Thursday, February 12, 2015

The best tuna recipe ever

I know this is rather monochromatic, but it was delicious!
Cooking tuna can be daunting.  Most people like it rare but I'm not one of those people. I like mine cooked just over rare, meaning still a little pink inside. This takes some practice but it's not impossible, to be sure.  What I've figured out is that if the tuna is about 1- 1 1/2 inches thick, I cook it for 3 minutes on the first side and 2 minutes on the second.  There, that's it.  Now you have no reason to be afraid anymore. Go buy some tuna.

Now, if you want to have really spectacular, awesome, mind-blowing tuna, then here's what you need to do. I got this from the Internet, I think. This makes enough for the three of us.

1 Tbs white wine vinegar
1/2 cup white wine
2 Tbs minced shallot
1 1/2 tsp wasabi paste (don't let this spook you)
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 cup butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
3 6 oz tuna steaks, about 1" thick

Simmer the vinegar, wine & shallots over medium heat until it reduces to a couple of Tablespoons.  Strain out the shallots & return liquid to the saucepan.  Add the wasabi & soy sauce.  Over low heat, add the butter one cube at a time, whisking it to emulsify. DON'T LET IT BOIL. When all the butter is incorporated, remove from heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, rub olive oil on the tuna and season with salt & pepper. Heat skillet over medium-high heat.  Place fish in the hot skillet and sear 3 minutes on first side, then 2 minutes on the flip side.  Of course, adjust this time if you like yours more rare or more done, although I wouldn't recommend going more toward done.

Serve with the wasabi butter spooned over the fish. 

You may want to serve pasta, potatoes or rice with this because the butter sauce is so fantastic. Most recently, we had this with wild rice and roasted cauliflower.  This sauce is dangerous, folks. I mean, you might find yourself wanting to just eat it with a spoon. I think it would also be wonderful with salmon or chicken.  And don't let the wasabi scare you off.  As it cooks, it mellows and just imparts a cool flavor.  It is NOT spicy at all.  So please don't let that ingredient prevent you from trying this dish.  I promise you that you'll love it!

Would love to hear your comments below after you try it. If you don't love this dish then I'll tap dance down Main Street wearing a rainbow afro. That's how confident I am that you'll love it.  Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Cooking is good for the soul(s)

I love to cook.  It started in high school.  French club, I think.  My school's French club hosted a "French cafe" each year but all it offered was croissants and other pastries.  When I became French club president, I reasoned "hey, it's either a cafe or it's not..." Therefore, I pulled out my mom's International cookbook, selected a savory crepe recipe, a quiche, a side dish (I can't really remember now but I think it was some preparation of green beans) and a dessert.  My club divided up into teams for cooking, loaded my parents' microwave into my '74 Volkswagen and set up a real cafe in the courtyard.  We sold lunch plates and made a killing.  

Here I am a "few" years later and I've been cooking ever since.  I enjoy it.  I like it for many's therapeutic for me, I like to take care of others through food and I really, really like to try to  impress my husband.  And then there's our daughter, who I want to feed healthily and have her develop a sophisticated palate.  We're well on the way with that, thank God.

Unfortunately, one of our friends was recently found to have cancer.  She is young and healthy, has a beautiful one year old baby and a husband who loves her.  She's been started on chemo right away and is on medical leave.  She is in good hands... 

I wanted to prepare something that they could keep in the freezer and just pop in the oven on those days when she doesn't feel well and her husband doesn't want to fool with the kitchen. I decided to go with The Pioneer Woman's lasagna rolls. I really love her site and so many of her recipes are just awesome.  I made enough for 4 meals for our friends and one for us. I had leftover filling and a little bit of sauce, so I stuffed some shells for our dinner.

So, on to the lasagna...

Getting all the ingredients ready to rock & roll
I am an herb-chopping machine

This is about 2 lbs of hamburger and chopped onion
The sauce is simmering away.  Smells divine!
Since these are rolled, you must cook them first
Spread the ricotta/parmesan mixture on the noodle
Roll 'em up!
Four rolls will fit in a standard size loaf pan
Look at all these...from ONE recipe!
Everything is better with cheese on top
Using up the leftover filling & sauce for our dinner
Stuffed shells ready for the oven
Call me an old Southern girl but food is what I do when someone has a problem.  Making these dishes was fun for me and I felt really happy about the possibility that these lasagnas might make life a little easier for our friends as they go through this tough time.  Food is more than fuel for the body. That's what I think anyway. 


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