Monday, July 27, 2009

Currants, Tuna, Kohlrabi, and BBQ sauce

The farmers' market had gorgeous bright red currants last week. I had seen a meringue recipe in Martha Stewart Living calling for currants. I wanted to try it, but where to find them? So, when I saw a quart-sized container for $6, I jumped. Then I got home, made the recipe, and found I still had a quart of currants. So I added some to a berry ice cream I was making, which was not bad. But then I had 1/2 quart left. They sat in the fridge for four more days while I looked through cookbooks for a currant recipe. Jam came up, but I really needed baskets of berries to make it worth it. Cake was an option, but who wants the oven on when it's 80 degrees out? So, I put them into a small sauce pan, stems and all, added 1/4 cup water, and simmered, stirring every few minutes, until the currants were breaking open. I mushed the stemmy mass through a strainer and ended up with a few tablespoons of this beautiful, vibrant, thick, sour, candy-apple-red sauce. That sat in the fridge for two more days, until we were making crepes. I slathered the sauce onto the crepes, added the usual chocolate and berries, and it was fantastic.

Here is something that must not sit in the fridge. Eat it all the day you buy the fish, or cook the leftovers.

Tuna carpaccio

Serves 4 as a side or appetizer

1/2 pound thinly sliced sushi grade tuna

1/4 cup tomato paste

4 TBSP olive oil divided in half

2 cloves garlic, very thinly slices

2 TBSP capers

1 scallion or a small handful of chives, thinly sliced

a few leaves basil, minced

1 teas. sea salt

Lay tuna on a serving plate and spread tomato paste on all pieces.

Drizzle with 2 TBSP olive oil.

In a frying pan, heat 2 TBSP olive oil and add garlic slices. Stir frequently until garlic lightly browns and gets crispy. Remove from pan and let cool a few minutes, saving oil in pan.

Sprinkle capers, scallion or chives and garlic chips over tuna.

Drizzle garlic oil from pan over tuna.

Sprinkle basil and sea salt over top.


Tomato and kohlrabi salad

Thinly slice equal amounts of tomato and kohlrabi. Layer on a plate and sprinkle with salt (cilantro salt is nice).

Variations: layer in fresh mozzarella, cucumbers, avocado, or jicama

Barbeque sauce

This sauce is a good accompaniment for grilled pork. Lightly coat what you are grilling with the sauce. Cook until done. Serve remaining sauce with the meal. Avoid putting too much on while cooking, as it will increase the chance of burning the meat.

Makes approximately 2 cups

In a sauce pan over medium heat add:

1 cup ketchup

1/2 cup molasses (any kind; I like black strap for a thick, dark sauce)

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup grated or minced onion

1 TBSP dark brown sugar

2 teas. garlic powder

1/2 teas. mustard powder

salt to taste (may not be necessary so definitely taste before adding)

Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently, for five minutes. Remove from heat and eat!