Herb-Crusted Tuna Steak with a Balsamic Dijon Sauce

Herb-Crusted Tuna Steak with Balsamic Dijon Sauce
And Roasted Vegetables

Ingredients:
2 8-10oz Tuna Steaks
1/4 cup Herbes de Provence
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
4 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp Butter
3 Tbsp Honey

Directions:

  • Pat the Tuna Steaks with a paper towel and remove excess moisture on the outside. Salt and Pepper both sides.
  • Sprinkle the Herbes de Provence on both sides of the Tuna, and press lightly.
  • Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a skillet until hot.
  • Carefully place the Tuna steaks in the skillet.
  • Cook for 5-7 minutes, depending on how done you want your Tuna. Do not move them while they are cooking.
  • Using tongs or a spatula, carefully flip the Tuna and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Remove and let rest.
  • Add the Dijon, Butter, and Vinegars to the skillet, and mix well.
  • Lastly add the Honey, and reduce for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Drizzle the sauce over the Tuna, or serve on the side.

Makes 2 Tuna Steaks

NOTES: This is a very quick and flavorful way of making Tuna–and not the overused Miso-Wasabi variations people seem to be leaning on as of late. The herbs crust onto the tuna infusing the flavors into the meat. The sauce has a rich sweet and savory silkiness that complements the herbs and tuna.

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Pantzaria Salata – Παντζάρια Σαλάτα – Beetroot Salad

Παντζάρια Σαλάτα

Ingredients:
4-6 Fresh Beets (more if they are small)
3 cloves Garlic, minced
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp Parsley, fresh and chopped
1/2 Tbsp Mint, fresh and chopped
Salt to taste
Water for boiling

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil. Wash the Beets, removing the stems and any long taproots. Place in the boiling water and cook for 45 minutes to an hour–longer if the Beets are large. Beets are done when they are not only fork-tender, but the outer skin easily rubs off.
  • Remove from the heat, and run under cool water, rubbing off the outer skin. Let cool.
  • Chop the Beets into bite-size pieces. I prefer slicing them and then cutting the slices in half.
  • Toss with all the other ingredients, and place in a bowl in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Makes 3 servings.

NOTES: This is a traditional Greek recipe for Beets. Some folks will also suggest parboiling the Beet greens and chopping them up and mixing them in the salad, but I am not a fan of that. This recipe is a recipe for folks who don’t normally like Beets–like me. I have never been a big fan of beets, finding them too–I don’t know what the word is…. beety? Anyway, this recipe cuts the flavor of the Beets with the Vinegar, Garlic, and fresh Parsley. I highly recommend you use high-quality Vinegar and Olive Oil for this recipe–not the cheap one on sale–you’ll be much happier. Also, never ever, ever use canned Beets–seriously, do you like your food tasting like salt and tin?

Chimichurri

Dedicated to my friend Anahi G. who educated me about Salmuera

Chimichurri-Marinated Skirt Steak and Chicken,
Grilled with Onions and Chimicurri Sauce on the side

Ingredients:
2 cups fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh Oregano
8 cloves Garlic
1/2 cup warm Water
1 1/2 Tbsp Salt
3 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1 wedge of Lemon
1/4 cup Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

  • In a bowl, whisk the Salt and warm water together to dissolve. In Spanish, this is called salmuera which acts like a brine.
  • Combine the Herbs, Garlic, Cumin, Crushed Red Pepper into a Food Processor and pules a couple times.
  • Squeeze in the Juice from the wedge of Lemon, and drizzle in the Salmuera and Red Wine Vinegar, pulsing.
  • Remove to a bowl, and stir in the Olive Oil, and Salt and Pepper.

NOTES: This is a very simple Argentinian marinade and sauce. The first time I ever had it was in Jackson Heights, NY at one of their many tasty Argentine places. It should be chunky and not a paste like an Adobo or Pesto. Some Recipes will include Onion and sweet Red Peppers. I prefer to keep those out. If you are able, instead of the American variety of Crushed Red Pepper, try to get Aji Molido also known as Aji Triturado–a more authentic Argentine variety of Crushed Red Pepper. You can vary the amounts of spice and garlic based on your tastes. This marinade is great on Steaks and Chicken, but can also be used with Fish. Serve it as a sauce on the side of Steak or drizzled over Roasted Potatoes as well–you can’t go wrong!

Trying to find an etymology for the word has proved interesting.   Various sources say it was either created by an English soldier or butcher named Jimmy Curry or Jimmy McCurry, who created the sauce–and folks unable to say his name morphed it into chimichurri.  It seems far-fetched to me.  Similarly, one origins story says that it was introduced about the time England was trying to invade Argentina, and captured soldiers would ask for a sauce with their meat “Give me a curry” that somehow morphed into chimichurri by natives trying to mimic them.  It just seems strange to me that there would be any English involvement in the creation of this dish–but hey, I wasn’t there.

Dijon Mustard

Dijon Mustard

Ingredients:
1/4 cup whole Mustard Seeds
1 Tbsp Dry Mustard
1-2 cloves Garlic
1 Shallot
1 Tbsp Capers, minced
1 tsp Herbes de Provence
1 tsp Honey
2 Tbsp Sauvignon Blanc
2 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp Bordeaux
1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 tsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Salt

Directions:

  • Grate the Garlic and Shallot into a bowl, and press out the liquid and drain.
  • Using a Mortar and Pestle, crush the Mustard Seed. You do not have to pulverize the seeds, just crushing some will release the oils.
  • Combine the Mustard Seed, and Herbes, Spices and Seasonings with the Garlic and Shallots. Slowly add the Wines, Vinegars, Oil, and Honey.
  • Cover and refrigerate over night.
  • Pour into a food processor and blend until desired consistency.

NOTES: Dijon Mustard was created by Jean Naigeon of Dijon in 1856, and utilized a wine made from un-riped grapes often called Verjuice, which has a high acidity. Most modern recipes have substituted it with a combination of White Wine, Red Wine, White Wine Vinegar, and Red Wine Vinegar–you can find varying portions of each depending on a recipe. Regardless, the wines should be dry, and of a high quality worth drinking.

You have control over the coarseness of the mustard when you grind it in the food processor. I prefer a coarser grind. You can also utilize various colors of Mustard Seeds, as available to give it some extra color.

Brussels Sprouts & Bacon

Brussels Sprouts & Bacon

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs Brussels Sprouts, cleaned and quartered (if smaller, halved)
3 slices Bacon, chopped
1 clove Garlic
1 Shallot, chopped
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
3/4 cup Chicken Broth
1/4 cup Pale Ale

Directions:

  • In a skillet, brown the Bacon.
  • Remove Bacon from grease, and set on a paper towel to drain.
  • Add Garlic, Shallots, Salt, Pepper, and Olive Oil to skillet. Sweat, but do not over cook.
  • Add the Brussels Sprouts and coat with Oil. Saute for 4 minutes.
  • Add Ale, Vinegar, and Chicken Broth to Skillet and bring to a rolling boil.
  • Reduce heat and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon or Spider Whisk, remove the Brussels Sprouts to serving bowl.
  • Sprinkle with Bacon

Broccoli Salad

Ingredients:Vegan Vegetarian Variation
5 cups Broccoli (Florets only)
1/2 cup Raisins (mixed colors if you want)
1/2 cup Bacon, cooked, crumbled
1/4 cup Red Onion, chopped
1 cup Peas (thawed frozen is ok)
1/2 cup Almond Slivers, toasted
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Dressing:
1 cup Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 cup Honey

Directions:

  • In a small bowl combine Dressing ingredients and whisk together until all ingredients incorporated.
  • In a large bowl, combine Broccoli and Dressing. Make sure all pieces of Broccoli is covered.
  • Now add the Peas, Almonds, Onions, Raisins, and Bacon. Mix the ingredients well so that pieces of each are spread throughout the Salad.
  • Salt and Pepper to taste.

NOTES: Clean the florets and chop into bite size pieces (try to keep the florets intact as best you can). Some people like adding a cup of shredded Sharp Cheddar, but I don’t, as I think it weighs down the salad.

Variations:
Don’t like Mayonnaise, or want something healthier? Try Greek-Style Yogurt instead. (Variation for my friend Alia)
M›Ṽ: Instead of Bacon, either omit or use Bac-Os ® (a Soy product).
Ṽ›Ɣ: Not only use Bacos instead of Bacon, but use a vegan vinaigrette

Spinach Salad

IngredientsVegan Vegetarian Variation
1 lb Fresh Spinach, cleaned, dried
1/2 cup chopped Green Olives
1/2 cup Raisins
1 small Red Onion
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
3 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 tsp Mustard (dry)
8 slices of Bacon, chopped
Salt & Pepper to Taste

Directions

  • In a large skillet, cook the Bacon. Add Onion, Vinegar, Brown Sugar, and Mustard and simmer.
  • In a salad bowl, combine Spinach, Olives, and Raisins. Pour Bacon mixture over and toss. Serve warm.

Variations:
M›Ṽ/Ɣ – Substitute 1/2 cup Olive Oil and 1 drop Liquid Smoke and Bac-Os® for the Bacon.