“Seared Tuna with Tomato, Bean and Avocado Relish” from “Sight, Smell, Touch, Taste, Sound”

This dish comes from the “Appearance” section of the book, where she suggests how something looks influences how people taste. This theory held out when I brought this dish to the table, when all assembled gasped and said, “Wow– that looks delicious.”

I’m happy to report that this tasted as good as it looked.

There were lots of things to like about this dish, too. It was good for you (loads of vegetables), it was relatively easy to make (I’ll get to that in a minute) and it was super yummy (pretty sure that’s a technical term). I will definitely be making this again.

I’ve got a few notes, though. Sybil Kapoor wants you to peel all of the cherry tomatoes– all 1 pound of them. I’m not really sure it was worth the time, because that was definitely the most time-consuming part of the whole dish. Did all the effort make the dish substantially better? I’d say no. I would deseed the tomatoes, though, because it helped my tomato-hating husband like the dish even more.

One of the good things about this dish was that you don’t need a lot of tuna, since you slice the tuna steak and put it over the whole platter. I didn’t think I had enough tuna, but it turned out there was plenty for everyone. It’s a classic trip of making a little go a long way.

Finally, I think this relish would work with a lot of other fish too (like salmon or trout), so I can see this being a repeat guest star for our Fish Fridays.

This dish definitely was For The Win (FTW).

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“Seared Tuna with Tomato, Bean and Avocado Relish” from “Sight, Smell, Touch, Taste, Sound”

“Golden Breaded Tuna with Aeolian Spaghetti” from “Jamie Cooks Italy”

Despite our love for all things breaded and fried, it would have never occurred to me in a million years to give tuna the treatment. But, by god, what a winner.

I suppose it makes sense. ANYTHING deep fried is bound to be better, though I admit that I approached this with a fair amount of trepidation. Given how much tuna steaks cost, the last thing I’d like to do is overcook them and ruin them by frying them. The key is to flash fry them, like Jamie says in the instructions. I found by just making the breaded crust golden, they were perfectly done– not too overdone, not too underdone. A Goldilocks tuna, if you will.

The Aeolian spaghetti that goes with it was also delicious. (The eagle-eyed among you will note that I used linguine instead of spaghetti. I don’t think it made much difference.) Nicholas (15) found it overly spicy– I suppose the red chilli would do that– but the adults loved it. The next day, I took some of the leftovers and added them to chicken stock for a lunchtime soup, which was all kinds of yum and highly recommended.

All in all, another good dinner with Jamie. Will this cookbook– dare I say it– be his best in recent memory? Time will tell, but we’re off to a strong start.

“Golden Breaded Tuna with Aeolian Spaghetti” from “Jamie Cooks Italy”

Cleaning Out the Refrigerator: Assorted Dinners from “Bread Street Kitchen”

OK Folks. November sort of got away from me, so I’ve got a few Bread Street Kitchen dinners to tell you about. So I’m cleaning out the refrigerator, so to speak, to show you some of the other things we ate in November.

Butterflied Chicken Breasts with Tomato and Olive Salsa

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This recipe was ACES. Everyone loved it. Sure, the tomato and olive salsa had a 1990s vibe about it, but that didn’t bother me. It was good to eat. Butterflying the chicken also made it quicker to cook, which is always a bonus when you’re trying to get dinner on the table on a weeknight. We would definitely eat this again.

Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

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I’m sorry to say that this recipe was less successful. The problem in this family is that everyone loves the Polpo meatballs, and it’s going to have to be a really extraordinary specimen to knock those meatballs out of the top spot. Unfortunately, the Bread Street Kitchen meatballs were not that extraordinary specimen. Don’t get me wrong: We’re always happy to have meatballs for dinner at our house. But it’s a sad day when we spend some of the dinner saying that we’re sorry it’s not the ones we usually have.

‘Njuda Tuna Steaks

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We first had ‘Njuda at Pizza Pilgrims in Soho more than two years ago and we haven’t looked back since. For those of you unfamiliar with this ingredient, ‘Njuda is an Italian delicacy that is a spicy sausage spread. Until now, we only ever dotted it on our pizza. But putting it on top of tuna steaks was absolute genius. Tuna is a bit bland to begin with, but once you add the ‘Njuda, it’s a whole new level of deliciousness. Yum. I will definitely be making this again for Fish Friday. Highly recommended.

Cleaning Out the Refrigerator: Assorted Dinners from “Bread Street Kitchen”

“Seared Tuna, Sicilian Couscous and Greens” from “Everyday Superfood”

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Having a friend around for lunch and catching up with them is always a good excuse to make a new recipe. And I have to admit I chose this particular one because it looked so good in the book. Lucky for us both, it was as yummy as it looked, even though I couldn’t find wholewheat couscous or Swiss chard for love nor money in deepest, darkest South London. The couscous was particularly lovely, super easy and will most definitely be made again. I might use baby asparagus next time instead though, so as not to have to slice the bigger asparagus along the length which was rather more time-consuming than I had thought it would be. And nutmeg on the tuna was a really lovely touch. Yes, a winning recipe all round.

“Seared Tuna, Sicilian Couscous and Greens” from “Everyday Superfood”

“Salsa Verde Tuna with Sicilian Tomato & Pasta Salad” from “Jamie’s 15-Minute Meals”

Time taken to prepare: 35 minutes, 21 seconds (not including set up)

Nicholas (9): How much time did it take?

Maureen: This one was just over 35 minutes.

Nicholas: This is not a 15 minute meal. It’s not even a 30 minute meal.

Maureen: Maybe they should call the book, 15 Minutes for Jamie, 30 minutes for everyone else. What do you think?

Andrew (12): It’s alright.

Nicholas: This is not my type of dinner. Or, as I would say, “NMD– Not My Dinner.”

Maureen: That’s too bad, because this tuna is gorgeous. And expensive.

Tim: I thought it was good, but it’s similar to something we’ve had before.

Maureen: I’m not sure about that, to be honest. I think this is entirely new.

Tim: The sauce is definitely a retread.

Maureen: Yes, that’s true. It’s salsa verde. I’ve made this loads of times before. In fact, I think the first time I made salsa verde was from a Jamie Oliver cookbook. It’s perfect with fish. Would you like me to make this again?

Tim: Sure.

Andrew: Maybe.

Nicholas: N-O. That spells no, in case you were wondering.

A snap of the destruction we had to clean up afterward. It’s not pretty, is it?

“Salsa Verde Tuna with Sicilian Tomato & Pasta Salad” from “Jamie’s 15-Minute Meals”

“Spaghetti with Tuna, Lemon & Rocket” from “Nigellissima”

Peter: Tuna dinner!

Anna: Are you suggesting this is a student meal?

Peter: For students today. You couldn’t get rocket in my day. In fact I don’t think we knew what rocket was.

Anna: This calls for very posh tuna so I don’t think many students will be making this. I think this would be a very good quick summer dinner. Very fresh, very light. Probably not the first thing I’d make on a cold, rainy October night next time.

Peter: I liked it. I’d be happy to have it again. Maybe sitting in the garden next summer.

Anna: If it ever stops raining.

“Spaghetti with Tuna, Lemon & Rocket” from “Nigellissima”

A fishy French feast from “Forever Summer”

Anna: Bonjour tout le monde!

Kirstin: Bonsoir! We are in the south of France this week, en vacances, in Uzès. So we’re starting with “Gina”, a cocktail — we’ve had a long day today. We fitted in le marché…

Anna: Twice! Ce matin, le premier fois, there was this grande poisson stall. Stall de poisson!

Kirstin: A fish stall. Our eyes were bigger than the eyes of an octopus. I talked to the women behind me in the queue about mermaids. In French.

Continue reading “A fishy French feast from “Forever Summer””

A fishy French feast from “Forever Summer”