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.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Roasted Carrots with Honey Drizzle

Hello 2015!! Goodbye holiday treats!!

That's it folks, the indulgence of the holidays has passed and the Nation's obsession with health and weight loss begins. I am definitely all for a healthy lifestyle, but not the biggest fan of the influx of new members at the gym in January! 

Roasted Carrots with Honey Drizzle |

This year I have even more reasons to stay healthy though, I am drug-free! Late last year I decided to stop taking a medication for my Crohn's. I felt good enough to try managing the disease through food, exercise and low stress. So far, so good...although the low stress part is hard to accomplish, but I am trying. 

Roasted Carrots with Honey Drizzle |

The best way for me to maintain a healthy diet is by keeping a ton of vegetables in the kitchen. The more I have in the fridge, the more inclined I am to eat them. The tough part about having Crohn's is that I can't always eat raw vegetables as they can be hard to digest. Over the past year, I have been playing around with vegetable side dishes, adding flavors and testing different cooking techniques. Thank goodness I have a patient Hubby who likes vegetables!!

Carrots are my current favorite veggie to cook up, especially the cute little sweet gems from Color Fields Farm

Roasted Carrots with Honey Drizzle |

Raw carrots have always been a favorite snack of mine. Not only is the crunch one of the best ways to reduce stress, but they are naturally sweet and help bite those mid-afternoon cravings for candy. The thought of cooked carrots wasn't high on my list considering most of the time they are way over cooked, mushy and bland. It wasn't until Moms roasted them one night for a family dinner that I became intrigued. The honey was just a lucky addition resulting in me standing in front of the pantry searching for a finishing touch for the carrots.

I have made this side dish dozens of times now and hope you will enjoy it. If you can find the smaller whole carrots, they are perfect for roasting and really pack a punch of flavor.  

Roasted Carrots with Honey Drizzle |

Roasted Carrots with Honey Drizzle

Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes

1 pound small whole carrots, ends trimmed and halved
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon honey

Preheat oven to 400F and place the rack in the middle of the oven. Line a large roasting pan or baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the halved carrots on the sheet. Drizzle the olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper on the carrots and mix around with your hands until well coated. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring half way. For more cooked/charred carrots, continue to cook for 10 minutes longer, otherwise remove from the oven. 

Drizzle the honey evenly over the carrots and serve. Don't do too much honey since the carrots themselves will be sweet. A little goes a long way with this dish!

Roasted Carrots with Honey Drizzle |

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Angie's Brittle - Happy Holidays

Angie's Brittle - Happy Holidays |

Oh man, It has been a rough few weeks! Traveling, work, Christmas shopping, more work, baking (and mailing), even MORE work, so many December birthdays, and not to mention I dropped a full bottle of vinegar on my toe (which is now bruised and probably broken). I kind of just want to throw my hands in the air and say "I give up world!" But, I can't because..............SANTA'S COMING!!!!

This is absolutely, hands down, my favorite time of year! Spending time with family, holiday parties, TONS of cooking and holiday treats, decorations, presents and best of all, traditions. We have several established traditions in our family, but we're always creating new ones. One of the best traditions though, are the holiday goodies that our families make. We always get delicious Italian Pizzelles from the Hubby's Mom and Spicy Chex Mix (aka Trash) from my Mom. One of my favorite traditions that crept into our family several years ago is Angie's Brittle.

Angie's Brittle - Happy Holidays |

Angie is an old family friend of ours who knows how to make brittle! My mom fell in love with the brittle and started making it every Holiday. I now have taken over the tradition and wanted to share with everyone! Salty, sweet and very chocolatey, it is a cracker-based brittle. Usually I make this with saltine crackers, however since going gluten free, I now use a basic GF cracker and had no issues. If you don't have a gluten issue, then go with the saltines. You can also top the brittle with a different type of nut like almonds, pecans or cashews. Sometimes I add on dried fruit, like goji berries.

Angie's Brittle - Happy Holidays |

On behalf of the Hubby, myself and our families, we wish everyone a wonderful  Holiday Season and many delicious treats!!

Angie's Brittle - Happy Holidays |

Angie's Brittle

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

2 sticks butter (16 Tablespoons)
1 cup brown sugar
Cooking spray
1 sleeve saltine crackers (or gluten free crackers similar to saltines - I used these)
16 ounces favorite chocolate chips (dark, milk or bittersweet)
1 cup walnuts (toasted and chopped)
Sea salt (suggested if using GF crackers)

Preheat the oven to 350F and line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Spray the foil with cooking spray (the more you spray, the easier it will be to remove the brittle).
Spread the crackers in a single layer on the lined baking sheet.

In a small sauce pan, melt the butter and brown sugar over medium heat. Bring to a boil and continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. This will start to thicken and turn brown like a caramel. Pour the butter mixture over the crackers and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Be careful not to overcook as the brittle will burn easily.

Remove the brittle from the oven and pour the chocolate chips on top of this immediately. Let the chips sit for a minute, and as they melt, start to spread them out with a spatula. This will create the chocolate layer. Sprinkle the walnuts (or favorite nut) and sea salt. Let this cool for about 10-15 minutes and then place in the freezer to harden.

When frozen, carefully remove the foil from the brittle and break into pieces. Store in a freezer bag or container in the freezer until ready to serve. This keeps the chocolate from melting!

Angie's Brittle - Happy Holidays |