One Pot Monday Presents: Kolokithokeftedes! (AKA Greek Zucchini Fritters)

ImageImageSince returning from my overseas adventures, I’ve slowly gotten back into the swing of things. I have noticed that I am cooking more Mediterranean-themed meals, however, hoping to hold onto my Cyprus summer memories just a little bit longer through my cooking: yet another magical quality of food. So, in keeping with this “not wanting to let go of summer” theme, I present to you: My version of squash patties, or “kolokithokeftedes”.  These are also “One-Pot”, so a great One-pot Monday meal as well. Just make sure to use the freshest ingredients possible, as usual, to do these babies the justice they deserve. I actually remember making some version of these at the beach house in Cyprus, after plucking a few stolen zucchini from the farm next door. One bite, and you will be transported to a Mediterranean island far, far away.

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Ingredients:

 

1.5 lbs zucchini squash, grated

1 large egg

¼ cup olive oil

1 ½ tsp salt

1 tsp freshly cracked pepper

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp fresh thyme

1 heaping tablespoon of freshly minced mint

¼ cup parmesan cheese

 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled

¼ cup bread crumbs

½ cup grated yellow onion

zest of 1 large lemon

 

½ cup of flour, for coating

1 tsp lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving

 

The instructions are easy. Just mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Form the patties at your desired size.

In a large frying pan, heat up 4 tbs olive oil over medium high heat.

Right before placing patties in the pan, coat each side with flour in a shallow plate.

Cook for about 4 minutes per side, until golden brown. Repeat in batches 

As soon as they come out, season with extra salt and lemon juice.

These are really good with tzatziki sauce or hummus on the side.

 

 

 

One Pot Monday Presents: My Very Crabby Little Crab Cakes

ImageHappy Monday after Fourth of July weekend everyone! Hopefully everyone had a super fun yet safe weekend and ate plenty of hotdogs and pie! For today’s post, and in keeping with my light and refreshing theme (which will probably not last for much longer), I’ve decided to post my famous crab cakes recipe. I’ve tried numerous crab cakes at restaurants all over the land, and I believe that what really makes the delicious ones stand out from the not-so-delicious ones is the use of fresh, real crab meat, and a high crab to bread crumb ratio. These have the freshest ingredients, and the use of home-made bread crumbs just contributes to that home-made flavor. Another plus? I bake them in the oven rather than frying them up in a pan, so they are actually really healthy as well.  Who doesn’t love a good crabby cake in July?!

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One-Pot Monday Presents: Tuna and Beans and Squash, Oh My!

ImageImageImageHappy boiling hot Monday everybody! I don’t know about how it is where you live, but here in Dallas, Texas, it’s freaking HOT!! Leather-car-seat-causing-second-degree-burns-on-your-poor-exposed-legs-hot.  Stay-inside-with-your-head-permanently-glued-to-the-inside-of-your-fridge-hot. So-hot-you-could-kill-for-a-one-way-ticket-to-the-North-Pole-or-somewhere-equally-as-gloriously-cold-hot…Well, you get the gist of our agony down here. So, with the record highs the past few days literally scorching my desire to eat anything too heavy or, for that matter, anything above room temp, I thought it was high time to make my go-to hot weather meal: Tuna “salad” with squash and beans. This is actually a tinkered-with adaptation of a meal we would have at my grandmother’s house in Cyprus on a weekly basis. As she didn’t have AC, this was one of my favorite meals to eat on those hot summer days. I have added my own personal twist to it with green onions, delicious cherry tomatoes, and my bright, lemony dressing, but the heart of the meal is the same.  The best part? Not only is it filling and absolutely delicious, it’s super cost effective as well.  Until these temps start dropping, I may be eating this meal multiple times a week! Enjoy, and STAY COOL FOLKS!!

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One-Pot Monday presents: Mama D’s Mushroom Risotto

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This risotto is one of my favorite one-pot meals to make, because it’s SO EASY, and you would never guess that there weren’t a million steps involved to create such flavors.  Whenever I go out to a new fancy restaurant and spot a mushroom risotto dish on the menu, I always have to compare it to my mom’s version. And, usually, it never really matches her simple, yet satisfying version. It can very well serve as a stand-alone meal with a little simple side salad, or it’s a really great side dish to serve with a main course. One thing to keep in mind when you are cooking with very few ingredients is that the ingredients have to speak for themselves and really shine, so the fresher and more high quality the ingredients, the better your end product will be! That being said, I’ve even brought this dish to a Pot Luck or two, and gotten rave reviews…Mama D really nailed it with this one!

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Return of the One-Pot Monday: Creamy Rice w/ SPICY Mushroom Shrimp Sauce

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It’s BAAAACKK!!!

I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve missed me some One-Pot Monday meals!

I’m kicking off the inauguration of the re-birth of the One-Pot Mondays with this fun, delicious, and New Orleans- themed Shrimp dish.

Who doesn’t love shrimp (aka skrimps)? Who doesn’t love mushrooms (or may I dare say… ‘shrooms)? Who doesn’t love some fatty, yummy cream sauce? So that’s the *thinking* behind this dish. That and some inspiration brought to you courtesy of a recent voodoo filled vacay in NOLA right after our wedding. The sauce has just the right balance of kick and subdued creamy luxury. Give it a shot, you will love it. I can almost hear Marie Laveau licking her lips in agreement…

 

Serves 4-6 people/ difficulty: easy

You’ll need:

-1 lb shrimp

-6-8 small pickled red tomatoes (regular grape tomatoes are OK if you can’t find pickled tomatoes, but there are some great ones available at www.WilliamsSonoma.com)

-2 cloves garlic, minced

-1 ½ cups wild rice

– 1 cup wild mushrooms, cleaned and diced

-3 cups vegetable or chicken stock

-1 tsp paprika

-1 tsp fresh thyme

– ½ tsp oregano

– ½ tsp crushed red pepper

-salt and pepper to taste

– ¼ cup heavy cream

– ¼ cup sherry wine

 

-small handful of finely minced parsley, and sliced lemon, for garnish

 

In a large pot, sauté the garlic, shrimp, mushrooms, tomatoes, and spices for 5 minutes on medium heat. 

Add sherry and stock, bring to a boil, then add the wild rice 

Cook for 7 minutes, then add the cream, and cook until the rice is fully cooked, about 5- 7 more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with slices of lemon and parsley for garnish.

 

 

One Pot Monday Recipe: Yia Yia’s Lamb and Potatoes

lamb and potatoes

One of my absolute favorite Greek foods to cook has got to be lamb and potatoes. I remember my yia yia making it early in the mornings at the crack of dawn, as was her ritual every morning when we spent our summers at their home in Cyprus. Whenever I think of that house, I remember chipped celadon blue paint flaking off of the old wooden window panes and the smell of fragrant foods cooking in the kitchen. I can still hear the sound of my grandmother clinking her pots and spoons and hands around making lunch for us every day after we came home from a day at the beach. It was her way of expressing her love for her family, and I’m sure the compliments we always paid her for her tasty creations made her day as well. This lamb recipe is very similar to something she would make, that my mother and I now make our own versions of in our respective kitchens for our own loved ones. It’s more than just a recipe for me, I guess. It’s one of the catalysts that led me down this culinary road towards my very own rituals and recipes in my own kitchen.

 

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One-Pot Monday Recipe of the Week: Chicken Mushroom Quinoa with Tomato Basil Sauce

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Happy One-pot Monday! Today, after a weekend of inhaling brownies and strawberry pie, I feel like something a little more on the healthy side. Since my last coconut shrimp quinoa was such a success, I decided to go ahead and post another of my favorite quinoa recipes. This is just such a hearty, flavorful little quinoa dish, and of course you’ll feel like you started off the week on the right, healthy foot! I guess technically this is a 2-pot, since the quinoa has to be cooked separately, but I promise it’s so simple, it’s definitely one-pot-worthy.  I’m also a hug fan of all things tomato basil, and why not health-ify it with some quinoa? I promise you won’t be mad at that second pot, especially if it contains fluffy, yummy quinoa inside.

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One-Pot-Monday Recipe of the Week: Voodoo Halibut in Tomato Broth with Pickled Red Onion

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It’s One-Pot-Monday y’all! I’m not super pumped about starting a new workweek, but hopefully this recipe will brighten everyone’s day today, including mine. It’s very colorful and pretty, after all. Oh, and it tastes great too.  Something that will hopefully lift our spirits and put us back in the positive mindset that the weekend will be only four days away after eating this tonight for dinner (just kidding, but seriously). These are the kind of days that, for me, a one-pot meal is a lifesaver. Throw this in a pot and let the smells do their voodoo magic on your mood…this recipe was inspired by my recent trip to New Orleans, after all. The magic is really in the broth. It ties the flavors all together, and the smell is like Epson salts for your spirits. You’ll see what I mean. I only wish that there were a smell button along side the post button here sometimes! So, enjoy this dish tonight, and go forth into the workweek with renewed vigor and the weekend light at the end of the tunnel!

 

(serves 2 people, with leftovers)

 

You’ll need:

 

-1 lb halibut fillet, thickly cut, and the fresher the better

-14 ounces fire roasted plum tomatoes from can

-2 cups water

-2 cloves garlic, finely sliced at a diagonal

-two handfuls fresh spinach, thoroughly washed

-1/2 cup white wine

-salt and pepper to taste

-2 tbs fresh thyme

-3 green olives, chopped

-1/2 yellow onion

-small handful of chopped fresh cilantro

-zest of 1 lemon

-swirl of the pan’s worth of olive oil

 

The only thing that isn’t technically “one-pot” are the pickled red onions, but they take about 10 minutes to pickles, and really bring a great acidity to the dish…

-1/4 of a red onion, for pickling, optional

-1/2 cup red wine vinegar, for pickling

-2 tbs honey, for pickling

In a large heavy bottomed skillet, heat up a little olive oil to medium-high heat. Add the onion, and sauté until it’s translucent, about 3 minutes. Now add the fish and let the fish sit in the pan for about 3 minutes, searing one side.

Flip the fish, and sear the other side for another 3 minutes or so.

 

Greek-Style Lentil Stew

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Hi all! I took this week to do a little plotting on how to better organize my blog so that my readers could enjoy every post that much more…After some consideration, I’ve decided to do a few “theme” days throughout the week, to give you guys something to look forward to. I’m going to kick off the week with One-Pot Mondays. After going out all weekend, the last thing any of us want to do is spend even MORE money come Monday, but we also may not necessarily want to put too much effort into cooking.  I figure Mondays are a good day for one-pot or very simple meals that don’t require a lot of planning ahead or thinking too much, but will still save us the guilt of eating out again after playing all weekend.

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Southwestern Purple Potato Frittata

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This frittata is not only perfect for breakfast, but makes for a pretty mean southwest- inspired dinner. I always love how hearty and filling a flavorful egg dish can be for dinner.  There’s something very comforting about being able to cook everything in one skillet, and end up with a yummy, delicious meal that’s not something you would normally think of to cook come dinnertime. The purple potatoes add a nice contrasting color with the tomato, egg, and cilantro, but you can always use a nice red potato if you’re scared of eating purple things. I, personally, am a one-eyed, one-horned, flyin’ purple potato eater… Aside from the awesomeness of the purple potatoes, this one also has a great amount of cheese, which is essential for the perfect frittata bite. Throw some bread on the grill to serve it with, and you’re in business. 

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