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Thursday, January 20, 2011

All Kinds of Splurging - All on a Wednesday Night - Three Course, Gluten Free Meal

I am pretty poor, OK I'm really poor.  Business isn't great or even good, I am in school, and I just got the powerbill for the store today - holy crap.  However, sometimes you just need a good meal to get you back in to the right spirits so that you can begin to conquer the endless towering mountain called life.  After countless nights of eating on a budget and trying to make everything last, I needed one of those good meals last night.  I might not make it to school tomorrow beccause my gas money is gone, but I feel better.  So here it is - seared tuna steak with homemade hot mayo sauce and cabbage, nice baby green salad with dijon mustard vinaigrette, and spaghetti with clam sauce!!  I know, I know pasta is not on our menu, except for this night - and maybe again in another few months.  Anyway, all of this was really simple to make - just do better than me and don't over-sear the tuna, and get a really good sharp knife so that the tuna doesn't look like you cut it with a mini chainsaw. For the tuna, you will need about a half pound wild-caught tuna steak, salt, pepper, a grill or iron skillet, one organic or pasteurized in shell egg, a few tablespoons of expeller pressed canola oil, smidge of salt, hot sauce, and cayenne pepper.  I prefer the iron skillet for searing the tuna - so get it hot, between med. and high heat. While that is getting hot, rub salt and pepper all over the sides of the tuna steak until it has a nice lite coat on it.  Once the skillet is up to temp, sear each side of the steak for about 20-30 seconds and then take it off the heat and set it off to the side to cool.  Get a small bowl and place just the yolk of your egg in the bowl and whisk it up pretty good.  Add a small amount of canola and start whisking until it starts to get a little thicker.  Keep adding the oil in very small amounts, whisking feriously in between until the mayo gets a nice smoooth texture.  Add the smidge of salt, a few squirts of hot sauce, a little cayenne and whisk it all together and do your taste test.  Adjust and you are done.  You can keep that on the side or drizzle it all over your seared tuna and cabbage.  Next....we'll knock out the spaghetti with clam sauce.
I probably should have said this first, but you need to get this sauce going before you ever even think about the tuna.  Anyway, for the sauce you will need:
1 box Pomi brand strained tomatoes
1 box Pomi brand chopped tomatoes
3 small cans of chopped clams - make sure it's just clams, water, and salt
1/2 small package of baby portobella mushrooms
1 sm white onion chopped fine
1 sm green bell pepper chopped fine
4-5 cloves garlic minced
Onion and Garlic powder
Salt and Pepper

For the sauce, first saute the onions, bell pepper, and mushrooms in about 3 tbs butter on med. heat.  Be careful not to burn the butter.  When this mix gets soft, throw in the garlic and stir making sure the garlic doesn't burn.  In other words just stir it all around together for about 20-30 seconds so the garlic goodness can get incorporated without burning.  Add your two boxes of tomato.  I say boxes because Pomi's tomatoes are boxed, and they only contain tomatoes.  You may use whatever you want.  Add some salt and pepper - I always add a little cayenne to clam sauce to give it a special kick.  Add about 1 tbsp garlic powder and 1 tbsp onion powder.  The powders really give the sauce some spicy depth instead of tasting like just straight up tomatoes.  Get this all mixed together well, do a taste test, do a little adjustment and then put a lid on it and turn it on lower heat and let it simmer for a while.  Mandy hates Italian seasoning like Oregano, so I didn't put it in.  I would definitely recommend it, so you can put about 1-2 Tbsp in at this time depending on how much you like it.  Check on the sauce every now and then, doing taste tests and making sure the sauce is happy.  While the sauce is simmering away, it is a perfect time to cook our gluten free pasta.  We went with brown rice spaghetti.  Just get a pot of water going with a little pat of butter and about 1-2 tbsp salt - that's right - it really does make a difference in the noodles when you salt the water well.  Don't worry - you are not going to drink the water - you're just going to eat the pasta.  Get the water boiling and get that pasta in there.  Try not to make the pasta feel guilty for making you gain weight - after all, someone worked hard to make all of that brown rice in to noodles.  After our noodles were finished, we dumped our finished sauce in a large bowl and then tossed the pasta in with the sauce and mixed it all around - perfection!  We just made a simple baby green salad with a simple little dijon mustard vinaigrette.  The dressing consists of cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, a bit of raw apple cider vinegar, organic dijon mustard, lemon juice, and pepper.  Just mix it all up and adjust it to your taste.  Here is the salad.

 I hope you try this meal - it was great.  Don't forget to take a look at today's lunch! Enjoy!!
I am on a quest to reduce my use of vegetable oils in my diet, even though I already use very minimal amounts.  So today, I made a tangy butter and vinegar sauce for my little salad.  It tasted really good, but we will have to see how it holds up after a half a day in the Bento.  I sauteed a few baby portobellas in butter, got a little turkey and finally some of that leftover quiche with my pesto. 

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