Tuna Cucumber Ceviche

luluesque_tuna cucumber ceviche frisee salad

I was flipping through some cookbooks and cooking magazines and stumbled upon this recipe: Ceviche with Tuna, Cucumber, and Orange. Unfortunately I did not have oranges, but I did have strawberries, frisée, and some other ingredients so I came up with my own version for dinner. I love the simplicity, color, and combination of flavors and textures. Perfect for a summer meal! Enjoy! 🙂

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 pound(s) fresh tuna ~ cut in half inch cubes
  • sea salt and sugar ~ to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper ~ to taste
  • 1/4 cup(s) fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1  English cucumber ~ diced
  • 1 head organic frisĂ©e (aka curly endive) ~ ends removed, washed thoroughly, spun dry, roughly torn into pieces
  • 2 medium organic radishes ~ shaved or sliced very thinly
  • 3-5 organic strawberries ~ sliced
  • 2 tablespoon(s) red onion ~ finely chopped
  • 1  serrano chili (or to taste) ~ finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon(s) olive oil 
  • 2 tablespoon(s) fresh cilantro ~ chopped 
INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Place the tuna in a glass bowl, sprinkle with salt and cover with lime juice.
  2. Marinate for 3 minutes; marinate 5 minutes if you’d like it more cooked.
  3. Add the red onion, cucumber, and cilantro, season with sea salt, sugar,  and black pepper. Mix well.
  4. Drain the liquid.
  5. Serve on ceviche bed of frisée. Top with shaved radishes and strawberry slices.

 

Lox and Cucumber Sandwiches

luluesque-lox-cucumber sandwiches

I was in college when a friend introduced me to “lox and bagels.” All it took was one bite for me to fall in love with the sandwich. Capers, smoked salmon, sliced tomato, delicately sliced rings of red onions, and cream cheese, all nestled between two chewy slices of heavenly dough. What’s not to love?

This particular sandwich recipe will not be using bagels, but a slightly healthier option of seed-dense bread. It is a super easy sandwich, fit for any lunch bag and delicious enough to cut into mini bites for a party, or to take on a Valentine’s day picnic with your honey.

Don’t forget to read NPR’s educational post about the history of this melting pot sandwich:
No Schmear Job: A Brief History of Bagels and Lox.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 slices of healthy bread ~ I chose a seed-dense loaf
  • cream cheese
  • smoked salmon
  • seedless English cucumber ~ washed, sliced to desired thickness (peeling optional)
  • dill ~ washed, spun dry, reserve only the fronds (the frilly leaves)
  • capers
  • red onions ~ sliced thinly, optional
  • McCormick’s garlic & pepper grinder
  • dill pickle spears ~ optional

INSTRUCTIONS:
I think it’s safe to assume that most of you reading my blog are perfectly capable of building a sandwich so I won’t offend you by going through the steps, one by one. 🙂 However, I will offer the order of which I laid my ingredients. It’s quite strategic, if I do say so myself, because the capers won’t fall out of the sandwich!

  1. slice of bread
  2. healthy layer of cream cheese
  3. capers, firmly pressed into cream cheese
  4. dill fronds, gently pressed into the cream cheese
  5. cucumber slices; grind some garlic-pepper onto cucumbers
  6. red onions (optional)
  7. healthy layer of smoked salmon
  8. lice of bread
  9. Slice the sandwich diagonally and serve with pickle spears. YUMMY and HEALTHY!

Baked Wild-Caught Black Drum

luluesque-baked-black-drum
{sorry this photo showcases the salad more than the fish! Try the salad recipe, too! It’s good.}
Black drum is one of those foods that were too far down on the culinary totem pole to ever be appreciated. My best guess, from reading various articles, is because they are “bottom feeders,” like catfish and we Americans are fortunate to have a plethora of culinary options.
The white-flesh fish has large flakes and tastes out-of-this-world, if you are a fan of shellfish! I learned from my favorite adventure Foodie, Andrew Zimmern, that your food will typically taste like the food it has eaten. I never thought about it before, but upon consumption of the black drum, a light-bulb lit up over my head! Ding! This tastes like eating lumps of crab meat because the black drum’s food staple mainly consist of shellfish, small crabs, oysters, and clams.
This is a simple but amazing recipe. Enjoy!
INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 fillets of wild-caught black drum ~ leaven skin on if you like (our fishmonger de-scaled our fish)
  • 1 lemon ~ leave skin on, slice 1/4″ thick, discard the top and bottom ends of the lemon
  • 5-6 garlic cloves  ~ peeled, sliced thinly
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh organic curly parsley ~ leaves only, minced
  • 2 tbs butter sticks ~ sliced from frozen butter sticks
  • sea salt
  • freshly-ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350Âş F.
  2. Tear out a large sheet of heavy duty foil, large enough to wrap the fish. Smear some butter all around the center. Sprinkle some sea salt, black pepper, garlic slices, and parsley on the butter.
  3. Place both fillets in the center of the foil. Put a few slices of butter on top. Sprinkle some sea salt, black pepper, garlic slices, and parsley on the fillets.
  4. Layer the fish with slices of lemon. Wrap the fish well.
  5. Bake at 350Âş F for about 25-30 minutes. (Warning: the garlic will be potent as it will not be fully baked.)
  6. Serve with a delicious winter salad!

Fish Congee II

I have vegetables coming out my ears, thanks to a generous microgarden and a biweekly CSA share from a local organic garden. I have stir-fried, baked, boiled, steamed, sizzled, sautéed, julienned, pressed, and pickled — and have enjoyed all of it. 🙂

I was trying to use what I had on hand, and it just so happened a soothing pot of congee was in my culinary stars. 🙂 From this box, I was able to use the carrots, yellow onion, shallot, and green bell pepper. I think maybe this is the BEST congee I’ve made thus far. NOTE: Fish Congee, Recipe #1.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup broken jasmine rice ~ uncooked, rinsed twice, drained
  • 3 large fillets of white fish (I used Vietnamese Swai) ~ washed, cut into large chunks
  • 1 bunch chive flowers ~ washed, cut off about 2″ of the ends, then cut the rest into 1″ sections
  • 1 bunch organic cilantro ~ washed, chopped
  • 3 sprig scallions ~ washed, chopped
  • 4-5 organic carrots ~ washed, chopped
  • 1 large organic yellow onion ~ peeled, washed, sliced
  • 1 organic purple shallot ~ peeled, washed, sliced
  • 1 handful garlic cloves (yes!) ~ prepeeled, smashed
  • 1 handful dried, sliced shallots ~ I get this @ the Asian market
  • 1-2 organic green bell pepper ~ washed, seeds & stems removed, chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegetable soup seasoning
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • organic cane sugar to taste
  • olive oil
  • 10 cups filtered water

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large stainless steel pot, heat the olive oil on medium-high. Sauté the garlic, yellow onion, purple shallot, and carrots until an aromatic, golden brown.
  2. Add the fish and sauté until mostly cooked.
  3. Add the uncooked rice and dried shallots; stir all the ingredients for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add all 10 cups of water and bring to a rolling boil. Once it starts to roll, turn the heat back down to medium-high. (skim the broth as it boils and discard that foamy byproduct)
  5. Stir in the salt, sugar, and veggie seasoning. Turn the heat to low-medium and place the lid on, allowing the soup to simmer for about 15 minutes.
  6. Remove the soup from the stove.
  7. Stir in the green bell peppers, scallions, chive flowers, and cilantro.
  8. Serve garnished with freshly ground black pepper and chopped cilantro.

Wild-Caught Tuna Tartare

luluesque-wild-caught tuna tartareI’ve become increasingly aware of mercury, pesticides, RBGH, etc. in my food. Thus, I’ve made a more concerted attempt at consuming organic, wild-grown or -caught foods. No, it’s not easy on the wallet, but I think my health is worth the investment. If you think about it, the price you pay now for quality food is probably cheaper in the end than the medical treatments that you may have to pay in the future because of some unforeseen ailments. Just my two cents…

If you’re not certain what fish to purchase, check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Buyer’s Guide.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 LB wild-caught tuna (or salmon)~ washed, skin removed, cut into small cubes
  • 3 sprigs organic scallions/chives ~ washed, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup organic cilantro ~ washed, leaves only, chopped
  • 1 TB dulse flakes
  • 5 TB low-sodium tamari
  • 2 TB Asian chili paste (I just throw these into a blender and pulse: rice vinegar, peeled garlic cloves, hot peppers, dash of sea salt, dash of sugar, and a dash of white distilled vinegar)
  • sesame oil
  • Sriracha sauce ~ to taste/optional
  • Old Thompson Garlic Pepper spice grinder

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Easy peasy: mix all of the above ingredients in a bowl. Drizzle in some sesame oil. Grind the garlic pepper about 20 times (more or less, depending on your tastebuds). The spicier you want your dish, the more Sriracha sauce you’ll want.
  2. Refrigerate for 30-45 minutes.
  3. Serve cold. Garnish with parsley or cilantro leaves.

Fish Congee I

We all have some kind of dish that conjures up fond memories of a loved one, our childhood, or of fun some event. For me, it’s a nice bowl of hot congee soup with white fish; it reminds me of my sweet Mother who happens to be an extremely TALENTED cook. I use her techniques; however, now that I feel more comfortable with the recipe, I branch out a bit and  tailor the ingredients to my tastebuds. I love color and the fresh crunch of raw or al dente veggies in my meals.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup broken jasmine rice ~ uncooked, scoured clean
  • 1 large yellow onion ~ thinly sliced
  • 1 bulb garlic ~ peeled, smashed
  • 4 large fillets of white fish ~ I used Swai
  • 1 cup fresh scallions ~ chopped
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro ~ leaves only, chopped
  • 2 cups fresh sugar snap peas
  • 2 bunches of bunashimeji mushrooms

DIRECTIONS:

I’ll have to come back another day to fill out the “directions” part of this recipe. I’m tired. 🙂