Category: Seafood

Tuna Noodle Casserole

The comfort of tuna noodle casserole. My love for it knows no bounds. This version combines all the things I love so much–pasta, tuna, mushrooms, leeks, a white cheddar sauce, greenery in the form of dill, a crunch from tortilla chip crumbles.

The casserole of my childhood was similar but different. Elbow macaroni. A lot of Velveeta. No crunch. No baking. This felt like the grown-up version and still elicited a lot of the same eyes-rolling-into-the-back-of-your-head goodness. I struggled with my portions as I often do when pasta and cheese are involved.

We managed to save leftovers. I was that person who ate fish in the office. I promise I didn’t reheat it. I’m not that cruel.

Inspiration: Bon Appetit

Ingredients

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 12oz dried egg noodles
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium leek, white and pale green parts, finely chopped
  • 10oz crimini mushroom, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup white wine [I used vermouth because that’s all I had on hand]
  • 2 tablespoons thyme, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6oz white cheddar, grated
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce [I used tapatio]
  • 12oz tuna, packed in oil, drained and broken into pieces
  • 2 handfuls of tortilla chips, crushed
  • 1/2 cup dill, chopped
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 13×9″ baking dish.

Cook the egg noodles in a large pot of boiling, heavily salted water for about 2-3 minutes. The pasta should still be very al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside.

Melt 1/2 of the stick of butter in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the onion and leek and stir often. Cook for about 8-10 minutes until they start to soften but not brown. Increase the heat to medium-high. Stir in the mushrooms and cook for another 4-6 minutes. The moisture from the mushrooms should seep out and cook off. Add the wine and continue stirring occasionally until the moisture is nearly gone. Season with salt and pepper.

In a pot, melt the remaining 1/2 stick of butter on medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook the roux until it’s golden brown, about two minutes. It will be shiny and smooth. Whisk constantly and add the chicken stock. Bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and add the cream, cheddar and hot sauce. Stir often until the cheese is melted and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, mix together the mushrooms, cheese sauce, noodles, and tuna. Everything should be evenly coated. Taste for more salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle the top with the chips. Bake for about 20 minutes. The casserole will be bubbly and the chips starting to brown. Remove from heat and let it sit for about five minutes. Sprinkle with dill before serving.

Beans and Greens with Sardines

It’s really hard to get a decent photo of an egg salad sandwich, so there isn’t one for you. If you have any interest in the salad of eggs like I am, you should make this one. It was so good. I promise you can’t really taste the anchovies other than a hint of saltiness. I toasted sourdough and topped it with some mixed greens.

The thought of sardines may make some your nose crinkle, too. In that case, you have my blessing to add whatever else sounds good here. Anything would be good here. Nothing would be good here. I’d gladly eat collards and white beans most days [which is pretty much all I bought at the store tonight]. It’s a comforting kind of wonderful. Sardines added a nice little saltiness and protein that you wouldn’t have otherwise. You probably see all of those red flecks of crushed red pepper. You’re not surprised anymore, are you? Add more or less. I added even more after I took the photo.

I’ve been toying with making beans from scratch, but I’m afraid. Afraid I’ll never want to eat them out of the can anymore, and I never plan ahead to soak beans overnight.

beans-greens-sardines

Inspiration: Epicurious

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 large bunch of collard greens, thick stems removed, and chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 15oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 4.2oz tin of sardines in olive oil [I used Matiz Gallego]

Preparation

Heat four tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and crushed pepper. Stir often until the garlic starts to turn colors. Add greens by the handful so it’ll all fit into the pan. Toss to cover in the oil. Add the broth, cover, and simmer until the greens are tender. This should take about 5-7 minutes. Add the beans and simmer uncovered until the beans are warmed and the liquid is mostly gone. Stir in the vinegar. Add salt and pepper.

Chop the sardines into small pieces and sprinkle over the top of the greens.

Shrimp Cobb Salad

Look at how pretty this salad is. I’m patting myself on the back here. Cobb salads are great for when you want vegetables but want more than some whisps of lettuce. Some notable Cobbs [aka, the ones I order most often] — the brisket Cobb at Podnah’s Pit or the giant Cobb from Tilt that weighs what feels like 10lbs. Ahhh, now I wish I didn’t go to Tilt’s website to get that link. I want that burger on the homepage.

I’m not normally a corn person. I’ll eat it, but not go out of my way for it. Recipes, however, are a different story. I’m one of those follow the rules people. I can’t help it. As usual, my avocado wasn’t that ripe. Edible, but not my favorite. Next time I’d just buy guacamole, but that doesn’t photograph nearly as well. That green chunky stuff you see is a deliciously simple cilantro-lime vinaigrette. Finally using an entire bunch of cilantro in one sitting was quite the experience. That never happens. The salad was just as awesome as you would expect a giant Cobb to be. Roasted shrimp is such a change from the norm. After taking the time to put it together, Andrew and I just attacked the platter with a fork. It’s a lot of salad for two people, but we pretty much conquered it.

Shrimp Cobb2

Inspiration: Damn Delicious

Ingredients

  • 1lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning [I might have used the carne asada seasoning blend because that’s what I had on hand]
  • 4 slices of bacon, diced
  • 2 large hardboiled eggs, diced
  • 5 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 1 cup cilantro, mostly leaves instead of stems
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with parchment or tin foil. In a bowl toss the shrimp with two tablespoons of olive oil and the Creole seasoning. Spread the shrimp out on the baking sheet. Bake in the oven for about 4-5 minutes. The shrimp should be pink and cooked through.

In the bowl of a food processor, add the cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno, garlic, apple cider vinegar and remaining two tablespoons of olive oil. Pulse together until relatively smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

In a large skillet, cook the chopped bacon on medium high heat. Stir often until the bacon pieces are crispy. Drain on a plate lined with a paper towel.

Assemble the salad on a large plate or platter. Start with the base of romaine lettuce. In rows, line the shrimp, bacon, eggs, avocado, corn, and blue cheese crumbles. Spread the cilantro-lime dressing over the top.

Broccoli Raab and Goat Cheese Pasta with Shrimp

[this is currently being written while Roma is waging war against a fly under my desk]

Burger Week is almost over, and I hardly participated this year. I have eaten one burger. Well, one half of a burger. We stopped at one location and the wait was well over an hour [which is expected], so we left and ate falafel at Wolf & Bear’s insteadAn excellent choice. Afterward, we went to Alberta Street Pub. They were also still slow [and still expected], but I didn’t have a case of hangry looming. Beers were consumed. The Olympics were watched because that’s all that restaurants and bars show right now. We split a peach caprese juicy lucy. What is a juicy lucy you say? That is a burger stuffed with cheese instead of cheese on top—so the mozzarella of caprese is inside the burger. The tomatoes were traded into peaches caramelized in bacon vinaigrette. I’ll let you think about that for a minute.

I’ve been craving macaroni and cheese lately. I don’t want to succumb to it for some reason, but it’s there calling my name. I had a craving for a ham, gruyere, and butter baguette sandwich from Addy’s Sandwich Bar for awhile, and I squashed that craving earlier this week. Coco Donuts has been posting all kinds of donuts on Instagram. It gave me a craving one of their signature donuts—a raised donut with chocolate frosting and topped with chocolate covered espresso beans. That craving was satisfied this morning. Now this mac and cheese craving comes out of no where, and I’m trying to figure out what to do with it. I’m not craving a specific place’s mac, so we’ll see how long this sticks around. The odds of me making a batch are slim.

This pasta is the closest thing I’ve made to macaroni and cheese in a long, long time. Since this blue cheese pasta probably. It doesn’t look like I’ve ever made anything remotely traditional when it comes to macaroni and cheese. This mac and not-cheese? Talk about flashbacks. The whole shells and cheese + greens thing is a winner. I could always stand to see some greens in any mac and cheese I’m eating if only to make it look better. Certain bitter greens are great for cutting through richness, but in this case it was subtle. Thanks, broccoli raab [or rapini]. Goat cheese is tangy and lovely. It melts into the warm pasta creating a light creamy sauce, so I added a few fat chunks of it because I like it like that. Since there wasn’t any significant sources of I added shrimp because I had a frozen bag of it staring at me every time I look in the freezer. The shrimp are optional. You could leave it off entirely or add something else of your choosing. I don’t really think you could go wrong.

Shrimp, Broccoli Raab, Goat Cheese Pasta

Inspiration: Saveur

Ingredients

  • 12oz small pasta, like shells or orecchiette
  • 1 bunch rapini or broccoli raab, rinsed and roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon chile flakes
  • 4oz goat cheese, softened
  • 1lb frozen, peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Boiling water takes forever. Once it starts boiling, add the rapini. Cook for about 4 minutes before removing to a large bowl of ice water. Pat dry the rapini. Don’t drain the water from the pot. Use it to cook the pasta according to package instructions.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, and stir often until it’s golden brown. Add the shrimp, the paprika, and a healthy pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté until the shrimp is pink and cooked through. Add the rapini and chile flakes. Toss until combined and then remove from heat.

Mix the drained pasta and the shrimp and rapini mixture together in a large bowl [or pasta pot]. Add half of the goat cheese to the pasta and stir to incorporate. It will melt and distribute. Add the remaining goat cheese as dollops to the individual servings.

Korean Tuna Melt

Do you have any of those large Asian supermarkets? We have at least two that I’ve been two, Fubonn and Uwajimaya. They are veritable treasure troves of grocery shopping goodness. I’m equal parts torn about going in here hungry and not hungry. I know going in hungry is asking for trouble since there is so many things I want, but that deli area is so hard to pass up. So. Much. Poke. I want to eat poke by the five gallon bucket. Poke is like Hawaiian fish tartare. Aka raw fish. Delicious diced raw fish or other seafood. It usually marinates in various sauces [soy, shoyu, chili oil, sesame oil, etc] and can have add-ins of seaweed, garlic, green onion, and other fresh ingredients. Again, super hard to not eat it by the bucket full. The freshness of the fish contrasted with the bright flavors of the sauce and add-ins really hits the spot. We went to Uwajimaya last time after devouring a bowl of ramen at Kukai. I was stuffed, and yet we still ate a container of poke in the car like we were pressed for time, toothpicks stabbing each tender cube of fish and/or green onion, shoveling it in.

We went for nothing in particular, only to “walk around,” yet miraculously left with fish sauce, oyster sauce, a large bag of thai chilies, several packages of thai basil, and gochujang [Korean chile paste]. This is probably like going to Costco with less rolls of toilet paper. I’ve been lusting after a container of it it. Lady and Pups’ blog will do that to you. I want to make her chicken galbi ramen, cold and warm salmon scrambled egg rolls, and miso stewed short rib french dip, just to name a few. This stuff is the things my dreams are made of — my delicious, delicious dreams. When these tuna melt nigiri [rice balls] were made, I wanted them. I wanted them badly. I’m also lazy, so I made a sandwich. Tuna melt rice balls can become tuna melts rather easily. Sub bread for rice. It’s a vehicle for that deliciously salty and spicy tuna anyway. And cheese. Gooey cheese.

I kept adding and adding the chile paste. And adding more chile paste. It’s a delicate level of spicy that most people could probably handle. Even my sister. I wanted to go the extra mile with seaweed somewhere, either lining the bread or at least crushed into the tuna mixture, but I had to make due with a liberal sprinkling of gomasio — sesame seeds, sea salt, sea vegetables. Why? See the word ‘lazy’ above. The airy ciabatta rolls at the fridge New Seasons were a solid choice for what I was trying to accomplish here, but I can’t help but wonder if I would have pressed it somehow [cast iron on top of a skillet?] it would have been even better. Melty cheese via the broiler was more than acceptable.

Korean Tuna Melt

Inspiration: Lady and Pups

Ingredients

  • 2 cans tuna in olive oil, drained
  • 2 tablespoons mayo
  • 3-4 tablespoons gochujang
  • 1.5 teaspoons sesame oil + more for brushing the bread
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • Gomasio
  • sliced colby jack cheese
  • ciabatta rolls

Makes 2 stuffed or 4 smaller sandwiches

Preparation

In a large bowl, add the tuna, mayo, gochujang, 1.5 teaspoons of sesame oil, sriracha, and ginger. Use a form to mix everything together well. Taste. You may want more of something here depending on your tuna and your tastebuds.

Turn a broiler on high. Brush the cut sides of the ciabatta rolls with sesame oil. On the bottoms of the rolls, liberally spread a layer of of the tuna mixture. Top with cheese. Place those halves of the sandwich on a baking sheet and place in the oven.

Let the cheese get nearly melted and bubbly before adding the other sides of the bread to the pan, cut side up. If you don’t do this, expect super crispy bread [read: burnt]. Remove the pan from the oven and Sprinkle the cheesy side of the bread with the Gomasio. Place the top of the roll onto the cheese side. Devour.