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Albacore Tuna Tartare

Albacore Tuna Tartare

Albacore Tuna Tartare

Last month I tagged along with a friend to Southern California for an event she was participating in. During the trip, I discovered that she LOVES Ahi Tuna Tartare, so much so she had it 3 different times.  To be fair, it is actually quite delicious.  As a result, I remembered I had bought some sashimi grade albacore tuna a while back and I still had it in the freezer.  (Lightbulb goes off over head) I wonder if I could make the same dish with Albacore Tuna.

Well, I did and guess what?  It is just as delicious as the version made with Ahi Tuna.  My recipe is just a guideline to follow, adjust to your taste preferences.  One tip though, definitely dice the tuna while slightly frozen.  The parts that were completely thawed, shredded while I tried to dice them.  I did not have a cylinder mold, so I ended up using my Hamilton Beach Food Disher (size 6), which is like an ice cream scoop on steroids.

Diced Albacore Tuna

Diced Albacore Tuna

To plate the dish, decorate with the Chili Cream Sauce & Balsamic Glaze. Then place the Albacore Tuna Tartare on top.  I also decorated with a crispy wonton skin for garnish. A note for the Balsamic Glaze, this can be purchased or just reduce Balsamic Vinegar on the stove top, to desired consistency.

Albacore Tuna Tartare
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer, Main Course
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 6 oz. Sashimi Grade Tuna, diced ¼ inch size
  • 1 tbsp. Sesame Oil
  • ⅓ cup Green Onion, chopped (green part only)
  • pinch Salt
  • pinch White Pepper
  • 1 ea. Avocado, diced ¼ inch size
  • 1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice (just enough so Avocado doesn't turn color)
  • ½ tsp. Sesame Oil
  • 1 cup Ranch Dressing
  • 1 Tbsp. Thai Chili Paste
  • Balsamic Glaze
  • Crispy Won Ton Skins (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a bowl combine tuna, sesame oil, green onion, salt & pepper. Stir to mix together. In a small separate bowl add avocado, sesame oil, lemon juice, a dash of salt & pepper. Stir to coat avocado, add to the tuna mixture.
  2. To make the Chili Cream Sauce - In a separate container, combine ranch dressing and Thai chili paste and mix well. This will be a garnish for your plate along with the balsamic glaze.
  3. © Cinder's Kitchen

 

Loaded Cauliflower

Loaded Cauliflower

This is a version of “Twice Baked Potatoes” using cauliflower.  Who does not love loaded baked potatoes?  I know I do, but if you are looking to lower your carb count, here is a great alternative.  A special tool that I used for this recipe was a “Potato Ricer“and I used the smallest “die”.  I wanted a really smooth product like mashed potatoes.  I tried a blender, my Kitchen Aid stand mixer but the ricer produced the smoothest result between the three.  If you have a food mill, you could also try that and I think next time I will to see if I get a smoother result.

The ingredients in this recipe really worked well, but you can always add or take away something as desired.

Local note – Cauliflower is from Sanger, California.

Loaded Cauliflower
Author: 
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 6 ounces sour cream
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 6 slices bacon, crumbled
  • ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt/pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. Cut cauliflower in to medium to small chunks. Steam until tender.
  3. Using a potato ricer, "rice" cauliflower into a medium bowl.
  4. Add sour cream to "riced" cauliflower and stir. Save some of the green onion, bacon and cheddar cheese for garnish. Add remaining green onions, bacon and cheddar cheese and stir.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Place mixture into prepared baking dish. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until bubbly and heated through.
Notes
© Cinder's Kitchen

 

Hickory Smoked Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho

Hickory Smoked Gazpacho Soup

After attending a BlogHer Food Conference earlier this year, I was asked by Allrecipes.com to be a guest on their Fresh Bites Blog.  This is the recipe I came up with for the post and I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the layers of flavors, refreshing with a little crunch from the vegetables of a cold soup.

On a local note –  All from California.

Tomatoes, onions and cucumber are from Knightsen. Garlic from Gilroy.

Cilantro & corn from Brentwood.  Onion from Stockton.

 

Here is the post:

A Late Summer #RecipeForHappiness Starring Grilled Tomatoes

Imagine being in a big room buzzing with excited food bloggers! That was Allrecipes’ experience this past June when the annual BlogHer Food conference took place in a hotel right down the street from our offices. One of the bloggers we met then was Cindi Marino, the writer behindCinder’sKitchen. A recent blogger—she says she ‘officially’ started her blog this year in July—and considers it a ‘work in progress.’ But she also notes, “I guess I started “blogging” before I knew what blogging was. I have notebooks of my foodie experiences, before anyone owned personal computers, notebooks with so many tried-and-true recipes, holiday menus from the past and little “food finds” from here and there. I did not know I was a foodie when I started collecting cookbooks. When I got married (28 years ago), I owned one cookbook and borrowed a couple from my mother-in-law for recipe ideas. Now I probably own well over 200, and cannot part with any one of them.” Her Cinder’sKitchen blog focuses on the abundance of locally sourced produce, grown and picked right near her home in Northern California. 

When thinking about my personal #RecipeForHappiness, it always has to start with good food, good ingredients, good friends, and great belly laughs! There’s nothing better!

Having moved to Northern California from Southern California, I discovered the “good ingredients” part in all the local fruits and vegetables. Mind you, I knew they were there in Southern California too, but the nearest farm was a 30- to 40-minute drive. Depending on what we desired, it could be even further. Well, five miles from my present home I can now basically get most anything I want, and freshly picked.

My farmers’ market tomato bounty! (Photo by Cindi Marino)

 

What makes me happy every summer are CSA (Consumer Supported Agriculture) boxes, and farm stands filled with freshly picked fruit, vegetables, and homemade pies—so much good stuff that I feel like a kid in a candy store all the time. I scoop up as much as I dare, and then turn to my cookbooks or Allrecipes.com. Whether for recipes themselves, to find inspiration to create other meal ideas or simply to reminisce about recipes I’ve forgotten. Allrecipes is a wonderful resource for cooks of any level.

The two things I most look forward to things are the heirloom tomatoes and cooking them on my ceramic cooker/grill. (Confession: I like my grill so much I own two!) When I visit a local farm stand, I walk around and admire the colorful tomatoes. They are breathtaking! People who know me will be surprised about my love affair with heirloom tomatoes, because I am not a big fresh tomato fan. However, these tomatoes taste totally different from the grocery store varieties. I adore their sweet, luscious, fresh flavor!

My favorite grill #1 (Photo by Cindi Marino)
My favorite grill #2! (Photo by Cindi Marino)

 

When I started to think about how I could use both tomatoes and my grill. I remembered a restaurant in Southern California called the Velvet Turtle. It had wonderful soups, and one of my favorites was gazpacho, which is a cold tomato soup. The recipe called for canned tomato juice, and it was delicious. Sadly, the chain is no longer in business and all outlets are closed. Well, I knew I had some kitchen homework to do.

The result is the following recipe that I think is reminiscent of the Velvet Turtle’s gazpacho, but with a little twist from my grill. Grilled tomatoes! You will not believe the smoky flavor you get from having your tomatoes on the grill for such a short time. Overall, the soup is deceptively simple to make and very flexible. Make it when you have an extra ear of corn on hand. Adjust its seasonings to suit your own tastes. Seriously, there is no wrong way to make it. Make it your own and enjoy!

Sliced heirloom tomatoes awaiting the grill (Photo by Cindi Marino)

 

And if you don’t have a grill, or are looking for other ways to use late summer’s bounty of tomatoes, check out these recipes. They’re a bunch of my favorites from Allrecipes that also use fresh tomatoes.

Double Tomato Bruschetta
Avocado, Tomato and Mango Salsa
Avocado-Feta Salsa
Insalata Caprese II
Chef John’s Gazpacho

If you do have a grill and want to try my method for grilling tomatoes for gazpacho with a twist, here’s my recipe.

Waiting for a spoon: A bowl of Hickory-Smoked Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho (Photo by Cindi Marino)

Hickory-Smoked Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho

Servings: 6

 Ingredients
10 heirloom tomatoes, cut in half
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
2 chunks hickory wood
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 bunch cilantro, leaves coarsely chopped
5 cloves roasted garlic, chopped
1 grilled corn-on-the-cob, corn sliced from the cob
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream

Equipment
1 outdoor grill
1 juicer (or a food mill or similar device)
1 food processor (or a blender)

Directions
1. Place the halved tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2. Prepare a charcoal grill and heat to 300 degrees F (149 degrees C). When temperature is reached, top the hot coals with the hickory chunks. Once the hickory chunks start to smoke, place the tomatoes onto the grill. Grill the tomatoes 2 minutes on each side, and then remove them from the grill to a plate Let the tomatoes cool.
3. Place the cooled tomatoes into the bowl of a food processor. In a separate bowl, reserve about 1/2 cup total of the chopped cucumber, onion and cilantro. Add the remaining chopped cucumber, onion, and cilantro to the tomatoes into the food processor bowl, and stir in the garlic. Pulse about 5 times to chop, or until the tomatoes reach the desired consistency. (NOTE: You will need to do this in several batches.) After each batch, pour the tomato mixture into a large bowl. Stir the corn, Worcestershire sauce, and red wine vinegar into the tomato mixture. Adjust the salt and pepper seasoning to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
4. To serve, ladle the chilled gazpacho into bowls. Top each serving with a spoonful of sour cream and sprinkle with the reserved cucumber, red onion, corn, and chopped cilantro mixture.

Cook’s Tips

  • The hickory chunks do not need to be soaked in water before using them on the grill.
  • For flavor variations, top the soup with cold, cooked shrimp; avocado slices, bell pepper chunks, or jalapeño peppers, etc.

Buy Fresh Buy Local

The “Community Alliance of Family Farmers is a non-profit organization that advocates for California’s family farmers and sustainable agriculture.”

I have added the widget below so you may find local food in your area.  This organization is a California based organization.  Try and seek one out in the area where you live and thank a farmer! Buy fresh and buy local!

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