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A Recipe From Greco's Kitchen
Italian Baccala (Cod) Baked Stew
1 lb dried cod, prepared as follows in directions (baccala)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced small
2 medium onions, peeled and diced
1 (16 ounce) can Italian peeled plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped (with the juices)
1/2 cup chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup seedless raisins, plumped in warm water and drained
1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted in a dry skillet on the stove (pignoli)
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup green olives in brine, pitted and sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
PREPARE THE BACCALA: Three days before cooking, place the pieces of dried cod (baccala) in a large pan, cover with cold water, and refrigerate. (Do yourself a favor and cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap AND aluminum foil or your refrigerator will be filled with a very strong fishy smell!) Soak for 3 days to remove the salt. Turn the pieces of fish occasionally and change the water every 6 to 8 hours. By the third day, the cod will be plump, soft, fleshy, and well hydrated. Rinse under cold water and pat dry. The baccala is now ready for the recipe. (This is NOT part of the preparation time listed in the recipe).
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove any skin and bones from the fish, dry with paper towels, and cut into 6 pieces.
Grease a 9x12-inch-deep oven-proof dish with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Layer with half the potatoes, half the onions, half the cod, and half the tomatoes. Sprinkle with half the parsley. Add the raisins, toasted pignoli, capers, olives, and the rest of the potatoes, onions and cod. Pour in the rest of the tomatoes with the juices. Season with the salt, pepper, and the remaining parsley. Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the top and bake, uncovered, for 45 to 50 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Serve in soup bowls and garnish with crusty Italian Bread
Just a reminder:
Traditionally, Italians dine on several different fish and seafood dishes during any of the holidays. This recipe is typical of the Calabrian region of Italy. Have plenty of crusty Italian bread available to scoop up the sauce. And, remember to buy your dried, salted cod (baccala) three days before cooking, so you can prepare
Seasonal Vegetable Mixed Grill
12 spears asparagus
3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp minced garlic
Sea salt and black pepper
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut crosswise into 1/2 inch slices
2 zucchini, halved lengthwise
1 red onion, cut into slices 1/2 inch thick
2 sweet potatoes, cut into slices 1/2 inch thick
4 oz crumbled goat cheese (optional)
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (optional)
Makes 4-6 servings
Bring a pot three fourths full of water to a boil. Add the sweet potato slices and parboil just until they can be pierced with a fork, about 7 min. Do not overcook. Drain and pat dry.
In a large bowl, whisk together the orange juice, oil, rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste. Snap the tough ends off the asparagus and add to the bowl along with the zucchini, bell pepper, sweet potato and red onion and toss to coat evenly. Allow to stand at room temperature for an hour. Drain just before grilling.
Prepare grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat. Arrange vegetables directly over heat element adding and removing them according to cook time. Sweet potato, pepper, and zucchini will take the longest followed by the onion slices and asparagus. Turn the vegetables once or twice and cook until tender.
Arrange on a platter and top with crumbled goat cheese and toasted pine nuts if you desire.
Southwestern Grilled Flank Steak
1 1/2 pounds lean flank steak
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp sweet paprika
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
Combine marinade ingredients. Place steak in ziplock bag, coat with marinade and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours to over night.
Coat grill with cooking spray and grill for 4 min on each side or to desired doneness. Let stand 5 min. Slice on a diagonal.
Ginger Sesame Glazed Salmon
2 pieces of fresh Salmon
Toasted sesame seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp ginger juice
2 tsp sesame oil
Preheat oven to 400 F
In a small saucepan, combine orange juice, soy sauce, maple syrup and ginger juice. Bring up to a boil and turn down the heat. Simmer until the sauce is bubbling and has thickened. Add the sesame oil, stir well and remove from heat. Set aside to cool.
Remove skin of salmon and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 5-7 minutes (depending on thickness of your salmon) Remove from the oven and generously brush with the ginger glaze. Switch oven to broil and grill the salmon until brown. In between grilling take out the fish and brush it with more glaze. This will take about 5-7 minutes or until salmon is cooked to your likeness. Sprinkle with toasted sesame and serve immediately.
“Healthy Steamed” Sweet Potatoes
2 medium sweet potatoes
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 medium garlic cloves, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Fill the bottom of a steamer with 2 inches of water. Cut sweet potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes (remove skins if you would prefer to mash) Steam for 7 minutes. Sweet potatoes are done when you can easily penetrate with a fork.
Transfer to a bowl and toss with remaining ingredients while they are still hot.
The versatile Sweet Potato.... try these variations on the recipe above
1) Top with chopped fresh rosemary and ground pumpkin seeds
2) Cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg all compliment the flavor of sweet potato nicely
3) Combine the “Healthy Steamed” sweet potato recipe with one 15 oz can of black beans, 1 tsp cumin and top with 2 Tbsp goat cheese
4) Sweet Potato Pudding: using above recipe, omit the garlic, olive oil and salt. Combine 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1 tsp pumpkin spice, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 3 Tbsp coconut butter or butter and steamed sweet potatoes. Whip until creamy with a hand mixer, serve in individual ramekins and garnish with toasted chopped pecans.
Honey Mustard Salmon
4 Salmon fillets, skin on
3 Tbsp dijon mustard
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp olive oil
ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and place salmon skin side down on sheet. Whisk together ingredients, brush over salmon and top with ground black pepper. Bake for 20 min or until fully cooked.