsp. fennel seeds

2 tsp. orange zest

3 T. orange juice

1 tsp. cracked black pepper

4 ounces feta cheese, cut into 24 (1/2-inch) cubes

24 mint leaves

1/4 large English cucumber, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks

12 pitted green olives, halved

Special equipment: 24 (6-inch) skewers

 

In a medium bowl combine the fennel seeds, orange zest, orange juice, and pepper. Gently stir in the feta and marinate for 1 hour or more.  To make the skewers, place a mint leaf about 3/4-inch up the skewer, then add an olive half, then a chunk of cucumber. Gently place a cube of the marinated feta on the end.

 

Yield: 6 servings

Calories:  80

Fat: 6g

Fiber: 0.5g

 

Grilled Eggplant with Pistachios and Mint Salsa

Grilled Eggplant with Pistachios and Mint Salsa

 

12 small eggplants, 3-4 inches long

salt

Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, sprinkle liberally with salt and let drain in a colander for 30 minutes.

1/2 C. shelled pistachio kernels

1/2 C. loosely packed mint leaves

1/2 C. loosely packed parsley leaves

1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped

2 scallions, coarsely chopped

3/4 C. virgin olive oil

2 T. white wine vinegar

1/4 tsp. sugar

Salt and freshly ground pepper

 

Blend the nuts, mint, parsley, garlic and scallions to form a fairly smooth paste. Stir in rest of ingredients and let stand. Wash the eggplants thoroughly, dry well, brush with oil, and place under a broiler for 4-5 minutes until skins blister and char. Turn over and brush with oil, brown 1 minute until brown, and serve hot with plenty of salsa.

 

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Marinated Olives

Marinated Olives

1 lb. kalamata or other Greek olives

1/4 C. olive or vegetable oil

2 T. chopped fresh parsley

2 T. chopped fresh cilantro

1 T. lemon juice

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

 

Rinse olives with cold water; drain. Place olives in 1-quart jar with tight-fitting lid. Mix all remaining ingredients; pour over olives.   Cover tightly and refrigerate at least 48 hours but no longer than 2 weeks, turning jar upside down occasionally. Serve at room temperature.

 

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Eggplant Caviar

Eggplant Caviar

1/4 C. Olive Oil

2 C. Chopped Celery

2 lg. Onions, chopped

2 lg. Eggplants, peeled and cut into 1” cubes

6 tsp. Red Wine Vinegar

1 tsp. Sugar

1/4 C. Tomato Paste

2 C. Mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

2 tsp. Capers, rinsed and drained

20 large Ripe Black Olives, pitted and chopped

1/4 C. Fresh Parsley

Salt

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

 

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the celery and onions and sauté until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 10 minutes.  Add the eggplant and cook until lightly golden, about 10 minutes.  Remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon and set aside.  Add the vinegar, sugar, tomato paste, and mushrooms to the skillet and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer 15 minutes.  Return previously cooked vegetables to the skillet.  Add capers, black olives and parsley.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Stir to combine and , cover, and simmer until the eggplant is very tender and the sauce is thick, about 15 minutes.  Cool, then refrigerate, covered, for 24 hours before serving.  Serve with pita crisps or crackers.

Marinated Roasted Peppers, Olives and Cheese

Marinated Roasted Peppers, Olives and Cheese

 

6 large red or green bell peppers

1 C. whole Greek or pitted ripe olives

4 oz. mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes

1/4 C. olive or vegetable oil

1/4 C. lemon juice

2 T. chopped fresh parsley

1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano leaves or 1/4 tsp. dried oregano leaves

1 tsp. chopped fresh basil leaves or 1/4 tsp. dried basil leaves

1/2 tsp. chopped fresh sage leaves or 1/8 tsp. dried sage leaves

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

Set oven control to broil.   Broil bell peppers with tops about 5 inches from heat, turning occasionally, until skin is blistered and evenly browned. Place peppers in a plastic bag and close tightly. Let stand 20 minutes.   Remove skin, stems, seeds and membranes from peppers. Cut peppers into 1/4-inch strips. Place peppers, olives and cheese in glass bowl or jar.   Shake remaining ingredients in tightly covered container; pour over pepper mixture. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours to blend flavors, stirring occasionally.    Store tightly covered in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.  Turn this recipe into a scrumptious gift by filling a decorative glass jar with the roasted pepper mixture and tying with a pretty ribbon. Attach a copy of the recipe with a sprig of fresh herbs.

Marinated Roasted Peppers, Olives and Cheese

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Skordalia (Greek Garlic-Potato Sauce)

Skordalia (Greek Garlic-Potato Sauce)

Skordalia takes its name from skordo, or “garlic.” Different versions of the sauce are thickened with potato or with bread and nuts or with all three. Some recipes call for only vinegar, while others, such as this one, also add lemon juice. Serve as an accompaniment to fried fresh fish or salt cod, cooked beets, fried zucchini or eggplant, and greens.

3/4 C. blanched almonds or walnuts, optional

1 pound baking potatoes or new potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

8 cloves garlic

Coarse salt

3 T. red wine vinegar, or to taste

1/4 C. fresh lemon juice

3/4 C. virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

 

If using the nuts, preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the almonds or walnuts on a baking sheet and place in the oven until toasted and fragrant, 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool and chop. Set aside.  Meanwhile, bring a saucepan three-fourths full of water to a boil over high heat. Add the potato pieces and boil until tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes. Drain well, return the potatoes to the pan and place over high heat for 1-2 minutes to evaporate the moisture, turning them to prevent scorching. Remove from the heat and, using a potato masher, mash the potatoes until smooth. Set aside.  In a mortar, combine the garlic with a little coarse salt and mash with a pestle until puréed. You should have about 2 T. puréed garlic.  Stir the garlic into the potatoes and, using a whisk or fork, beat in 1 T. of the vinegar, half of the lemon juice and half of the olive oil. Transfer to a food processor fitted with the metal blade. With the motor running, gradually add the remaining 2 T. vinegar, the remaining lemon juice and olive oil, and the nuts, if using. Season to taste with more vinegar, if needed, and the salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and serve, or cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Pickled Mushrooms a’la Grecque

Pickled Mushrooms a’la Grecque

1 lb. fresh medium Mushrooms

1/8 tsp. Thyme

2 or 3 whole Black Peppercorns

1/8 tsp. Fennel seed

1 piece (1 inch) Bay Leaf

4 Cloves of Garlic, crushed

1 small Onion, chopped fine

3 T. Red Wine Vinegar

2 T. Olive Oil

1/4 tsp. Lemon Peel

3 tsp. Seasoned Salt

1/2 tsp. parsley

 

Wash mushrooms in cold water; trim off tip of the stalk. Crush Thyme, Pepper, and the Fennel Seed and combine with mushrooms in saucepan. Add Bay leaf, Garlic, Onion, Vinegar, Olive Oil, Lemon peel, Seasoned Salt, and Parsley. Cook over low heat, turning mushrooms frequently, until the mushrooms are tender, about 15 minutes. Pour mushrooms and marinate into glass jar or refrigerator dish. Chill for several hours or, preferably over night. Serving day: Drain and serve cold with party picks.

 

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Flatbread with Nigella Seeds

Flatbread with Nigella Seeds

Flatbread with Nigella Seeds

3 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons instant yeast

2 tablespoons sea salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 cup Nigella seeds

Melted butter or margarine

 

Combine flour, oil, yeast, salt, and sugar in your food processor. Mix ingredients on a low speed, adding in a cup or so of room temperature water as you mix. You want the dough to be mixed thoroughly and to be a little tacky to the touch. If your dough seems too dry, add more water. If it’s too wet, add a little more flour. Transfer your dough from the food processor onto a flat, floured surface. Form dough into a ball, place in a mixing bowl covered in plastic wrap, and let rise for 1-2 hours. Divide your now risen dough into six more balls of 1/4-inch thickness. Let each ball of dough rise for 20 minutes or so; each should puff up slightly. Roll each into a flat disc shape and sprinkle with Nigella seeds. Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Spread your pita onto lightly oiled cookies sheets {or use a pizza stone if you have one}. Bake until bread is slightly brown on one side, flip and brown on the other. This should take between 6-10 minutes only. Brush with melted butter and serve immediately or store in wax paper until you are ready to serve.

Greek Meatballs

Greek Meatballs

2 cups cooked brown rice, cooled 

3/4 teaspoon dried oregano 

4 tablespoons (1 ounce) reduced-fat crumbled feta cheese, divided 

1 pound 95 percent lean ground beef 

2 medium zucchini (1 pound total), cut into thin slices 

1 cup bottled marinara sauce 

 

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Coat a 13″ x 9″ baking dish with vegetable oil spray. In a large bowl, combine the rice, oregano, and 2 tablespoons of the cheese. Stir in the beef until combined. Scatter the zucchini into the reserved baking dish in a single layer. Using a small ice cream scoop, shape the meat mixture into sixteen 1 1/2″ balls. Place the meatballs on top of the zucchini. Drizzle with the marinara sauce. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for about 22 minutes, or until the meatballs are no longer pink. Uncover and top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of cheese. Let sit in the oven for about 1 minute, or until the cheese melts slightly.

 

Yield: 4 servings

Calories: 333

Fat: 9g

Fiber: 4g

Minted Chutnry Roasted Peppers

Minted Chutnry Roasted Peppers

 

3  red bell peppers (about 1 1/2 pounds)

2  tablespoons  balsamic vinegar

1  tablespoon  extra-virgin olive oil

1  tablespoon  mango chutney (such as Major Grey’s)

2  tablespoons  capers

1  tablespoon  chopped fresh mint

1  (5.25-ounce) package foccacia or other flatbread

 

Cut pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet, and flatten with hand. Broil 10 minutes or until blackened. Place pepper halves in a zip-top plastic bag, and seal. Let cool. Peel pepper, and cut into strips. Combine vinegar, oil, and chutney in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH 1 minute or until chutney dissolves. Stir in caper and mint, and toss with pepper strips. Serve chutney alongside foccacia or other flatbread

Tapas Platter

Tapas Platter

 

1 C. (4 ounces) Manchego cheese, cut in 1/2-inch cubes

1 C. whole roasted almonds

1 C. assorted ripe olives

Minted Chutney-Roasted Peppers

4 ounces thinly sliced Serrano ham (dry-cured Spanish ham) or prosciutto

 

Place cheese, almonds, olives, and Minted Chutney-Roasted Peppers in separate small bowls. (Be sure to have an empty bowl on hand for olive pits). Fan ham in overlapping slices on a plate. Give guests small plates, or place all bowls on a single tray (ham may be placed directly on tray, along with flatbread for peppers). Serve with toothpicks.

Zucchini Fritters

Zucchini Fritters

 

1 lb. Small Zucchini, coarsely grated

1/2 lb. Feta Cheese

6 Scallions, minced

1/2 C. Chopped Fresh Dill

1/4 C. Chopped Fresh Mint

1/4 C. Chopped Fresh Parsley

1 C. Flour

3 Eggs Lightly Beaten

Peanut Oil (for frying)

 

Place zucchini in a colander, salt it lightly and toss to mix.  Let stand in sink or over bowl for about 30 minutes to draw out moisture.  Using a kitchen towel, squeeze out excess moisture and place zucchini in bowl.  Crumble the feta cheese over the zucchini and add the green onions and all the rest of the ingredients except peanut oil.  Pepper to taste.  You can add salt, but taste first, feta cheese has a lot of salt in it already.  Stir to mix well.  Pour peanut oil into a frying pan about 1/4 inch deep.  When the oil is heated, drop spoonfuls of the batter into the oil, careful not to crowd the fritters.  Fry, turning once, until nicely browned on both sides.  Serve hot.

Saffron Pistachios

Saffron Pistachios

 

8 ounces roasted pistachios, shelled

2 tsp. Spanish olive oil

4 saffron threads

Salt

 

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Put all flavor ingredients into a mixing bowl. Add nuts and toss. Transfer to a roasting pan into which the nuts will fit in one single layer. Roast for 20 minutes or until nuts begin to color. Transfer to a paper towel to drain excess oil.  NOTES : For a drier consistency substitute spray olive or corn oil.

Garlic Shrimp

Garlic Shrimp

1/4 C. Olive Oil

4 Cloves Garlic, minced finely

1 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes

1 lb. Medium Shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 tsp. Fresh Lemon Juice

2 tsp. Dry Sherry

1 tsp. Paprika

Salt and Pepper

Fresh Parsley for garnish

 

Warm olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.  Add garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for a minute.  Raise heat to high and add shrimp, lemon juice, sherry and paprika.  Stir well and sauté, stirring briskly, until shrimp turn pink, about 3 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and the sprinkle a little chopped parsley for color.

Fried Almonds

Fried Almonds

 

Olive Oil

Whole Blanched Almonds

Salt, Pepper. Cayenne Pepper and/or Rosemary (if desired)

 

In a deep frying pan, pour oil to about 2 inch depth.  Place over medium heat and allow oil to heat.  (about 350 degrees)  Drop almonds into oil, a small handful at a time.  The almonds should sizzle immediately if the oil is hot enough.  Fry until golden, about 3 minutes.  Remove with slotted spoon and transfer to paper towels to drain.  Season as desired.  Serve warm.

 

Basil Cheese Triangles

Basil Cheese Triangles

a48019b6-4a52-45e6-a875-652583379a221 lb. feta cheese

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1/4 C. finely chopped fresh or 1 T. dried basil leaves

1/4 tsp. white pepper

1 package (16 oz.) frozen phyllo sheets (18×14 inches), thawed

1/3 C. margarine or butter, melted

 

Heat oven to 400ºF. Grease cookie sheet. Crumble cheese into small bowl; mash with fork. Stir in eggs, basil and white pepper until well mixed.    Cut phyllo sheets lengthwise into 2-inch strips. Cover with plastic wrap, then with damp towel to keep them from drying out. Place 1 level tsp. cheese mixture on end of 1 strip. Fold strip over cheese mixture, end over end in triangular shape, to opposite end. Place on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining strips and cheese mixture. Brush triangles lightly with margarine.    Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Serve warm.   Finely shredded Monterey Jack cheese can be used for the feta cheese.

Roasted Red Peppers with Pesto & Goat Cheese

Roasted Red Peppers with Pesto & Goat Cheese

Roasted Red Peppers with Pesto & Goat Cheese

8 baby red bell peppers

2 heaping tablespoons prepared pesto

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

3 ounces goat cheese

fresh oregano (optional)

 

Preheat oven to 4oo degrees. Slice mini bell peppers in half and remove stem and seeds. Place in a large bowl (or large ziplock bag) and toss with pesto, olive oil and balsamic vinegar until peppers are completely covered. Line up peppers on a baking sheet and place into oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Take peppers out and carefully add crumbled goat cheese to insides of pepper halves. Place back into oven and bake for another 3-5 minutes or until goat cheese is melted. Optional: sprinkle chopped fresh oregano over peppers before serving.

Blistered Green Olives

Blistered Green Olives

Blistered Green Olives

 

1 (15oz) can green olives (well drained)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp fresh minced garlic

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (more if you like it real spicy)

 

In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil on medium heat (I have a glass-top stove and set the heat to one notch above medium). Add the drained olives to the pan and toss them with the oil. Sauté for 3-5 minutes or until they start to brown and “blister”.  Add the minced garlic to the pan; toss to coat. Continue to sauté the olives and garlic for 2-3 minutes.  Add the red pepper flakes last, about 1 minute before you plan on removing the olives from the pan.  Enjoy hot or cold! I like them both ways.  Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days. These are fabulous chopped up later to put in a sandwich or salad. Recipe Notes: Use your own discretion when adding the garlic and red pepper flakes to the pan. I prefer the garlic to be pretty toasty, but if you leave it in there too long it will begin to burn. Same for the red pepper flakes.

Shepherd-Style Fried Cheese Fritters (Pallotte Caci’e Ova)

Shepherd-Style Fried Cheese Fritters (Pallotte Caci’e Ova)

Shepherd-Style Fried Cheese Fritters (Pallotte Caci’e Ova)

2 1⁄2 ounces (75 g) rustic bread

3 large eggs

7 ounces (200 g) grated mild provolone

3 1⁄2 ounces (100 g) grated aged pecorino

1 3⁄4 ounces (50 g) grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Pinch of baking soda

Canola oil, for frying

 

Cut the crust off the bread and discard or reserve for another use. Cut the bread into pieces, put into the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until coarse. Add the eggs, provolone, pecorino, Parmigiano, and baking soda; puree until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until completely chilled, about 1 hour.  Scoop up a generous tsp.ful of the mixture and shape it into a 1-inch ball with your hands. (If the mixture is sticky, lightly dampen your hands with a little olive oil.) Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper and continue shaping the balls. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 200°F (90°C). 4. Heat 1/2 inch of canola oil in a large straight-sided skillet or cast-iron pan until shimmering hot. Add the fritters in batches and cook, turning occasionally, until crisp and brown on all sides, 4 to 6 minutes total. Transfer to an ovenproof plate lined with paper towels and keep warm in the oven while frying the remaining fritters. Serve immediately.

Seville-Style Olives

Seville-Style Olives

Seville-Style Olives

 

1 lb. large Green Spanish Olives

¼ C. EVOO

¼ C. Sherry Vinegar

6 Anchovy Fillets, minced

6 cloves Garlic, peeled and crushed

1 T. minced fresh Thyme

1 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

4 Bay Leaves

 

Place olives in large bowl and bruise them with back of wooden spoon.  Add all the other ingredients and stir.  Divide between 2 1 pint glass canning jars (or any glass jar with tight fitting lid).  Marinate in refrigerator for a week.  Remove bay leaves and serve at room temperature.

 

From Crowd Pleasing Potlucks

Tortilla Espanola – Spanish Omelet

Tortilla Espanola – Spanish Omelet

Tortilla Espanola – Spanish Omelet

 

1 C. EVOO

4 Potatoes, about 1 lb, peeled and cut into ½” cubes

1 Onion, thinly sliced

6 Eggs

Salt and Pepper

 

Heat oil in a 9” skillet until hot; add potatoes and onion and turn to coat.  Reduce temperature and cook for 15 minutes, or until soft, turning often, without letting them brown.  Remove from oil with slotted spoon and set aside to drain on paper towels.  Pour oil into small bowl.  Add eggs, salt and pepper into a bowl and beat with a fork.  Add potatoes and onions to eggs, stir gently, and set aside for 10 minutes.  Put 2 T. of reserved oil back into skillet and heat until smoking.  Pour in potato and egg mixture, spreading potatoes evenly in the pan.  Cook 1 minute, then reduce heat to medium and shake the skillet often to keep omelet from sticking.  When eggs are brown underneath and nearly firm on top, lay a plate over the skillet and flip the omelet out onto the plate.  Add ¼ C. remaining oil to the skillet and slide the omelet back in to brown the other side.  Lower heat to low and flip the omelet 3 more times, cooking 1 minute each side, to help give it a good shape.  Transfer to plate, brush top with oil, and let stand until cool.  Serve in squares or wedges.

 

 

 

From Easy Tapas

Champinones Rellenos – Stuffed Mushrooms

Champinones Rellenos – Stuffed Mushrooms

Champinones Rellenos – Stuffed Mushrooms

 

8 Mushrooms

2 T. Milk

2 T. Bread Crumbs

2 T. finely chopped Onion

1 clove Garlic, crushed

1 T. chopped Flat leaf Parsley

2 T. Ground Pork

1 T. finely chopped Spanish Ham or Prosciutto

Olive Oil

1 T. chopped canned Pimiento

1 T. fresh Lemon Juice

 

Clean mushrooms and remove stems.  Finely chop 2 of the stems and place in a bowl.  Add milk and bread crumbs and let stand 10 minutes.  Add onion, garlic, parsley, pork and ham.  Mix well, cover with plastic wrap and let marinate in the refrigerator overnight.  When ready to cook, put a heaping teaspoons of the mixture in each mushroom cap.  Sprinkle on a little olive oil then cook in preheated oven at 350 for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven, top with a little pimiento and sprinkle with lemon juice.  Serve warm.

 

From Easy Tapas

Chorizo Al Vino – Chorizo in Red Wine

Chorizo Al Vino – Chorizo in Red Wine

Chorizo Al Vino – Chorizo in Red Wine

1 T. EVOO

10oz. fresh Spanish Chorizo, cut into ½” slices

½ C. Red Wine

Crusty Bread, to serve

 

Add oil to heavy skillet and heat to smoking.  Add chorizo and cook 1 minute.  Reduce heat, add wine and cook 5 minutes.  Transfer to serving dish and allow to sit until just warm to develop flavors.  Serve warm with bread.

 

From Easy Tapas