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Locavore Cooking with Southern Efficiency and Northern Charm

Posts Tagged ‘albacore tuna

Albacore Doesn’t Just Come in a Can

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Fresh albacore with tomato-ginger relish and Asian mustard butter sauce.

Fresh albacore with tomato-ginger relish and Asian mustard butter sauce.

Despite my neglect, the garden keeps providing.

Despite my neglect, the garden keeps providing.

What a difference a year makes. I never thought I’d feel at home in Corvallis (or blogging, for that matter) but here exactly a year later since the move and this project began, and I’m well at ease.

We’re frantically trying to weed and tame the yard this weekend after a summer and, well really, a year of neglect. But I’m at least adept enough to coax a few vegetables from the earth. The green (and purple and yellow) beans, tomatoes and remaining leeks are still abundant enough to source a meal.

Fresh albacore is the obvious reply to what to make for dinner this time of year.

Apparently there’s only about a week left in the season. The one-pound chunk we bought downtown today at Harry & Annette’s Fresh Fish just came in from the coast this morning. Fresh albacore is affordable, fleeting and so much more delicious and less fishy than the canned stuff. It’s not sushi-grade bluefin or yellowtail but it’s a milder still meaty fish that melds well with a range of flavors, particularly gingerly Asian marinades.

The most recent food column in the local Corvallis newspaper inspired me. Since we shy away from the grill, we roasted the fish at high-heat, 500 degrees. We whipped up our version of the fresh tomato-ginger “relish” and the hot mustard better sauce. I doubled the sweet onion in the relish since I lacked green ones. And some leftover lebni yogurt cheese stood in for whipping cream, yielding a tasty but curdled butter sauce.

My home-grown beans we steamed and sauteed with lemon, rosemary and chopped walnuts. Freshing but a tad bit bland, according to Dan. But overall a memorable meal.

I just wonder if cooking will continue to capture my attention in 2009-10 as it did, sustaining me, last year.

Written by baltimoregon

September 6, 2009 at 1:38 am

Perfect Picnic Fare: Paprika-Rubbed Pork and Egg Salad Nicoise

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Egg Salad Nicoise

Egg Salad Nicoise.

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Paprika-and-Thyme Rubbed Pork Tenderloins, Served with Pickled Red Onions and Blue Cheese.

Looking to spice up your next picnic? The latest issue of MIX Magazine, for which I did my Newport restaurant reviews, offers some fresh suggestions. And the food tastes just as good when prepared and even consumed inside.

The Nicoise Egg Salad showcased a tantalizing array of flavors. I cut the eggs back to six, since I’m not a big egg salad fan, and added more tuna and chopped garden-fresh cucumbers instead to soak up the garlicky mayonnaise. A dollop of the fresh pesto I had made added some zest. Delicious with fresh sliced tomatoes. It was certainly worth splurging¬† on Oregon albacore tuna for this dish.

Though we tend toward vegetarianism at home, we seem to be eating more and more meat these days. Perhaps it’s because Oregon has so many local, sustainable sources that we can feel good about (farms close enough that we can visit, which most seem to encourage). On 10 percent off member day at the food co-op, I sprung for a Lonely Lane pork tenderloin with this MIX recipe in mind. I need to get more into spice rubs. Applying the aromatic blend really gives you a chance to viscerally connect with the meat before slamming it in the oven or slapping it on the grill. Smoked paprika can be an elusive ingredient to find, but standard paprika is no substitute. And the earthy seasoning contrasted nicely with the tart onions and sweet blue cheese.

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Pickled onions from my garden.

Pickled onions from my garden.

Making up the pickled red onions was extra fun since the bulbs came from my garden. Note to self: plant more onions next year. I’ve had real success with onions, garlic, leeks, lettuce and herbs — items so indispensible in the kitchen but often overlooked. When you’ve got them in the garden, they’re always on hand. Just two little cucumber plants have been incredibly prolific as well. I’m grateful and still in awe that I didn’t kill off everything.

Onion right before pulling.

Onion right before pulling.

Onions and other friends waiting to be picked upon our return.

Onions and other friends waiting to be picked upon our return.

Written by baltimoregon

August 17, 2009 at 12:39 am

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