Easy Miso Tuna with Radish Coleslaw

This miso marinated fresh tuna would be an elegant addition to a tapas and drinks party.  However, I’m back in Honesdale now and even my husband balks at rare tuna, which is the only way it should be served, according to me 🙂  What about all the sushi eaters, including “he who must be obeyed”?  I guess I don’t know them.  Maybe “he” just pretends to like sushi and fakes it when we eat at restaurants with friends?  I don’t know him either 😀

These were beautiful tuna steaks, easily marinated overnight, briefly seared and paired with an easy radish coleslaw.

Fresh Miso Marinated Tuna Steaks with Radish Coleslaw 

2 -4 fresh tuna steaks

4 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar

3 tbsp white miso paste

3 tbsp red miso paste

3 tbsp light Japanese soy sauce

2 tbsp honey

8 radish, thinly sliced

2 small cucumbers, thinly sliced

1 carrot, thinly sliced

2 tbsp sugar

2 scallions, thinly sliced

2 tbsp sesame oil

Mix the vinegar, miso pastes, soy sauce and honey together.  Place in a zip lock bag, squish around and refrigerate overnight. Remove from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature, scraping away excess miso marinade into a bowl.

Mix the radishes, cucumbers, carrot, sugar and scallions together.  Cover and set aside.

Heat the oil in a very hot skillet, then sear the steaks 3 minutes each side.  Place the steaks on serving plates, drizzle lightly with reserved marinade and serve the radish salad.


Posted in Appetizer, Asian, Cooking, Food and Wine, Japanese, Main dishes, Recipes, Salad | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Smoked Ham, Split Pea and Barley Soup

After a brief, unsuccessful stint as a branch of Food Mart, Dave’s Super Duper is back!  I imagine they lost quite a few customers because they ditched their butcher and signed on to Food Mart brand prepackaged meat, cheese and very low quality canned goods.  Bleah!  I liked that butcher but it’s okay because he’s working at the IGA in the next town.

Anyway, I found what I assumed to be an oddly cut portion of uncooked, smoked ham on sale at less than a dollar a pound at Super Duper that looked like a potential soup ingredient.  It was.

Smoked Ham, Split Pea and Barley Soup

5lb piece of uncooked, smoked ham or ham hock equivalent

2 carrots, quartered

2 celery branches, quartered

1 onion, quartered

3 garlic cloves, smashed

2 bay leaves

1 lb bag dried split peas, soaked overnight

1/2 cup dried barley

1 large leek, sliced and rinsed

3 celery branches, sliced

3 carrots, sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

Place the ham, quartered carrots, celery, onion, garlic and bay leaves in pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, then simmer for 1 hour or until the ham begins to loosen from the bone.

Pour the stock through a colander into a big bowl/pot.  Remove the ham bone and set aside until cool enough to remove excess fat and cut into cubes.  Discard bay leaves, chop cooked vegetables and return to stockpot with ham cubes.  Bring the stock to a boil, then add peas, barley, leek, celery and carrot slices, bring to a boil again, then simmer with salt and pepper for about 30 minutes.




Posted in American, Cooking, Food and Wine, Main dishes, Soup, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Hearty French Goulash

This is a good, simple winter recipe that I found in the French Saveurs magazine.  It was just what was needed with the drizzly, miserable weather we were having.

I love this pot and although I have another like it here in Honesdale, this one is my first love 🙂

I ladled out a generous portion of the goulash for the 87 year old “mami” who lives across the street and always waves at me from her window.  She rarely leaves home except for doctor’s visits and is frail but has a good, French appetite 😀  Whenever I make something interesting, I take some over to her.


2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

1 1/2 lbs of chuck from the shoulder area, cut into cubes

2 large onions, chopped

2-3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 1/2 tbsp paprika

1 tsp cumin

2 large carrots, sliced

1 can diced tomatoes

1/2 small can of tomato paste

1/2 cup red wine

5 cups beef bouillon

Salt and pepper

4 potatoes, cut into cubes

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large dutch oven, add the meat, brown, remove and set aside.  Add the onions, garlic and bell pepper to to the skillet and saute until the onions are soft.  Sprinkle in the paprika and cumin, stirring and blending for about 2 minutes.

Return the meat to the pot along with diced tomatoes, tomato paste, wine and bouillon.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, bring to a boil, then simmer for 1 1/2 hours.  Add the potatoes, bring to a boil, then continue to simmer for 30 minutes.




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No better way to celebrate the coming holidays or really any day, than early evening drinks and snacks.

The stars of this “smorgasbord” were duck terrine from Jean Louis’ farm and figs stuffed with fois gras.  I discovered these figs when invited for an apéritif at one of our neighbors homes in Sens.  The very next day, I headed for the market to load up for the trip back to the U.S.  They are incredible!

I added some smoked salmon with cream cheese, topped with caviar, a few cheeses and prosciutto with baguette-like slices of bread.  We did drink a sparkling wine with this from Washington State……..




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Well I’m back in Honesdale or “Hellsdale” as my friend Trix calls it.  Smart this time, I didn’t download my pictures to the computer in Sens and now can post them at my leisure.

While in France, I tried to eat all my favorites that I wouldn’t find here.  The owner of Chez Guy was helpful in that he called me when he was making veal liver, kidneys, and any of my favorite “offal” dishes.  If it wasn’t for my friend Veronique, I would have forgotten the snails!

The French are so “like whatever” about dates.  They said they would have their Christmas market on December 15th which meant I would miss it because I was returning on the 10th.  The Villiers-Louis market was scheduled earlier.  While Villiers is a smaller town with a smaller Christmas market, it is a farming commune with excellent products that include fois gras, duck confit, duck magret, honey, sausages and the lovely escargots and artisan bread I found there.  Unsurprisingly, Sens also held their market before I left 🙂

The Sens Christmas market features live snails happily grazing on lettuce in a glass enclosure where the “real” French person can choose the ones they want to take home, kill and do unspeakable things to before serving them in a parsley-garlic butter.  The rest of us just buy them ready for the oven, without the drama 😀  They are delicious!


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Mushroom Quiche

It’s such a shame that the harvests of wine grapes, mushrooms and truffles were adversely affected by both drought and unseasonable heavy rains.  Normally, the autumn market stands are overflowing with an unbelievable variety of mushrooms.  Really.  One is almost blocked from seeing the other produce!  Not this year.

I was lucky to gather a few survivors in order to make this quiche; shiitaki, Paris and girolle.  But they were delicious.

I could have eaten these right from the pan, and should have because I sort of screwed up.

I forgot to briefly pre-bake the crust which left the bottom soggy.  Also, I don’t know where my mind was, I beat in 2 eggs instead of 3, preventing a firmer filling.  Oh well.  This is a good recipe (it tasted good), do it right!

Mushroom Quiche

1 good quality refrigerated pre-made tart crust ( brise/puff)

2 cups of mixed mushrooms, sliced if necessary

2 tbsp butter

1 rosemary sprig

2 sage leaves

3 eggs

1/2 cup emmental, grated

8 ounces cream

8 ounces milk

1 tbsp flour

1 pinch nutmeg

Salt and pepper

Place the crust in a pie pan and poke all over with a fork.  Bake the crust in a 350 oven for about 10 minutes and set aside.

Saute the mushrooms in the butter with the rosemary and sage.  Remove the herbs, drain the mushrooms to dry on a paper towel.  Set aside.

Beat together the cheese, cream, eggs, milk, flour, nutmeg, salt and pepper, then pour into the crust.  Add the drained mushrooms and bake at 400 F for 40 minutes.






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Thai Curried Sea Bream

I guess I’m “cooking the book” because there are so many interesting recipes in the Saveurs magazine that I MUST try them while I can get the ingredients.  I chose a whole sea bream or daurade at L’Ambiance des Halles and they filleted it for me, skin on and taking my inspiration from Saveurs Holiday edition, I made their curried daurade using Thai curry powder.  Good move = )

The recipe instructions were somewhat convoluted in a Jamie Oliver way that made the dish seem more complicated than it was.  No need.  This was delicious and required no additional, gratuitous praise for the chef’s competence.

What I liked about this curry is that the sauce did not overwhelm the buttery flavor of the flaky fish and that the carrots were fork tender.

A little disappointed not being able to post and photograph more meals.  I’ve been here almost 3 months (leaving next Monday for Pennsylvania) and I’ve had workers in the house the whole time.  I finally said no more weekends.  Nerve racking!

Thai Curried Sea Bream

4 good sized fillets of sea bream, skin on, seasoned with salt and pepper

2 tbsp olive oil

8 small, long carrots, cut into 3-4 pieces

2 tbsp butter

1 tbsp sugar

Salt and pepper

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp Thai curry powder

10 ounces coconut milk

10 ounces fish stock

2 tbsp creme fraiche or sour cream

Spring onion, green tops sliced or chives

Cook the carrots in the butter for about 3 minutes, add the sugar, salt and pepper, then add water to cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Set aside.

Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft, mix in the curry, then the coconut milk.  Boil for about 2 minutes.  Add the fish stock and test for salt.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes, then whisk and set aside.

Brown the fillets in a skillet in the hot olive oil, about 30 seconds per side.  Place the browned fillets in the sauce with the carrots and heat slowly for about 5 minutes.

Top with the green onion tops.












Posted in Cooking, fish, Food and Wine, French, Main dishes, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments