Easy Healthy Seafood Recipe: Antipasto di Mare

Antipasto di mareAntipasto di mare also known as “insalata di mare” or “frutti di mare,” which translates to “fruits of the sea” one of the popular seafood salad easy appetizers served in restaurants all over Italy, particularly those in the Mediterranean or near the ocean. Antipasto means “before the meal” and is the first course served before the main course in a formal Italian lunch or healthy dinner.

There are many versions of this scrumptious salad or “insalata” but most like to keep it light and simple to let the fresh and natural flavors of the seafood stand out. In easy healthy recipes, soles, red mullets, oysters, prawns, crayfish, octopus, clams, and mussels are cooked separately and mixed together then seasoned with a lemon and olive oil dressing garnished with chives for a refreshing and delicious feast. As a first course, this dish is glorious paired with Pinot Grigio, Bellet Blanc, Prosecco, Tocai Friulano, or Greco di Tufo. Baguette or ciabatta is also usually served alongside the antipasto for dipping in the juices of the seafood.

The most important thing to keep in mind when making this dish is to not overcook the seafood. This is the reason why they are cooked separately to make sure that they are done just right. The meat of the fish and shellfish should be moist, tender and juicy. Some like to blanche the seafood and cook it in the vinegar dressing overnight, chilling it inside the refrigerator. Overnight, the marinade cooks the flesh of the seafood and makes it scrumptious. In this recipe, the seafood is served on a bed of string beans and tomatoes.

Ingredients: 2 soles, 2 red mullet fillets, 4 oysters, 2 gambas (prawns), 2 crayfish, octopus, 4 clams, 4 mussels,

For the garnishing: chives, 2 tomatoes, string beans, lemon, pure cold-pressed olive oil

Preparation Instructions: Antipasto di Mare2

In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Set up a bowl of ice and cold water nearby. Blanche the seafood one by one each for a minute or two and plunge them in the ice bath immediately after cooking. Season the fish with coarse salt and pepper. Cook in a sauté pan for about 3 minutes. While the fish cooks, place the string beans in the middle of the serving dish. Cut the tomatoes into small pieces and lay them in a circle around the dish. Place the fish on the serving dish. Arrange the seafood on the plate. Mix the olive oil, lemon, pepper, and fresh chive and spread over the seafood. In Italian, this is called “marecatta.”

On Christmas Eve, many Italian families observe the tradition of having only fish for dinner. This practice is called the La Vigilia or “The Vigil’ and also sometimes called the “Feast of the Seven Fishes.” Insalata di mare is one of the most popular dishes served to begin the celebration of midnight birth of the baby Jesus.

Source: www.gourmandia.com

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Easy Healthy Seafood Recipe: Seafood Lasagna

Seafood LasagnaLasagna is a rich and sumptuous pasta dish that is loved universally. It is not exactly an everyday kind of dish since it is loaded in luxurious ingredients. To make even more delectable lasagna easy healthy recipes for a very special occasion, try this healthy dinner recipe adapted from Blue Ribbon Recipes from the Old Farmer’s Almanac by Polly Bannister. Lobster, shrimps, and scallops are layered with a combination of Cheddar, Mozzarella, and ricotta cheese.

The pasta needs to be cooked before layering and baking with the other ingredients. Follow the package directions on how long to boil the noodles then drain well and rinse with some cold water to stop the cooking and to keep the pasta sheets from sticking together. The shrimps should be washed, shelled and deveined before cooking. The shelled shrimps and scallops are sautéed in garlic and butter and flavored with white wine. Use a heavy bottomed skillet when sautéing the seafood and make sure the oil is hot before adding the shrimps and scallops. The seafood should be cooked quickly to retain the juice and moisture and keep them succulent.

Ingredients: 1 lb. lasagna noodles, ½ cup butter, 1 lb. medium shrimp, shelled and deveined, 1 lb. scallops, 1/3 cup white wine, 3 cloves garlic, minced, 2 (1 lb.) lobsters, boiled and shelled, 16 oz. ricotta cheese, 1 egg, 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano, 1 ½ teaspoons dried basil, 1 lb. Cheddar cheese, shredded, 1 lb. mozzarella cheese, shredded, ½ cup bread crumbs

Preparation Instructions: Seafood Lasagna2

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cook and drain noodles. Place the butter in a large skillet placed over medium high heat. Once melted, add the shrimp and scallops, sautéing until golden. Add the wine and garlic and simmer 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the stove. Dice the lobster meat. Add to the scallop mixture. Drain. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the ricotta, egg, oregano, basil, and Cheddar. Place a layer of noodles in the bottom of a greased 9 x 14 in. baking pan. Top with half the ricotta mixture, half the lobster mixture, and 1/3 the mozzarella. Repeat layers. Add another layer of noodles, then one of mozzarella, and finally the breadcrumbs. Bake 50 minutes.

Boil or steam the lobsters and take the flesh out of the shell and mix with the sautéed scallops and shrimps. For the best results, steam or boil the lobsters in seawater. If you can’t get seawater, simply add a dash of salt to the boiling water. A pound of lobster will cook in about eight minutes in boiling water, or ten minutes when steamed. Steaming will retain more flavor and it is less likely to overcook the lobster via this method. After cooking the lobster, cool it a bit and take the flesh out of the shell and dice the meat for adding to the other seafood. The ricotta and cheddar is mixed with egg, oregano and basil to make the creamy filling that will be layered alternately with the pasta and the seafood.

Source: www.gourmandia.com

Easy Healthy Recipe: Sweet Potatoes and Peas

Sweet Potatoes and Peas RecipeGreen peas have a delicate sweetness that is naturally enhanced when combined with sweet potatoes. In this healthy dinner recipe, sweet potatoes and green peas are mashed together and seasoned with milk, butter, and salt and pepper to create a creamy and luscious side dish that makes a great alternative to the usual mashed potatoes. Serve this as a side dish to pork chops, steaks, barbecues, or roasts and make healthy meals more memorable.

Sweet potatoes are available all year round but they are at their peak flavor during the winter months. When buying sweet potatoes, look for firm potatoes that are small to medium in size with smooth and unblemished skin and free of soft spots. Don’t refrigerate sweet potatoes when they are raw or they will dry out and lose some of their flavor. Store the sweet potatoes in a cool, dark and dry place. Sweet potatoes are packed with nutrition and quite inexpensive and combined with peas, you can make a very powerful, affordable, and nutritious dish that can be part of a healthy diet. Sweet potatoes and peas cook easily in a pot of boiling water and you can make them anytime of the week without sweating it.

Ingredients: 250gms green peas, shelled, 5 medium sweet potatoes, chopped, 1/2 cup milk, scalded, 2 tablespoons butter, Seasonings to taste

Preparation Instructions: Sweet Potatoes and Peas2

In a saucepan boil potatoes and peas in salted water for 20 minutes. Once done throw the water and keep aside. Mash the potatoes and peas with help of a fork. Turn on the gas and let the mashed potatoes and peas cook, adding milk, butter and seasonings. Turn off the heat once desired consistency is obtained. Mix well and serve hot.

There are different varieties of sweet potatoes, the most common if which is the orange-colored variety. Other varieties have a pale or light yellow skin and flesh while others are purple in color. Before cooking, scrub the sweet potatoes with a soft brush to get rid of any dirt and rinse with cool water. Peel the sweet potatoes using a paring knife or vegetable peeler. Cut off a portion of the potatoes’ woody ends. Use a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot for boiling the sweet potatoes and peas. Fill the pot with just enough water to cover the potatoes and peas.

Source: www.gourmandia.com

Easy Healthy Peas Recipe: Peas Curry Recipe

Peas Curry RecipeServe peas curry over hot steaming rice for a satisfying and healthy meals. This recipe includes lean cooked ham but you can substitute the ham with carrots or potatoes or both for a vegetarian version. This recipe also includes vegetable shortening, stock (you can use meat or vegetable stock to make this recipe; mushroom stock also works), flour, onions, sugar, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Peas curry makes a light and nutritious meal that can be incorporated in a healthy diet.

You can make healthy dinner  recipe with fresh, frozen, or canned peas. The peas need to be cooked prior to adding to the other ingredients. For the best flavor, use fresh peas but if they are not in season, opt for frozen peas, which retain most of the flavor, color and nutrition of the vegetable. Fresh and frozen peas cook in about the same amount of time when boiled or steamed. Fresh peas are often sold in their pod so you need to shell them first before you can cook them.

Ingredients: 150gms precooked green peas, 200gms lean cooked ham cut into dice, 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, 2 tablespoons good stock, 1 teaspoon flour, ½ finely chopped onion, a pinch of sugar, dash of grated nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste

Preparation Instructions: Peas Curry Recipe2

In a frying pan over medium heat add vegetable shortening and fry the chopped onion until lightly browned. To this add flour and ham, stir over fire for a minute or two, and then put in peas, stock, sugar, and nutmeg. Allow it to cook on low flame for about 8-10 minutes while stirring often. Serve hot with rice.

To take the peas out oft their pod, remove the strings from the shell and run a finger along the opening to split the pod open and reveal the peas. Place the peas in a colander and rinse well but gently under cold water. Boil some water in a pot, just enough to cover the entire volume of the peas. Once the water starts to boil place the peas in the pot and cook the peas for two to three minutes. If you are using frozen peas, you can cook them straight out of the freezer or allow them to thaw for a few hours in the refrigerator. Once the peas are tender, remove them from the heat and drain out the water using a colander or sieve. Rinse the cooked peas in cold water to cut the cooking and to maintain the bright green color of the peas.

Source: www.gourmandia.com

Easy Healthy Casserole Recipe: Cheese-topped Chicken Tortilla Casserole

Cheese-topped Chicken Tortilla CasseroleChicken tortilla casserole topped with cheese makes a scrumptious healthy dinner meal that is easy to prepare and cook. Made with corn tortillas, cooked chicken, whole kernel corn, salsa, sour cream, fresh cilantro, flour, and shredded cheese, this is quite a tasty healthy recipes dish that the whole family will enjoy. Adapted from the Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes, this chicken tortilla casserole recipe is big in flavor and contains a lot of pleasurable textures. It’s also quite pretty and colorful and makes the perfect party food especially for Mexican-themed parties.

The chicken in this recipe needs to be precooked and sliced into cubes before it is added to the casserole dish with the other ingredients and cooked in the oven. This is a great dish to make if you have leftover chicken breasts that have been roasted, grilled, fried, boiled, baked, or steamed. Simply peel off the skin off the cooked chicken breasts and dice them into bite-sized pieces.

If you don’t have leftover chicken and are using fresh raw chicken, there are a number of ways you can cook the meat for use in this recipe. One of the fastest ways to cook the chicken is to first slice them into cubes and then sauté them in a bit of olive oil. The chicken will cook in two or three minutes as long as the oil is hot enough, about 350 degrees F. The shape won’t be perfect, however. If you want a nicer shape, you can first cook the chicken breasts whole and then slice them after they have been cooked, but bear in mind that this method takes longer.

Ingredients: 6 6-inch corn tortillas, 2 cups cubed cooked chicken, 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn, 1 jar (16 oz) salsa, 3 tbsp. fat-free sour cream, 3 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro, 1 tbsp. flour, 2 cup (8 oz.) shredded Mexican cheese blend

Preparation Instructions: Cheese-topped Chicken Tortilla Casserole2

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut tortillas into wedges, six wedges for each one. Lightly coat a large casserole dish with cooking spray or olive oil. Place half of the tortilla wedges in the bottom of the dish. Place the other half on a baking sheet. Put baking sheet in oven and bake until tortillas are crisp and golden, about 10 minutes. While tortillas are baking, mix chicken, corn, salsa, sour cream, cilantro and flour. Pour mixture over top of tortillas in baking dish. When the plain tortillas are finished, remove from oven and set aside. Place baking dish in oven and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Arrange baked tortillas wedges on top of casserole. Top with cheese. Bake until heated through, 5-10 minutes. Garnish with extra sour cream, fresh peppers, fresh cilantro and chopped tomato, if desired.

When slicing the chicken into cubes, use a sharp flat knife to cut through the stringy parts of the chicken breast cleanly. Slice the breasts lengthwise across and then crosswise to dice into pieces.

Source: www.gourmandia.com

Easy Healthy Corn Recipe: Corn Sweet Potatoes and Paprika

Corn Sweet Potatoes and PaprikaSweet corn and sweet potatoes are seasoned with butter and paprika and baked in the oven in this simple and healthy recipes. You can serve this tasty dish as a snack, as an appetizer, or as a side dish. The sweetness of corn and sweet potatoes complement each other excellently while the butter gives both a rich flavor. Paprika adds spice and color to the dish for a festive meal. Season the dish with salt and pepper to taste. This healthy dinner dish goes great with sausages, steaks, roasts, stews, grilled meats or fried fish.

Paprika is ground red pepper, and can either be bell pepper or chili pepper or a mixture of both. The varieties and mixtures vary and some are spicier than others although paprika is generally milder than cayenne pepper, and has a subtle sweetness. It is a popular seasoning associated with Hungarian cuisine and is also a favorite ingredient in Spanish, Mexican, Austrian, Portuguese, Greek, Croatian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Moroccan, and Romanian cooking. This dish of sweet corn and sweet potatoes with butter and paprika make an excellent side dish or appetizer for the aforementioned cuisines.

Ingredients: 4 ears corn, off the cob, 5 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, sliced, 100ml milk, scalded, 1 tablespoon paprika, 2 tablespoons melted butter, Seasonings to taste

Preparation Instructions: Corn Sweet Potatoes and Paprika2

In a pot boil the corn for about 20 minutes. Once corn becomes tender, drain and set aside. In a baking tray mix corn, sweet potatoes, paprika, butter, and seasonings together. Bake it in a preheated oven for 20 minutes at 185 degree F. add the scalded milk and bake for about 10 minutes longer.

Take note that there are different varieties of paprika and some are sweeter and others are hotter. Some are smoked while others are not. The main thing is that it gives the dish a distinct flavor and a bright red color. Smoky paprika will give the corn and sweet potato dish a smoky richness that is perfect with barbecues or grilled meats while hot paprika is perfect for Mexican or Indian dishes. This dish also goes well with lamb and can add a Mediterranean tough to a meal. You can even enjoy this for breakfast with fried eggs or creamy scrambled eggs. Serve this in lieu or salsa or as a vegetable for any kind of meat.

Easy Healthy Recipe: Veal Chops with Bananas and Carrots Baked

Veal Chops with Bananas and Carrots Baked RecipeMake succulent and tender veal chops easy healthy recipes with little extra special with the addition of bananas and carrots and seasoned with butter for a luxurious flavor. In this healthy dinner recipe, all the ingredients are mixed together and baked in the oven for less than 30 minutes, creating a quick and scrumptious meal for the whole family in no time. This also makes a gorgeous presentation if you have guests coming over for dinner. Serve this with hot rice or potatoes and a good bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Malbec, Bordeaux or Hermitage.

The natural sweetness of bananas and carrots enhance the delicate flavor of veal chops and make for a colorful and unforgettable dish. Veal chops are very tender meat that is simple and quick to cook. Baking veal in the oven helps preserve the natural flavors of the meat and keep them juicy and tender. Before cooking the veal chops, allow it to come to room temperature. If it is frozen, it is best to thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and then take it out of the refrigerator at least an hour before cooking so it can warm up. The whole time, make sure that the veal is covered with wax paper or plastic wrap to keep insects out and to protect it from the elements.

Ingredients: 6 veal chops, 3 bananas, peeled and sliced thick, 2 medium carrots, peeled, sliced, 3 tablespoons melted butter, Seasonings to taste

Preparation Instructions: Veal Chops with Bananas and Carrots Baked Recipe2

Place the veal chops in a large bowl. Cover with butter and season with salt and pepper. Add the sliced bananas and carrots and distribute evenly. Transfer in a greased baking tray and allow it to bake in a preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes at 350 degree F. Serve hot with cooked rice.

Brush the veal with the butter, coating all sides to keep it moist and juicy as it cooks. Like steak, veal chops can be enjoyed medium rare, medium, or well done. Some people prefer their veal chops pink while others like it completely cooked. Use a meat thermometer to determine the doneness of the meat. Medium rare veal chops should have an internal temperature of 130 to 135 degrees F. Medium veal chops will have an internal temperature or 140 to 145 while medium well will be around 150 to 155.

Source: www.gourmandia.com