Sammich Pr0n

Chunky tuna salad sammich on white toast with a side of tomatoes in vinaigrette with fresh thyme.

We stripped all the tomatoes from the vines in the back garden and pulled them from the ground so there won’t be any more fresh tomatoes coming on.  What was on the bush yesterday is what we have.  I’m going to make some green tomato relish today,

Thursday Night Menu: Tropical Nights Edition

Had a little trouble deciding what to post tonight. We’ve been pretty busy at work and we are all a bit tired, when I asked the guys what I should post, ordering pizza instead of cooking won out.

I pulled three different menus before I decided on a little taste of Sanibel Island. I like the fresh flavors in this menu and I really enjoy tuna and swordfish.

The Butter Pecan Turtle Bars are as decadent as they sound, and a breeze to make.

On the board tonight:

  1. Fish Tacos
  2. Black Bean Tropical Salad
  3. Butter Pecan Turtle Bars

Fish Tacos

  • 1 large mango, peeled & chopped
  • ½ large tomato, chopped
  • 1 small cucumber, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, chopped
  • 2 tbsp limejuice
  • 8 taco size flour tortillas
  • 1 lb halibut, swordfish or tuna, 1” thick
  • ½ tsp Jamaican jerk seasoning
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce

bowl, foil, platter

Combine mango, tomato, cucumber, cilantro, green onion, jalapeno in bowl. Toss with 1 tbsp limejuice and set aside.  Wrap tortillas in foil and warm in the oven or on the grill (keep away from coals) Drizzle remaining limejuice over fish, sprinkle with jerk and grill or broil for 5 to 9 minutes, until fish flakes easily. Cut fish into chunks, fill each tortilla with 1/8 of the fish, fruit mixture and lettuce. Serves 4

Black Bean Tropical Salad

  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 avocado, cubed*
  • 1 to 2 jalapeños
  • ½ large tomato, chopped
  • ½ head red leaf lettuce, washed
  • 14 oz can black beans, drained

serving bowl

Seed & slice peppers & jalapenos. Add everything to serving bowl and toss with dressing.

*easiest way to slice an avocado is to cut in half, remove pit, cut cubes with a knife, then scoop out.

Dressing:

  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp limejuice
  • ¼ cup light olive oil
  • ¼ tsp crushed garlic

In jar or mixing cup, mix all ingredients together well.

Butter Pecan Turtle Bars

  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups pecan halves

Topping:

  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 12 oz milk chocolate chips

well oiled 9×13 baking dish, bowl, saucepan

Combine flour, brown sugar and 1/2 cup butter; blend until crumbly. Pat mixture firmly onto bottom of pan. Sprinkle pecan halves over the unbaked crust.

Topping: In small saucepan, combine brown sugar & butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to boil. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Drizzle caramel over pecans and crust. Bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes or until caramel layer is bubbly and crust is light brown. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips. Spread chips evenly as they melt. Cool completely before cutting.

Shopping List:

  • 1 large mango
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 3 green onions
  • 3 jalapeños
  • 8 taco size flour tortillas
  • 1 lb halibut, swordfish or tuna, 1” thick
  • 1 head red lettuce
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 avocado
  • 14 oz can black beans, drained
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1 ½ cups pecan halves
  • 12 oz milk chocolate chips

Also: lemon juice, limejuice, Jamaican jerk seasoning, light olive oil, crushed garlic

Copyright 2014 What’s 4 Dinner Solutions Cookbook: Summer Edition

Men Who Cook: Joshua De Mers

I love opening up my email and finding that someone has sent me a recipe to post (that’s a hint, people) and it’s doubly nice when it’s one of my Men Who Cook.  From friend of blog, Joshua:

I got a good one! And I kept notes!

Yet Another Tuna Casserole

My opinion of comfort foods is you can never have too many variations of them. They make up childhood memories, start and keep traditions, and warm the soul like nothing else. Virtually every mother in the 60’s had a version of tuna casserole, usually from the back of a soup can. If you’re an ingredient control freak (like me!) you always appreciate making something familiar in a wholesome way. Every ingredient is readily available at any supermarket!

  • 1 pound pasta (any curvy shape like rotini or corkscrews will work, but even basic elbows is good too)
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 large shallot
  • 8-10 button mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp white wine
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 tbsp mascarpone cheese (sometimes sold as Italian cream cheese)
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 oz frozen green beans or peas (whichever you have on hand)
  • 2 6 oz cans or one 12 oz can tuna (any kind)
  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers or 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • olive oil (to drizzle)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta cooks, mince shallots, cut mushrooms in half, then slice thinly. Saute in butter over medium heat with a pinch of salt and a small dose of pepper. When mushrooms start to release liquid, add in white wine. Cook until wine is almost but not quite gone. Add in flour and mix until paste coats bottom of the pan, about two minutes. Add milk and whisk vigorously. When sauce starts to thicken, mix in cheeses, vegetables, and drained tuna. Check sauce for seasoning and add more salt and pepper as necessary. By this point pasta should be done. Drain pasta and add to medium casserole dish. Pour sauce over noodles and mix thoroughly. Crush crackers in hands (you don’t want them too fine) and cover top of casserole. Drizzle olive oil over topping in thin stream until it coats most of top. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and topping is golden brown. Only other thing you need is a glass of milk!!

Joshua De Mers

Looks great Joshua!  Thank you.  Look forward to more (hint, hint).  – TaMara

 

Tuna salad

I’ve been a huge fan of tuna salad for a long, long time.  Now I’m talking about the tuna in the can, never fresh tuna, not sure I’ve even seen fresh tuna anywhere except on a TV show.  I’ll bet fresh would make a super salad, I know that I made salmon patties from fresh salmon once and they were really good.  It’s just that here in Small Town, HeartLand,  USA! USA! we are pretty far from an ocean.  I’m not sure catfish would do.

Any way:

A tuna fish sammich has to be on toast.  I will brook no dissent.  This toast was made from a loaf of white bread (Julia Child’s recipe!) but whole wheat will work, and that nice NY City deli rye bread would be very good indeed…

I have a pal who grew up in NY City, and he sniffs with disdain whenever he sees my tuna salad.  His recipe uses tuna, grated onion, and mayo.  I’m not really sure about the mayo.  I’ll pin him down if he shows in the chat room today.  I’m a fan of tuna with “the works”.  This batch has mayo, hard boiled eggs, sweet pickle relish, celery, green peppers, chopped green olives with the pimentos and sweet onions.  I’ve been known to add shredded cheddar or another cheese to the mix.  Mainly I add whatever I have on hand that seems like a good idea.

Have you a favorite tuna salad recipe?

Fish and Cats

Cooking fish with cats in the house takes on a whole new dimension.  At least in my house, it drives them wild.  There is all manner of misbehavior going on – and begging.  How un-cat like, how undignified.  My favorite way to serve fish is brushed lightly with oil and then broiled or grilled and served with lemon juice.  I like firm white fishes, cod, haddock and meaty fillets like swordfish and tuna. 

 

Here’s a nice light, quick recipe.  Serve with rice and a vegetable.

 

Fish in Lime Sauce

  • 4-6 oz fresh white fish
  • ¼ cup white wine (non-alcoholic ok)
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp limejuice
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ red pepper, seeded and sliced
  • ½ green pepper, seeded and sliced

wok or skillet

 

Cut fish into large cubes. Mix together wine, broth, cornstarch, honey & spices, set aside.  Heat ½ oil in wok or skillet and sauté peppers 1 to 2 minutes, remove from wok.  Heat remaining oil, add fish and stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes until fish flakes easily.  Push fish to the sides of the wok, add sauce to middle, cook and stir until it bubbles and thickens. Return peppers to the wok, stir all ingredients together and cook for 1 minute.