Friday, June 13, 2014

Tuna Tostados and Sweet Braised Chile Cabbage

Any sort of green salsa is suitable for our Tuna Tostados but why not try this one? The following recipe makes about 2 cups and it keeps well refrigerated for about 5 days. Cafe Drake HRV has no problem using it up on egg dishes, as a sauce for rice or a dip with tortilla chips. Heat 1 T. olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add 8 tomatilloes, 4 arbol chilies, 1/2 onion (sliced) and 2 whole cloves of garlic (in their skins). Cook for about 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until the tomatilloes are blistered and sporting black spots. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove garlic from its skin. Place all in a blender and add around 3/4 cup water and 3 T. chopped cilantro. Puree until smooth, about 2 minutes. Season aggressively with salt and black pepper.

Canned tuna is ideal for tostados and the inspiration for this dish. Last week we found drying corn tortillas in the refrigerator depths along with wilting lettuce and tomatilloes and, clearly, tuna nearing its expiration date. Thus . .. Tuna Tostados.
Now make the tostados by brushing corn tortillas with vegetable oil and baking on a cookie sheet for 5 minutes per side in a preheated 415 degree F. oven. remove when crisp and golden brown. Assemble by placing shredded lettuce on a serving plate and sprinkling with grated cheese, a dry white variety works well as does Jack or Gouda. Tostado shells next, each spread with 2-3 T. canned tuna in olive oil. Lightly season with salt and black pepper before drizzling with Tomatillo Salsa. Finish with shaved scallions and/or radishes. Above, on the side, is a basic pico de gallo as condiment.

SWEET BRAISED CABBAGE WITH CHILIES

A versatile side dish, happy alongside Mexican and Latin entrees as well as roast chicken, broiled pork chops and grilled fish. 

Begin by cutting 1 small head of cabbage into pieces roughly 1-2" in size. Roughly chop 1 large onion as well. Heat 1 T. butter and 1 T. olive oil in a large deep skillet and when hot, add cabbage and onion. Stir-fry over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes before tossing in 2 cloves of garlic (chopped) and 1 large tomato (again, roughly chopped). Add 3 or 4 T. of water, at least 1 t. salt, some black pepper to taste, 2 T. sugar, 1/2 t. celery seeds and 2 chopped jalapeno or serrano chiles

Stir, reduce heat to medium and cook, covered, for 10 minutes or until cabbage is softened somewhat. Remove lid, raise to a high heat and cook until most of the released liquid has been reabsorbed. 

Serve warm and check seasoning - you may need to add more salt or sugar depending on your preference. For a richer variation, after the cabbage is cooked to an almost dry point and off the heat, stir in 3 T. sour cream or Greek yogurt. If using yogurt, more salt may be needed.

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