Showing posts with label cheese. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cheese. Show all posts

Parmesan Crusted Chicken with a Greek Twist

I first made this recipe when my sister in law was visiting from Greece.  We were both watching the TV commercial about the Hellman's Parmesan crusted chicken and thought we should try it.  The first time I made it I downloaded the recipe from the Hellman's website.  It turned out good, but not the way I would have liked it.  I had to put some Greek flair in it.  So I made it again and added my own Greek twist. The original recipe only has  4 ingredients in it: the chicken, the Parmesan, the bread crumbs, and the mayo.  I substituted the Parmesan cheese with fresh grated Romano cheese, added grey poupon and lemon juice, plain bread crumbs on some of the chicken breasts and gluten free breadcrumbs at another, since my daughter is on a gluten free diet.  It's any easy dish to make and goes well with rice and a spinach/romaine salad on the side.  Enjoy!

Makes 6 servings (appr. 6 oz. each)

1/4 cup  Hellman's Mayonnaise made with Canola oil
2 oz. Romano cheese
1 3/4 lbs. boneless chicken breasts (about 4 chicken breasts)
4 tsp. bread crumbs
1 tbsp. grey poupon mustard
1 tbsp. lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix the mayo with the mustard and lemon juice; sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix well.  Spread it over the chicken breasts.  Top with the bread crumbs, the shredded cheese and bake at 425 degree oven for ½ hour till chicken is done.  (The mayonnaise topping keeps the chicken nice and moist and not dry).

Note: you can mix the shredded cheese with the mayonnaise mixture.  I skipped that step and sprinkled the cheese on top the breadcrumbs.  Either way it tastes good. 

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 serving (158.3 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 357
Calories from Fat 172
Total Fat 19.1g
Saturated Fat 5.7g
Cholesterol 131mg
Sodium 359mg
Total Carbohydrates 1.5g
Dietary Fiber 0.1g
Sugars 0.2g

Protein 41.5g




Three Crust-less Broccoli/Cheese quiches

Here are three variations of Broccoli/cheese quiches that I have made in the past
Crust-less Broccoli Fennel Quiche, Crust-less Broccoli Red Pepper Quiche, Crust-less Broccoli and Turkey Bacon Quiche. I usually make crust-less quiches because they are easy; I don’t have to buy the pie dough or make it from scratch and I use items that I have on hand. It’s something that’s quick to put together and by serving it with a side salad you have yourself a meal, either for lunch or for a light dinner.

The first quiche published is the Broccoli Fennel quiche. Fennel has a distinct taste, more like anise or licorice but it’s not as strong. Some fresh produce or super markets will also name fennel anise. Fennel is used widely in Mediterranean cuisine. The stalk of the fennel plant is white and the leaves resemble fresh dill. In Greek fennel is called “Marathon” and it grows wildly in Marathon the place where the battle of Marathon took place (300 Spartans).

Enjoy all these three variations of crust-less quiches for either lunch or dinner.

Pork Tenderloin with Fennel and Peas in tomato sauce

Peas in tomato sauce with dill or with fennel is another common, vegetarian Greek dish. It’s mostly a summer dish, since the peas are available fresh in their pods. I remember when I was young, my mother showed me how to peel the pods remove the peas and then peel the skin off the pods so that they will cook along with the peas. It was a dish, even though I disliked vegetables, one that I loved. The fresh tomato sauce and the fresh dill made it even tastier. The fresh bread, that we used to pick up from the bakery, along with a slice of feta and a fresh tomato salad completed the summer meal.  

On other occasions, my mother cooked the peas with beef tenderloin. It was more of a Sunday meal, one she used to serve over hot rice.  

Here is my version of peas in tomato sauce with pork tenderloin instead of beef. I also experimented with fennel instead of dill. I’ve tried it both ways and both ways is equally tasteful. If you don’t like the taste of fennel you can omit it altogether and add fresh dill to the dish. The dill (or fennel) is what actually gives the dish that savory flavor.


Makes 14 servings (approximately 8 oz each serving)

2.5 lbs pork tenderloin cut into 2” chunk pieces
½ cup olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 tsp chopped garlic
15 oz can tomato sauce (1 can)
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (1 can)
2 cans water
1.5 cups sliced fennel (1 large fennel bulb)
2 12 oz bags of frozen peas
1 cup chopped parsley
1 cup chopped fennel leaves
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

Wash and pat dry the pork tenderloin. Cut into 2” chunk pieces. Set aside. Peel, wash and chop the onion. Set aside. Peel and chop the garlic. Set aside. In a dutch oven, over high heat add the olive oil, the onions and garlic. Saute till transparent. Add the pork pieces. Saute a little longer. Add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce along with 2 cans of water. Bring to a boil, cover, lower the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for about 1 hour. Don’t add salt, since salt will toughen the meat and will need to cook longer.

When the meat is almost done, during the last 5 minutes add the sliced fennel, the fennel leaves, the peas, the parsley and salt and pepper. Cover and let it simmer for another 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Serve over rice or orzo. Sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese or romano cheese if desired.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 
1 serving (219.6 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 237
Calories from Fat 93
Total Fat 10.3g
Saturated Fat 2.0g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 59mg
Sodium 392mg
Total Carbohydrates 12.0g
Dietary Fiber 4.2g
Sugars 4.9g
Protein 24.7g


If you try this recipe and like it please comment below. If you like what you see on this blog, please feel free to follow it. Thank you.
 
 

 

Orzo with arugula and dried cranberries


This is a nice summer dish that can accompany any meat.  You can substitute the arugula with spinach.  I tried it, and it tastes good both ways.  Before serving I sprinkled the salad with sliced roasted almonds that you can get at any grocery store.  You can even serve it warm in the winter time.  

Enjoy!!!


Makes 6 servings (The nutritional information below is for 2 oz of dry orzo. For some reason the website that I put in the ingredients it only takes the orzo as a dry ingredient. 2oz of dry orzo is about 6oz of boiled orzo).

1 cup dry orzo
1 cup chopped arugula
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 tbs diced shallot
1 tbs lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 oz Pecorino Romano shaved cheese
½ cup toasted walnuts or sliced almonds (optional)

Boil the orzo according to the package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside. Wash and pat dry and chop the arugula. Add to the orzo. Dice the shallot and the parsley and add to the orzo. Add the olive oil, the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, the dried cranberries and the shaved Pecorino Romano cheese. Toss together and refrigerate till it’s time to serve. You can add ½ cup toasted walnuts or sliced almonds.



Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 2.053 oz (58.2g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 210
Calories from Fat 97
Total Fat 10.8g
Saturated Fat 2.1g
Cholesterol 5mg
Sodium 253mg
Total Carbohydrates 22.9g
Dietary Fiber 1.5g
Sugars 1.9g
Protein 5.3g


Eggplant and Penne with Bechamel Sauce - Greek Style

This is my version of moussaka.  Instead of layering the eggplant with the meat sauce, I decided to do a vegetarian version.  I took the eggplant and made a tomato base sauce with it.  Instead of the eggplant as the base of this dish (the layering), I used penne pasta.  Covered it with the bechamel sauce and mozzarella cheese and baked it in the oven.  It came out delicious.  

This could be quite an intimidating dish to make for the novice cook.  It's not that difficult, but one needs to be organized.  You can start by having all the ingredients on hand, before you even begin to make this dish.  Once all the ingredients are ready, you start making it without any difficulty following the instructions.  This dish takes me about two hours to make from start to finish.  An hour to prepare the sauce and assemble and an hour in the oven.  But I do have a couple of the elements on my stove burning at the same time.  While the sauce is simmering I boil the pasta.  Once the pasta is done and the sauce is almost there, I drain the pasta and begin on the bechamel sauce.  I pay full attention to the bechamel sauce.  I want it to be perfect without any lumps.  In the meantime, the sauce is off the hot stove and the pasta has drained well.  When the bechamel sauce is done, I begin the assembly.  And from there it's just baking it in the oven... and the one thing that all of us don't like to do, is washing and cleaning up all the pots and pans.  In the end, though, you have a wonderfully tasting good dish.  Serve it with a romaine lettuce salad, or a spinach salad.  it actually tastes good the next day too and packs well as lunch for work or school.  Just reheat in the microwave.    


Enjoy!!!   


Eggplant and Penne with Bechamel Sauce Greek Style         

Eight (8) servings (approximately 13 oz/per serving)

½ cup olive oil + 1/3 cup olive oil for the tomato sauce
½ cup chopped onion
1 tsp chopped garlic
4 cups diced eggplant
½ cup parsley
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1 14.5 oz box of multi grain penne

Peel the eggplant, in stripes (1).  Rinse under cold water, pat it dry and dice it.  In a heavy saucepan, over high heat, add the ½ cup of olive oil.  Add the chopped onion and chopped garlic.  Sauté, until transparent.  Add the diced eggplant.  The eggplant will absorb all the oil.  Sauté until the eggplant is moistened with the oil (look at the picture below)  



Add the fresh-diced tomatoes, the chopped parsley, the canned diced tomatoes, the tomato sauce, and the extra 1/3 cup of olive oil.  Add the salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer until the eggplant is tender but not mushy (approximately 30-40 minutes) (See picture below).  Remove from heat. 



In the meantime, bring a big pot of water to a boil.  Add salt, if you prefer in the water (2), and then add the pasta (penne).  Cook according to the package directions.  When cooked, remove from heat, drain and rinse under cold water, if you added salt.  The rinsing will rinse the extra salt off the pasta but without leaving it bland.  Set aside.

Bechamel Sauce (White Sauce)
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (I buy the part skim milk/low moisture mozzarella)

In a small saucepan over medium high heat, melt the 4 tbsp. butter.  Add the 4 tbsp. flour stirring constantly.  Gradually add the 2 cups of milk stirring constantly with a whisk.  Lower the heat to low and continue cooking and stirring to avoid any lumps (3).  Continue cooking over low heat until the sauce thickens.  Remove from heat.  While still hot, add the 1 cup shredded mozzarella, and continue stirring with the whisk until the mozzarella melts and the sauce becomes velvety smooth.  Set aside. 
The Bechamel Sauce

The assembly
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
In a 13x9 (4) pan, layer half the pasta, then the eggplant/tomato sauce and then the rest of the pasta.  
The penne pasta layered with the eggplant tomato sauce

Pour the béchamel sauce on top, covering all the pasta. 


Bake in the oven for about one hour and a half or until it’s bubbly and the top golden brown.  Wait to cool a bit before serving. 
 Baked, out of the oven.  


Serve when cool.

Notes:

(1) When I peel an eggplant I don’t peel all the skin away.  I will peel it in stripes.  I will cut the stem first, then I will peel it lengthwise; leaving about half an inch of skin, peel another half inch, and so on.   
(2) Adding salt when boiling pasta.  I usually add 1 tsp of salt when I boil the pasta.  This way there is some flavor in the pasta.  Afterwards I rinse it in cold water.  Some of the salt will rinse off, but the flavor of the salt will stay with the pasta.  If you try to add salt after the pasta is cooked, it will not flavor it.  This is on individual tastes.
(3) If by any chance you get any lumps on the béchamel sauce, take a fine mesh strainer and pour the sauce through it, to another pot, while the strainer holds back any lumps.  Return to heat, and continue cooking and stirring, till it’s velvety smooth.  
(4)  The pan measurements are inside the pan.
(5) The nutrition facts below include the béchamel sauce.

Nutrition Facts (5)
Serving Size                                         1serving (355.9 g-approximately 13 oz)
Amount Per Serving
            Calories                                               563
Calories from Fat                                              307                              % Daily Value
Total Fat                                                           34.1g                           52%
Saturated Fat                                                   9.4g                             47%
Trans Fat                                                          0.0g
Cholesterol                                                       28mg                           9%
Sodium                                                             1009mg                       42%
Total Carbohydrates                                         58.1g                           19%
Dietary Fiber                                                     6.4g                             26%
Sugars                                                             9.1g
Protein                                                             12.8g

Spinach Cheese pie (Spanakotyropita)

For my first recipe post, I picked the most difficult of the Greek dishes to make.  But I love Spinach and Cheese pie (Spanakotyropita).  And so does my whole family.  Since I was making it for all of us, I thought it would be nice to post it on my blog.  Enjoy!!!

Spinach Cheese pie (Spanakotyropita)              

52 servings or 1.5 oz each piece approximately

15x10 ovenproof glass pan (pan measures inside the rim)

1 Pkg (16 oz) phyllo dough (Athens brand or any phyllo dough will do)
2 pkg (12 oz each) frozen cut leaf spinach
½ cup green onion chopped
½ cup shallots chopped
1 cup flat leaf parsley chopped
2 tbsps olive oil
16 oz low fat cottage cheese
1 and ½ cups crumbled feta cheese (12 oz)
½ tsp ground pepper
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
4 eggs
¾ cup olive oil (for brushing the phyllo dough sheets between layering)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Defrost the frozen spinach and drain any excess water by squeezing between your hands.  Set aside.  Chop the green onions, shallots, and parsley.  Set aside. In a frying pan, over a hot stove, pour the 2 tbsp of olive oil and sauté the green onions and shallots till transparent.  Add the frozen spinach and parsley.  Heat through.  Turn off the heat and remove the pan from the hot stove. 
            
In a bowl, mix together the low fat cottage cheese, the crumbled feta and the eggs.  Add to the spinach mixture.  Make sure the spinach mixture is cool or the eggs will curdle.  Add the ground pepper, salt and ground nutmeg.  Set aside.
          
Have the ¾-cup olive oil handy with a brush.  Brush the 15x10 pan with olive oil generously.  Open up the package of phyllo dough.  There should be two small packages in the box.  Take the one out and open it up.  Have to work quite fast with phyllo dough since it dries quickly. In order for it not to dry out, cover it with a damp towel.  Take one phyllo dough sheet and place at the bottom of the pan.  Brush with oil. 

       The picture, above, shows with a few phyllo dough sheets already layered and brushed with oil.

Take another phyllo sheet and continue layering at the bottom of the pan brushing with olive oil in between.  Make sure the whole pan is completely covered with some of the phyllo dough extending at the ends of the pan (once the filling is poured in you will be able to fold the excess phyllo dough and hold the filling inside). 
       This picture, above, shows with the one package of phyllo dough layered. 

When you are finished layering the first package of phyllo dough pour the spinach/cheese mixture. 
                    This picture, above, shows with the spinach mixture.

Now fold the ends of the phyllo dough on top of the filling. 
                                    With the ends folded in.

Continue layering with the phyllo dough sheets brushing with olive oil in between the sheets. 

                          Completed with all the phyllo dough sheets

When finished, take a serrated knife and cut the pie into diagonal pieces. 


Place in the oven at 350 degrees and bake for one hour and 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown.  Serve when cool. 
                                  Hot right out of the oven.

ENJOY!!!


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size                             1serving(47.8 g)
Amount Per Serving
            Calories                       93
Calories from Fat                      55
Total Fat                                   6.1g                       9%
Saturated Fat                             1.8g                       9%
Cholesterol                              21mg                       7%
Sodium                                 178mg                       7%
Total Carbohydrates                   6.1g                       2%
Dietary Fiber                             0.5g                       2%
Sugars                                     0.4g
Protein                                     3.6g