Recipes and menu ideas for a summer Indian dinner, yellowfin tuna, peach andouille basil flatbread and blackened amberjack (or other hearty fish).
Fighting the heat with Indian food
When the temps are in the 90s, I like meals with fresh, spicy, bold flavors like Vietnamese, Thai, Mexican or Indian. On a hot night recently I made cod with coconut-cilantro sauce. Since the recipe has garam masala in it, I’m guessing it’s supposed to be Indian or Indian-style. Whatever, it was quick, easy and delicious.
I kept with the Indian theme and made this Indian-spiced mashed cauliflower recipe using a yellow cauliflower I picked up at the farmers market. I swear it tasted and looked like mashed potatoes, but even better thanks to the mix of red onion, cilantro and spices. I doubled the amount of red onion and omitted the mustard seeds. Jim’s not a fan of mustard—and doesn’t know what he’s missing—so I go easy on it when recipes call for mustard, mustard powder or mustard seeds.
Our other side was Indian-style kale and spinach. The original recipe called for mustard greens but I used what I had in the fridge. An interesting recipe: the greens were puréed with cornmeal and spices in a food processor. It was pretty good but nothing special although I loved the purée aspect and the heat.
Highlight of the week: yellowfin tuna
We received two pounds of gorgeous North Carolina yellowfin tuna from our CSF share at Locals Seafood, more than enough for two dinners. The first night, I made this Sicilian tuna recipe. It reminded me of puttanesca—a boldly flavored topping for the tuna. Next time, I will skip the marinade. I’m not sure it added much plus the lemon juice cooked the sides of the tuna.
The highlight of the week was the next night’s supper: Thai tuna burgers. Oh my, swooningly good. I got to use my mortar and pestle for once to make a paste of ginger, garlic, jalapeño, fish sauce, cilantro and Thai basil. I added this vibrant green paste to the finely chopped tuna. Brush a mix of grapeseed and sesame oil on the buns. Spread some ginger-lemon mayo on mine. Top with pickled cucumber and red onion. Heavenly.
Peach, Andouille and Basil Flatbread
I made peach, andouille and basil flatbread as a side one night. I had some peaches that were soft in parts so I thought I’d make a pizza out of them with some type of pork and basil. I decided to go the easy route and use flatbread. Dang, it turned out really well. I will definitely do this again.
- Olive oil
- Andouille or linguica sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4” or less
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 large naan flatbreads
- 2 peaches, thinly sliced
- Fresh mozzarella, sliced – can add some goat cheese too
- Basil, chopped
Heat olive oil in pan. Add sausage. If it’s raw, cook until done. If it’s fully cooked, add garlic too and cook about a minute. Spread evenly over flatbread. Place peaches and mozzarella evenly over flatbread. Cook at 350 until cheese bubbles and starts to brown. Sprinkle with basil.
Good eats in Massachusetts
I spent some time in Massachusetts recently visiting my family. Here are some of my dining highlights for your menu inspiration:
Razor clam ceviche at Cibo Matto in Mansfield where I also tried a bit of my Dad’s sea scallops (I opted for halibut)—the best darn scallops I’ve had in ages—guessing just seared in butter.
Desserts at Cibo Matto: vanilla bean panna cotta with blueberry sauce and oat crisp crumble—tis the season to make a cool refreshing panna cotta, and the most delicious gingerbread sundae with gingersnap molasses ice cream, gingerbread, and whipped cream with caramel, holy moly—definitely more of an autumn dessert but I couldn’t resist, so darn good.
Lobster roll at Lobster Hut in Plymouth—I can’t go to MA and not have a lobster roll.
Linguica, onion and garlic pizza at Union Villa in North Easton—and I can’t leave without having my favorite pizza.
Swordfish on the grill.
My mum’s cod with Ritz/lemon/butter topping—a family classic.
Breakfast at JJ’s Caffe in Brockton: salmon benedict—two poached eggs on top of a mix of salmon, onion and spinach on a grilled English muffin, topped with whole grain mustard cream, alongside crème brulée french toast topped with apple cinnamon syrup, crème fraiche, bananas, blueberries and strawberries.
Donuts from Kane’s in Saugus.
We love amberjack. My seafood shop describes amberjack as having a sweet, mild flavor with tender, firm, and delicate meat along with a high oil content that gives it a buttery texture. All I can say is: fabulous.
I made up a recipe for one pound of blackened amberjack based on a few I found online:
- 1-1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
We decided to add it to a big dinner salad—I had mine with gorgonzola crumbles and chipotle ranch dressing. I also made some roasted sweet potatoes with smoked paprika, cayenne, cinnamon, garlic powder and sea salt, plus some leftover veggies on the side too.
More to come!