Posts Tagged ‘zest’

Tuna Steak and Orange Peas

It was late and I wanted a quick meal out of the freezer.  Passing up the frozen leftover pasta and ice cream, I grabbed the chunk of yellow fin that didn’t end up as sushi and the peas.

The orange zest was nearly omitted but I’m glad the citrus note was there.  Just a slight tang in the background, it helps you forget that this meal was an iceberg a few minutes earlier.  A small pat of butter melted on the peas, because you can’t eat peas without butter, that would be wrong and the French Canadian woman in me would be very disappointed if you didn’t.

The tuna was still raw in the center, as you can see from the blurry picture.  Put a good amount of freshly cracked pepper on both sides.  Get a pan smokin’ hot and sear top and bottom of that little fish fillet.  Peppery heat and cool center will play your taste buds like a harpstring.

Need not mention… only eat raw seafood that is supposed to be eaten raw, handle with the up most care, and don’t give this to little ones or granny just to be safe.

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Here is another recipe I dreamt up to enter into the weekly Food52 contest.  This week it’s all about olives and citrus, I jotted down the first combination that popped in my head, and here it is…

Serves 4
  • 1 cup green olives, drained
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lime
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, minced
  • italian bread slices, toasted
  • shredded pecorino romano cheese

Finely dice the olives and tomatoes. Place these in a bowl along with the garlic and onion. Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and sea salt.   Zest the half the orange, half the lemon and half the lime. Add the juice of the orange to the mixture.

Mince some parsley and mix into the bruchetta. Reserve some for garnish.

Let the bruchetta marinate in the fridge until ready to serve. To serve, top toasted bread slices with some bruchetta, pecorino and parsley.

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Rewind 15 years… I’m in high school.  It’s harvest time in Alberta.

Scanning the edge of a hill within the quarter-section of land under hasted machines, I spot my father.  Rather, I spot his tractor.  Surely he has also caught the pickup truck waiting with a snack at the other end of the field.  Dust from the dry earth and fine pieces of barley stalks swirl around my father as he makes his way from the parked machine to his delivery girl.

“Hi Dad!  I made some cookies for you!”  Along with a thermos of coffee, I had escaped the house once more with a bag of freshly made oatmeal cookies.  “Those look great!” Dad always smiled.  With thunder lurking on the horizon, he left again to finish his work.

January, 2011 on the eve of Dad’s flight home from Austin to Edmonton, I had an urge to bake cookies for the voyage home.  As if some piece of me would travel along with him, keeping him safe.  I made oatmeal cookies, the same recipe as I did in highschool, only with my new flare.  Cranberries and orange zest were abundant so they became the highlight to these bundles of sweet delight.

Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  •  2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • zest of 1 orange

Beat the butter, margarine and sugar.  Then add the vanilla, salt, orange zest, cranberries and half the flour.  Mix until well combined.  Dissolve the baking soda into the boiling water and add to the mixing bowl, followed promptly by the remaining flour and oats.  Mix until blended.

Drop by tablespoonful on to your cookie sheet of choice.  Bake at 350ºF (175ºC) for 10-14 minutes.  Let the cookies cool on the sheet for a couple of minutes before removing to a rack to finish cooling.  Store in an air-tight container for up to 3 days (if they last that long!)

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Weapon of Choice

What is your weapon of choice for zesting?

Currently I have three options, none of which I really like. 

Box graters tend to make quick work of a lime however most of the precious zest is stuck to the spurs.  Carrot (veggie) peelers can be too dull and are awkward to handle.  I tend to get too much of the bitter layer when using this method.  Small sharp knives are inherently dangerous since they are sharp as heck if you have a good quality one.  If you have decent knife skills, this is a good way to slice off the thin layer of zest of lemons and oranges.  I have yet to zest a lime with a knife.

Where’s the handy zester tool?  Good question!  Maybe Santa will read this and I’ll get one for Christmas…

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