Olive Crusted Swordfish and Mediterranean Orzo

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I’ve actually never cooked swordfish before – but have always enjoyed it at restaurants. Swordfish is an oily fish so be sparing with the amount of oil you use in its preparation. This twist lends a nod to the Mediterranean with the components of Greek yogurt, black olives and lemon juice in its crust. While the orzo salad bursts with color from the green of fresh spinach leaves and flavor from the juices of the ripe tomatoes. This meal brings me back to memories of dining al fresco seaside in Italy with my family. Seafood there is always so fresh and dishes are clean and light. Pair this meal with a glass of your favorite white wine!

(Ingredients- Swordfish)

Swordfish Steaks

Plain Greek Non Fat Yogurt

Panko Bread Crumbs

Sliced Black Olives

Lemon

Cooking Spray

Olive Oil / Oregano / Black Pepper / Sea Salt / Garlic Powder

(Ingredients- Orzo)

Orzo Pasta

Plain Greek Non Fat Yogurt

Fresh Spinach Leaves

Campari Tomatoes

Crumbled Feta Cheese

Lemon

Dijon Mustard

Olive Oil / Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper Seasoning

 A couple of things to note … 

  • I would boil the orzo pasta prior to doing anything and set aside so the pasta is room temperature before you combine the other ingredients into it.
  • I believe ½ Cup Dried Orzo makes 1 Cup Cooked. I made four cups cooked.
  • While the fish is cooking you can prep all the parts that go into the orzo.

Coating for the Swordfish

Chop up the black olives and place in a bowl.

Combine the olives with two tablespoons of the Greek yogurt, a cup of the panko breadcrumbs, juice of ½ a lemon, a dash of oregano, garlic powder, black pepper and sea salt.

Once combined coat the top of each swordfish piece. The mixture will be thick an sticky so just pat it onto the fish.

Baking the Swordfish

Pre-heat the oven to 400.

Take a baking dish and lightly coat with a cooking spray.

Place the fish in the baking dish and drizzle olive oil onto the fish.

Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes until the fish is cooked through and the crust should brown. Depending on how thick your fish is you may need to bake a bit longer.

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Putting Together the Orzo

In a measuring cup combine the following.

¼ Cup of Olive Oil, one tablespoon of Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper Seasoning, Juice of one lemon, one tablespoon of Dijon mustard.

This will be your dressing for the Orzo and once in with the orzo you can also add two tablespoons of the Greek yogurt.

Chop up four Campari tomatoes, cut  fresh spinach leaves into ribbons.

Combine the vegetables along with half a cup of the crumbled feta into the orzo.

Add the dressing and the Greek yogurt and mix again.

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Once fish is cooked – Plate with the Orzo Salad and enjoy with that glass of white wine! 

 © Cookery for Two – 2015 . Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cookery for Two with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Spaghetti Ratatouille

Ratatouille a word synonymous with French Cooking is a combination of nutritious vegetables either sautéed or presented in a layered fashion.  Mostly served as a side dish but when combined with pasta it makes a hearty and colorful dish sure to please. During this Lenten season where there are many days you’re asked to refrain from consuming meat this dish is the perfect meal to serve up. Enjoy with a nice glass of red wine and don’t be shy with the parmesan!

Ingredients:

Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Hot Pepper Flakes

Olive Oil

One Cup of Low Sodium Vegetable Stock

½ Cup of Red Wine

One Yellow Squash – Sliced

One Green Squash – Sliced

Three Tomatoes from the Vine – Chopped Chunky

Garlic – (3) Gloves Minced

Basil Leaves – About 6 – Torn Up

½ a Box of Spaghetti

Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

-On medium heat warm up a tablespoon of olive oil in a sauce pan.

-You will at any point throw in the squash you have sliced up and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

-Next add in the stock and the red wine then cover the pan and let simmer on moderately low heat.

– You will notice the squash will begin to soften when you see this you can add in the tomatoes.

– Season the mixture again with salt, pepper and garlic powder and let simmer covered for another two minutes or so.

– Once all is cooked through turn off heat and remove all contents including liquid and place in a bowl off to the side.

– Begin the boil your pasta water in a stock pot.

– Now you will warm up olive oil again in the sauce pan used previous – this time three table spoons.

– You will fry up the garlic, olive oil and hot pepper flakes – then place the previous vegetable mix into the pan and combine.

– You will want this all to simmer on very low heat to keep warm while your spaghetti is boiling.

– Once spaghetti is boiled – drain and then combine directly into the sauce – continue to mix until all is combined.

– Plate, top with Parmesan and enjoy!

~ A.M.A ~

© Cookery for Two – 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cookery for Two with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Rigatoni with Eggplant & Ricotta Salata

Three of my absolute favorites: Rigatoni, Eggplant and Ricotta Salata. All melded together in a spicy and chunky red sauce. I start off by frying up cubed pieces of eggplant and then incorporating them into the sauce.  Strips of fresh basil and a generous helping of shaved ricotta salata is the final step to plating this colorful and flavorful dish.

Ingredients:

Seasoning: Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Hot Pepper Flakes, Olive Oil

Fresh Basil

(2) Garlic Cloves

(1) Cup Dry Red Wine

(1) Can Peeled Plum Tomatoes

*Prep this by chopping up the whole tomatoes and reserving off to the side with all juices from the can.

(1)Can Tomato Paste

½ Cup Frying Oil (Canola Oil)

(1)Eggplant

(1) Cup Flour

Wedge of Ricotta Salata

½ a Box of Rigatoni

Directions to Cook Eggplant:

*While you are doing this have the frying oil heating up in a pan on medium heat.

*Have your garlic for the sauce chopped and ready off to the side.

*Be sure off to the side you have a plate with paper towels to place the cooked eggplant – keep this plate a safe distance from the open flame.

– Wash and then cut each end off of the eggplant.

– Now cube the eggplant into pieces and throw into mixing bowl.

– Place three tablespoons of Olive Oil and 1 Cup of Flour along with a couple of sprinkles of Salt, Pepper and Garlic Powder on top the eggplant.

– Mix till all is coated.

– Once completed fry up the eggplant pieces (in batches) till browned & let cool on plate off to the side.

* Once completed with frying do not turn off the heat just lower and throw garlic for sauce in and scrape up the bits at the bottom of the pan while browning the garlic.

* Note you will not be combining the eggplant with the sauce until it’s simmered for an ample enough time and the pasta is ready to put in the sauce.

Directions for Sauce:

– As said above brown the garlic in the oil already in pan from frying eggplant.

– Next add in the prepped chopped tomatoes and red wine.

– Tear up a couple of leaves of fresh basil and throw into the sauce and as well meld the tomato paste into the sauce.

– Sprinkle in pepper, salt and garlic powder to taste.

– Add in a teaspoon of red pepper flakes.

– Let sauce simmer for about 30 minutes, spinning often.

– Get pasta boiled close to end time for the sauce.

Directions for Putting Together:

* While pasta is boiling cut up pieces of fresh basil and use a zester to grate the ricotta salata – put off to the side till plating.

– When pasta almost cooked through add the eggplant pieces to the sauce.

*The sauce may thicken up significantly if so you can thin the sauce by adding a spoon or two of pasta water into the sauce.

– Drain pasta and then add directly to the sauce.

– Mix till all is sufficiently combined.

– Plate two or so ladle’s of pasta into a bowl and top with fresh cuts of basil and a generous helping of grated ricotta salata.

Sit back and enjoy with a nice glass of red!

*No major side notes for alternates on this one – because its prefect the way it is. The only thing I would say is don’t be shy with the ricotta salata.

~ A.M.A. ~

© Cookery for Two – 2011 . Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cookery for Two with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Parmesan Cutlets with Tomato Mozzarella Basil Salad

Chicken cutlets were a staple growing up in my household. Perfect with a bowl of pasta, a salad or even for sandwiches at school the next day.  The cutlets my dad made were always juicy, flavorful and crispy on the outside. Everyone has their way of doing it – but with this version I throw shredded parmesan into the breadcrumbs, kicking the flavor up a notch and pair the cutlets with a colorful tomato and mozzarella salad using my new obsession Zima sweet tomatoes!

Ingredients:

– Flour, Italian Bread Crumbs, (2) Eggs

*I use Progresso brand breadcrumbs. I’ve used others and feel they have the most flavor.

– Seasonings – Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Olive Oil

– Canola Oil for Frying

– (4) Chicken Cutlets

*I usually take (2) large boneless chicken breasts and filet them to make the four.

– Shredded Parmesan Cheese

– 1 Cup of Mozzarella Balls – Each piece cut in 1/2

– 2 Cups of Small Tomatoes – Each piece cut in 1/2

– (4) Large Basil Leaves – Sliced

* Best way to do this is to roll up the leaves like a cigarette and then take the knife to the leaves so when cut you create strips of basil.

Directions for Tomato Salad:

*Make this first so you can let it sit in the fridge to marinade and get cold. It’s VERY simple!

– Combine the tomatoes, the mozzarella and the basil in a bowl.

– Drizzle (2) tablespoons of olive oil over the mix along with a couple pinches of salt and toss.

– Place in fridge till ready to plate the dish.

Directions for Prepping the Frying Area:

– Have your frying oil heating up in a wide shallow frying pan while you’re prepping the cutlets.

–  Put on medium heat you do not want the oil to splash out on the stove or you when you put the first cutlet in.

* You want the cutlets to fry up not too quickly where the coating is burnt and the inside is not yet cooked –   you want them cooked through and golden brown.

– You can test the heat when ready by throwing a very small bit of bread crumb into the pan, if you see it sizzle up quickly the oil is ready.

– Finally be sure near the pan you have a plate with paper towels to soak up the extra oil when you take the cutlets out of the frying pan.

* Keep the plate with the paper towels at a safe distance from the flame!

Directions for Putting Together the Cutlets:

– First prepare your three main coatings for the cutlets.

– In one bowl place the flour.

– In another bowl place two beaten eggs with salt and pepper.

– In the final dish (use a wide shallow dish) place the Italian bread crumbs but mix in a cup of the parmesan and sprinkle in garlic powder too.

– Make sure the cutlets are seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

– Take one cutlet and cover in flour, shake off excess and move onto the egg bowl.

– Cover the cutlet now in egg and then let excess drip off before placing in bread crumbs.

– When placing the cutlet in bread crumb mix throw mix on top of the exposed side before pressing cutlet down to assure even and full coating.

* You may want to turn cutlet over a couple of times in the mix and press down each time to make sure again that everything is coated.

– Move cutlet to a plate and continue on till all cutlets are breaded.

Directions for Frying the Cutlets:

-Be sure to test the oil as said before above in “Directions for Prepping the Frying Area”.

-Reminder as also said above you want to make sure the cutlets are cooked through and golden brown.

*Hint you shouldnt fry more than two cutlets at a time and keep them moving in the oil. Turn them over periodically too.

– Once cooked through place on plate off to the side to let cool and so oil is soaked up by paper towels.

-To plate when finished frying place cutlet on serving dish and top with the tomato salad mix.

Serve & Enjoy!

*Feel free to swap out the mozzarella balls for other colored tomatoes and instead use balsamic vinegar versus the olive oil.

*You can always make more than four cutlets and top a salad for lunch the next day or as mentioned before chicken cutlets make great sandwich fillers!

*Also another great idea if you check out my past post “Fancy Finger Foods” you can cube up the cutlets and use them in lieu of the salami I had for the mozzarella and roasted pepper skewers.

~ A.M.A. ~

© Cookery for Two – 2011 . Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cookery for Two with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

Who doesn’t love meatballs and likewise who doesn’t love cheese? Place pieces of fresh mozzarella inside your meatballs and give your guests a little surprise of cheesy goodness. This meal is perfect for when you have another couple coming over, your parents or even the in-laws. This recipe makes plenty more than for two so if you want cut the recipe in half, savor in leftovers during the week or share with some office friends at lunchtime either option is sure to please!

Chunky Sauce Ingredients: 4 Garlic Cloves Minced, Handful of Chopped Basil, Can Tomato Paste, (2) Can’s Whole Plum Tomatoes in Sauce, 1/2 Cup Red Wine, Salt, Black Pepper, Garlic Powder, Red Pepper Flakes, Olive Oil

Directions for Chunky Sauce:

– Heat olive oil in pan.

– Sauté garlic & basil till cooked through.

– While the above is sautéing remove the whole tomatoes from the sauce and chop up into chunky pieces.

– Place tomatoes and sauce into the pan.

– Add tomato paste & red wine.

– Let simmer for a minute or so while spinning.

– Then add in a sprinkle of salt, black pepper, garlic powder and pepper flakes.

– Cover pot and place on low heat while you prepare the meatballs.

*You must check the sauce and stir occasionally.

Meatball Ingredients:

Salt, Black Pepper, Garlic Powder,

(15) Small Mozzarella Balls 

(1) Package of Lean Ground Beef

*1 to 1.5 Pounds of Beef makes about 25 or so meatballs.

(2) Eggs

(2) Tablespoons for Italian Bread Crumbs

(4) Tablespoons of Fresh Bread Crumbs

*I used the insides off the end of a day old whole wheat Italian bread loaf.

(3) Tablespoons of Low Fat Milk

Directions for Meatballs

– Cut the mozzarella balls in half as prep before mixing the meat together and put on plate off to the side.

– In a dish by hand pull the insides of the fresh bread out and crumble the bread as shown in the photo.

– You will then need to soften the bread crumbs with the milk.

– Mash the crumbs with the milk till all is melded together.

– Place the meat in the dish and top with a couple of sprinkles of all the seasonings.

– Next crack both eggs up top and throw the bread crumbs in too.

– Mix all together and add in again more sprinkles of the seasonings.

– Once mixed together take a golf ball sized portion and place it in your palm.

– Make a dip in the portion by pressing your fingers into the middle.

– Place a piece of one mozzarella half into the dip and then close up with meat around the mozzarella.

– Gently in circular motions round out the meatball in between your hands.

– The meatballs should be the size of golf balls – place them on a plate as you continue making them.

Directions Cooking the Meatballs: 

*Have your pasta water heating up to a boil before you put meatballs in the sauce.

– Place the meatballs in the sauce as shown.

– Put on medium heat.

– Sprinkle one more dash of seasonings and a splash of olive oil on top of the meatballs in the sauce.

– Then cover and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

– Bottoms should now be cooked and you should be able to turn the meatballs over in the sauce.

– Again let the meatballs simmer for another 10 minutes and turn.

*Don’t be discouraged if you see the cheese melting out of some of the meatballs.

*Your pasta water should be boiling at this point – Butta La Pasta! (Or throw the pasta!) 

– Keep the meatballs simmering in sauce until pasta is cooked through then turn off the sauce.

Putting the Dish Together: 

– Place some of the meatballs and sauce at the bottom of your serving bowl.

– Drain the pasta and throw into the serving bowl.

– Place the sauce and meatballs over the pasta and toss till everything is coated.

Serve & Enjoy! 

*Note you can always swap out the ground beef for ground turkey and change up the cheese for Parmesan or Asiago.

*If you don’t feel like pasta – throw the meatballs onto some toasted Italian bread for a meatball sub – sprinkle some grated parmesan on top before serving. 

~ A.M.A. ~

© Cookery for Two – 2011 . Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cookery for Two with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Portabella Mushroom Tower with a Balsamic Glaze

I adore mushrooms – Portabella mushrooms are hearty and the perfect platform for my salad tower you see here. It’s fancy without being too rich with the ingredients and super simple to make!

Makes – 2 Servings

(Ingredients) – (2) Large Portabella Mushrooms, (4) Slices of Prosciutto Crudo, (1) Large Ball of Mozzarella Fresca, (1) Large Tomato, (4) Large Fresh Basil Leaves, Balsamic Vinegar, Olive Oil, Salt, Soy Sauce, Sugar

Directions – Mushrooms

Soften the Portabella Mushrooms by cooking on low heat in a pan with tablespoon of olive oil and ½ cup of red wine.

– Season mushrooms with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

– Keep covered and turn over mushrooms periodically as they soften.

– You want the mushrooms cooked through but not soggy.

– Be gentle with them as they may be fragile when soft and you want to keep them whole.

Directions – Balsamic Glaze *(Good to do while mushrooms are softening)

– Take ½ Cup Balsamic Vinegar and combine with 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 tablespoon soy sauce.

– Bring to boil and reduce heat to low and simmer (stir frequently) until thick and syrupy, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

Directions – Tomato

Cut the tomato into (4) ½” thick pieces – discard or save leftover pieces for your future use.

– Toss the tomato pieces in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt.

* Be sure to use the middle parts of the tomato not the tops or bottoms.

Directions – Mozzarella

Cut the mozzarella into (4) ½” thick pieces – save the leftover pieces for your future use.

Directions – Build the Tower

Place mushroom on the plate – do not take any of the juices from the pan.

– Place on top one piece tomato.

– Place on top one piece mozzarella.

– Place on top one folded piece prosciutto.

– Place on top one basil leaf.

– Repeat steps 2 through 5 & then top tower with drizzle of balsamic glaze.

– Repeat all steps for the second tower.

Enjoy!

* You can swap out the mozzarella for thin slices of ricotta salata and the red tomatoes for yellow ones.

* Also feel free to try a flavor infused olive oil instead of the balsamic glaze.

~A.M.A.~

© Cookery for Two – 2011 . Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cookery for Two with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.