Seasoned & Seared Tuna Medallions

Seasoned & Seared Tuna Medallions
1lb albacore tuna medallions
For the Season Salt:
2 Tbsp kosher salt
Pinch ground allspice
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Zest of ½ orange
Leaves from 1 sprig fresh tarragon
Citrus-y Salsa:
2 orange
½ red onion or 2 shallots, finely diced
Leaves from 6 sprigs fresh tarragon, chopped
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of kosher salt
Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix with your fingers, gently bruising the tarragon leaves to release their aromatic oils. Cover and let sit for at least 20 minutes; use within a few hours. Sprinkle on tuna steaks to taste.

Fire up the grill, concentrating the coals beneath the spot where the steaks will go so as to maximize the heat. Or if you’re not quite ready to break out the grill yet, crank up the heat under a grill pan.

Lightly oil and season the tuna medallions. When the grill or grill pan is very hot, throw on the tuna. Now keep your mitts off until the sear is complete. This takes 1 to 2 minutes. When the time comes to flip, you’ll know the sear is done if the tuna moves easily and does not stick to the grates or pan. Cook the other side for another 1 to 2 minutes.

Make the salsa. Peel the oranges and cut them into segments; cut each segment into thirds and combine these with the onion, tarragon, and olive oil in a small bowl. Season with the salt and toss well.

Slice the tuna steaks across the grain. Spoon the salsa over the steaks, and pour a glass of chardonnay to go with the wine salt.


Caramel Pear Cookies

Caramel Pear Cookies

2 cups + 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
12 Tbsp. (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until just warm
1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, plus 1 large large egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup caramel bits
1 pear, finely diced (about 1 cup)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Use an electric mixer to cream together butter and sugars until well blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add in the dry ingredient mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Carefully stir in the caramel bits and diced pears until combined.

Use a small cookie scoop or a spoon to form the dough into tablespoon-fulls. Place on a cookie sheet at least 2.5 inches apart, and then dot on top with a few additional caramel bits. Bake cookies until the outer edges are golden and begin to slightly harden, about 15 minutes. Remove and let the cookies cool on the baking sheets.

Banana Carrot Muffins

Banana Carrot Muffins
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 large eggs, separated
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon grated orange peel
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
In a large bowl, combine first seven ingredients, flour through nutmeg. In another bowl, beat egg yolks until light and lemon-colored. Beat in honey and orange peel. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in the bananas, carrots and applesauce.

In a small bowl, beat egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form; fold into batter a third at a time.

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Yield: 9 jumbo muffins.

Salmon Packet with Fennel & Orange

Salmon Packet with Fennel & Orange
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 6-oz skinless salmon fillets
1/8 tsp salt, plus more for seasoning
black pepper
1 c thinly sliced fennel (1 bulb)
1 small red bell pepper thinly sliced into strips
1 small orange, peeled and sliced into rounds (pith and membrane removed)
1 c arugula or other baby greens
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar
In a small bowl, microwave butter on high for 20 seconds or until melted. Brush butter on the salmon and season the fillets with salt and pepper.Fold two 14-by-18-inch sheets of parchment* paper in half, widthwise. Opens sheetsand add an equal amount of fennel and bell peppers to one side of each. Place salmon fillets on top of vegetables, then top with orange slices. Fold sheets over to close, then roll and crimp edges to form a sealed packet.

En Papillote: French for ‘in parchment packet’. It’s easier to do than it sounds. View instructions with images.

Microwave packets on hight for 4 minutes. Open a corner of a packet (careful! the steam escaping will be very hot!) and check that salmon flakes at the touch of a fork. If not, microwave in 25-second intervals until fish is done.

While salmon cooks, toss arugula with olive oil, vinegar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Open packet,s top fish with greens, and serve.

*Foil packets would work, too. These should be baked (NOT MICROWAVED!) at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Pomegranate Lemon Bars

Pomegranate Lemon Bars
Blondie Bars
11 tablespoons (150 g or 1 3/8 sticks) unsalted butter, melted2 cups (400 g) white granulated sugar

1/4 cup (55 g) dark brown sugar

zest from 1 medium lemon

2 teaspoon lemon extract

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 large eggs

2 1/4 cup (315 g) organic all-purpose flour
1 cup (140 g) almond meal or flour (see note below)

3 oz white chocolate8 oz (1 brick) cream cheese at room temperature

1 cup (120 g) confectioners’ sugar

Zest from 1 medium lemon

1 teaspoon white granulated sugar

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (from 1 pomegranate)

*The almond meal adds a nice touch of nuttiness and moisture. If you don’t have almond meal or almond flour on hand making it is easy: just throw 1 1/4 cup whole almonds into a food processor and pulse until you have powder. Or, if you don’t have almonds, just add an extra 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour in it’s place.1. Preheat the oven to 325˚F. Lightly spray a 10 x 15 inch rimmed baking sheet and line with a piece of parchment paper with an inch or two of paper hanging over the edge.

2. Pour the melted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the sugars and lemon zest to the butter and mix on medium speed to incorporate. Add the lemon extract and vanilla extract and mix to incorporate. Add the eggs, one at a time and mix to incorporate, making sure that each egg is full blended in before adding the next egg. Add the flour and almond meal and mix to incorporate.

3. Spread the dough (it will be sticky) in the lined baking sheet, making sure it’s evenly distributed to the edges. Bake in the oven 18 to 20 minutes or until the edges of the blondie dough starts to turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the blondie cool in the pan on a wire rack completely.

4. Make the cream cheese frosting. Chop the white chocolate into small 1/4 inch chunks and placing them in a metal bowl fitted over a small pot with a little bit of water. Make sure the metal bowl isn’t touching the water and turn the heat on and bring the water to a boil. Turn the heat off and let the residual heat from the water steam melt the white chocolate. While the white chocolate is melting, place the cream cheese in the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat the cream cheese until it is smooth, then sift the confectioners’ sugar over it. Beat until incorporated. Scrape the melted white chocolate into the frosting and beat to incorporate.

5. Place the lemon zest in a small bowl and sprinkle the sugar over it. Let it sit while you frost the sheet cookie completely to the edges over the cookie. Sprinkle the top of the frosting with the sugared lemon zest (it will be moist, as the sugar has dissolved and made it sticky). The lemon zest will stick together so do your best to separate the zest to evenly distribute it over the cookie. Sprinkle the pomegranates over the frosting as well. Chill the lemon cookie bars in the fridge, uncovered for an hour, then cut into squares or triangles, trying not to cut through any pomegranate seeds. Store in the fridge, but serve at room temperature.

Makes 4 square cookie bars or 48 triangle cookie bars.

Pomegranate-Orange Quick Bread

Pomegranate-Orange Quick Bread
2 c organic all-purpose flour

3/4 c granulated sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

6 oz plain greek yogurt

2 tsp grated orange peel

1/2 c fresh-squeezed orange juice1/4 c butter, melted

2 eggs

1 c pomegranate seeds (1 pomegranate)

1/2 c powdered sugar

1 tbsp orange juice

Heat oven to 350ºF.Grease bottom and sides of 8 1/2×4 1/2-inch loaf pan with shortening or cooking spray.

In medium bowl, stir together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, beat yogurt, orange peel, 1/2 cup orange juice, the melted butter and eggs with whisk. Add to dry ingredients; stir together until just combined. Fold in pomegranate seeds. Pour into pan.

Bake 55 to 65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean.

Cool in pan 15 minutes. Remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, at least 3 hours.

Mix powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon orange juice with whisk; drizzle over bread. Allow glaze to harden before slicing and serving.