Slow and Low Ahi Tuna

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This one is from Patricia Wells, it would be perfect for a dinner party, because you can prepare it ahead and pop in the oven to cook with no fuss.

Ingredients:
1 lb of ahi tuna
1/2 lb tomatoes, diced
1 onion, sliced thin
1/8 c capers
1/3 c olive oil
1/3 c white wine
Chili pepper flakes
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 225.

Place the tuna in a roasting dish in which it fits snugly. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the olive oil over the tuna, it should come up about 1/2 way, pour the wine over the tuna, it should be close to the top. Scatter tomatoes, onions and capers. Sprinkle with chili flakes. Cover tightly and place in a roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the pan, filling up to 1/2 the side of the dish with the tuna. Roast for 1 hour.

Slice the tuna and top with the sauce and veggies.

Serves 4 – 6

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Meatballs with Fregola and Ricotta in Tomato Sauce

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This recipe is from F&W. If you can’t find Fregola you can use orzo. These meatballs are light and tender.

Ingredients:
1/4 c Fregola or orzo
1 egg
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 lb ground beef
1/2 c fresh ricotta cheese
1/4 c water
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 c chopped basil
1 TBSP olive oil
Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving

Tomato sauce:
28 oz canned tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBSP olive oil
2 bay leaves
4 springs parsley
Salt and pepper

In a small pan cook pasta according to package. Drain and cool.

In a medium size pan, heat olive oil over medium heat, add onions and garlic and cook for 3 – 5 minutes until softened. Add tomatoes, and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Add parley and bay leaf and cook over low heat.

In a large bowl combine all the meatball ingredients except the olive oil and parm. Form into meatballs.

Heat 1 TBSP olive oil in a large pan, over medium heat, add meatballs and cook, browning on all sides until cooked through about 8 minutes.

To serve, place sauce in the bottom of a shallow bowl top with meatballs and sprinkle with cheese.

Serves 4.

Bahn Xeo

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Plenty by Yotam Ottalenghi is my new fav cookbook!! For meatless Monday I made these amazing coconut milk pancakes packed with veg!!!

Ingredients:
Pancake:
1 1/3 c rice flour
1 egg
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 3/5 c light coconut milk
Sunflower oil for cooking

Combine all but the oil and set aside.

Sauce:
2 1/2 TBSP lime
1 1/2 TBSP toasted sesame oil
1 TBSP coconut palm or brown sugar
1 TBSP rice wine vinegar
1 TBSP sweet soy sauce
1 red chile, minced
2 tsp grated ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt

Combine and set aside.

Filling:
1 large carrot, grated
1/2 daikon, grated
4 green onions, sliced thin
1 jalapeño, sliced thin
1 c snow peas, sliced thin
1 c cilantro, chopped
2/3 c Thai basil, sliced thin
1/4 c mint leaves, sliced thin
1 c mung bean sprout
1 c enoki mushrooms

Heat oil in a 10 inch skillet over medium low heat. Thin pancake mixture with 1/4 c water to thin, whisk. Pour 1/4 mixture into pan, swirl to coat pan. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes until golden brown, flip and cook for 3 /4 minutes until golden brown. Keep warm and repeat.

Place a pancake on a plate, pile with veg, drizzle with sauce and fold pancake over.

Serve with sauce on the side.

Serves 4.

Lemon Layered Graham Cracker Cheesecake

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This is from the July 2014 issue of Food and Wine and it is amazing!! I used Trader Joe’s cinnamon graham crackers.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 c mascarpone
1 c heavy cream
1 c lemon curd
Salt
1 package of graham crackers

Line a 9×5 loaf pan with plastic wrap with 4 inches overhang.

In a stand mixer combine mascarpone and heavy cream on low speed until combined, them raise to medium until smooth and firm, about 3 minutes. Fold in lemon curd and a pinch of salt.

Spread 1/4 inch thick layer of lemon cheese mixture over the bottom of the pan. Arrange a single layer of graham crackers, breaking to fit if needed. Repeat finishing with a layer of lemon cheese mixture.

Cover cake with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight.

Uncover and invert onto a platter.

Serves 10.

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Roast Chicken with Sumac, Za’atar and Lemon

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This one is from Ottolenghi – and it is amazing!! I made a few minor changes, used boneless, skinless chicken thighs, toasted pine nuts and a little less oil. The flavor is amazing so be sure to get the spices!

Ingredients:
2 lb chicken thighs
1 red onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 TBSP olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 TBSP sumac
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 c chicken stock
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 TBSP za’atar
1/4 c pine nuts, toasted
4 TBSP chopped flat leaf parsley

In a gallon zip lock combine onion, garlic, olive oil, stock, spices, sliced lemon and chicken. Leave in fridge for a few hours, turning several times.

Preheat oven to 400. Transfer chicken and marinade into a pan that will hold the chicken in a single layer. Roast for 30 – 40 minutes until cooked through.

Finish with parsley, pine nuts and a drizzle of olive oil.

Serves 6.

Eggplant with Buttermilk Sauce

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This recipe comes from Plenty by Yotam Ottolemghi and it is amazing!! I did make a couple changes, cut back on the olive oil and used a little more lemon thyme.

Ingredients:
2 medium eggplants
Olive oil
2 tsp lemon Thyme and 8 sprigs
Salt and pepper
1/4 c pomegranate seeds
1 tsp Za’taar
Sauce:
1/2 c buttermilk
1/2 c Greek yogurt
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
1 glove garlic, minced

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the eggplants in half, cut four parallel incisions in the cut side of each eggplant half, without cutting through to the skin. Repeat at a 45-degree angle to get a diamond-shape.

Place the eggplant halves, cut-side up, on a baking sheet. Brush them with olive oil. Sprinkle with the lemon thyme leaves, sprigs and some salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, at which point the flesh should be soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool down completely.

To make the sauce. Whisk together all of the ingredients. Taste for seasoning, then keep cold until needed.

To serve, spoon plenty of buttermilk sauce over the eggplant halves without covering the stalks. Sprinkle za’atar and plenty of pomegranate seeds on top and garnish with lemon thyme. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.

Serves 4.

Pasta with Arugula, Tomatoes & Parm

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Patricia Wells never let’s me down!!! I’ve never made one of her recipes and been disappointed – YES, stop what you are doing and buy all her books right now!! This is simple healthy pasta at its best!

Ingredients:
2 oz parm-reggiano shaved
4 c arugula
1/4 c olive oil
4 ripe tomatoes, diced small
1/4 c pinenuts, toasted
Salt and pepper
8 oz pasta

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package.

In a large boil toss the remaining ingredients. Toss with pasta and serve.

Serves 4.

Zucchini and Hazelnut Salad

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This salad is super easy and perfect for a hot summer night! Use small Zuks for this recipe. Slice the Zuks as thin as possible on a mandoline or use a veggie peeler.

Ingredients:
1/4 c hazelnuts, toasted
4 small zucchini, very thinly sliced lengthwise
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
3 TBSP fresh lemon juice
3 TBSP olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1/4 TBSP Mint leaves, chopped fine
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for garnish

Combine ingredients in a large bowl. Toss to combine.

Serves 4.

Spinach and Feta Pie with Tomato and Cucumber Salad

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Another winner from Jaimie Oliver!!! While the pie baked you can whip up the salads so it works for weeknight meal. I had some extra egg whites so I used a combo of egg whites and whole eggs. I also added kale to mine.

Ingredients:
1/4 c pinenuts, toasted
3 egg whites
2 eggs
10½oz feta cheese
2 oz Cheddar cheese
Dried oregano
1 lemon
1 TBSP
14 oz prewashed baby spinach
10 oz baby kale
6 sheets of filo
Cayenne pepper
Nutmeg

TOMATO SALAD
1/3 c basil leaves
1 clove of garlic
White wine vinegar
1 pint mixed cherry tomatoes
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

CUCUMBER SALAD
1 cucumber, quarter and sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
10 black olives, rinsed and chopped
2tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 spring onions, sliced thin
1 TBSP lemon juice
½ tsp Aleppo pepper or chili flakes
5 or 6 sprigs of fresh mint, leaves chopped fine

Preheat oven to 400.

SPINACH & FETA PIE:
Combine eggs and cheese in a a food processor and pulse a couple times to combine. Add a pinch of pepper, a couple of pinches of dried oregano, zest of 1 lemon and a 1 TBSP of olive oil.

In a non stick skillet melt butter over medium heat. Add spinach and kale and cook until just wilted. Cool slightly. Drain the excess liquid by squeezing with tongs and place in the processor with eggs and cheese. Pulse a couple times to combine, stir in pine nuts.

Use a 9 inch cake or pie pan, line it with parchment paper. Scrunch up the paper, push down to line the pan, spray with olive oil. Arrange 2 filo sheets across it, spray with olive oil, than 2 more across those the the final 2 at a diagonal, you want to be sure it is laid out to over the pie once the filling is added. Pour your spinach mixture in and cover with the filo. Spray with olive oil and top with a little nutmeg and cayenne pepper.

Bake for 25 minutes or so until golden and set.

While the pie is baking make your salads.

CUCUMBER SALAD:
In a small bowl, pour 2tbsp balsamic vinegar over the olives and push down on the olives, so the vinegar starts pulling out their saltiness.

Toss cucumbers, onions, Aleppo pepper, mint and olives in a small bowl. Toss with 1 TBSP olive oil and 1 TBSP lemon juice, toss to mix.

TOMATO SALAD
Combine basil with a pinch of salt and pepper, a peeled clove of garlic, 1 TBSP olive oil and a splash of white wine vinegar in a small food processor. Process until chopped fine. Halve or quarter the tomatoes, toss with the basil mixture.

Serves 4.

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Sausage and Asparagus Pasta

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Another quick and easy pasta dish!

Ingredients:
1 lb spicy sausage, casing removed
1 lb pasta
1/4 white wine
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1/2 pieces
8 oz creme fraiche
Pine nuts
Parmigiano

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook asparagus for 3 minutes, then remove. Add pasta and cook according to package.

In a 12 inch skillet cook sausage and break up. Add wine and scrape away any crispy bits, add asparagus and creme fraiche, cook over low heat, add pasta and cook for 3 minutes until heated through.

Serve topped with pine nuts and parmigiano.

Serves 4.