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Elegant but easy, this fast fish dinner is simple enough to prepare on a weeknight and special enough to serve to company.
4 (1 1/4-inch-thick) pieces white-fleshed skinless fish fillets, such as halibut (6 oz each)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 very thin lemon slices
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup pitted brine-cured green olives such as picholine, halved lengthwise
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano or 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
Special equipment: a 2 1/2-qt shallow ceramic or glass baking dishPut oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 450°F.Pat fish dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sear fillets, skinned sides down,until browned well, 3 to 4 minutes.Transfer, seared sides up, to baking dish (reserve skillet), then top each fillet with a slice of lemon.Add wine to skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits. Boil 30 seconds, then pour around fish. Scatter olives around fish and bake, uncovered, until fish is just cooked through, 8 to 12 minutes.Transfer fish to a platter, then whisk lemon juice, oregano, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil into cooking liquid in baking dish. Season sauce with salt and pepper and spoon over fish.
Makes 4 main-course servings.
Creamy Yogurt Oregano Dip
This would make a great sauce for falafel, hamburgers, or just crackers/vegetables as dip delivery devices. This recipe can be halved.
2 Cups Plain Lowfat Greek (strained) yogurt (see note below)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 small onion, finely chopped (or two green onions) juice from 1 garlic clove, (I used a microplane, you can also try a garlic press and just add the juice)
2 quick dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Mix all ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate to develop flavors, at least 2 hours and up to 6 hours.
Serve as a thick sauce for lamb burgers, falafel, as a dip plate, etc.
Makes 6 Servings (About 1 3/4 Cups of Dip).
Greek Yogurt Note: it's a strained therefore thicker yogurt. You can use nonfat or full fat if you like. Trader Joe's sells a Greek brand and their own brand of Greek yogurt. You can make your own too: Set strainer over 4-cup measuring cup. Line strainer with paper towel. Add yogurt to strainer; chill until yogurt is thick (about 1 cup liquid will drain from yogurt), at least 2 hours or overnight.
Serving Size : 6
1 lg Onion -- chopped
3 Garlic cloves -- crushed & chopped
2 Tablespoons vegetable or olive Oil
2 Celery ribs & or 1 fennel bulb -- diced
1 red or yellow pepper, chopped, optional
1 1/2 teaspoons Chili powder
1 t Cumin
1/2 ts Cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 can chopped Tomatoes
4 c Beans, kidney, black, pinto -and/or garbanzo -- cooked (canned or cooked at your house)
1/2 lb Tofu -- crumbled (optional)
1 1/2 ts Salt, or to taste
1 Tablespoon fresh Oregano, chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried
Saute onion and garlic in oil until onion is soft. Add celery/fennel, chopped red pepper, and spices. Saute another 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes. Mash 2 cups of the beans and add beans and tofu to the pot along with the salt and oregano. Simmer 30 minutes. To cook raw beans: Soak beans in water overnight, OR boil for 2 minutes and let sit, covered, for 1 hour. Bring to a boil in same water and simmer about 1 hour or until tender.
Grilled Chicken with Oregano, Cinnamon and Paprika
from Bon Apetit June 2000
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon paprika
6 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
Whisk first 7 ingredients to blend in 13x9x2 inch glass baking dish. Add chicken to dish and turn to coat with marinade. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour, turning occasionally. Spray grill with non stick spray; prepare barbeque (med. high heat). Grill chicken until cooked through, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes.
Oregano Dressing for Lettuce Salad
recipe inspired by Renee Shepherd
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup olive oil
3 teaspoons fresh chopped oregano leaves
salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients and dress a lettuce salad. Add feta cheese, chopped tomatoes (in season), and greek olives if desired.
from Kitchen Gardener, Aug/Sep 1999
1 small green cabbage (can substitute lettuce), sliced into thin
1 roasted sweet red pepper, sliced into thin strips\
4 oz. feta cheese
1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives
4 small onions, sliced
2 tbsp. fresh oregano, stripped off stem and crushed between fingers
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt & freshly ground pepper
Place the cabbage, sweet pepper, feta cheese, olives, and onions in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the fresh oregano. Mix the lemon juice and olive oil in a small bowl until thoroughly blended, then pour over the cabbage mixture and toss gently but thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves 4 to 6.
FINGERLING POTATOES WITH OREGANO PESTO Serves 4
Any kind of potatoes will work in place of the fingerlings. Just cut them up into 2-inch chunks.
2 cups torn spinach leaves
2 cups fresh parsley leaves
1 cup fresh oregano leaves
2 tbsp. grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. sliced almonds, toasted
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 tbsp. olive oil
16 fingerling poatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
Combine first 8 ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth. With food processor on, slowly add oil through food chute; process until well-blended. Set aside. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place potatoes on a jelly-roll pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Place potatoes in a large bowl; add 1/3 cup pesto, tossing gently to coat.
Leaf: Blend with chili and garlic. Add to pizza, tomatoes, egg and
cheese dishes. Stuff fresh haddock with oregano and breadcrumbs. Rub
into roasting meat.
Stem: Give food a faint oregano flavor by laying stems on barbecue
Oregano Before Tomatoes! It's got some of the same theories as Basil Before Tomatoes. You can easily try drying the oregano. (Basil doesn't dry well AT ALL: it's best to pestoize it and freeze it to keep it for the future.) But oregano is great dried. If you have a gas oven you can arrange the oregano stems evenly over a baking pan (undo the bunch). Put it in the oven with just the pilot light and it should dry nicely. You can also try hanging the bunch (possibly make a couple of smaller bunches) upside down in a dark, dry place. If you have a food dehydrator, try that, using the instructions. OR! Try one of the recipes below: all using fresh oregano, before tomatoes show up!
CARROT SALAD WITH OREGANO AND CUMIN
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, chopped fine
a rounded 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound carrots (about 8 medium), peeled and shredded fine
In a bowl whisk together oregano, cumin, zest, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste and whisk in oil in a stream until dressing is emulsified. Add carrots and toss to combine well.
Serves 8 to 10 as part of a tapas buffet.
GRILLED JUMBO SHRIMP WITH LEMON AND OREGANO
Julia's note: I've made this dish: it's simply delicious. Plan to double the recipe if you have very many shrimp lovers at your table! I've successfully used smaller shrimp as well. I've made this in the oven using the broiler instead of the grill as well....
Gourmet's note: The citrusy dressing makes this dish a standout, and there's plenty extra to be sopped up with rice or crusty bread. Cooking shrimp in their shells keeps them juicy and tender. It all makes for casual finger food that requires plenty of napkins — which is part of the fun.
3 lb jumbo shrimp in shell (7 or 8 per lb)
4 large garlic cloves
3/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh oregano (from 1 bunch)
3 lemons, each cut into 6 wedges
Snip through shells of shrimp along middle of back using kitchen shears, exposing vein and leaving tail and adjoining segment of shell intact. Devein shrimp, leaving shells in place.
Mince and mash garlic to a paste with salt using a large heavy knife or a mortar and pestle. Transfer to a blender along with lemon juice and pepper and blend until smooth. With motor running, add oil in a slow stream, blending until emulsified. Transfer dressing to a bowl and stir in chopped oregano.
Prepare grill for cooking over direct heat with medium-hot charcoal (moderate heat for gas).
Toss shrimp with 1/4 cup dressing in a large bowl and marinate no more than 15 minutes. (Texture of shrimp will change if marinated too long.)
Lightly brush lemon wedges with some of remaining dressing and grill, turning over once, until grill marks appear, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a large platter.
Grill shrimp on lightly oiled grill rack (covered only if using a gas grill), turning over once, until just cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes total. Transfer to platter with lemons as grilled. Serve with remaining dressing.
If you aren't able to grill outdoors, preheat a lightly oiled well-seasoned large (2-burner) cast-iron grill pan over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook lemon wedges and shrimp (in batches if necessary) in same manner as above.
Makes 6 servings.
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