food amongst family and friends

Seared Tuna and Mango Salad May 12, 2015

Filed under: Fish and Seafood,Salads — blisteringlydrunk @ 12:50 pm
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I keep digging into this meal so fast that I've yet to capture a good image

I keep digging into this meal so fast that I’ve yet to capture a good image

Earls used to make a salad that inspired this creation – it is easily one of my favorite meals.

Start with cooked sushi rice. For 3 of us I typically cook 1 cup (dry) rice and let cool. You can toss a bit of rice wine vinegar in this too.
Next top with a mixture of a crispy lettuce (e.g. romaine) and a spring mix.
Then I add a series of veggies that I cut into matchsticks: carrots, cucumber, yellow and red peppers, green onion, avocado.
Next goes mango. I find the mango is key to deliciousness.
Put some nori (toasted seaweed) in there. I like it just on the side around the salad.
Finally, top with your seared tuna. Buy a good, sushi grade steak and sear it in a really hot pan with sesame oil until it just begins to creep white up the side – about 2 min on first side and a min on the other. Thinly slice and top with a few toasted sesame seeds (you can toast this in the pan you did the fish in while the tuna cools a bit).
Finish it off with a White Miso Vinaigrette.

White Miso Vinaigrette

2/3 c orange juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons white miso
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
salt to taste.

Enjoy! Ren


Korean style pork medallions with Napa slaw February 27, 2013

Filed under: Mains,Pork,Quick and easy,Salads,Thrifty — blisteringlydrunk @ 3:03 pm
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IMG_7674This was last night’s supper; so good, so fast, so easy and everyone ate it (even the cabbage, which is a miracle around here). I really can’t ask for anything more. Plus it felt like good take out from a Korean or Vietnamese place, which my family usually won’t be talked into, so it was a treat for me. The recipe was found in Fine Cooking’s Make it Tonight cookbook, which I borrowed from the library and sadly had to return yesterday. I have yet to try a Fine Cooking recipe that isn’t both complexly delicious and a crowd pleaser. I plan on putting this one into the regular rotation of easy weeknight suppers, and you should consider the same!


1 large pork tenderloin (about 1 1/4 lbs)

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup rice vinegar

3 Tbsp brown sugar

2 medium cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger

1 Tbsp sesame oil

1 Tbsp Sriracha

1 lb Napa cabbage, thinly sliced

1 cup grated carrot

4 green onions, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)

4 Tbsp canola oil

1/2 tsp coarse (Kosher) salt

Hot, steamed jasmine rice for serving


1. Slice the pork into 1/2″ thick medallions and place in a medium bowl.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, 2 Tbsp rice vinegar, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, garlic, ginger, 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil, and 2 tsp Sriracha (I cut this by about 1/2 tsp to avoid over spicing my kids and it was perfect, so if you like things really spicy, you may want to consider increasing the Sriracha). Add half a cup of this mixture to the pork medallions, stir well and set aside at room temperature for 1/2 hour or in the fridge for 2 hours.

3. Meanwhile, stir together 1 Tbsp canola oil, salt and remaining rice vinegar, brown sugar, sesame oil and Sriracha. Toss with cabbage, carrots, and green onions. Let sit for at least 15 minutes before serving, tossing once more before dishing up.

4. Remove pork medallions from marinade, shaking off excess and discarding the marinade. Heat 1 1/2 Tbsp canola oil over medium high heat until it shimmers. Arrange half the pork medallions in a single layer in pan and cook for 2 minutes a side (at which point the pork should be cooked through, but cut through a big one to make sure). Heat remaining oil and repeat with remaining medallions (I had a big pan and was able to do it all in one batch).

5. To serve place 1/2 cup or so of rice in the bottom of a big bowl, layer a cup or so of slaw and top with pork medallions. Drizzle reserved sauce overtop. Makes 4-6 rice bowls, depending on how hungry you are.




This worked out to be about $2/serving, but if you have to go buy all of the ingredients it will feel like more; I had most of this in my house!




How to make your kids eat salad: Put it in a jar June 20, 2012

Not to mention how to make your husband eat beans. I saw this recipe in (surprise, surprise) my new Gourmet Weekday cookbook and immediately wanted to make it, but then hemmed and hawed because, while I new I would love it, I wasn’t sure my family would. But this week is a bit of a madhouse around here and I have been needing dinners that I can make in the afternoon and then eat immediately upon our return from bike camp, so this layered salad was perfect. Soooo glad I did. I never would have dreamed that every member of my family would gobble this up and rave about how good it was (and I’m going to pretend it has nothing to do with feeding them 2 hours later than usual after a long afternoon of bike camp). It’s greek salad with black eyed peas and orzo and it’s amazing. The lemon zest and fresh oregano make this what it is (not to mention the feta and olives, but you new that already), so don’t skimp on those. This is supposed to be a picnic idea, hence the jars, but the kids thought it was awesome to eat out of a jar, even at the table, especially since they got to shake it up before they ate. I think next time I might try some little shell noodles instead of the orzo, just to switch it up (plus my youngest chokes on orzo a bit, who knew), but this will definitely be made again this summer as a make ahead, come home to a fresh homemade dinner sort of meal.

Notes: this took me about 30-40 minutes to put together, inclusive of all the chopping and finding jars and everything. It would make 4 adult portions, or in our case, 2 adult portions and 2 kid portions, plus a next day lunch portion for me. We ate ours with pita chips and hummus.

3/4 cup orzo (or other tiny pasta) ($1.00)

1 19 oz can black eyed peas, rinsed and drained ($1.00)

1 large tomato, diced (I think halved cherry or grape tomatoes would be good here) ($0.47)

1 Tbsp each, balsamic and white balsamic vinegars (or 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar) ($0.15)

2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.10)

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

3 mini english cucumbers, halved and chopped ($1.50 – can be reduced slightly by using a big cucumber)

1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved (you can chop them finer if you wish, but not everyone in my family likes olives, so this way they can pick them out) ($1.73)

1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion ($0.27)

1 heaping tsp lemon zest ($0.50, inclusive of the lemon juice)

juice from 1/2 lemon

1 heaping Tbsp chopped, fresh oregano ($1.00)

1 coarsely chopped heart of romaine ($0.66)

1 cup crumbled feta ($2.33)

1. Cook orzo. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool.

2. Meanwhile, toss tomato and black eyed peas with vinegars, 1 tbsp olive oil and 1/2 of each the salt and pepper. Allow this to marinate while you prepare the rest, stirring occasionally.

3. Toss together orzo, cucumber, olives, onion, lemon zest, lemon juice, remaining Tbsp of olive oil and remaining salt and pepper.

4. Prep your jars (or make in a large clear bowl for a pretty presentation). Divide tomato/black eyed peas mixture (with juices) amongst your jars, then the orzo mixture, followed by romaine and finally, the feta. You can serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Best served at room temperature.



Total cost of the meal: $10.71

Cost per serving (assuming 4 portions): $2.68



Some sort of salad-like avocado salsa February 22, 2012

Filed under: Appetizers,Make Ahead,Salads,Sides,Vegetarian — blisteringlydrunk @ 9:59 pm
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This is the salsa you want to make with Ky’s chipotle chicken, beans and rice. It has a nice variety of veggies and greens so that you can use it to round out the meal – I skipped a side veggie altogether and I didn’t feel like I was short on veg.

This recipe is really meant to accompany Ky’s rice dish, but you could easily turn it into a dipping salsa by increasing the amount of avocado (about 4 total) and reducing the amount of all the other veggies (keep the lime juice and seasonings the same).

1 1/2 avocados, cubed
1 red or orange pepper, finely chopped
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
8-10 grape tomatoes, quartered
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 green chili, minced
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 – 2 limes, juiced
1/2 t ground cumin
course salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Throw the avocado through cilantro into a medium bowl, then squeeze in the juice of 1 lime and toss. Add the cumin, salt and pepper, then taste. Add more lime juice and seasoning as needed. If your limes are on the dry side, you might need 2 whole limes. I usually go to town with the salt and pepper, so don’t be shy, but taste and add more as you go so that you don’t over-salt. You can reduce the amount of chili to keep things mild, but I find that even the tiniest bit really adds to the flavour.




Happy 100th post to us and a Rhubarb Vinagrette July 19, 2011

Filed under: Make Ahead,Quick and easy,Salads,Sauces — blisteringlydrunk @ 12:55 pm
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So, here is our 100th post, 2 weeks late and not overly exciting on the surface. Summer has officially taken over my life and not allowed a whole lot of time for posting, although there has still been a lot of cooking, mainly early in the morning, before it gets hot. Once the heat kicks in, all I want to do is BBQ some meat and throw a salad together, hence this post. I saw this recipe on Dinner with Julie the other day and when the temperature inside my house hit 29 degrees yesterday afternoon, I changed my dinner plans and threw this together. Tossed with fresh greens and some dill from my garden, this was easily the best salad I’ve had all summer (and I’m a salad junkie), so good in fact, that I repeated it for my lunch today. I’m currently debating in my head if I could actually can this so that I could enjoy it year round, but the jury is still out – I need to do a little research. For now, one batch should last in the fridge for a week or two, if it lasts that long.

1 large rhubarb stalk, or 3 little ones, thinly sliced

2 Tbsp each, honey and rice vinegar

1-2 tsp Dijon mustard

3 Tbsp olive oil

1. Place rhubarb and about 1/4 – 1/2 cup water in a small pan over medium heat and simmer about 5 minutes, or until water is mostly evaporated and rhubarb is really soft.

2. Put everything but the oil in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. Then turn on high and add the oil with the motor running – this will emulsify the oil and make for a thick creamy dressing.

3. Store in the fridge and serve once cool. Dill would also be great right in the dressing, but the color might be a little funky.




Easy Peasy Slaw March 29, 2011

Filed under: Quick and easy,Salads,Vegetarian — blisteringlydrunk @ 4:55 pm
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This doesn’t look like much, but you should try it. Trust me. Or don’t, but try it anyway. It’s easy and cheap, so it won’t put you out one bit. The cabbage makes it doable all winter long, while the lime dressing really sings in the Spring. I like making this with soft tacos and I dump some of the slaw right in the tortilla. Tasty!

This stores well in the fridge for a few days,  but I do enjoy it most when it’s freshly tossed. If you want to make it ahead, chop everything up and store the dressing in jar, then toss no more than an hour before serving.

The original recipe is from ELS and this should give you 5 large servings.


1/2 medium head green cabbage, shredded/finely chopped
1/4 cup crumbled feta, or just as much as you feel like
Juice of 1 lime
~1/4 cup olive oil
1 t honey
salt and pepper

Dump the cabbage and feta into a salad bowl. Squeeze the lime juice into a jar and then add enough olive oil so that you have a half-oil-half-acid dressing (I just eye-ball it). Add the honey, a good pinch of coarse salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Shake up the dressing, toss with the slaw and add more black pepper if needed.


A Bitter Salad March 23, 2011

Filed under: Make Ahead,Salads,Vegetarian — blisteringlydrunk @ 9:17 am
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This was one of those meals where the main dish was a miserable failure and the sides stood victorious. I thought I was whipping up some tasty honey-garlic pork chops that would make it feel like barbeque season, but they ended up tasteless and overcooked.  Thankfully, the sides saved the meal. We had Ren’s sweet potato fries and this radicchio and arugula salad that I found in the February Bon Appetit. James found it too bitter, but I quite liked it. I’m a bit of an arugula nut though, so bitter-green-haters be warned.

This is not a quick, throw-together salad, but it’s not all that difficult and it looks impressive. The bulk of the salad is bitter, topped with a sweet pepper dressing to balance it out. I changed the proportions to suit what I had in the house – the recipe below includes my adjustments. Pair with yam fries and a properly cooked pork chop for a winning combination.


makes 4 good-sized portions

1 red bell pepper
4 T olive oil
2 T red wine vinegar
1-2 T drained capers
4 t minced shallot
1/2 t sugar
3 cups baby arugula
1 head radicchio, roughly chopped

1. Pop the whole pepper into a 400F oven until the skin starts to blister, crack and turn black in some spots. Check it every few minutes and flip it over as needed. Once it’s done, let it cool before peeling the skin and removing the stem and seeds.

2. Put the pepper in a food processor or blender with 1 T olive oil and blend until smooth.

3. Whisk the blended pepper with the remaining olive oil, vinegar, capers, shallot and sugar. Taste and adjust as needed – you may want more sugar or a little salt to help with the bitterness of the vegetables.

The dressing can be made a day ahead – store in the fridge in a covered container. Bring to room temperature before tossing with the salad.

4. Toss the arugula and radicchio with the dressing and serve.