Seared Tuna with Tarragon Mayonnaise

seared tuna with tarragon mayonnaise Israeli salad and raisin pistachio pilafSeared Tuna with Tarragon Mayonnaise

The wonderful thing about having your own herb garden (or a really well-stocked spice cabinet) is that you can put together a gourmet meal in record time. This meal includes seared tuna steaks with tarragon sauce and an Israeli Salad. So, if you have spent the day working on something other than dinner, and find yourself planning a meal at 6pm, this is for you.

And trust me, there is no better or faster and fail-proof recipe for homemade mayonnaise. I found the technique on the internet after just about trashing the kitchen trying to use a whisk-till-you-drop recipe. (The Last Appetite). It requires an immersion blender and about 2 minutes to produce. But, if you’re just not up to making your own mayonnaise, use commercial and tarragon and garlic

NOTE: Although it cooks very quickly, if you don’t have a first rate exhaust fan, this dish can smoke up the kitchen. Weather permitting, I cook this in a grill pan on an induction hot plate set up on the porch.

8 shushi grade tuna steaks (6oz each
2 tsp olive or sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 whole egg
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp prepared dijon mustard
3/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp tarragon leaves (or 1 tsp dried)
1/4 tsp salt


1. Place the egg, mustard, salt, lemon juice, garlic, tarragon and oil in the beaker that came with your immersion blender. Insert the blender attachment all the way to the bottom of the beaker and process on high until it becomes mayonnaise (probably about 30 seconds…maybe a bit longer. This makes about a cup so cover and refrigerate anything you don’t use. It will keep for several days.


1. Brush the tuna with oil. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Let sit while you heat the grill or skillet. It needs to be very hot!

3. Sear the tuna for about 90 seconds per side.

4. Let sit for 2-3 minutes, then slice on diagonal.

5. Serve with the tarragon mayonnaise on the side.

Servings: 8

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/8 of a recipe (2.3 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients. One of the recipe’s ingredients was not linked. This ingredient is not included in the recipe nutrition data.

Recipe Type: Fish and Shellfish, Low-Carb, Main Dish, Seafood

Chattanooga Chew-Chew

chattanooga chew chew 3

If you like cooking with kids, this is a recipe that children six to eight years old can handle with ease (and adult supervision, especially with the instant pot). The grandsons were here for the afternoon, so Elijah, Eddie and Dhedah (me) made this dish for a supper for Mom after she’d had an especially long and busy day. It’s called Chattanooga Chew-Chew as a pun on the name of the local train. Besides, it has lots of crunchy and chewy ingredients.

1 lb ground beef
1 pkg taco seasoning mix
1 cup onion chopped
1 can tomatoes with green chilis
1 can canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup rice, (not instant)
1 cup water
8 oz cheddar cheese grated
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup sour cream
1 avocado, cut into 1/2-inch dice
13 oz tortilla chips
salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder to taste

1. Brown the ground beef and onions. Add the taco mix and 1/2 cup water. Simmer. Keep warm.

2. Cook the rice and beans, tomatoes and 1 cup of water in the instant pot on the rice setting. Use manual release.

3. Combine the cooked rice, tomato and bean mixture with the meat.

4. Taste. If more seasoning is needed, add salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder. Mix well.

5. Serve over tortilla chips and garnish with salsa, sour cream and cheese.

Servings: 8

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/8 of a recipe (11.3 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients. 2 of the recipe’s ingredients were not linked. These ingredients are not included in the recipe nutrition data.

chattanooga chew chew nutrition

Recipe Type: Main Dish

Rich Chicken Stock

rich chicken stock

Over the years, this stock has garnered impassioned requests for the recipe, pleas for adoption, and on at least one occasion a proposal of marriage. Hands down, it’s the BEST chicken stock you’ll ever taste. Ridiculously easy to prepare, it fills the house with all the aromas of comfort food and is an incredible base for all your soups, gravies and stews.

No prep to speak of. Basically, everything goes into the pot as is. No peeling, trimming or slicing. Keeps three days in refrigerator or freezes up to six months.

If using a crock pot or slow cooker, cook on high until it comes to a boil, then reduce to low and cook six to eight hours. Also works in making turkey stock. Just add turkey neck and giblets, additional water and adjust seasoning to taste. At Thanksgiving, I start this is the afternoon of the day before, strain before bedtime, then let it cook on low overnight.

3 lbs chicken thighs (bone in, skin on)
8 cups water
2 medium onions (unpeeled, cut in half)
5 cloves garlic (small, whole, unpeeled)
3 stalks celery (whole or halved)
2 large carrots (unpeeled)
1 knob fresh ginger root (about one inch long, unpeeled)
8 whole cloves
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp powdered chicken bouillon
2 tsp poultry seasoning (optional)

1 Place all ingredients in a dutch oven or stock pot. Or use a slow cooker and extend time to 6 hours.
2 Bring to a boil. Skim if necessary.
3 Reduce heat and simmer at least 3 hours. Strain, discarding solids.

Nutrition Rich Chicken Stock

Servings: 8
Yield: 2 quarts
Degree of Difficulty: Easy
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours and 20 minutes
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/8 of a recipe (11.2 ounces).
Recipe Type
Poultry, Soups, Stocks and Sauces

Brussels Sprouts Pomegranate Slaw

Brussels Sprouts Pomegranate Slaw

This autumn slaw combines sweet, sour, and earthy flavors in one make-ahead dish. Best at room temperature, it can be prepared several hours in advance. For the best flavor, but sure to blanche the Brussels Sprouts.

For ease in releasing the pomegranate seeds, roll the fruit on the counter to loosen, then cut into quarters and remove the seeds over a bowl of cold water. The seeds will fall to the bottom and the pith with float and is easily removed.

For Argon Oil, substitute Walnut or Sesame Oil.
For Baharat Spice, use equal amounts of cinnamon, cumin and paprika.
For Dried Barberries, substitute dried, chopped cranberries
For Pomegranate Molasses, use regular molasses

1 cup pecan halves, toasted
1 lb Brussels Sprouts, sliced and blanched
1/4 cup dried barberries or cranberries
1 cup pomegranate seeds
2 tbsp Culinary Argon Oil Walnut Oil
4 tbsp extra virgin olive-oil, first cold pressed
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses or regular molasses (unsulfured) 3 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 tsp Baharat Spice or 1/3 tsp each cinnamon, cumin and paprika
1/4 tsp curshed garlic
1/4 tsp dried orange peel
2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste

For the Salad
1 In a dry skillet, toast the pecan halves. Reserve
2 Trim and slice the brussels sprouts. Blanche for 2 minutes, then place in ice water to stop cooking.
3 Soak the Barberries (or cranberries) in very hot water for 5 minutes. Drain.
4 Remove the seeds from one pomegranate. Will yield about 1 cup. Be sure to remove any pulp or pith.
5 Combine the sprouts, barberries and pomegranate seeds in a salad bowl.
For the Dressing
1 Using a mortar and pestle, combine the garlic and the Baharat (or spices) to make a thick paste
2 Combine the paste with the oils, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, orange peel and sugar.
3 Add he salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed,
1 Toss the salad ingredients with the dressing.
2 Add the toasted pecans.
3 Rerigerate or leave at room temperature (up to several hours) for the flavors to meld.
4 Best served at room temperature.
Servings: 6
Degree of Difficulty: Easy
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/6 of a recipe (5.5 ounces).
Recipe Type
Gluten-Free, Salad, Side Dish, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Potato Kugel with Cream Cheese, Chives, and Walnuts

Created this when looking for a potato casserole that could stand on its own as a weeknight supper. It’s filling comfort food without being too heavy. The nutmeg in the creamy sauce and the toasted walnuts take the flavor up a couple of notches.

2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup walnut pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive-oil
8 oz cream cheese with chives, softened
4 oz Swiss cheese, diced into 1/4-inch cubes 1/2 cup half-and-half or light cream
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
6 medium red potatoes, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp salt and pepper (or to taste)
1 pinch garlic powder

1 In a medium sauce pan, sauté the walnuts in the butter. Drain on paper towel, season with salt, pepper and garlic and set aside. Wipe the sauce pan clean.
2 Using the same saucepan, saute the garlic and shallots in the olive oil over medium heat.
3 Reduce the heat and stir in the cream cheese until melted.
4 Add the half and half and stir until blended.
5 Add the swiss cheese and stir until melted.
6 Season with the nutmeg. Taste, and add salt and pepper if needed.
7 Slice the red potatoes about 1/8 inch thick.
8 Coat the bottom of a small oval casserole with a bit of olive oil.
9 Arrange half the potato slices, slightly overlapping.
10 Pour half the sauce over the potatoes.
11 Repeat with the remaining potatoes and sauce,
12 Cover the dish tightly with foil, place it on a foil covered cookie sheet and bake at 350 for one hour.
13 Remove the foil, and briefly broil the casserole until lightly browned.
14 Top with the reserved toasted walnuts.
15 Serve with a green salad and a crisp white wine.
Servings: 4
Yield: serves 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main course
Degree of Difficulty: Moderately difficult
Oven Temperature: 350°F
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Recipe Type
Gluten-Free, Main Dish, Potatoes, Pasta, and Grains, Side Dish, Vegetarian

Chicken Tagine: The Goose and Brisket

This Middle Eastern Stew is slow cooked and very savory. It calls for preserved lemon, Ras El Hanout and Maklouba. If you don’t have these, feel free to improvise with fresh lemon, cinnamon, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, curry, cardamom and the like. Just use the spices you like. Prepare this in a tagine on your stovetop, If you don’t have a tagine, a slow cooker will also work. It’s very easy to make your own preserved lemon, but it’s usually available in the international department of a good grocery store. Ras El Hanout and Maklouba are both available online from Middle Eastern shops.

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive-oil, first cold pressed, divided
1 large onion sliced
1 large red bell pepper, sliced
3 small red potatoes
1/2 cup canned kidney beans, drained
2 chicken thighs
1/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp cayenne or aleppo pepper
1 large clove garlic, sliced
1/2 tsp Maklouba
1/2 tsp Ras El Hanout
6 green olives
1 small preserved lemon
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1/3 cup water

1 Place 1 tbsp in the bottom of your tagine
2 layer the sliced onion on the bottom
3 add the sliced red bell pepper
4 season with salt and pepper
5 add the chicken and season with salt, pepper, ras el hanout and maklouba
6 add the kidney beans
7 add the olives, preserved lemon and cilantro
8 mix the remaining oil with the water and pour around the edge
9 place the bottom of the tagine on a heat diffuser on your stove top on
medium heat
10 cover with the top of the tagine
11 cook on medium heat until you hear the contents simmering (about 20
12 reduce heat to low and cook for about 75 minutes. Check occasionally
adding a bit more liquid if needed. the sauce should be thick.
13 serve with bread and a salad.
Servings: 2
Degree of Difficulty: Easy
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours and 5 minutes

Recipe Type
Main Dish, Poultry

Chicken, Apricot and Chickpea Stew

chicken apricot chickpea stew

Yes, I know it’s been a LONG TIME since my last post, but that’s another story all together. (Besides,the re-learning curve on my recipe program is really steep!) Anyway, here’s what I’m up to today…

Perfect for a gray autumn or winter day, this slow-cooked stew is sweet and savory comfort food. Serve with rice or couscous and a medium dry red wine. Ras El Hanout is a North African spice mix. The name literally means “top of the shelf” and is made from the best spices to be found in any shop (sometimes as many as 50!) Most blends contain at least the following: ginger, cloves, black pepper, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, and all spice,


6 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs

1 cup mushrooms coarsely chopped

1 large onion, sliced

3 cloves garlic, chopped

6 dried apricots, halved

2 tbsp dried barberries

2 tbsp ras el hanout spice blend

1/2 cup water

1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Salt and pepper, to taste


1 Season the meaty side of the chicken thighs liberally with the Ras El Hanout

2 Brown the chicken thighs, skin side down, in a multi purpose cooker (I use a Ninja) or on your stove top in heavy bottomed, lidded casserole. Remove the chicken and set aside.

3 Lightly saute the garlic and mushrooms in the rendered chicken fat.

4 Change the setting to slow cook, If using a casserole on a stove top, turn the heat to a low simmer.

5 Layer the sliced onions over the mushrooms and top with the chicken thighs (skin side up).

6 Sprinkle on the halved apricots, the barberries, and the remainder of the Ras El Hanout.

7 Carefully pour the water down the side of the pan, taking care not to displace the spices, apricots or barberries.

8 Scatter the chickpeas around the chicken and press them gently into the liquid.

9 Cover and cook very slowly for up to six hours. Can also be prepared in a 250 degree oven.

Servings: 6

Oven Temperature: 275°F

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 6 hours

Total Time: 6 hours and 30 minutes


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