Saturday, August 3, 2013


As promised, here are the two best recipes we tried last weekend. They are both from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Mediterranean Cooking. It is a beautiful book full of delicious recipes and is fast becoming one of my favorite cookbooks, and I have many, many cookbooks. I used dried oregano because I didn't have any fresh. As a general rule, for every tablespoon of fresh herbs in a recipe, I use a teaspoon of dried. So first the zucchini.

Sauteed Zucchini with Onions and Potatoes

5 tbs olive oil
1 yellow onion diced
2 cloves garlic minced
2 zucchini trimmed, halved lengthwise, and diced
1 tbs chopped fresh oregano
Sea salt (I used Kosher salt)
2 waxy potatoes, about 1/2 pound peeled and diced (red potatoes work well)

In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 tbs of the olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until translucent, about 3 mins. Add the garlic and cook until the onion is tender, about 5 min longer. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the onion mixture to a bowl.

Ad 1 tbs of the olive oil to the pan. Add the zucchini and oregano and sprinkle with salt to help the squash soften. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the moisture in the zucchini has evaporated and the flesh is tender, about 15 minutes. Return the onion mixture to the pan, remove from the heat and set aside.

In a medium frying pan over medium heat, warm the remaining 2 tbs olive oil. Add the potatoes, spreading them in a single layir in the pan, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook the potatoes slowly, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden, about 8 min. Using the slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.

Transfer the potatoes to the large frying pan with the squash. Cook all of the vegetables together over medium heat for 5 minutes to blend the flavors. Serve at once, or let cool and serve at room temperature.

Bistecca alla Pizzaiola

1 1/2 lb boneless chuck shoulder steak, about 3/4 inch thick
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper (again, I used Kosher salt because I don't have sea salt)
2 tbs olive oil
1 can (28 oz) plum Roma tomatoes drained and chopped. (I bought canned whole tomatoes and diced them myself, but I guess you could also buy diced ones.)
2 tbs chopped fresh oregano, or 2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I couldn't find mine, so I used a few shakes of tabasco sauce instead.)

Cut the meat into 4 equal pieces. Pat dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

In a frying pan over  medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the beef and cook, turning once, until browned well on both sides, about 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate.

Add the tomatoes to the pan and stir, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any broned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Return the beef to the pan, along with any accumulated juices. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the meat is tender when cut into with a sharp knife, about 45 minutes. Uncover the pan to turn the meat several times and to check on the sauce. If it is becoming too dry, add water as needed, 1/4 cup at a time.

To serve, transfer the meat to a warmed platter or individual plates. Season the sauce to taste with salt and black pepper and spoon it generously over the meat. Serve at once. Or, if you want a thicker sauce, raise the heat to medium-high and cook, uncovered, until it reaches the desired consistency.

Notes from me: I think the steak recipe would work really well in a crock-pot, especially if you brown the meat really well first. I'll try that next time, I think and let you know the results. I love, love, love crock-pot recipes, especially on Sundays.

1 comment:

  1. Positive proof that it's been too long since you've been to my place, since otherwise you'd know that I'm giving away herbs before the move. Get over here and get yourself some 'regona, Girl!

    Artie the Gart'nie