Summer days on a plate
What a summer! Full of experiences which left little time for cooking and blogging. But cooler air and quieter days have returned and I am looking forward to pottering around in the kitchen again.
When times are as busy as they have been lately, this tuna pasta sauce is one of my go-to dishes. All the ingredients come straight out of the storage cupboard and it takes hardly any effort or time to throw together. As I try to get as many vegetables on my plate as possible I serve it on a tiny portion of spaghetti with a big pile of zucchini “pasta”.
The reason why this recipe is at top of my lists to share, is because it is a big thank you to my friend LL for the lovely visit I had with her in Italy at the beginning of the summer. This recipe (originally her mother’s) takes me straight back to the early years of our friendship: she made this dish a few times before we went out for a night on the town.
Thank you L for all those long years of friendship…and this fab sauce recipe (and apologies if it is not quite the same as you taught me all those years ago) 🙂
Strolling through Cervia
1 clove of garlic
1 can of good quality tuna (I have to admit that using a tuna on a good olive oil tastes best but I tend to use tuna packed with only a few drops of water)
1 can of tomato
1/2 tsp vegetable stock powder / cube
1/3 – 1/2 portion of whole wheat spaghetti
optional: parmesan cheese
- Chop the onion. Fry in a saucepan in a little oil.
- Squeeze in the garlic and fry until golden.
- Drain and add the can of tuna.
- Chop the tomatoes and add with the juice.
- Season with stock powder, chili flakes, salt and pepper.
- Allow to simmer, stirring once in a while.
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil add plenty of salt.
- Using a julienne peeler* cut the zucchini into strips.
- Add pasta and cook.
- 2 minutes before the pasta is done add the zucchini strips.
- Sprinkle with parmesan shavings.
The only thing I use my julienne peeler for is to cut zucchini into pasta. Nonetheless I find it totally worth having. I love the fact that it lets me have all the joy of eating pasta with all the health benefits of eating vegetables.
If you do not have a julienne peeler, you can also use a regular peeler or knife to cut the zucchini into thin ribbons.
This tuna olive tapenade is full of powerful flavours that pack a punch
You know you are a lucky person when you can look up from your plate and see a table surrounded with the smiling faces of friends. The air is full with the sound of buzzing conversation, bubbling laughter and clinking forks. The table is full of tasty bites and scrumptious nibbles. Life is good!
This tapenade is a great little make-ahead dish for a fuss free dinner party. It tastes salty, rich and earthy. Originally tapenade is made with just olives and capers. This version includes tuna. Quite moreish!
Thanks againTC and VV for giving me….and my tapenade… a place at your table.
(from ‘Aller Lekkerste Zomer’)
150g good quality pitted black olives
3 anchovies filets
1 can of good quality tuna in olive oil (about 200g)
a pinch of dried thyme
1/2 tsp lemon juice
about 2 tbsp olive oil
- Rinse the capers. Add to a food processor together with all the ingredients except the olive oil.
- Blend until the dip has reached the desired consistency. Add extra olive oil if necessary. ( I like my tapenade rather smooth.)
- Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Refrigerate for at least one hour or preferably over-night. Can be stored in the fridge for about four days.
Tips & Variations
Consider some of the following
- leave out the tuna and anchovies for a more traditional tapenade
- replace anchovies with anchovy paste
- add a clove of garlic
- add lemon zest
- replace thyme with oregano
- add chopped parsley
- raw vegetables as a dip
- cream cheese or rye bread
- crostini and baked ricotta
Imagine having these on your table within 5 minutes of pulling them out of the freezer
Cook once and eat twice – or in this case three or four times. I love foods that you can make in bulk and then just keep in the freezer.
These prawn dumplings are one of my favourite freezer dishes. They are very easy to make and once you have the hang of folding the dumplings, they do not take that much time to put together. The dumplings freeze beautifully and only take about four minutes to cook from frozen.
Make a large batch and keep them in the freezer for about 3 – 6 months. Then next time you feel like having a lazy evening, just pop the dumplings in a steam basket, defrost some edamame beans and relax. These dumplings make a lovely starter or great little dish for a dim sum style meal. Or serve with stir fried vegetables and rice or vermicelli for a light and effortless dinner.
The flavour of these dumplings is very light and delicate. The crunch of the prawn contrasts wonderfully with the soft wonton skin.
12-04-14: I put fudginggoods comment into practice and added lime zest and a little chili – fabulous! It adds just a touch of zing!
(from the blog ‘Rasa Malaysia‘)
About 20 dumplings
340g fresh, peeled and deveined shrimps (medium to large)
zest of 1/2 lime
1/2 red chili
1 teaspoon egg white
1/2 teaspoon tapioca starch
1/2 teaspoon chicken or vegetable bouillon powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fish sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon oil
about 20 wonton skin
Make the filling.
- Rinse the prawns. Pat dry with paper towel. Cut each shrimp into small pieces.
- Chop chives.
- Zest lime, and chop chilli finely.
- Combine prawns, chives, zest chili and remaining marinade ingredients. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Make the wontons:
- Lay wonton skin on a flat and dry surface.
- Dab your index finger in a small dish with water. Trace around the skin.
- Add some filling to the center.
- Make three folds one side of the sheet.
- Now fold double into a half-moon shape.
- Press the two halves together.
Cook the dumplings:
- Either steam: Bring some water to the boil with a steamer basket. Steam the dumplings for about 3 minutes (or 4 if frozen).
- Or fry: Heat some oil in a pan. Fry the dumplings 2 minutes until golden. Add about 100ml water and immediately cover with a lid. Steam for about 3 minutes (or 4 if frozen).
- To freeze the dumplings, place them on a chopping board. Do not let them touch. Place in the freezer until frozen and then transfer to a freezer bag.
- soy sauce for dipping
- edamame (I buy mine frozen at the Asian supermarket)
- for a full meal serve with stir-fried vegetables and (fried) rice or vermicelli.
Tips & Variations
- the marinade can be replaced by a 1 1/2 soy sauce, 2 tsp rice vinegar and some (white) pepper
- with any leftover wonton skins you can make wonton cups to serve an appetizer salad or with filled yoghurt and fruits as desert
Quick, versatile and packed with flavour
This recipe is for my nieces. They liked these little silky, salty tartlets so much, they made me promise to share the recipe so they can make these themselves at home.
It is one of our fabulous family traditions to have large and late brunches when we are all together. The tables (yes, tables) are full of cold meats, smoked fish, jams, cheeses and different types of bread. It usually is not easy to find space to squeeze in some more food, but sometimes I try. This time I just craved some quiche. Seeing it was still early (only around 1 pm) I could just not get myself to make pastry. So crustless quiche is what I went for. Very tasty and so fabulously easy I only needed to lend a helping hand as my nieces did all the work.
With so many other delicacies to choose from we had some tarts left over to snack on throughout afternoon. Personally I think I had a slight preference for the cold quiche. However our seven year old struggled thorough a few moments of deliberation before she had to admit that she really could not say which one was better as both options were so good.
This below is more of a guideline than an recipe. The variations for the filling, but even the batter are endless. At the end of the recipe you will find a few alternative ideas.
(found on the blog ‘Cherrapeno‘)
12 muffin size quiches
120ml (1/2 cup) milk
60ml (1/4 cup) double cream
60g all-purpose flour
1/2 generous tsp baking powder
1 tbsp chives
1 tsp dill
80g (2/3 cup) strong cheese (cheddar or similar)
70g (1/3 cup) smoked salmon
- Heat the oven to 180C. Grease a 12-whole muffin tin. (This is not necessary for non-stick or silicon tins.)
- Whisk eggs, milk and cream together.
- Add the flour and baking powder. Whisk again.
- Chop the chives and dill.
- Grate the cheese.
- Chop salmon roughly. Add all the ingredients to the batter.
- Season with pepper. (There is no need for salt as the cheese and salmon are quite salty already.)
- Fill the 12 wholes of the muffin tin.
- Bake for about 15-20 minutes until golden Check that they are cooked through..
Tips & Variations
If you are looking for a lighter version consider turning the tartlets into mini frittatas. (Click here for recipe.)
For alternative fillings consider:
- sautéed onion and crisp bacon
- green chili and crisp bacon
- sautéed leek and ham
- spinach and shredded zucchini
- sautéed red capsicum and mushroom
Healthy, delicate tuna tartar
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
I am grateful for any occasion that reminds me to be appreciative. And so to me Thanksgiving is an invitation to think about all that I am thankful for: my family, my friends, myself, the life I lead and just plain everything (summarizing here…)
I was reminded of just how much I am thankful for, when I was invited to a pot-luck thanksgiving dinner last weekend. The theme, of course, was showing thanks; it took me days to decide what to cook. Such a struggle to settle on one dish when you can only think of more and more things you are thankful for.
So I decided to show my appreciation for abundance by bringing a little bit of EVERYTHING: the sea, the land and the skies.; little cups flowing over with either Tuna Tartare, Spicy Beef or Asian Chicken.
For a glance at the other recipes at this special Edible Europe Dinner click here.
Below the recipe for the tuna tartar. Recipes for the beef and chicken will follow as an instruction on how to make little wonton cups
(based on Ina Gartner’s recipe from the Food Network.com)
250g sushi quality tuna
1 tbsp olive oil
zest of 1/2 lime
juice of 1/4 lime
1/4 tsp wasabi (powder)
2 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp Tabasco
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 chopped spring onions
1/2 red chili
1 avocado (can be left out)
Optional: 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- Combine oil, lime zest and juice, wasabi, soy, Tabasco, salt and pepper.
- Cut tuna into very small dice. Add to the marinade.
- Discard the seeds and chop the chili as well as the spring onion very fine. Save some of the spring onion as garnish. Add remainder to the fish.
- Allow to sit in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- Cut the avocado into small cubes. Combine with the fish. Spoon into the wonton cups. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Decorate with reserved spring onion.
- a cracker or toast. Choose a neutral flavour that will match the delicate Asian taste of the tartar.
- shallow fry a sheet of wonton in some oil, allow to drain and use it as a “cracker”
- make little cups out of wonton sheets