Category Archives: Mediterranean Food

Paella

When I was younger I got a chance to go to Spain.  What I remember the most was the food and the architecture.  The food most of all, and of all of it the paella was the best! So much fresh seafood available off the Mediterranean.

The Ingredients:

  • Arborio Rice( in a pinch you could use regular old long grain rice)
  • Chicken Thighs, Bone in Skin on
  • Frozen peas, 8oz
  • Red Bell Pepper, sliced into strips.
  • Shrimp (U15 or Colossal)
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Chopped (depending on how you like it)
  • Olive oil, 1/4
  • 2 Lemons, quartered
  • Safron, like 2 sprigs.
  • Spanish onion, medium chopped
  • Paprika
  • Bay leaf
  • Chicken stock
  • Parsley
  • Dried red pepper flakes
  • Spanish Chorizo.

The Process:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons olive oil, paprika, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir in chicken pieces to coat. Cover, and refrigerate.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet or paella pan over medium heat. Stir in garlic, red pepper flakes, and rice. Cook, stirring to coat rice with oil, about 3 minutes. Stir in saffron threads, bay leaf, parsley, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer 20 minutes
  3. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a separate skillet over medium heat. Stir in marinated chicken and onion; cook 5 minutes. Stir in bell pepper and sausage; cook 5 minutes. Stir in shrimp; cook, turning the shrimp, until both sides are pink.
  4. Spread rice mixture onto a serving tray. Top with meat and seafood mixture
  5. Now, this is the hardest step, pop open a bottle of Red Roija, or make a Clarita (equal parts light lager and sparkling lemonade) and enjoy with friends.

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Garlic Yogurt Sauce

When I make anything grilled with a Mediterranean or Middle Eastern flare I like to make this sauce with it.   It’s the perfect mix of savory, sweet, cooling and warming.  It goes great with any kind of Kebab, just splash it on to a pita with some arugula, tomato, and thin sliced red onion and you are ready to go.

Garlic Yogurt Sauce

The Ingredients:
*3 Clovers Garlic, chopped
*1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
*1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
*1/2 a lemon, juiced
*Fresh Cracked Pepper

The Instructions:
Mash garlic to a paste with salt using a mortar and pestle (or mince and mash with a heavy knife). Stir together garlic paste, yogurt, and lemon juice.

Yields: 1 Cup

Prep time: 5 minutes

Tzatziki: Yogurt Sauce (Greek yogurt and cucumber sauce)

Tzatziki (Yogurt and cucumber sauce)

So I love me some Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods.  All those herbs and spices
Pack an awesome punch of flavor without adding a ton of salt.  Incidentally I’m trying to take in 500-1500mg of sodium daily, if I can.

I will use this on grilled meats of all types,  beef, lamb, chicken,  or fish,  it is delicious.

The Ingredients:
*2 cups plain whole milk yogurt or 1 cup Middle Eastern-style plain yogurt
*1 medium cucumber, peeled, halved, and seeded
*2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus a pinch
*1/2 clove garlic
*1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
*1 teaspoon lemon juice
*1/2 teaspoon dried dill

The Instructions:
If you’re using plain whole milk yogurt, line a small sieve with a coffee filter. Put the yogurt in it, set it over a bowl, and refrigerate 12 hours. Discard the expressed liquid and put yogurt in the bowl.

Grate the cucumber on the large holes of a box grater into another bowl. Sprinkle with the 2 teaspoons salt and rub into the cucumber with your hands. Set aside 20 minutes, then squeeze the cucumbers to express as much liquid as possible.

Smash the garlic, sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt, and, with the flat side of a large knife, mash and smear the mixture to a coarse paste. Stir the cucumber, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and dill into the yogurt. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Yield: 1 1/4 cups

Prep Time: 5 minutes