Tag Archives: basil
Herb Crusted Scallops
Rinse under cold water and pick the muscles off the scallops, season with salt and pepper
Take bread crumbs and add to them some Italian seasoning, fresh chopped basil, marjoram, parsley. Dip the scallops into the mixture covering just the tops and bottoms and set aside.
In a large sauté pan heated to medium high add some good oil and cook a few of the scallops a few at a time for maybe a minute or two then carefully flip them over. You are looking for a nice sear and good color; however you don’t want to cook them all the way through.
When done transfer to a plate and slide them into the fridge for about ten minutes, to stop the cooking process, while you make the sauce.
As for the sauce, wipe out the pan, add a tablespoon of oil and add 1/4 of a diced sweet onion. Sauté for about 7-8 minutes. While the pan is on medium-high heat deglaze with about 1/2 cup of your favorite white wine, let it reduce for another minute or two. Add the juice of a fresh lemon. Finish the sauce by adding 1/4 cup of heavy cream, bring to a boil then lower the heat to low.
Take the scallops out of the fridge and place into the hot sauce just until they heat through; be careful not to cook them too much, you don’t want to overcook them, they will get hard and rubbery.
To be fancy, plate some rice down the center of a plate, place the scallops on top and then spoon some sauce over the rice. Serve right away and enjoy.
Cheesy Basil Puff Pastry
Here is a quick way to impress last minute guests!
Start with 1 sheet of the frozen puff pastry dough that you might have in the back of the freezer, bring it up to room temp and unfold it. Then carefully cut about an inch in from the edge but not all the way through and then take a fork and dock it. That is just a fancy term for poking a lot of holes in the puff pastry with the tines of a fork.
Now place the dough in a pre-heated 425F oven and cook for about 10 – 13 minutes or until the outside puffs up and is golden brown.
While it is baking grab a bowl and add 1 cup of ricotta cheese, ½ cup of Parmesan cheese, ¾ cup of Mozzarella cheese, a handful of fresh basil from the garden cut thin, 1 Tbsp of chopped garlic some salt and pepper. Stir it all together.
Once it is done pull it out of the oven, set it on the counter and turn down the oven to 300F.
Fill the inside of puff pastry with the cheese mixture and score it so the topping has somewhere to nestle into. So now you can top it with whatever you have handy, for us we had some baby onions and cherry tomatoes from the garden and some broccoli from the fridge. Sprinkle some good olive oil over the top and add the last little bit of shredded mozzarella and bake in the 300F oven for about 25 minutes or until it’s brown and bubbling.
So let it cool for a few minutes and serve it with some salad for a nice afternoon snack along with your favorite white wine. Enjoy
Sorry, no picture of the final product. It was so good, the family ate it all before I could snap one.
Here is an easy meal to put together that is good for you too!
- Corvina filet
- Olive oil
- 4 Basil leaves, finely chopped
- 2 Lemons zested
- 2 cloves of Garlic, diced
- 2 lbs mini Zucchini, sliced in half the long way
- 1 large Onion, chopped
- 2 lbs Patty Pans, whole
- Cherry tomatoes
- Compound Butter
- 2 sticks Butter, unsalted and softened
- 3 Tbsp Lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp Garlic, diced
- 2 Tbsp Basil, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp Parsley, finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/8 tsp Pepper, ground
- 1 cup Brown rice
- 2.5 cups water
- 1 tsp Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Compound Butter. Ahead of time make the compound butter.
- Mix together the butter, lemon juice, garlic, basil, parsley, salt and pepper.
- Place mixture on a piece of plastic wrap and roll into a log.
- Place in a freezer for an hour to set. After move the butter to the refrigerator.
- Place the rice, water, olive oil in the rice cooker. (A rice cooker is handy so that you can easily multitask and the rice always comes out the way it should.)
- Add a pinch of salt and pepper for flavor.
- Rub a little oil on Corvina.
- Sprinkle the fish with the basil, thyme, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
- Let the fish rest for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the grill to high heat, place a skillet on the grill.
- Place the fish on a skillet to sear.
- Cook on the first side for about 11 minutes.
- Then flip the fish over and cook for an additional 6-7 minutes.
You know a white fish is cooked when the flesh flakes easily.
- In a large sauté pan, add a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil.
- Add the zucchini, onions and patty pans.
- Cook the vegetables on medium high until they are about 3/4 of the way done.
- Add in the garlic and tomatoes into the pan.
- Finish cooking until the vegetables they are tender.
Put some of the brown rice on the plate, some of the vegetables, and garnish the fish with a slice of the compound butter. The cold butter melts over the hot fish making its own sauce.
Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Appetizer
Here is an easy and great tasting appetizer that uses only fresh ingredients. Great for a summer time snack.
These cherry tomatoes and basil leaves are from our garden. The cheese is mini mozzarella balls. They are from a little Italian market down the street from us.
Simply put a tomato on a tooth pick, followed by a basal leaf, and then the mozzarella ball. After you make more than you think you will need, because they are so good, drizzle them with a good olive oil and a few drops of good quality balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with some Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
Eat the appetizer in one bite so all the flavors explode in your mouth, just be careful not to poke the back of your throat with the tooth pick.
Stuffed Chicken Breast
Chicken can get boring, sometimes doing something completely different can add some variety.
You can stuff chicken breasts with any of your favorite ingredients.
Fresh roasted red peppers offer a great flavor to this particular dish.
- 4 chicken breast, about 5 oz each
- 8 large slices of roasted red peppers (From recipe posted March 30, 2013.)
- 2 tbsp garlic, chopped
- 1 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 10 Basil leaves chiffonade
- 1 cup breadcrumbs, seasoned
- Take the chicken breast and butterfly it. To do that, cut it in half horizontally. Do not cut all the way through. Leave at least on end attached.
- Season the chicken breast with salt and pepper.
- Add the garlic to the chicken breasts.
- Layer in the roasted red peppers, basil and mozzarella.
- Fold the chicken back together, like a sandwich.
- Carefully coat both sides of the chicken with the seasoned breadcrumbs.
- Preheat a heavy bottom pan on medium low heat with oil. I used a Mediterranean oil, which was a mixture of olive oil and canola oil.
- Cook the chicken on medium low heat until golden brown.
- Because the chicken was thinly cut, each side should only take 4-6 minutes.
- Flip the chicken over and cook the other side to a golden brown.
- Serve with some of your favorite pasta. Here I tossed the pasta with garlic, Parmesan cheese, cream and black pepper.
Checca with linguini
A wonderfully light and refreshing sauce for pasta is Checca. My wife and I love to make this often, especially since most of the ingredients come right from our own garden.
Checca is another one of those great recipes where you can make it ahead of time and have available on one of those long work days.
- 1/2 lb cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 2 tbsp chopped garlic
- 1/4 cup basil chiffonade
- 1/2 olive oil
- vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp pepper
- Mix the tomatoes, garlic and basil together.
- Mix into the dried ingredients the oils, salt and pepper.
- Place in a pot and simmer on med-low heat for 3-5 minutes.
- Serve over your favorite pasta.
- Or store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
My wife is not a big fan of meatballs, she complains they are always too dry. In my hometown in New Jersey was a family from Italy who showed me how to make simple and yet moist meatballs.
- 2 tbsp garlic
- 4 tbsp pecorino romano cheese
- 1 tbsp salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp bread crumbs
- 1.5 lbs ground beef – 80/20 is the best kind to get
- Mix and form into large balls with ice cream scooper
- Then cut in 1/2
- Roll and place on 1/2 sheet pan
- Bake at 400 F for 10-15 minutes
- Take out and let cool
The meatballs are now ready to be added to an Italian gravy or eating plain. Another benefit of this recipe is that these meatballs can be stored and frozen up to 3 months. And when ready to use, let them thaw and then put in any gravy or sauce you want.
And these my wife will eat.