There is the classic Salade Nicoise with its lovely composition of tuna, tomatoes, sliced eggs, olives, potatoes, haricots verts and anchovies–or variations thereof. The tuna is generally canned, and there is very little in the way of lettuce leaves. Then, there is the more updated trend, the Ahi Tuna Salad, with its delicate strips of seared fresh ahi tuna, arranged in overlapping slices and serve on a bed of lettuce often with a wasabi-soy- mustard drizzle or a honey ginger vinaigrette. Combine the best of both salads, add a rainbow of color and crunch, and you have a hearty, healthful main meal dish with the unusual twist of fresh tuna served, not in slices, but rather in cubes to get the sear on all sides. If your New Year’s resolution is to eat healthy and somewhat preservative-free, the Over The Rainbow Cubed Ahi Tuna Salad is your creative and crunchy kick starter in a salad bowl!
It’s one of those favorite dishes on the menu at Mexican, Tex Mex and Southwestern-style restaurants. Fajitas refer to grilled meat or chicken usually served as a taco or alongside grilled peppers, onions and flour or corn tortillas. Fajitas are so simple to make at home. A delicious fajita starts with a great marinade. For this recipe, I’ve chosen a simple combination of ingredients, but if you prefer more heat, you can always add some red pepper flakes or a pinch of cayenne. For the chicken, I prefer skinless boneless chicken thighs, but chicken breasts work well too. For the meat, you’ll want something with a little bit of fat like a skirt or flank steak. With colorful peppers always available, a combination of green, red, yellow and orange bell peppers make a beautiful presentation along with a large, sweet yellow onion. To give the fajitas a real authentic flavor, you can toss your flour tortilla into a hot dry skillet or griddle for just a few seconds to give it the char marks and delicious flavor. Of course, you’ll want to top off your fajitas with all of your favorite fixings’ like avocado, pico de gallo, cilantro, shredded cheese and sour cream. Plan ahead so the protein can marinate for several hours, then fire up the skillet or grill and get cookin’ south of the border style!
Watch my How To Video for Fajitas here!
Simply put, Carne Asada means “grilled steak.” But because we use cuts like skirt, flank or sirloin steaks, let them bathe in aromatic marinades and top the meat with spicy seasonings, Carne Asada has and will always be a southwestern favorite! It can be served as a stand-alone entrée often served with a chimichurri sauce, or made into tacos, tostados or perhaps as a hearty salad served with avocado, tomatoes and queso. Carne Asada can be purchased already prepared in a marinade or you can make the marinade at home. This recipe combines a homemade marinade with a spice rub for maximum flavor. Cooking the asada is easy. It simply requires a hot grill or grill pan and, for best results, a meat thermometer. The key to a great carne asada is too cook the meat to about a 125-130 degree internal temperature and then let it rest for at least 10 minutes, during which time the meat will continue to cook a few more degrees. If making tacos with the carne asada, here’s tip for great tortillas. For flavorful, authentic tasting tacos, heat tortillas in a dry skillet or griddle for about 45 seconds on each side or until tortilla bubbles up and develops charred spots. Stack on top of each other to keep warm and pliable. If you’re looking for a shareable family-style Sunday supper, Carne Asada brings the flavors of the Southwest to life!
Watch my how to video for Carne Asada here!
Pork Tenderloin with Garlic Citrus Soy Glaze
Some call the Pork Tenderloin the filet mignon of the pork because it’s so lean and tender. But if not cooked properly you can end up with a log of dry, flavorless pork. That’s why tenderloins are often brined or marinated ahead of time. Brining introduces moisture into the tenderloin, and marinating adds the flavor. But this recipe saves you that step. All of the wonderful savory flavors happen while the tenderloin is cooking. It has many of the ingredients you are used to with a pork tenderloin like garlic, Dijon mustard, soy sauce, orange juice, olive oil and of course, a light touch of fresh rosemary. But let’s go back to the garlic. For this recipe, the pork tenderloin gets 8 or 9 slices on the top, just enough to fit a piece of garlic sliced lengthwise. Then, the magic is made with the sauce that is poured over the tenderloin before it goes into the oven which turns into a rich, sweet and savory glaze when the tenderloin is done. How to tell if your pork tenderloin is cooked properly? This is where a meat thermometer comes in handy. The internal temperature should read between 145 and 150. If it’s cooked to 160, it becomes too dry with an off-putting chalky texture. If you don’t have a quick read meat thermometer, you can look for a slight hint of pale pink with the juices running clear. Remember, that while you’re letting the tenderloin rest (for at least 5-6 minutes) the pork will continue to cook a bit. That’s called carry-over cooking, and can trip up your timing when cooking a lean cut like the tenderloin. This week, try a little tenderloin!
Watch my How To Video for Pork Tenderloin with a Garlic Citrus Soy Glaze Here!