Tuna Steaks, Ginger and Broccollini…oh yeah!

Dinner time, new recipe, bring it on.  Found something with some Asian flair that had to be tested recently.

Pan-Seared Tuna Steaks with Ginger Vinaigrette, from Food & Wine

Ingredients

5 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
5 tablespoons sake
2 1/2 tablespoons mirin
3 tablespoons minced shallot
1/2 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Pepper
1 bunch of Broccolini, trimmed
Two 1-inch-thick yellowfin tuna steaks (grabbed frozen Ahi from Trader Joe’s)
2 teaspoons toasted white sesame seeds
Lemon wedges, for serving

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Directions

In a small saucepan, simmer the soy sauce, sake, mirin and shallot until the liquid is slightly reduced, 3 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in the ginger. Slowly whisk in 1/4 cup of the oil. Season with salt and pepper.
In a steamer basket set in 
a large saucepan of simmering water, steam the Broccolini until tender, about 6 minutes. Transfer to plates.
Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Season the tuna with salt and pepper. Sear over high heat until golden brown but still rare within, about 30 seconds per side. — Ok, I actually had a BBQ to use to I did this thing called grill the tuna.  Short, sweet, to the point.  Delicious!

Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate to drain. (So didn’t have to do this part).

Slice against the grain and transfer to the plates. Drizzle with some of the vinaigrette and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

Serve with lemon wedges and the remaining vinaigrette.

IMG_3840To be honest, I almost forgot the brocollini because there was so much going on in the kitchen and I don’t serve stuff just like the recipe, but then I realized something was missing.  This was a great combo of flavors, and I often forget about brocollini.  Was pretty quick to make, too.  So, give it a try if you’re looking for something new.

Crusted!

Tried another recipe from a recent issue of Bon Appetit — Wild Rice-Crusted Halibut.  Sounded pretty unique so had to give it a try.  Also relatively easy to make.

Ingredients
4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
½ cup wild rice
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
4 5–6-ounce skinless halibut, hake, or cod fillets (I went with the cod, much more affordable)
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
Lemon wedges (for serving)

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Preparation
Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Add rice and cook, tossing occasionally, until grains have popped open like popcorn and are lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer to paper towels and let cool. Pulse in a food processor or blender to a fine powder. Perfect in the mini-prep.

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Preheat oven to 350°. Place flour in a shallow bowl. Beat eggs and 1 Tbsp. water in another shallow bowl. Place wild rice powder in a baking dish. Season fish with salt and pepper. Working with 1 fillet at a time, dredge in flour, shaking off excess, then dip into egg mixture, turning to coat evenly. Coat with rice powder, pressing gently to adhere. -Was tough to get it to totally adhere, but still got a good amount on there

Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a large ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high. Cook fish until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer skillet to oven and roast fish until just opaque throughout, about 3 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.

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The crunch you got from the rice was great! And I have now taken this concept and used it for just extra in ‘stuff’ — I toasted the wild rice the other day and pulsed/crushed it just not quite as fine and tossed it with some brown rice. Gave it great extra crunch.  Going to see what else to do with it now.

Kale and Garlic = Perfect Match

As usual, flipping through food magazines looking for recipes.  I now tear out the recipes that look good vs. dog-earring them.  I then clip them on the baker’s rack in my kitchen and have to make them.  So part of last night’s dinner was Kale Salad with Garlicky Panko from Food & Wine.  Hmmm…kale, delicious and garlic, delicious X2.

IMG_3795Ingredients

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1/2 cup panko (Trader Joe’s has great stuff)
Kosher salt & Pepper
1 bunch curly kale (I was lazy and grabbed the bag of stuff from Trader Joe’s — can you tell where I shop?)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (the blocks of stuff from Trader Joe’s are great, and real Feta is from sheep’s milk so lactards can eat it safely)
6  fried eggs (optional) — I threw some shrimp on top vs eggs

Preparation

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Stir in the panko and cook, stirring, until golden and crisp, 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a plate to cool.
Cut the stems from the kale and tear the leaves into pieces. In a bowl, whisk the vinegar with the remaining 1/2 cup of oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the kale; massage with the dressing using your fingers. Season with salt and pepper and toss. Transfer to a platter, top with the feta, garlic panko and fried eggs, if using, and serve.

IMG_3796I could not stop eating this stuff!!! The slight bit of saltiness from the feta, the garlic in the crispy breadcrumbs.  WOW WOW WOW.  Try this!  You will not be disappointed.

Leftovers = Soup

I had to buy celery for some reason, which I honestly can’t remember.  So I had a bunch left.  I did not want to have it go to waste.  I also did not need to consume more hummus than celery if I used it for dipping into that, because I’m really good at eating more hummus than the size of the object that I’m dipping into the said chickpea stuff.

So, I googled celery soup. I forgot many of them have dairy, so after that I remembered that using the term ‘vegan’ in searches is great for lactards (love using that term myself since I am the lactose intolerant one).  Came up with several and finally found one to use via another blog.  Pretty basic recipe.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped roughly
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon thyme (optional)
1 head of celery, cleaned & chopped roughly
1 white potato or 1 cup cauliflower, chopped — here I used a bag of mixed frozen veggies because they were out of frozen cauliflower
1 litre of vegetable stock — I used chicken broth because it’s what I had on hand, and I just searched vegan for no dairy
pepper

IMG_3784Preparation

  1. Heat the oil in a non stick pot and add the onion and garlic. Cook until softened.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Puree the soup using a blender. Hand held works fine.  —  used the immersion blender, that also eliminates step 4
  4. Return to the pan, check seasoning and serve.

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I tasted it when it was done and it was fine.  I only made it the other day so the celery didn’t go to waste.  It had to cool for a while before I could put it in containers to freeze.  I finally got around to doing it the next day after it had been in the fridge for 24+ hours.  WOW!  Great celery flavor.  Can’t wait to eat it when fall is truly here.

Mushroom-Mania

Was in the Asian market recently and I felt like a kid in a candy store.  Among many pieces of produce and amazing seafood at great prices, I found awesome mushrooms.  I just had to pick them up!  Shiitake, oyster and beech is what I stocked my cart with.  I had not seen the beech ones before.  I sauteed them with lemongrass, green onions and sesame oil.  Ahhh…so good!

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Mixed Beans with Peanuts, Ginger and Lime

Got together with friends to make a feast recently and found a tasty-sounding Bon Appetit recipe to try — Mixed Beans with Peanuts, Ginger and Lime.

Made a couple changes in the recipe because of nuts, lack of beans, and other stuff.

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2 pounds mixed snap beans (such as green, wax, haricots verts, and/or Romano), trimmed — used straight frozen green beans from Trader’s Joe’s
½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
½ large shallot, finely chopped
1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
1 lemongrass stalk, tough outer layers removed, finely grated on a Microplane
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
½ teaspoon ground coriander
Freshly ground black pepper
⅓ cup salted, roasted peanuts — used cashews vs. peanuts
3 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped — I went to 4 stores, including international markets, and couldn’t get these.  The guys at both the Mexican markets and Asian markets laughed at me.  I thought that was comical myself that they didn’t carry them.
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
¼ teaspoon sugar
⅓ cup (packed) cilantro leaves with tender stems, plus more for serving

Preparation

Working in batches by type, cook beans in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, 1–4 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl of ice water; let cool. Drain and pat dry.

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a small skillet over medium and cook shallot, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3 minutes. Add ginger, lemongrass, garlic, and coriander and cook, stirring, until very fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a large bowl; season with salt and pepper.

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in same skillet over medium-high. Cook peanuts, tossing often, until golden brown and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to paper towels; let cool, then coarsely chop. Set aside 1 Tbsp. peanuts for serving.

Whisk kaffir lime leaves, lime zest, lime juice, sugar, ½ tsp. salt, and remaining 3 Tbsp. oil into shallot mixture. Add beans, remaining peanuts, and ⅓ cup cilantro and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with more cilantro and reserved peanuts.

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It was good, but nothing that exciting.  Don’t know if the lime leaves are what would totally bring it in.  Glad I made it, would not discount making it again, but not top of my list.

Level

Was in Annapolis recently and visited Level, a small plates lounge for cocktails.

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Of course there were many to choose from, but the bartender helped me decide on the Angels & Demons — essentially a(n amazing) margarita.  The components — el jimador tequila, st. germain, micro cilantro, habanero pepper, lime, agave.

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Deadly!  Could have easily enjoyed several rounds.  Didn’t stay for dinner, but looks like a place worth checking out.

Blinder than Blind

Wine tasting on weekends are some of the best things to attend.  Recently a wine shop in DC presented a blind tasting.  They admitted when we got there that maybe they could have made it a bit easier and made it one region, one varietal or narrowed it down in some fashion.  Why?  Because we felt like we were taking the test for a Master Somm.  It was awesome.

IMG_3693We had one bubbly, 3 whites and 3 reds.  This store sells mostly old world wines and everything we tasted was sold in house.  It was tough for me because I lean new world.

All I can say is I got a huge F on this test.  I was writing/spelling wrong at some points because I was confused and failing so badly! I was close on some, region-wise.

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Does that mean I need to take it again and taste more wine?  I was definitely blinder than blind is this one.

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Gettin’ crabby

Maryland, Labor Day weekend, unofficial end of summer, an important thing to do was eat crabs.  A friend has crab traps right at her place so had to go join right where the action was taking place.

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The dog has way to much fun and snagged one right on the lip.

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With six traps we had an entire bushel by the time we collected everything.

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Damage done.  Such a great feast.

Poke Tuna

I love tuna, I love sashimi, but then was told about Poke Tuna — new one to me.  Hmmm…time to check this stuff out.  Of course had to google this term and millions of things came up.  How to narrow this down?  Was tough to pick one, but it did have to happen.

Ingredients

1 pound Ahi tuna loin cut into 1/2 inch dice — used the frozen stuff from TJ’s after some recommendations because it’s flash frozen
1/4 cup minced maui onion
1 teaspoon grated ginger
3 tablespoons scallions thinly sliced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Juice of half lime

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Whisk together all ingredients except for tuna. When ready to serve combine dressing with tuna and squeeze a half lime over top.

IMG_3628[1]So good, so easy…and tough not to keep eating and eating!  Great for summer (though, yes, I know it’s about over), since it’s a no-cook meal.  Have some this weekend as we head into Labor Day and the hot temps are still around.