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Dinner, Fish, Lactose Free, Recipes, Sauces

Pan-Seared Tuna with Avocado, Soy, Ginger & Lime

August 28, 2017

Pan-Seared Tuna with Avocado, Soy, Ginger & Lime

Finding good fresh ahi tuna has been a hit and miss endeavor until I discovered Oki’s Fish Market in the Kahului Foodland market. They always seem to have the freshest fish on a regular basis. So whenever I’m in the area, I’ll stop by to pick up a nice piece of ahi for dinner.  This Tyler Florence recipe caught my attention for a few reasons.  It’s quick, tasty, and uses lots of cilantro and avocado, two of my favorite ingredients.  Now those of you who are cringing about cilantro, don’t give up yet.  You could certainly switch out the cilantro and substitute it with a smaller amount of chives or parsley.

Ahi tuna steaks

I cut the ahi into 1-inch thick steaks but you could certainly cut yours thicker if you prefer to.

Lime, Jalapeno, Cilantro

The original recipe says to use the juice of two limes however that can mean 2 tablespoons or up to 4 tablespoons in my case.  So try the 2 1/2 tablespoons noted in the recipe first, then add more if you want to.


Pan-Seared Tuna with Avocado, Soy, Ginger & Lime

Sometimes I serve steamed bok choy with the ahi, and other times a green salad or baked sweet potatoes and broccoli.  I always have a pot of Japanese white rice to go along with this dish.

If you prefer a little spicier sauce, use a jalapeño instead of the Fresno pepper.  I like the burst of red color from the Fresno however I have seen red jalapeños in the markets on occasion.

Pan-Seared Tuna with Avocado, Soy, Ginger & Lime

Pan-Seared Tuna with Avocado, Soy, Ginger & Lime
Adapted from Tyler Florence's recipe
Serves: 4
  • ¾ cup lightly packed cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 Fresno pepper, thinly sliced (or ½ jalapeño)
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon grated garlic
  • 2½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 ahi (tuna) steaks, about 6 ounces each
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 small or 1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, cut into small chunks
  1. Combine the cilantro, Fresno pepper slices, ginger, garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, sugar, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a small bowl. Stir ingredients until well incorporated. Set aside while you prepare the ahi.
  2. Place a skillet over medium-high heat and coat with remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season ahi steaks generously with kosher salt and black pepper. Sear ahi for about 1 minute on each side to form a light crust. The cooking time will depend on how thick your ahi is cut, and whether you prefer your fish to be medium-rare or more well done. Drizzle a few tablespoons of the sauce over the ahi steaks to coat the fish (once you start searing on side #2). Transfer the ahi to a platter. Top with avocado and drizzle remaining sauce over the fish.


Appetizers, Dressing, Eggs, Lactose Free, Recipes, Salad, Sauces, Vegetarian, Veggies

Nobis Dressing

August 17, 2016

Nobis Dressing

San Francisco is a city that offers superb dining options.  We look forward to returning to our favorite restaurants year after year. While always visiting our favorite places, we enjoy trying new restaurants as well. On our last visit we tried Volta, a French restaurant with Scandinavian influences.  We went for lunch, and it was just divine so we changed our plans for that night and returned to Volta for dinner.  It’s a gorgeous restaurant with a menu that features many appealing dishes.  I chose an endive & watercress salad with nobis dressing as my starter.  The nobis dressing was absolutely delicious: so much so, I contacted the owner Umberto Gibin and asked for the recipe.  He was gracious enough to have his chef pare down the ingredients for me.

Soft Boiled Egg

The ingredient that makes this recipe stand out is the egg.  Poached or soft boiled, either preparation works well.  The egg adds depth and richness to the dressing, along with the tangy mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, chives, and a hint of garlic.  It reminds me of a Caesar salad dressing but without the cheese and anchovies. It’s so good I can eat it right out of the jar.

Poached Egg

Endive Salad with Nobis Dressing

Nobis dressing on endive salad with watercress and radishes.

Grilled Artichokes with Nobis Dressing

Nobis dressing for dipping grilled artichokes.  It’s also delicious drizzled over steamed asparagus.

Nobis Dressing
Adapted from Volta restaurant recipe
Serves: ¾ cup
  • 1 soft boiled or poached egg
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic (use a microplane)
  • ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground white or black pepper
  1. Place soft boiled egg in a 1-pint mason jar or comparable sized container that your immersion blender fits snugly in.
  2. Add the other ingredients and blend with an immersion blender until dressing is thick and creamy, about 30 seconds. If you don't have an immersion blender use a small food processor or blender.
  3. Serve as a salad dressing, dipping sauce for artichokes, or drizzled over asparagus. I bet it would be delicious as a sauce for grilled or pan fried fish, or chicken.


Dinner, Japanese, Lactose Free, Pork, Recipes, Sauces

Grilled Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin

May 5, 2016

Grilled Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin

Virtually anything grilled with Granny’s teriyaki sauce is terrific.  Sometimes we grill tofu, sometimes chicken, occasionally fish, or in this case for the first time, pork tenderloin.  It’s such an easy meal to whip up on a week night and leftovers are more than welcome the following day.  Pork tenderloin is lean and because of its compact size, it cooks quickly which means dinner is on the table in no time.  A side of Japanese rice and baby bok choy makes the perfect meal.

Pork Tenderloin Marinating

Place the sauce and pork in a bowl, or even better, a Ziplock bag.  Refrigerate for a few hours, turning occasionally.

Grilling Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin

Use a gas or charcoal grill.  This time we used our gas grill and started cooking over indirect heat (to about 95 – 100 degrees internal temperature) then finished over direct heat to 145 degrees, basting occasionally with sauce. Our favorite digital thermometer the Thermapen is essential for perfect doneness. This cooking technique is also known as the reverse sear.  The traditional method is to sear the meat first and finish in the oven or on the grill over indirect heat.  The reverse sear method prevents an over done “gray” rind and the meat cooks more evenly with  a consistent  doneness and color from edge to center. Voila!  In less than half an hour our pork tenderloin is ready.

Grilled Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin


Grilled Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin
Serves: 2 generous servings
  • 1 pork tenderloin, about 1 pound
  • Granny's teriyaki sauce
  • Reserve ¼ cup sauce for basting pork
  • Save remainder for finishing as described below
  1. Trim pork tenderloin removing any visible fat and silver skin. Trim off the ends if they are very thin so that the pork tenderloin is of uniform size. The trimmings can be frozen for another meal (tacos!).
  2. Place pork tenderloin in a Ziplock bag with ½ cup of teriyaki sauce. Seal bag and place in the refrigerator for 3 - 4 hours. Turn bag occasionally so the pork is well marinated.
  3. When you are ready to grill the pork, remove it from the bag and discard marinade. Grill the pork by reverse sear method, basting occasionally with the reserved ¼ cup sauce, until the internal temperature reads 145 degrees on a digital thermometer.
  4. Meanwhile, simmer the reserved teriyaki sauce in a saucepan over medium-low heat until the sauce becomes a bit thick and syrupy. Set aside.
  5. Let pork rest for 5 minutes then slice into ½ inch pieces. Drizzle with teriyaki sauce and serve with rice and steamed bok choy.







Appetizers, Chicken, Dinner, Fish, Lactose Free, Recipes, Sauces, Vegan, Vegetarian

Avocado-Lime Sauce Vierge

January 31, 2015

Avocado, Basil, Cilantro, Jalapeno, Shallot, Garlic & LimeThis fantastic recipe from Bon Appetit is a winner.  Sauce Vierge is a French sauce literally meaning virgin sauce because it is not cooked.  There are so many variations, often using tomatoes as the base of the sauce.  The main ingredients found in most of the recipes are olive oil, fresh herbs and lemon juice.  This recipe includes luscious avocado, the juice and pulp of a lime, and jalapeño pepper.  Brilliant!

Avocado-Lime Sauce Vierge IngredientsThe original recipe calls for 1/2 cup olive oil and a half of an avocado.  I switched it around a bit and used a whole avocado and 1/4 cup of olive oil.  I don’t care for sauces or dressings that are heavy on the oil so this worked out perfectly.

Avocado-Lime Sauce ViergeThe article suggests serving this sauce with grilled fish, roast chicken, or huevos rancheros.  We served it with a roast chicken and dipped tortilla chips in the leftover sauce the following day.  It was so good, I made more right away.

Avocado-Lime Sauce Vierge with Roasted Chicken

Avocado – Lime Sauce Vierge

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Adapted from Bon Appetit


1 medium avocado, pitted, diced

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 small jalapeño, seeded, finely chopped

1 small garlic clove, finely chopped

1 teaspoon finely chopped shallot

1 – 2 limes, halved (our limes from the garden are large and juicy so I used just 1 lime, taste as you go)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Dice avocado and place in a medium bowl.  Coarsely crush some of the avocado.  Stir in olive oil, jalapeño, garlic, and shallot.  Squeeze limes into avocado mixture.  Using a spoon, scrape pulp out of limes into mixture.  Stir to combine.  Do Ahead: Sauce can be made a few days in advance.  Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on surface of sauce.  Cover and refrigerate.  Bring sauce to room temperature before continuing.

Stir basil and cilantro into sauce just before serving.  Season with salt and pepper.  Drizzle with extra olive oil if desired.


Dinner, Fish, Lactose Free, Mexican, Recipes, Sauces

The Best Ever Crispy Fish Tacos with Avocado Crema

December 25, 2014

Crispy Fish TacosTacos are one of my favorite foods regardless of the filling.  Corn tortillas fried briefly until crisp or warmed on a comal are simply delicious.  I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t love Mexican cuisine.

Sliced Mahi MahiWe have lovely Mahi Mahi available  at our local markets and it makes the best crispy fish tacos.  You may substitute any other mild, white fish in this recipe. I purchased about 3/4 lb. Mahi Mahi and sliced it into 10 pieces. You could slice your fish into 8 pieces if you prefer.  This is my special version of a baja fish taco.

Battered Mahi MahiWhat makes it uniquely good is the incorporation of some basic Japanese ingredients and technique.  Dip the filets in a tempura batter mix, and dredge each piece in panko and you’re ready to go.

Panko Coated Mahi MahiIn just a few minutes you will have yourself a platter of crispy, fish filets.  Sometimes I’m tempted to dip them in tartar sauce, but tacos are just too yummy to pass up.

Avocado Crema

Shredded Cabbage, Limes, Pickled Jalapeños and Cilantro

Crispy Mahi Mahi Tacos

The Best Ever Crispy Fish Tacos with Avocado Crema

Serves 4 – 5

Avocado Crema

1/2 large avocado

2 tablespoons sour cream (I use Green Valley Lactose Free Sour Cream)

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

few sprigs of cilantro

An immersion blender works perfectly for this.  Place all ingredients in a blending cup and blend for a few seconds until the ingredients are well combined.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Fish Tacos


3/4 pound fresh fish filet, sliced into 8 – 10 pieces

salt & pepper

4 tablespoons tempura batter mixed with just enough ice-cold water to create the consistency of thin pancake batter

1 cup panko flakes

canola oil for deep-frying and warming corn tortillas

8 – 10 corn tortillas


Heat canola oil for deep-frying.  Most suggest heating the oil to 360 degrees.  I usually skip the temperature reading step and test the oil by drizzling a tiny amount of batter into the oil.  If the batter crisps up nicely, I start frying!  I use a small sauce pan, 7 – 8 inches wide and 3 1/2 inches in height, and add canola oil 2 inches up the side of the pan.  A small Dutch Oven would work perfectly as well.

Place tempura batter in a wide bowl, add ice water and stir just until ingredients are combined.  Remember to keep the batter light, and don’t over mix.

Place panko in a wide plate or shallow bowl.  Season fish strips with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Dip fish pieces into tempura batter, letting excess batter drip off.  Place fish into panko bowl and coat well.

Once oil is hot, fry half of the fish until nicely browned and crisp, about 1 minute.  Keep in mind that you don’t want to over crowd the pan when frying.  This will drop the oil temperature drastically and your fish fillets won’t brown quickly.

Drain on paper towel lined plate.  Continue to fry the remaining filets.  Warm tortillas in lightly oiled cast iron skillet or sauté pan on medium high heat. Cover with foil and keep warm.

I like to serve the fish with avocado crema, finely shredded cabbage, cilantro,  hot sauce and pickled jalapeños. Delicious!

Dinner, Italian, Recipes, Sauces, Vegan, Vegetarian

Homemade Pizza Sauce

September 20, 2014

Homemade Pizza SauceOne of my favorite meals is homemade pizza.  John has perfected a recipe for really good pizza crust, one that is both tender yet chewy with a bit of those crispy edges that we all love.  There are a number of ready-made pizza sauces available and I found one that was acceptable, but not perfect.  Most of the prepared pizza sauces are a bit too “tomato pasty” and just don’t have that fresh tomato flavor.  One of our favorite Wine Country restaurants, Redd Wood, makes some of the best pizza we’ve had.  Their sauce is very simple but delicious.  With that in mind,  I decided to make my own pizza sauce and now I shall never go back to prepared sauce.

Homemade Pizza

Rao's Italian Peeled TomatoesWith just a few good ingredients, you’ll have a delicious pizza sauce that takes just about 45 minutes to prepare.  I am very fond of Rao’s Italian Peeled Tomatoes.  They are by far, the best canned tomatoes I have found.  I once bought them at our local Whole Foods market, however they no longer carry them. Mail order is the way to go.

Rao's Italian Peeled TomatoesRao’s tomatoes are always beautiful.  They are peeled well, plump and juicy with a rich puree.

Raos Tomatoes in the Food MillI use a food mill to puree the tomatoes.  If you don’t have a food mill, squish the tomatoes with your hands or whirl in the food processor.

Homemade Pizza Sauce with Oregano

Homemade Pizza

Best Homemade Pizza Sauce

Makes 1 3/4 cups – Enough for two large pizzas or four small pizzas


1 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes in puree, Rao’s brand if available

2 tablespoons minced onion

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper


Puree the tomatoes (tomatoes and puree) using a food mill (I used the coarse disc). Alternatively, puree the tomatoes in a food processor (quick pulses) or smash the tomatoes with your clean hands for a chunkier pizza sauce.  Pour in a bowl and set aside.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large deep sided sauté pan.  Add minced onions, turn the heat down to medium low and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onions are soft but not browned, stirring frequently.

Add the pureed tomatoes to the onions and mix to combine.  Cook the sauce for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  The sauce will have reduced and thickened up nicely.  Add the oregano, salt, and a few grinds of black pepper.  Continue to cook the pizza sauce for another 10 minutes or until the sauce is as thick as you like it. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

Let the sauce cool while you prepare your pizza toppings and roll out your dough.  The sauce can be made a few days in advance and freezes nicely for a couple of months.





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