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Friday, June 24, 2016
Maybe I like tuna a bit more than most. My lazy but super busy high school days led me to try some interesting stuff. Tuna scrambled eggs were amazing in my book. Two or three eggs scrambled with cheese, tuna, a bit of garlic powder, and mmmm mmm mmm, is it good! Tuna melts? Oh yeah, grilled cheese, mooove over! Throw some spinach leaves to wilt on that puppy mmm! My college days led to tuna fish cakes. Every good southerner ought to know how to whip up a good fish cake. Tuna is way cheaper than salmon, so it's a win! Recent days have led to a gluten-free innovation that I am just loving, tuna stuffed arepas (South American corn cakes) with fresh spinach. Grab a bag of white harina PAN (pre-cooked cornmeal with zero grittiness) from the Latin aisle, follow the directions, and within 15 - 20 minutes you're cookin'!
You see, the thing about tuna is that people assume the problem with it is that it's too regular, too blah. No, no, no, no, no, the problem is home cooks are too boring and too blah. A good tuna salad requires garlic powder, chopped boiled egg, a few dashes of hot sauce, cayenne pepper, and a splash or so of vinegar. The rest, well, be creative! This tuna salad will make you a believer. It is gourmet and quick and easy. People will think you got it from a high-end sandwich shop. Bring back those bagged spinach leaves I love and tuck em into that sandwich with a few sprigs of fresh cilantro, and you just can't beat this puppy with a stick. For some extra fun, turn it into tuna and pasta salad with the macaroni or shell pasta added in and maybe even shredded white cheese. I can go on for days here.
The IT Tuna Salad
4 cans of tuna (Yes, you do need this much)
4 TB (or 1/4 c) distilled white vinegar
1 TB cider vinegar
1 TB lemon pepper
1 tsp oregano (rubbed between your fingers to release flavor)
1/2 tsp or so red habanero hot sauce (I recommend Badia from Latin aisle)
1/2 TB salt
dash or two of cayenne pepper
black pepper to taste
1 stalk celery, diced (chop up any leaves too)
4 -5 sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped (If you're a cilantro hater, use two sprigs parsley)
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
Mix it up, mix it up, throw it in the pan! Well, not really the pan, but the bowl or something like that.
Enjoy with sandwich bread or an arepa.
Aaaand, for this recipe, I'd like to thank my grandmother for bringing to my attention that I did not make nearly enough use of lemon pepper. I wasn't using it at all in fact. For shame! Thanks, Big Mama!
Thursday, September 24, 2015
My harvest chicken roulades are inspired by the delicious flavors and colors of Fall. I mallet out chicken thigh fillets, stuff them with a filling of ground sausage, instant mashed potato flakes, onions, garlic, diced apple, and dried cranberries and sear them with a lovely coating of paprika in butter and oil before baking to tender perfection. They are simple and they are amazing. Though a bit of time is required, these are so easy and so rewarding. It's nice to make the filling a day ahead to make the load lighter for weeknight meals. The reduced sauce is a real treat. The intensified chicken flavor is so amazingly rich and buttery that it beats the pants off of any gravy. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do!
Saturday, September 5, 2015
1 pork shoulder, doesn't too much matter the size, but don't you dare trim the fat!
I like to prick mine with a fork or knife to get the seasoning in well, but it's not required. Also,I have an oblong crock pot, so I actually doubled the dry rub, left all else the same, and stuffed two into one pot with a cast iron trivet to weigh the lid down. You can freeze any leftovers in two or three portion sizes per bag.
This little piggy isn't going to the market, he's going to the crock pot! This is what we're going to bathe him in so that he gets nice and tasty! Just stir everything together and dump it over your meat. It's just that simple!
Piggy Bath Water
Thursday, August 27, 2015
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 egg yolk
1-1/2 TB dijon mustard (I used Koop's)(Grey Poupon not recommended for this particular recipe)
1-1/2 TB white sugar
1-1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper (coarse ground is ideal)
1/2 medium clove garlic, grated
zest of 1/2 lemon
one 1-1/2" to 2" wide wedge vidalia onion, grated
1 TB blue poppy seeds
1-1/2c good quality olive oil
1. Whisk together all ingredients but the olive oil and the poppy seeds until well-blended. This mixture may get foamy. That is okay. It will dissipate.
2. Continue whisking, being careful to whisk continuously and in a circular motion. Meanwhile, pour in a thin, steady stream of olive oil into the mixture while continuing to whisk in the same manner.
3. Continue this process until all of the olive oil has been blended into the dressing. You should have a nice creamy emulsion. Continue whisking while adding in the poppy seeds.
4. Once all ingredients are uniformly incorporated, taste to be sure that you do not need to adjust the salt, sugar, or mustard level. Pour into a mason jar, refrigerate and enjoy. This recipe is great the day of, but even better when made a day ahead.