Monthly Archives: June 2010

Tuna Burger

Inspiration hits at the strangest of times. As I sat here in my office, blithely minding my own business and working on improvements to this very blog I was suddenly stricken with burger fever. I wanted cheese, and something sandwiched in the Kaiser rolls I got at market this week. Staring into my freezer did no good. When Dad is home I have to remember that I am cooking for two, and his dietary needs are strikingly different than my own. These tuna burgers could very easily please most anyone. They are easy to make, and full of a few different kinds of protein. I don’t eat fish, eggs or cheese very often. However, when I do I make it so good it’s almost too much to abide! This tuna burger is sure to please even the most discerning palate.

Assemble the Following:

  • 3/4 C. Albacore Tuna
  • 3/4 C. Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 C. Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs
  • 1 Fresh Egg, Beaten
  • 1/4 C. Portobello Mushrooms, finely minced
  • 1/4 C. Scallion Greens, finely minced
  • 1/4 C. Red Onion, finely minced
  • 1/4 C. Cilantro, finely minced
  • 1 TSP. Recaito
  • 2 TBSP. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 TBSP. Canola Oil
  • 1/2 TSP. Butter.
  • Curly Parsley for garnish
  • Onion Kaiser Rolls
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Do this with it:

  • Sauté scallions, onion, garlic, mushrooms, and cilantro in olive oil and butter until tender
  • Remove veggies from heat, and cool.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine egg, cheese, and Recaito. Blend thoroughly before combining with cooled veggies, bread crumbs and tuna.
  • Make two large 1/2 inch thick patties out of this mixture.
  • Heat canola oil in heavy skillet. Fry patties for five to seven minutes on each side.
  • Toast Kaiser rolls in oven. Melt cheese over bottom halves of rolls.
  • Serve, topped with parsley. Pair with sweet potato fries.

Perfect Pork Chop Marinade and Gravy.

My father has come home from several long weeks out on the road. He is (DEFINITELY) not a vegetarian. So in the spirit of tolerance, understanding and kindness I willfully submitted to his demands for pork chops; on Meatless Monday no less. It has become very important to me to see to it that my Dad is as well fed and nourished as possible when he’s at home and it had been weeks since he had a proper meal. So I spared him the statistics about what his meat consumption was doing to his body and to the environment, and just made the damned pork chops. The best I could. Apparently I’m still pretty good at meat preparation, and I didn’t even gag one time while I was preparing his meal! I took inspiration for the marinade from classically Asian recipes, but finding myself without any of the necessary ingredients, I got reckless with it. Needless to say the pork chops, and the gravy were well received. Dinner was quiet, and there was very little left on his plate. Both good signs. I served the pork with steamed broccoli, fried potatoes and simple risotto.

Assemble the following:

  • 1/2 C. Water
  • 1/2 C. Spicy Brown Deli Mustard
  • 1 TBSP. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 TBSP. Minced Garlic
  • 1 TSP. Marjoram
  • 1 TSP. Ground Coriander Seed
  • Pinch sugar
  • 1 medium White Mushroom, sliced
  • 2 Fresh pork chops

Do this with it:

  • Combine all ingredients except the mushroom and olive oil to make the marinade.
  • Marinate pork in shallow bowl, for at least thirty minutes.
  • Remove pork from marinade. Retain. Sear meat in heated olive oil, three minutes per side.
  • In separate pan heat retained marinade over very high heat. Add mushrooms and reduce to make gravy.
  • Bake chops at 325° for fifteen to twenty minutes, until tender and done.
  • Serve pork chops over risotto with gravy.

Summer Vegetable Stock

Making stock used to be a regular part of my routine. However, I’ll admit that I’ve been using the store bought stuff for the last six months or so. Hello sodium city!!!! With all this time on my hands lately and a renewed interest in my own kitchen, I recalled how easy it is to just make your own. This recipe yields as much as your stock pot will hold. In this case it’s roughly a gallon and a quarter (I tend to spill some of it while packaging it for the freezer). I have a six quart stock pot, and use a pasta strainer so that I can easily remove the vegetabilia. Adjust amount of veggies for a different sized pot. Made with veggies that are available at the local market, this stuff is useful in the preparation of risotto, soup, pasta, fish, or anything that calls for a cooking liquid. Hell, I’ll occasionally heat some up and drink it from a coffee mug all by itself. Freezing in individual portions allows for quick and effortless use.

Assemble the following:

  • 1/2 C. Red onion
  • 4 Ribs Celery
  • 4 Large Carrots
  • 4 Medium Portobello Caps, sliced
  • 1 CL Garlic
  • 1/2 TSP. Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1/2 TSP. Ground Coriander
  • 1/2 TSP. Dried Sage
  • 1 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Pinch of Salt

Do this with it:

  • Very coarsely chop vegetables into large, inch sized chunks.
  • Heat Olive Oil in heavy skillet, sauté garlic and onion until caramelized.
  • Fill large stock pot with water and add all vegetables, seasonings and a pinch of salt.
  • Bring to rolling boil, reduce heat and simmer for one hour, covered.
  • Strain vegetables from liquid, and allow to cool.
  • Discard the veggies, unless you like celery.
  • Fill quart-sized freezer bags with the stock, refrigerate overnight, and freeze.

Experiment: Pastry Filling

I still have yet to make this into a pastry, but it is delicious as a spread on a sandwich. This spread/filling was inspired by my desire to make something similar to Samosa. I don’t yet know what I will do with it, but it certainly does refrigerate well!

Asemble the following:

  • 16 Oz black beans, cooked and drained
  • 1/2 C white rice, cooked
  • 1 medium red potato, finely cubed
  • 1 c French’s fried onion
  • 1 cl garlic finely minced
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Crushed Red pepper
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Do this with it:

  • Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet.
  • Sauté garlic and potato until golden brown, drain and allow to cool.
  • In medium mixing bowl combine rice, beans, fried onion, potato and garlic. Mash until evenly combined.

Kitchen Essentials: Super Rooster Salsa

Salsa is good for so many things. It’s so versatile, that it’s become an essential in my kitchen. It finds its way into so many of my creations. The idea behind the Kitchen Essentials series is that you regularly have these things on hand. Unfortunately this salsa is so good, it barely lasts two days in my home, and I live alone. It packs some serious heat so it’s not for the faint of heart, or the weak of stomach. Of course you can always modify or eliminate some of the ingredients to take out some of the fire, but what would be the fun in that?

Assemble the following:

  • 3 C. Fresh tomatoes of your favorite variety, diced into small cubes
  • 1 C. Red onion, finely minced
  • 1/2 C. White onion finely minced
  • 1 Large clove of garlic, very finely minced
  • 1 medium sized Jalapeno pepper, cleaned of seeds, very finely minced
  • 2 Medium Anaheim pepper, cleaned of seeds, very finely minced
  • 1 Small Serrano Pepper, cleaned of seeds, very finely minced
  • 1/2 Small Habanero Pepper, very finely minced
  • 2 Medium yellow bell pepper, cleaned of seeds diced into small cubes
  • 1 1/2 C. Cilantro, stems removed coarsely chopped
  • 2 TSP. granulated sugar
  • 2 TBSP. lime juice
  • 2 TBSP. Mango or Pineapple Juice
  • Lime zest
  • 1/2 TSP. Ground Coriander
  • 1 TSP. Fresh ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste

Do this with it:

Use non-reactive (glass or plastic) mixing bowls and utensils only.

  • Spread diced tomatoes in single layer and sprinkle lightly and evenly with sugar.
  • Combine red and white onion, cilantro, garlic and lime juice in small mixing bowl. Blend thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate twenty minutes.
  • Combine peppers with Mango or Pineapple juice in another small mixing bowl. Blend thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate twenty minutes.
  • In large mixing bowl, combine tomatoes, black pepper and coriander. Blend thoroughly before incorporating onion and pepper mixtures.
  • Blend everything thoroughly and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving as a dip for chips.

Notes and Abstract:

  • Be careful with the capsicum peppers, they’re awfully dangerous!
  • Only use non-reactive glass or plastic mixing bowls and utensils for this. Nearly every ingredient in this recipe reacts with metal, and no one likes partially oxidized salsa.
  • The heat of the salsa can be moderated by adding the pepper mixture in small increments until desired level of heat is reached. If you have left over peppers sauté them in some olive oil until reduced, and make your own super-spicy Recaito! Recaito can be added in small amounts to countless dishes to give it a real kick.
  • This salsa is great as a dip for chips, a topping for burgers or a salad, blended with rice, or as a spicy addition to a pasta sauce. Like any of the other Kitchen Essentials, it has countless uses.