Thursday, February 8, 2007

The Old Simplicity

I've got that pesky paper turned in, such as it was. It certainly was not my best work ever, but I did manage to work in two Padraig O'Keeffe stories....

Now, on to more important things. As I was leaving school this evening, I decided that the one thing I really, really wanted to eat was macadamia-encrusted tuna. It's no wonder--I'd only eaten oatmeal (very early, while writing the so-called paper), a stale croissant, and a drinkable yoghurt today. So I stopped by Citarella on my way to the subway, got 1/3 pound of tuna and a bunch of watercress, thinking--soup? salad? I love the stuff, but rarely get it, mainly because it tends to be limp and sad in the supermarket. This too was fairly limp and sad, but it spoke to me, so home it came.

The prep time and cooking time for the fish was short, and a good thing it was, as I was about ready to eat the cat (except that I'd probably be allergic). I pulverized some macadamia nuts, mixed in some panko, squeezed some lemon juice over the fish, and then acquainted the fish with its crust. Pan-fried that sucker and ate it immediately.

"Dessert" came about an hour later. I decided that the other thing I really wanted was a baked potato, so I fecked a spud into the oven. For that, I sauteed the watercress in a big pat of butter and dumped that over the potato. Simple but delicious, just like last night's dinner of a baked sweet potato (again, with plenty of butter) and a boiled egg. That one reminded me of my grandfather: Pa's cooking endeavors were limited to whatever could be cooked on a stick inside the woodstove, in the ashes of the woodstove, or on top of the woodstove. If you have never had a potato baked slowly all day on the woodstove, you must.

And--shout out to Niamh Parsons, whose most recent album is titled "The Old Simplicity." She also rocks my world...I wonder if she remembers that she promised to sing at my 40th birthday party.... (As I looked for her website to link to, I see that she has a MySpace page...everybody does, these days!)


Sophie said...

Hmmm. Funny. The fishmonger's here often has some gorgeous looking tuna steaks and I've been wondering what could be done with them if I got them. This sounds lovely, but can T or another Merrican tell what "panko" is?

T said...

Panko is a type of breadcrumb--here's a fuller description.

Another great thing to do with fresh tuna is to make a nice tomato sauce and put it in there over pasta. J's the one to ask about that, though!

J Hearts Tuna said...

What I do with tuna is get a couple of steaks, slice them into cubes, and sear them in olive oil for a few minutes. Set aside. Meanwhile, I've spent the previous couple of hours making a simple, slow-simmering tomato sauce: fresh romas, celery, carrots, shallots, white wine, butter, chopped basil, seasoned with kosher salt and oregano. When the sauce is a delicious combination of savory and slightly (just very slightly) sweet--usually an hour or so after simmering on low heat--I add the tuna, stirring for another 5 minutes or so, and serve. (uh...BAM!) One could also add capers, but T's not so into those.

mmmqq said...

My latest culinary experiment: stuffed turkey cutlets....
1. Pound turkey cutlets and cut in half cross-wise.
2. Combine some diced dried cranberries and apricots with crumbled queso fresco and spoon onto cutlet pieces.
3. Season with kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, thyme, and parsley.
4. Roll up cutlets and dip into beaten egg.
5. Bread with regular crumbs (or panko, if you prefer) and crushed almond slivers.
6. Bake on greased dish at 400 for ~15 minutes or so.
7. Mmmmm.... delish!
(I've served mine with steamed green beans & almonds, and roasted confetti potatoes. More delishishnish!)