fresh tuna tartare

June 1, 2009

tuna tartare with mango, avocado and sesame

tuna tartare with mango, avocado and sesame

Keep your board, knife and working area very clean (as always) but pay extra attention when working with raw fish. be gentle and work slowly and chop into sizes that you like. I enjoy small pieces. keep all chopped ingredients the same size for a good look and balanced bites. keep refrigerated when not plating and remember tartare is not ceviche, so any acids will cook the fish, and it will not taste good if its not fresh so make sure your fish is caught that day ! ask your fish dude and tweek recipe if tuna is not available…

add 1 part mango & avocado to 3 parts tuna .. sprinke with sesame seeds, chopped green onion. drizzle with good light olive oil, teeny 3-4 drops of sesame oil, a few dashes of soy, chopped cilantro if you like it (which i do) but go sparingly. gently mix it all up, season with fresh pepper and salt to taste (taste first) and serve on a rice cracker or chip of your choice.

Grilled Haloumi cheese salad

A favorite any day of the week- use your favorite vegetables to make it the way you like..here’s how I like mine :

  • -chopped romaine or spinach
  • -grape tomatoes
  • -sliced avocado
  • -craisins & trail mix or tamari almonds lightly chopped
  • -haloumi cheese, sliced thin & drizzled with fresh lemon juice

place haloumi in non stick pan pre heated to med low, no need to put any oil coz cheese is naturally oilly and it’ll come out just enough to brown the cheese on each side. keep an eye on it and flip when its golden.

put your salad together, dress with olive oil & balsamic vinegar and any fresh herb that you have handy. (or your favorite dressing) salt, pepper & add cheese on top. Njoy 🙂

slow food is a movement sweeping the nation that I personally love, I have always made an effort to keep it real. two nights ago I came home from COACHELLA music fest in palm springs. I barely had anything in the fridge, but since it was only a week, I had the basics; garlic,onion, a few lemons, box a cherry tomatos in the fridge. Freezer contained the usual popsicles, premium vodka and a couple of kosher rock hens I keep on hand for easy access.

Does your dad cook? Damn, mine sure does. He can make anything from the tastiest chopped salads to butter chicken, to israeli bourekkas and anything in between. My whole family cooks really, and we love to do it together. check out these pics, this fish is SO easy, I dont really need to write a recipe about it. You can make it with the flavors you want, and the fish you want (Chicken or shrimp would work well too) using a wok or pot, a bamboo steamer and an appetite.

for this variation: 1 whole fish (bass, striped bass, red snapper, anything that fits really) a handfull of green onions (whole), black bean paste and fresh corriander. Boil water in wok (make sure the bamboo doesnt touch the water when you place it over to steam your fish). Cook for about 20 minutes or so. Dont open it too much coz you’ll let out the steam 🙂

mmmmmmmmmmeat a ballsa

April 11, 2009

aiight, recipe #2. Veal boulettes with mushrooms and zucchini, lemon rosemary salt.

((I make lemon rosemary salt in a pestle & mortar by grinding up a handful of kosher salt (or any coarse salt) with two or three twigs of fresh rosemary and the rind of one lemon. once its all completely mashed up, spread it on a baking sheet and dry it out in the oven for a half hour at 250. basically get all that moisture out but dont cook it…its soo good! you can sprinkle it on potatoes or fries too. This makes more than enough for this recipe and more, and it keeps like regular salt. for the texture of it, I like to leave it as is but if you prefer, you can buzz it up in a grinder. (if you’re in a rush, feel free to just add salt and finely chopped rosemary to the boulette mixture below))

for the sauce:

3-4 zucchini’s, sliced in big rounds

10-15 mushrooms, sliced

1 onion, sliced or chopped, whatever you prefer

garlic cloves, minced- again as much as u like

vegetable or veal stock, or water of coarse

for the meat balls-

1 pound of lean veal mince

1 onion, minced

rind of half a lemon

1 egg

1 potato, grated

2 garlic cloves

chopped parsley & coriander

paprika & cumin (a pinch of each)

**I like to add cayenne pepper to mine coz I like it hot

mix it all up and make ya meatbawls, then brown them in a pan on all sides..the potato grated in this variation really adds a layer to the boulette when its browned, which is why we do it. woohoo

remove from pan and add a bit of olive oil (there should be no residual fat in the pan seeing as its lean meat and you’re using and a non stick with a light oil spray, but in the event there’s excess, just remove it)

fry up the onions and mushrooms, add a minced garlic clove or two after a few minutes (so it doesnt burn) then add large rounds of zucchini and continue to saute for a bit. ( you want the veg to half cook only) salt and pepper to taste

when you’re satisfied with the golden colour, de-glaze gently with a d ladle full of your stock. Once you’ve stirred gently and picked up all the yummy bits at the bottom of the pan, Switch to a pot that can hold both the veg and booo-lettes and add about a litre of your stock, or just enough to barely cover the both, not makin soup so shake the pot a bit to make sure everything sinks a bit and you’re not overadding liquid. cook on med-low for about 45 minutes, careful not to cook it too high or stir too aggresively..you’ll stress the boulettes.

serve ohhh so many ways, with rice, with pasta, with veg, with toast, in a bread bowl, with a salad…you get the idea!

a baguette for lunch is defiantly a good leftover story…a little Dijon…lettuce…yum.

Peace of cake ;)

April 10, 2009

It is to cool to make peace, and a peace…of cake, to make a peace cake! say that three times. My sis Mel gave this one to me as a gift, so I made a passover friendly cake it in the other night, which didnt turn out so bad! specially after I slathered it in vanilla icing and sprinkled chocolate shavings over it. oh yah, and caramel chips. yummm.

Silicon cake moulds are awesome.

Ahhh the meat ball. I decided to start this food blog with an old-school recipe (da meat bawl) because I like to revisit and reinvent it on a regular basis. Boulettes, known for their tenderness and saucy qualities, are misunderstood. They are banished to living a life as bolognese pasta toppers, very few eat them as an appetizer or a side, and of coarse most of you’re granny’s out there must have a killer recipe (of 5 ingredients at most) that have left you thinking of a meat ball on a bed of under seasoned peas. I’ve gotta say my mom does make great fish balls. she likes these so we’re cool. I think you’ll enjoy them too.

Today I made two new twists on the classic, one using fresh TILAPIA and the other using lean veal mince. Both recipes are super easy and VERY healthy, but most importantly, insanely delicious. served with some fresh grilled country bread, (*or a side of salad or veg, like I do, coz i don’t usually mix my carbs & proteins) these are sure to wow your family or your friends. Oh, and they are a great way to fashionably & tastefully keep food cost down , recession cooking baby, no need to save flavor, just money!!

take a look:

Recipe #1: Tender Tilapia boulettes with Fresh tarragon in a tomato Jus.

RECIPE:

1 pound of fresh tilapia fillets, minced

1 egg

2 onions, minced (keep onions separate, one for in the fish mix, the other for the sauce)

2 green onions, chopped

1 table spoon of minced ginger

1 pinch of fresh parsley, chopped

fresh tarragon, chopped (essentially, as much or as little as you want, but I like to feature it in this dish)

1 litre of fresh tomato juice, strained (or your handy tomato sauce with fish or vegetable stock <or water> to thin out)

3 cloves of garlic

a handfull of panko japanese bread crumbs

2 table spoons of olive oil

salt & pepper to taste

Garnish with fresh tarragon (use sparingly, its delicious but potent) and voila!

Bon Appetit!

P.s. You can adjust the size of your boulettes, I like them relatively small, I like the size that fits perfectly in the palm of my hand when rolling them.. if you preffer bigger ones then just keep in mind they cook slower, in which case I’d use a pot rather than a deep pan. This would help distribute the heat more evenly to cook your big fsh balls. HA!

variations/cheats:

  1. ask you fish monger to mince the fish for you
  2. use a different fish, and season to your tastes with different herbs and ingredients
  3. think outside the boulette and remember the big picture is marrying the right flavors and textures to get a fluffy, moist ‘ball’ . your wet ingredients (onions etc) and your dry ones (panko or regular breadcrumb, or matza meal for that matter) are the ying and yang to balance with the meat or fish of your choice and joined by the egg. the possibilities are endless! just dont choose fish that falls apart easily, like sole.
  4. make the boulettes teeny and serve as a cocktail tapas
  5. use a thicker poaching sauce & add vegetables (see next recipe for veal boulettes) and serve with wild rice and salad for a complete meal