Recipes for the Mediterranean Diet

CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – Seth’s “Diets of the Week” continue, and this week he is trying out the Mediterranean Diet. Chef Bill Collins made a delicious main course, snack, and dessert that are on the diet. He showed us how to make Seared Swordfish with Tomatoes and Balsamic, Tapenade, and Citrus Almond Cake.

Seared Swordfish with Tomatoes and Balsamic
(Taunton’s Fine Cooking, June/July 2008)
chefbill.com

1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons capers
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 ½ pounds skinless mild white fish, cut into 4 portions
1/3 cup flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
salt and pepper
6-8 leaves fresh basil, thinly sliced

Preheat to 450°. Place the rack in the center of oven.

  1. In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, capers, balsamic, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of pepper
  2. Combine ½ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of pepper into the flour, and dredge the fish in it.
  3. In a large heated, oven-proof skillet over a medium-high heat, add the olive oil, and place the fish in the skillet. Brown fish on one side, which should take 3-4 mins
  4. Turn over the fish, add in the garlic, and cook for another 30 seconds, or until the garlic starts to brown on some of its edges.
  5. Pour the tomato mixture around fish, and place this in the oven. Roast until the fish is cooked through, approximately 4-6 mins
  6. Garnish with shredded basil

Makes 4 servings

 

Tapenade
chefbill.com

2 cloves garlic, peeled
3 anchovies (optional)
1 teaspoons capers
1 pint pitted Kalamata olives, or other flavorful olive
olive oil
ground black pepper

  1. Place the garlic in a food processor, and process until minced. Add (optional) anchovies, and process until they are mush.
  2. Add the olives and capers, and briefly pulse/chop until the olives are broken into large pieces. Add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil, and ¼ teaspoon of pepper. Pulse/chop again, until the mixture is combined, but not a smooth paste. Rather, there should be small pieces of olives and capers in the mixture.
  3. Check the flavor, and add more olive oil (to bind it together) and pepper as needed. Serve with French bread or fancy/schmancy crackers.

Makes approximately 1 pint.

 

Citrus Almond Cake
chefbill.com

½ pound (1-3/4 cups) blanched whole almonds (see note below)
6 large eggs, separated
1 ¼ cups superfine sugar (see note below)
Grated zest of 1 orange
Grated zest of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon almond extract
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour an 8” springform pan

  1. Finely grind the almonds in a food processor and set aside.
  2. With an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks and sugar to a smooth pale cream. Mix in the zests and almond extract. Add the ground almonds and mix very well.
  3. With clean beaters, beat the egg whites in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold them into the egg and almond mixture. You’ll need to be patient as the almond mixture is very thick.
  4. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the cake feels firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan.
  6. Just before serving, dust the top of the cake with confectioners’ sugar.

Makes 8-12 servings

Notes:
How to blanch almonds: pour enough boiling water over the almonds to cover them. Let them sit for 1 minute. Rinse under cold water. When they’re cool enough to handle, remove the skins by pinching them between your fingers.

Superfine sugar: To equal one cup of superfine sugar, place 1 cup, plus two teaspoons, or white sugar into a food processor. Process for 30 seconds.

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