Monday, August 08, 2011

Garden Pasta with Grilled Tuna

Garden Pasta
Mmm no recipe here, it was the kind of night where you grab a glass of wine, head out into the garden and say, "whatdaya got for me?" this night the garden gave me two japanese eggplants, two squash, two zucchini and a handful of San Marzano tomatoes to I took all the vegetables and sliced them the long way into thirds, put a little olive oil on them with salt and pepper and grilled them each side four minutes. I also took some tuna steaks and gave them the same treatment at the vegetables. 

While those were cooking I took a red onion from the garden along with a handful of basil and tarragon - I sauted the onion in a bit of butter and olive oil, added some garlic and when they were soft added two spilt of champagne  - when that had cooked down a bit I added the herbs to make a nice champagne herb sauce - yes, it tastes as good as it sounds. 

While the sauce was doing its thing I boiled a box of rigatoni to all dente. When all were cooked I cut up the vegetables and tune, and in a large bowl combined the veggies, tuna, pasta, and herb champagne sauce - mixed it all together gave it a little salt, pepper and parmesan cheese and a great dinner was on the table - so simple, so easy, so awesome to get almost all of it out of the garden. I must, repeat must move to a state with a longer growing season, one that has fig trees - that will be my barometer of the locale...

Me: "excuse me, realtor person, would it be possible to have a flourishing fig tree in the backyard here?"
Realtor: "No ma'am, this zone would not allow a fig tree to grow here year round, you'd have to cellar it in the winter."
Me: "I've seen enough - we'll continue either south or west from here, thank you for your time."

I got a manicure today - so of course I cut the nail with my big knife while chopping swiss chard, that's the way things always go, I never stub my toe unless I've just paid $30 for a manicure, and you always have the best hair dat of your live the day you are going to get it all chopped off.

Rating = Damn Good (and local too)

Monday, August 01, 2011

Cucumber Gratin | Vegetarian Times

So, if you haven't yet tried cooked cucumbers, go for it, its really good. As I mentioned before, I've got a virtual porno flick of cucumbers growing in the garden so I needed to get a little creative, and I didn't want to make soup or another salad or just eat them plain, I wanted to dress them up a bit. The latest issue of Vegetarian Times had an article on using cucumbers in multiple ways, and this was one of the recipes. I am lucky enough to have an awesome herb garden growing along side the vegetables, so I pretty much used two to three times the amount of tarragon and dill than the recipe called - and it was great. 

This recipe is based on a Julie Child recipe, and really, who doesn't love Julia. If you try it, let me know if you like it, also, let me know how you might dress it up a bit to make it a little more randy.

Cucumber Gratin | Vegetarian Times
2 Tbs. unsalted butter (use vegan margarine/butter)
2 English cucumbers or 3 garden cucumbers, peeled, halved, seeded, and cut into 2-x1/2 inch strips (about 4 cups)
3/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. sugar
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
2 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon
1 tsp. coarsely chopped fresh dill
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (use vegan Parmesan cheese)

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Cook 3 minutes, or until beginning to brown.

2. Toss cucumbers in 13 x 9 inch baking dish with 1 Tbs. brown butter, salt, and sugar. Bake 25 minutes.

3. Remove dish from oven, and preheat the broiler. Add chives, tarragon, dill, and lemon zest to cucumbers, and toss to coat. Season with pepper, if desired.

4. Stir together breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and remaining 1 Tbs. brown butter in bowl. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over cucumbers. Broil 2 minutes, or until crumbs are golden brown.

Per 1/2 Cup Serving: 85 cal.; 2 grams prot.; 6 grams total fat (3 grams sat. fat); 7 grams carb.; 13 mg chol.; 355 mg sod.; <1 gram fiber; 2 grams sugar

Rating = Good