Saturday, July 22, 2006

Seared Tuna with Chipotle Cream Sauce & Wasabi Potatoes

Who says you can't have a high quality meal at home for under $30 & under 30 minutes? This flavor fusion meal was a breeze to make and would fool any foodie into thinking you slaved away all day in the kitchen.

Wasabi Potatoes
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (about 5 or 6 small Yukon Gold potaotes)
1/3 cup cream
2 tablespoons wasabi paste (I bought the powder and made my own)
½ cup green onions, chopped

Place potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, salt the potatoes and cook until tender, 10 minutes. Drain potatoes and add them back to the hot pot. Smash the potatoes with a masher to desired consistency with the cream and wasabi. Adjust salt, to taste. Stir in green onions.

Pan Seared Tuna with Chipotle Cream Sauce
6 6-ounce tuna steaks, each about 1 inch thick
2 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled chipotle peppers
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 portabella mushroom cap, sliced
6 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Lime wedges (optional)

Preheat oven to 200°F.

Sprinkle 1 side of tuna steaks with pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Place tuna steaks, pepper side down, in hot oil and sear 2 minutes. Turn tuna over and continue cooking to desired doneness, about 2 minutes for rare. Transfer tuna to rimmed baking sheet; keep warm in oven.

Add butter, sliced green onions, and chopped garlic to same skillet and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Mix in mushrooms and soy sauce and simmer 30 seconds. Add whipping cream and simmer until sauce lightly coats back of spoon, about 3 minutes. Stir in lime juice and chipotles. Spoon sauce onto plates; arrange tuna atop sauce. Garnish with lime wedges.

Adam's Comment: "It's spicy and not spicy. It's kinda rich and then it's not rich. I don't know...It's just really good"

Cheesecake Brownies

Brownie Base:
1 cup butter
2 cup white sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Cheesecake filling:
4 8-oz packages of cream cheese, softened
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. sour cream
3 eggs
2 squares baking chocolate, melted & cooled.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 13x9 pan with foil so you can easily lift the brownies from the pan to cut later on. Spray foil with cooking spray.

In a saucepan, melt 1 cup butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs, and 2 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in 2/3 cup cocoa, 1 cup flour, salt, and baking powder. Spread batter into prepared pan.

Bake 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat cream cheese, sugar, and remaining vanilla in a large bowl until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time. Pour over partiall-baked brownie batter. (Filling will come almost to the top of the pan).

Bake 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Run knife or spatula around the rim of the pan to lossen cake; cool. Refigerate 4 hours or overnight. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Drizzle with chocolate if desired.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

"Not" Fried Rice

The main reason sushi (or any Asian food for that matter) will always remain at the top of my food favorites list is because I can not make a better version of it at home. Although, now that I have all these new & wonderful wedding presents my 'at home' versions might just keep my from ever going to a restaurant again! Okay, maybe not, but this version of fried rice, made with my new rice maker, was good enough to fool me.

I love the fact that this quick and healthy version of fried rice didn't make me feel like I had a grease brick in my stomach and I also enjoyed knowing that all the veggies were fresh and hand chopped (with my new knifes, of course).

1 tsp sesame oil
6 oz chicken tender, cut into strips (I used my new scale to measure out 6 oz)
16 medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, cut in half lengthwise
2 tbls soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 oz Canadian bacon or ham, chopped
1/4 c. onion, chopped
1/4 c. carrot, chopped
2 tbls mushrooms, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 1/2 c. basmati rice
3 1/3 c. low sodium chicken stock
2/3 c. frozen peas, thawed
1/2 c. red bell pepper, julienned
4 green onions, chopped
1 c. bean sprouts

Lightly coat the steaming tray with cooking spray. Place chicken in a small dish and drizzle with half the sesame oil; stir to coat. Place in the steamer tray to one side in a single layer. Repeat with shrimp. Reserve.

In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and pepper. Stir until sugar dessolves; reserve.

Insert the rice cooking bowl into the Cuisinart rice cooker. Add the oil; cover and turn on for 1 minute. Add the Canadian bacon, chopped onions, carrot, mushroom, and garlic. Stri to coat with oil. Cover and cook 4 to 5 minutes, place the steaming tray over the rice cooking bowl and cover. Conitnue to cook until rice cooker switches to "warm". Using potholders, lift off steaming tray. Add the peas, red pepper and green onions to the rice cooking bowl on top of the rice - do not stir. Replace the steaming tray on the top of the rice cooking bowl and cover. Let stand 5 minutes. Transfer the rice to a medium bowl, along with the steamed chicken and shrimp and bean sprouts. Drizzle the soy mixture over the rice and stir to combine.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Spinach, Artichoke, & Chicken Dish

After a wonderful & relaxing HONEYMOON, Sushi AND Chocolate are back into action! With a brand new casserole dishes, new appliances and fancy china, I just had to make something. I have been busy with writing thank-you notes, doing laundry, and organizing the wedding photos so I haven't had a lot of time to hit the grocery store. But like a true foodie, I did manage to have some standard staples in the house.

Tonights dish was intended to be a repeat but, halfway through the process I realized I was missing 4 major ingredients. So I started to wing it. I played with lots of flavors and then ended up making a standard appetizer dish (Spinach & Artichoke Dip) into a healthy meal. By reducing the amount of cheese and adding some meat, this dish will satisfy a plethora of craving!


1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast (I actually used strips)
1 package, 10 oz, frozen chopped spinach
3 Tbls butter
2 portabella mushroom caps, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small shallot, minced
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 package feta, crumbled

Saute butter, mushroom, garlic, and shallot over medium for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper taste. Add chicken strips to pan and brown chicken. While chicken is cooking, defrost spinach in the microwave. Transfer spinach to a kitchen towel. Twist towel around spinach and wring it out until very dry. Transfer to medium bowl. Add ricotta cheese to bowl. Stir to combine. Transfer cheese mixture to your skillet and combine with the chicken mixture. Continue to cook for at least three minutes (or until chicken is cooked).

Spray a large casserole dish with nonstick spray and then transfer mixture to dish and press down with the back of a wooden spoon. Sprinkle casserole with feta cheese. Cook for 15 minutes in a 400 degree preheated oven.