Sunday, September 18, 2022

Rosie Makes Herbalicious Tuna.


 I have another tuna preparation for you today.  Today's tuna dish is "Herbalicious Tuna." It's seared and sliced tuna steaks served with an herbal condiment and a fresh garden salad.  All the flavors come together in this preparation.  You have the brightness of citrus and herbal flavors along with a tomato and cucumber salad.  My herbal condiment combines the citrus fragrance of lemon zest with the grassiness of parsley, the sweetness and pepperiness of basil, the refreshing coolness of mint, and the savory pungency of garlic.  It's light and summery and simple.

Remember my Tuna Connection?
He scored once again and I have this nice tuna loin.

 The first tuna dish I made was my Non-tuna salad - a non-traditional, unconventional salad, of sorts, which was both lovely to look at and lovely to eat.  Colors, textures, and flavors were exceptional.
In case you missed it, here's the recipe.

Now, back to today's tuna delight.

  First, I sliced the tuna into generous 1-inch thick steaks.
I'm not bothering with a marinade here.  I just sprinkled on some Lawry's seasoned pepper and Togarashi seasoning before searing.  Togarashi is a combination or red chile flakes, black and white sesame seeds, nori (seaweed), poppy seeds, and lemon and orange zests. 





I heated my cast iron skillet over high heat and added a swirl of peanut oil.  (Peanut oil for the high smoke point.)  Let the temperature get to at least 475°.  Add in a pat of butter and let it melt, and then place in your tuna steak.  I'm using a small pan here, so one steak at a time.  You don't want to crowd the pan which lowers the heat.  You want that pan hothothot to get that nice sear.

  I like my tuna on the rare side, so cook for 1 - 1 ½ minutes on the first side, turn over, and cook for a minute on the other side.  Remove from pan and let rest a couple minutes before slicing and plating.







For the herbal condiment:
 ½  oz. parsley
¼  oz. basil
  oz. mint
1 garlic clove
Juice and zest of one lemon
1 TB oil
Kosher salt, to taste 

If you don’t have a scale to measure in fractions of an ounce, go with a yepsen of parsley, a handful of basil, and a half handful of mint.  And by the way, a yepsen is a unit of measurement.  It’s the amount that can be held in two hands cupped together.

Mince the garlic, finely chop the herbs, add in the juice and zest of the lemon, then stir in the oil.  Pinch of salt.  

I served the tuna slices with a fresh salad from the garden.

 Simple Garden Salad 

½ cup diced cucumber
½ cup diced tomato
¼ cup chopped red onion
1-2 tsp minced jalapeño
1 TB chopped fresh basil
2 TB chopped fresh parsley
Combine ingredients and toss with dressing:
1 TB sugar
2 TB cider vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes before serving.

To plate, arrange tuna slices, spoon herbal dressing over top, and nestle in the tomato-cucumber salad.


Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Peach Pie and Peach Ice Cream.

I have a plethora of peaches.  Youngest Hawthorne came home with 4 huge boxes of beautiful South Carolina peaches, so today I'm making 2 peach pies and some peach ice cream to go with the pies.  

Rosie Note:  If you're going with the peach ice cream, be aware that the custard mixture needs to chill, so allow yourself time for that.  Either start early in the day or let the mixture chill overnight.

Rosie's Peach Pies
This recipe makes enough for 2 9-inch pies.  You can make your own pie dough or you can save yourself the trouble and use the refrigerated dough that's rolled up and comes two to the box.
I used 3 of the rolls - 2 for the pies and 1 for the lattice strips.
Let refrigerated dough come to room temperature, then unroll two of the rolls and place into 9-inch pie pans.  Crimp edges.  Refrigerate pans with dough.

Unroll third pie crust and slice into thin lattice strips.

6 cups peeled and sliced peaches
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg  (You can use ground; I just happened to have the nuts on hand. Well, actually, it's not a nut.  Nutmeg is a seed.  They just look like little nuts.)
1/4 tsp kosher salt
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 TB vanilla 
1 beaten egg
turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw) for sprinkling

 Heat oven to 375°.

Peel and slice peaches and place in colander for 30 minutes to drain excess juices. 
In a medium bowl, whisk together sugars, flour, spices, and salt.  Pour drained peaches into a large bowl, add dry ingredients, and toss together.  Add lemon juice and vanilla and mix well.   Pour filling into prepared pie pans.

Weave lattice strips atop each pie.  Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle turbinado sugar over top.
Place pies on sheet pan in case there's any run-off and bake about 45 minutes - until filling is bubbly and lattice is golden brown.  I always check my pies during baking to see if the tops are getting too dark.  You may need to tent with foil to prevent further browning.
  Let cool for 20 minutes or so to allow the filling time to set up. Serve with my peach ice cream.

For the step-by-steps:
Let peeled and sliced peaches drain in colander.
Mix dry ingredients.

Pie ingredients ready.  Clockwise from middle left side:  mixed dry ingredients, sugar in the raw, drained peaches, beaten egg, lemon juice and vanilla.

Cut third pie dough into thin lattice strips.

Pour peaches into dry ingredients.

Toss to coat.

Pour in lemon juice and vanilla.

Spoon peaches into prepared crusts.

Weave the lattice strips on top.

Brush strips and edges with beaten egg.
Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.

And bake.
Use up all the lattice strips.  I made some decorative rosettes.

Now, let's make some peach ice cream.

Rosie's Peach Ice Cream
Makes 1 quart
6 peaches, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
juice of one lemon
1 cup skim milk
3 cups cream
 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
 4 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
2 vanilla beans
1 TB vanilla extract
Rosie Note:   I use skim milk and heavy cream because that's what I always have in the fridge.  You can use any percentage milk you want - 1%, 2%, or whole - along with the cream.  It would only make the ice cream richer and better.
Peel and slice peaches.  Place in a large bowl and toss with 1/2 cup sugar and juice of one lemon.  Cover and let sit for at least an hour (or overnight) so they release their juices and you have a nice syrupy liquid. 
Make the custard:
In a medium sauce pan, pour in the milk, cream, 1/4 cup sugar, and salt.  Heat over medium-low until very hot but not bubbling. Remove from heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks with 1/4 cup sugar until light-colored.
Slowly, and whisking constantly, pour in 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture into the yolk and sugar mixture to temper the eggs.  Slowly whisk in another 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture.  Pour the tempered yolk mixture back into the saucepan and add the vanilla extract.   If you don't have vanilla beans, don't worry, but I like the extra flavor the beans offer.  To prepare the vanilla beans, slice down the side of the bean and scrape out the seeds into the custard mixture.  I add the scraped beans to the mixture too for the flavor. (Just remember to remove the beans when you pour the custard mixture into the ice cream maker.)  Heat over medium low, stirring, for about 5 minutes, until temperature reaches 170°-175° and mixture thickens.  Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least four hours or overnight.

When chilled,  combine custard mixture and peach juices and pour into ice cream maker.  Churn away, occasionally scraping down sides.  When mixture looks like soft-serve ice cream (25-30 minutes), add in the peaches and continue churning for another 10 minutes.  Scoop into pint containers and freeze.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Grape and Strawberry Salad.

Well, isn't this festive!
I wanted something fruity and sweet and pretty and I came up with this.
I didn't bother measuring my ingredients.  There are no hard and fast rules here. Just make it!

For the dressing:
3-4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2-3 TB sour cream
1-2 TB sugar
drizzle vanilla
Mix all ingredients together.
You know, if you had some plain yogurt, that would work here too.
If you wanted to use brown sugar instead of white sugar, that's good too.

handful of pecans
handful of coconut

For the crunch:
1 stalk of celery, thinly sliced

I used grapes and sliced strawberries.  Red grapes would be pretty too.
Consider other fruits:  kiwi, apple, blueberry to name a few.
I use the grapes whole.  Don't bother slicing them because I think that would make this too watery.

Make the dressing, then add in the fruit, celery, nuts, and coconut.  Stir gently to coat everything.
For serving, I like to sprinkle a little turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw) over top.  Gives it a sweet crunch.

This is a perfect dessert/snack for these hot summer days.



Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Hawthorne Lunch: Seared Sea Bass/Fried Tile Fish With A Fresh Peach Sauce And A Green Bean Salad


Lunch is lookin’ good today.
First, I’m making another variation on a green bean salad and then Mr. Hawthorne will be searing some sea bass fillets.  To accompany the fish, I have a fresh peach purée which compliments quite nicely.

To prepare the beans, trim the ends and break into 2 or 3 pieces each.
I’ve got about two cups worth of beans.  
Bring a quart of water to a boil and throw in a tablespoon of kosher salt.  I know it sounds like a lot, but it works.  The beans cook quicker and taste beanier.  Trust me on this.  Drop in the green beans and set the timer for 5 minutes.  Drain the beans, then immediately plunge into an ice water bath to stop the cooking and set the bright green color.  When the beans are cool, drain them, then add whatever salad fixings you like.
Here’s what I’m adding to my beans:  
(Adjust amounts according to your own tastes.)
2 TB roasted peanuts
1 TB chopped red onion
1 TB chopped cucumber
2 TB diced fresh mozzarella
1 TB chopped fresh mint 
1 TB chopped fresh basil
Combine all ingredients.

Make the dressing:
2 TB lemon juice
1 tsp Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Gray Poupon Dijon mustard (Do not substitute a generic brand.)
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp Asian sweet chili sauce
1/4 cup neutral flavored olive oil (I use Bertolli extra light olive oil.)
Combine first 6 ingredients, then slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly until you have a nice emulsion.

Pour dressing over bean salad and toss to coat.

Always taste test.  I’ve simply given you the guidelines.  Adjust anything you want.

For the peach purée:
1 peach, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove
1 small cayenne pepper
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 TB lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a processor and pulse several times to purée.
Stir in a teaspoon of finely chopped fresh mint.

I left the fish fillets up to Mr. Hawthorne.
I’m using sea bass (since that’s what Youngest Hawthorne brought home), but you could use any firm white fish here.
To season, Mr. H. sprinkled Old Bay seasoning and freshly ground pepper over each fillet. 
Lightly film your pan with oil and add a tablespoon or two of butter.  The oil lets you get a hot pan and the butter is for flavor.  Heat to  350° - 375° and then place your fillets in the hot oil/butter.  Sear about 2-3 minutes each side, depending on the thickness of your fillets.

Serve fillets on a pool of peach purée with the green beans on the side.

After the lovely sea bass, Youngest Hawthorne brought home some tile fish.  I still had the peach purée and decided to fry up the tile fish and serve it with the purée.                 


Sunday, July 31, 2022

Rosie Makes A Green Pea Salad.

 If you're looking for a light, summery, cool side dish, I've got the perfect one for you - green pea salad with radishes and cucumber tossed in a yogurt dressing with a bright herbal accent.


I'm using thawed frozen peas for this.  Of course, you could use cooked fresh peas.  But NEVER canned peas!  And this is best the day it's made.  Thawed peas have a tendency to go from vibrant green to drab olive overnight. 

Pea Salad
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1 medium cucumber, thinly sliced
4 radishes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped dill
3 TB chopped basil
2 TB chopped parsley
1 TB chopped mint
Toss all ingredients.

3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 TB sherry vinegar
1 TB olive oil (I used a neutral oil - Bertolli Extra Light Olive Oil.)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Whisk together yogurt, vinegar, oil, and red pepper until smooth.  Season to taste.

Pour over pea salad and toss to coat.










First, I picked a bunch of fresh herbs.
 Parsley.  Basil.  Mint.  Dill.

Mince away.

Next I sliced cucumber, radishes, and green onions.

Toss with peas.

Make the dressing.
Toss to coat.

And serve.