Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day Great Food

Food is a big part of our relationship and always has been. When Valentine's Day rolls around, we don't get caught up in the pink hearts and red roses. We tend to go in the lobster tails and chocolate soufflĂ© direction. 

Most of our favorite moments as a couple revolve around really, really.....really great food. Whether it be a great meal during one of our travels, a local treat or something we cook together at home, we tend to always flock towards great food

Valentine's Day Great Food |

Since getting married, we've started this tradition of cooking at home for Valentine's Day. We are both most comfortable in our PJ's, not a fan of all the crowded restaurants and we enjoy cooking/being together. On the menu for tonight:

  • Surf & Turf - Boneless Ribeye Steak & Lobster Tails with Chimichurri Butter
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Twice Baked Potatoes
  • Roasted Romanesco
  • Cheesecake & Dark Chocolate
And yes, usually by the time we are done eating and cleaning, the power of our stretchy PJ pants kick in and we migrate towards the sofa for some HBO series binge-watching. Happy Valentine's Day to everyone - we here at Kettler Cuisine hope it is a delicious one. :)

Some of our favorite romantic recipes:

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Roasted Sunchoke and Shallot Soup

Today, we are cooking with Sunchokes! A few weeks ago, I came across these nubby looking roots at the Market, which at first I thought were ginger, but after further investigation found out were Sunchokes

Roasted Sunchoke and Shallot Soup |

Sunchokes, also known as Jerusalem artichokes, are the root of a plant in the Sunflower family. Oddly, they are neither originated from Jerusalem nor an artichoke, so I prefer to call them Sunchokes. These little tubers store a lot of inulin (not insulin), which is a great source of fiber. But be careful not to over-do-it on the 'chokes since inulin can cause gas and bloat. Hey, just being real here! 

Roasted Sunchoke and Shallot Soup |

Sunchokes have a similar consistency to a potato when raw, but have a much nuttier and sweeter flavor when cooked. According to the Farmer, these tubers have a short season in NC, so I have been trying to get some every week while I can. For such an ugly little vegetable, they sure do pack a nutrient punch, full of not just inulin and fiber, but also potassium and iron. I really enjoyed taking these little vitamin-filled veggies and coming up with a soup recipe. 

I am a big fan of vegetable soups, especially with all of the winter vegetables since I have a harder time digesting them. However, I also tried pan roasting the Sunchokes with some butter and thyme and they were delicious! Here is a good recipe for roasting the 'chokes on Bon Appetit.

Roasted Sunchoke and Shallot Soup |

Roasted Sunchoke and Shallot Soup

Recipe altered from A House In the Hills
Yields: 6 cups
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

1 pound sunchokes, quartered (about 4 cups)
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped 
4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons Grape seed oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 shallots, sliced
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup almond milk
salt and pepper to taste
top with fresh cilantro or fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 400F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 

In a large bowl, toss the sunchokes, onion and garlic with the oil, thyme and salt and lay out on the baking sheet. Roast the vegetables for 20 minutes, tossing a few times.

While the vegetables roast, melt the butter in a large, thick-bottomed soup pot. Saute the shallots, stirring constantly until they are golden and caramelized. Add in the vegetable broth and almond milk, scrapping any bits at the bottom of the pan. Once the broth/milk mixture comes to a boil, add in the roasted vegetables and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. 

Puree the soup mixture with either an immersion blender or standing blender in batches. Serve the soup with fresh herbs and crumbled cheese.

Roasted Sunchoke and Shallot Soup |

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Seared Yellowfin Tuna Salad

I am not usually one to brag, but this has been a stellar week in the Kettler Kitchen! I've cooked up Cilantro Burgers, Swordfish Steaks, Sticky Bacon Sandwiches (which requires a further explanation in a future post) and this Seared Tuna Salad. The year 2015 kicked off with a bang and lit a fire under my creative culinary ass. I became inspired to try different recipes and new ingredients.

Seared Yellowfin Tuna Salad |

The Farmers Market is a great source for the inspiration. I am constantly in front of peak-season ingredients sold to me by the best possible source. What better way to learn how to prepare a sunchoke than from the one that grew it. Yes, I have made sunchokes this week too....again, that deserves its own post!

Seared Yellowfin Tuna Salad |

I always keep my eye on Locals Seafood website towards the end of the week to see what they are getting in fresh. More often than not, I pre-order something since the best items tend to go fast. This week, I doubled up....swordfish and tuna! Tuna is probably my favorite fish, and not because it is so elegant and trendy at sushi restaurants, but because it can be prepared several different ways, holds up to cooking (i.e. doesn't fall apart easily), and is rich and light all at the same time.

This salad was initially a throw-together salad, but the Hubby loved it so much that he encouraged me to share with my readers. He has a lot of influence on this blog you know :)

We like our tuna super-rare in the middle, which requires a really hot pan and quick cooking. I usually prepare the dressing and salad first before I even turn on the pan to get hot. That way, I give full attention to cooking the tuna. Sear away!!

Seared Yellowfin Tuna Salad |

Seared Yellowfin Tuna Salad

Yields: 2 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2-4 minutes

Salad Ingredients

4 cups romaine, spinach or mixture of favorite salad lettuce
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup Farmers cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup cucumber, diced
1 avocado, sliced
1/3 cup fresh carrot, shredded
1 tablespoon Grapeseed or Canola oil
2 tablespoons Tamari or Soy Sauce
1/2 teaspoon Sesame seeds
2 (6 ounce) Yellowfin tuna steaks

Dressing Ingredients (can also used pre-made dressing)
3 teaspoons Tamari or Soy Sauce
1-2 teaspoons wasabi paste (depending on spice level desired)
1 teaspoon Sesame seed oil
2 tablespoons Grapeseed oil or olive oil
1/4 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated (or 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Sesame seeds

Optional Salad Additions

Red cabbage, shredded
Radicchio, shredded
*Golden beets, roasted (add a nice sweet balance to the salad)
Wasabi peas

Take out the tuna steaks from the refrigerator and let rest on the counter 30 minutes before cooking. In a small bowl, mix all the dressing ingredients together until well combined. Set aside.

Prepare the salad next. Chop the lettuce of choice, top with almonds, crumbled cheese, cucumber, avocado and carrot. Add any remaining optional ingredients desired and set aside.

Heat a medium (or large if cooking more than 2 tuna steaks) over medium-high heat. Get the pan hot! Dry the tuna steaks with a paper towel. Add the 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon Sesame seeds to the pan and cook until starts to bubble, about 30 seconds. Add the tuna steaks to the pan and cook on each side for 1-2 minutes depending on thickness. I usually do 1 minute per side because we like super-rare tuna steaks.

After cooking the steaks on both sides, remove the tuna and let rest on a cutting board for 2 minutes before thickly slicing and placing on top of the salads. Drizzle the dressing evening on both salads and serve right away.

Seared Yellowfin Tuna Salad |

*To roast beets, rinse and scrub the outside of the beets to remove dirt. Drizzle whole beets with oil and salt. Roast whole at 400F for about 30-40 minutes (depending on size of beets). Once they have cooled to the touch, wearing gloves, rub the beets to remove the skin. Quarter and serve with the salad. Regular red beets are also fine here.