Category Archives: modern and contemporary

Recipe of the Week

Tuna, Avocado and Grapefruit Salad

tuna salad

Tuna, Avocado and Grapefruit Salad

When I don’t feel like making lunch, this is what I make. Perfect with simple saltine crackers.

1 can tuna in water, drained
3 tablespoons jalapeño juice (my favorite brand is San Marcos)
3 pickled jalapeños, chopped
juice of 1 lime, or to taste
1 avocado, cubed
1 grapefruit, supremes diced
handful chopped lettuce
sea salt and pepper

Place all of the ingredients in a bowl. Toss and serve.

Serves 1 to 2

 

Apple, Celery Salad with Dates and Pomegranate Seeds

apple celery salad

Apple, Celery Salad with Dates and Pomegranate Seeds

A golden apple was thrown into the wedding banquet of Peleus and Thetis by Eris, the goddess of discord, because she had not been invited. The apple had for the fairest written on it. Hera, Athena and Aphrodite all claimed it but when Paris, the prince of Troy, awarded it to Aphrodite who promised him the love of Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world who just happened to be married, it began a chain of events that led to the Trojan War. The apple appears throughout history connected to love and sex.

Hades fell head over heels over Persephone, and she was tricked into eating pomegranate seeds so she’d have to spend a portion of each year as his queen in the underworld. A deceitful maneuver, yet some would see an element of dark romance in the story. Some say that a pomegranate was the original forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.

¼ cup lemon juice
½ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
3 apples, cored, halved and thinly sliced
8 ribs celery, cut into half moons
6 dates, pitted, coarsely chopped
seeds of one pomegranate

Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Thinly slice the apples and place in the bowl with the vinaigrette. Add the celery and chopped dates and toss well. Lastly, gently toss in the pomegranate seeds.

Serves 4

Chicken and Cucumber Salad

chicken and cucumber salad

Chicken and Cucumber Salad

The soya bean has been known in China since antiquity and was introduced to Japan in the 6th century. A basic condiment in China, Southeast Asia and Japan, soy sauce is made from a fermented mixture of soya bean, wheat, water and salt.

For the chicken:
4 skinless chicken breasts, on or off the bone as preferred
1 inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced
1 English cucumber, julienned
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

For the marinade:
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 ½ teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon sugar

Julienne the cucumber and set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar and sugar. Set aside.

Poach the chicken. Place the chicken and ginger in a pot. Pour in enough cool water to cover the chicken by an inch or so. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. As soon as the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the chicken simmer for about 10 minutes. The chicken is done when opaque through the middle. Remove from the poaching liquid, place it on a cutting board and, shred when cool enough to handle.

Place the shredded chicken in a bowl and toss with the marinade. Add the cucumber and sesame seeds and toss well.

Refrigerate and serve cold.

Serves 6

Ham and Gruyere Quiche

quiche

Ham and Gruyere Quiche

I don’t make quiche often but when I do I wonder why because it’s easy and satisfying, and it’s always a crowd pleaser. This variation is my favorite because of its simplicity but you can doctor it up with sautéed leeks, spinach or anything else that strikes your fancy. Pair with a simple salad and a glass of your favorite wine and you’ve got yourself a perfect meal.

For the crust:
2 cups flour, plus extra for rolling
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, very cold, cut into ½ inch cubes
3 or 4 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:
1 cup ham, diced
1 cup gruyere, grated
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

For the custard:
1 cup milk
4 eggs
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
pinch nutmeg

Make the crust. Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter and pulse 10 to 12 times, until the butter is in small bits the size of peas. With the motor running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse just until the dough starts to come together (you may not need all of it). Remove the dough from the food processor and place onto a floured surface and knead into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Spray a 10-inch pie pan with nonstick cooking spray, set aside.

Preheat oven to 375º F.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes in order to soften just enough to make rolling out a bit easier. Roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to a circle about 1/8-inch thick. Roll up the dough using a rolling pin, and gently lift and place it over the pan. Gently press the dough into all the crevices and trim the overhang to ½-inch. Crimp the edges for a decorative finish and use the trimmed dough to patch any holes.

Distribute the ham and cheese evenly over the custard. Sprinkle with thyme.

Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, pepper, paprika and pinch nutmeg until light and fluffy.

Pour the custard over the filling and bake until custard is set and the crust is golden brown, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool on a wire rack and serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 1 10-inch quiche