Sushi and Sandwiches

DSC_0003This post should have been done a couple days ago, but what can I say, life got in the way a little bit. Last week, we made sushi. And when I say “we,” I do mean WE! My hunny helped – he even made two rolls by himself! I was very proud! This time around for sushi, we got tuna and crabmeat, and we made a spicy crab with avocado and a cucumber tuna, and then mixed the two together. With some edamame, we were pretty much at our limit with three rolls. It was delicious.

DSC_0010Two days later, I made a delicious seared ahi sandwich. The idea came from when I worked at a restaurant in Scottsdale, and they made a very similar sandwich as one of the seasonal menu offerings. It is addictively good, and when I have fresh tuna on hand, I’d be silly NOT to try to make it! It’s creamy and delicious, with just a little kick and will leave you wanting to lick your plate. What I really like about this, is that I could probably make this a completely local meal. Oh, and on the side, I made the PRETTIEST oven baked fries that were so good.

DSC_0008I want to take a second and rave about a little spice shop that I stumbled upon in Key West, Florida. They are called The Spice and Tea Exchange, and they have a whole host of different spices and spice blends, as well as a whole wall of different kinds of salts and teas. I was in hog heaven in this store. I bought a “Pirate’s Bite” blend from them for my buddy who loves spicy food and he adores it, even if it does make him sweat. The spice I used on my fries is a garlic blend from these folks, and I think they are whole-heartedly deserving of some likes on Facebook – they even take orders online. Check them out!

Seared Ahi and Brie Sandwiches

Ingredients

Tuna filets – one per two people, cut in half lengthwise (through the thick portion to create two thin filets)

Really good quality bread, ciabatta is delicious for this, two slices per sandwich about the same size as your filets

1 tart green apple or a pear, cored and thinly sliced

Brie cheese, thinly sliced (make sure to not use the end with the wrapping on it, it doesn’t taste as good)

Fig jam (this is key to balance the flavors!)

A tangy, spicy aioli (For ours, we used mayo, sherry vinegar, apple cider vinegar, whole grain mustard, hot sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper – all mixed together until it tasted good. A little heavy on the mustard and hot sauce to balance the sweetness of the fig jam)

Instructions – this is so easy!

Make your aioli, to your tastes. It should be a little heavier on the mayo, mustard and hot sauce. You’re going for tangy with a spicy kick.

Salt and pepper both sides of your tuna. Preheat a pan on medium high heat, you want to create that delicious sear and not overcook your tuna. While the pan is preheating, toast your bread, just a little bit. You’re going to toast it again at the end.

Once your bread is toasted, coat one piece with a thin layer of the jam, and the other piece with a thin layer of aioli. Lay a couple slices of cheese in a single layer on the jam side, and the apple or pear on the aioli side.

Sear your tuna. This will only take less than a minute on each side. You don’t want it cooked all the way through, only browned a little bit up the edges. The center will be pink (see the pictures). Once it’s done, put it on your sandwiches and close them up.

Now the fun part. Take your closed sandwiches and put them in the pan, for just a couple seconds, starting with the cheese side and then flip. The goal is to melt the brie just a little and toast up the bread some more. Use your best judgement here.

Serve with your favorite oven baked fries. Sit. Eat. Enjoy.

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So the Diet Begins…

The Army says I need to lose some pounds. So lose some pounds is what I’m going to do. The honeymoon is over, and my hunny has agreed to help me out with this by eating “diet food” for dinners. He’s such a good husband. Of course, I’m going to combine my dieting with exercise… though that part is harder for me than the watching my diet part. This diet I’ve done before, and it worked rather well, just took a lot of discipline. It’s only allowing myself 1400 calories a day. No fast food, no soda, very little alcohol unless I have calories left in my diet. Tonight I got to have a beer.

So, since I’ve already invested in a couple diet cookbooks, I decided that I should probably start using them. The first one that I’ve delved into for the past two nights is called Cook Yourself Thin Faster. Last night was porkchops with apples. It was surprisingly tasty. There was a sauce that went with it that was made with the apples, shallots, apple cider vinegar and a couple teaspoons of heavy cream. It was delightfully tasty. We balanced out the tanginess of the vinegar with a simple salad.

Stay tuned for more tasty diet friendly food. And go buy the book for more tasty recipes!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lb loin pork chops, fat fully trimmed, off the bone

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

Cooking Spray, preferably olive oil

1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped

1 apple, peeled, cored, and cut into eighths

3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp heavy cream

Directions:

1. Lightly pound the pork with a meat mallet or rolling pin to flatten slightly.

2. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Lightly spray a large saute pan with cooking spray and set over medium high heat.

4. Add the pork to the pan and cook 3-4 minutes. Turn and cook for another 4 minutes, until cooked through. Remove the pork to a plate and keep covered. Saute the shallot and apple until slightly golden. Add the apple cider and cook until the liquid begins to boil. Add the heavy cream and stir. Return the pork to the pan, toss with the sauce, and serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts:

Serves 4. Per Serving: 270 Calories, 9g Total Fat, 591 mg Sodium, 5g Sugar

Muffins, Bread and Breakfast

This weekend was pretty laid back and relaxed, and it was perfect. I got to spend time with my hunny, and made some tasty treats for us to enjoy.

It all started with blueberry muffins. Don’t tell him – but they’re healthy! I got them out of the Eat What You Love  cookbook that I’ve mentioned on here before. They use Splenda with just a little bit of granulated sugar, and they’re just slightly golden when they are done – but they’re moist and the blueberries pop in your mouth. Delicious!

Pair a muffin with some fruit and eggs for breakfast, and you’ve got a fantastically healthy, delicious and energizing breakfast. I even got to eat some of that yummy pineapple I mentioned in my last post.

And then I made this bread. I’m calling it BAM Bread. Banana, Apple and Mango Bread. When I bought the mangoes with the pineapple the other day, I planned on putting it in muffins or something. Well I found a recipe for a Mango Lime Bread. I used that and instead of the “plump golden raisins” it called for, I put in 2 mashed bananas. Baked it for the same amount of time, added everything else the same and it turned out simply beautiful. Oh, and tasty. I wouldn’t post it if it wasn’t tasty.

Here’s the recipe.