Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Poke Doke

Raw tuna is probably one of my top 5 favorite foods.  It's just so freaking delicious.  Take me to a sushi restaurant and try to make me order a sushi roll.  I don't need all that filler crap.  Just serve me up a filet of raw tuna and set me free!  (Here's another tuna recipe I made awhile back)

I first discovered tuna poke (prounced Po-Kay) on an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. This dish is so easy to make and so rewarding.

Here's What You Do:
Go to a GOOD grocery store that you trust (Whole Foods or Fresh Market), or if you're lucky to live by the water, go to your local seafood shop and purchase a hunk of sushi grade tuna.

(And here's where sometimes it sucks to write a food blog.  You see, I try to provide you all with the information I like to know about food.  So in writing this particular blog, I looked up what parameters fish must fall under to make them "sushi grade" because I was curious myself.  And what I discovered was this.  There are none.'s a marketing scam.  No one regulates it.  So go with my first recommendation of buying fish from somewhere you trust, like Whole Foods or Fresh Market.  Just look for a deep red color and make sure it smells like the ocean, but isn't fishy) 

Next, cut up your tuna into small squares.  Slice some green onion and cube some avocado.  I know you're not going to like the following, because there are no measurements, you just do it to your liking.  Just remember not to go overboard with any one ingredient.  What I did next was just sprinkled a little soy sauce, a little sesame oil, a little lime juice, some toasted sesame seeds, the green onion and the avocado over the raw tuna and lightly tossed it.  Now just give it a little taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary.  I like mine to be a little more on the sesame oil side, so I usually add in a little more.  If you want to spice it up you can add in some jalapeno or some sambal oelek.  You can also add some chopped cilantro for an extra layer of flavor.

Then, serve it on lettuce cups, or if you're like me, just break out some chop sticks and eat it right out of the bowl.  Yet another thing you can create at home that will be MUCH cheaper and more delicious.  I actually paid $12 for two healthy sized tuna filets.  So I made this Poke one day and I made some spicy tuna burgers the next day. 

Do it.  Fish-o.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Tuna Nooner

This, my friends, is probably my favorite comfort food of all times.  Tuna Noodle Casserole.  You either love it, or you hate it.  But for me, it's poor man's food at its finest.  It's noodly, creamy, cheesy, mushroomy.  My mom used to make it at least once a week when we were kids, and we looked forward to it.  We'd beg for her to make tuna nooner.  That's what we called it.  My sister secretly awaits for her hubby to go out of town so she can make this dish because he hates it.  When I'm having a bad day, it's the only thing that can pull me out of my funk.  It's good the old fashioned way.  But these days, with my refined taste buds (haha...that's a joke...there's nothing refined about me), I like to take it to another level.  Rather than open a can of cream of mushroom soup, I make my own cream of mushroom.  And I top it with breadcrumbs so that it has some crunch.  Because I love crunch.

Here's What You Need:
Package of egg noodles
2 cans of tuna, drained (I like tonno, packed in oil)
1 8 oz. package of button mushrooms
1/4 cup of flour
4 tablespoons of butter
2 cups of milk
Cheddar Cheese (as much or as little as you like, I like a lot)
Salt & Pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil  (and a little extra to drizzle over breadcrumbs)

Here's What You Do:
Preheat oven to 350.  Cook your noodles according to the package.  In a large sauce pan saute mushrooms in olive oil until browned.  Add the butter and flour to the mushrooms and coat everything evenly.  Cook flour for about 2 minutes.  Add in the milk and whisk like hell so you don't get any chunks.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add tuna, noodles and cheese and stir until everything is combined.  Place mixture into a greased baking dish and sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top.  Drizzle olive oil over breadcrumbs and bake for about 25 minutes until everything is brown and bubbly.

Then put on a pair of your comfiest PJ's (unless you're already in them).  Get yourself a big ol' scoop of Tuna Noodle casserole, and chow down while watching the smuttiest, mindless, crap you can find on tv (shouldn't be too hard).  If you need another helping, take one.  And I promise all your worries will tuna-melt away.  


Monday, March 03, 2014

Thighsman Trophy

I think I'm in love with chicken thighs.  And I am a total freak when it comes to chicken.  Before I make anything with chicken, I do minor surgery on my piece of meat.  I cut off weird tendons, skin, veins.  I throw away the majority of the piece of chicken before I cook it because it grosses me out.  I know, it's gross.  Chicken scares me.  But I'm not afraid of slow-cooking chicken thighs.  And I'll tell you why.  When you slow-cook chicken thighs, all of the things that freak me out about chicken disappear.  And they become tender pieces of delicious, flavorful meat that melt in your mouth.

And since I bought the bulk package of chicken thighs from Costco, I needed another recipe to slow-cook them, other than Coq au Vin.  So I tried this one.  If you are unfamiliar with the Pioneer Woman, I will say this about her.  I'm not the biggest fan of her show, just because it's a LITTLE cheesy for me.  But I love the way she writes and I LOVE her recipes.  Haven't met a bad one yet.  This one in particular was so good.  I love olives.  I love Spanish style food.  I put it over some couscous, another new obsession of mine, I had a delicious and healthy little dinner.

Rather than use a whole chicken, I used chicken thighs.  I didn't have a green pepper, so I used my organic red and yellow peppers from my Bountiful Basket.  I didn't have wine, so any reference to wine was substituted with chicken stock.  Instead of your regular run-of-the-mill olives, I used California green olives.  I'm obsessed with these too.  They have such a unique flavor.  Really meaty and buttery and not as olive-y as the ones with pimentos, although, I'm sure it would be delicious with those too.  I've never met an olive I didn't like.

Really great dish.  Lots of flavors.  Definite comfort food.