Monday, February 27 –
Chaos – barely controlled, wine fueled mass of people in the kitchen. That’s what last night was. It was LightsOn’s birthday mixed with a blog dinner and it ended up being thirteen people total. The attendees were: LightsOn, WingWoman, CannonBall, Amine Chef, Hot Momma, Mr. Hero, Baby Bear, Grandpa Bear, MoneyShot, SlotMachine, Wonderful Boyfriend, Roommate Extraordinaire, and me. Whew! That’s a lot of people.
I made two of the dishes from this country but I left off the dessert (to make birthday cheesecake instead). So the two parts I will go over are the tuna and the potatoes. The tuna was fresh, pink, and delicious. I made the marinade by putting all of the ingredients into a food processor and letting it all mix together. Coated in the mix and left to sit for about an hour and a half, they looked like heaven every time I glanced at them. I doubled the amount of oil (because I was cooking 10 tuna steaks instead of 4) but I tripled the other marinade ingredients. I just like more flavor, and this was an easy way to keep everything in the right amounts.
The potatoes ended up doubled in some aspects and not in others. I peeled and boiled nine regular russet potatoes. Then added one bunch of spinach. I then transferred pans to the one with the oil, of which I only used one cup. I figured that was plenty, even though I had doubled the amount of potatoes. Then in went two drained cans of garbanzo beans. Then things got more crazy in the kitchen and Roommate Extraordinaire took over prepping the veggies. He chopped one red bell pepper, one green bell pepper, and one onion. In those went along with a liberal sprinkle of the oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. This mixture was left to simmer on low until the tuna steaks were done and everything was ready to dish up.
Wonderful Boyfriend and Roommate Extraordinaire shared the grilling duty, and even ran to get more propane when we ran out in the middle of everything! The fish ended up different levels of done-ness because of how hurried they were, but the flavor of the fish was wonderful anyway.
On the side I made garlic green beans, because I felt like the meal needed a little touch of green. Just simmer the beans until cooked but still firm. Rinse in cold water to stop them cooking. Put them back in the warm pan. Add some butter, salt, pepper, and a whole bulb of crushed garlic. Cover with the lid to the pan to keep them warm.
The tuna was firm and lightly flavored with the marinade. The center was just slightly pink (I wish it had been a little more pink, actually). The potatoes were mashed goodness with a punch of flavor. And the green beans were just the right break in flavor. I would definitely make this dinner again.
Things I have learned: Be more firm about shoo-ing people out of the kitchen if I need more elbow room. When there is a party everyone wants to be in the kitchen (closest to the wine, of course!). But it’s just too hard to dodge people from the stove to the sink and back again.
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.alws.s3.amazonaws.com)
Grilled Tuna with Herbed Aioli
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup Mayonnaise
- 4 Tuna steaks (each about 3cm thick)
Method: Whisk together first 6 ingredients in shallow dish for marinade. Place Mayonnaise in separate small bowl. Whisk in 1 1/2 tablespoons marinade. Set aioli aside. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Place fish in marinade in dish, turning to coat evenly. Marinate 1 hour at room temperature, turning fish occasionally. Oil grill rack. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill fish to desired doneness, about 3 minutes per side for medium. Top fish with aioli and serve.
- 4 large potatoes (peeled)
- 2 cups chopped spinach
- 1 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
- 2 garlic cloves(minced) (or teaspoon of garlic powder )
- 2 cups garbanzo Beans
- 1 red pepper(seeded+ diced)
- 1 green pepper(seeded + diced)
- 1 medium Onion (diced)
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- Sprinkle of red pepper powder
Method: Boil potatoes 8 minutes. Add spinach and cook until potatoes are tender. Drain pot. Heat oil in large, deep frying pan until lightly bubbling. Add potatoes, spinach, Beans and remaining ingredients (except red pepper powder). Sautee (stirring with spatula) until potatoes become slightly creamy and ingredients are heated through. Sprinkle all over with red pepper powder. Cover pan; simmer at medium heat 3 mins.