Weeknight dinners are often the last thing you want to think about after working all day. It’s hard to find inspiration when all you want to do is kick back and pop a meal into the microwave. One night after a visit with his mom, Elliott returned home with a package of Tagliatelle, a beautiful piece of fresh albacore, and the recipe for our dinner that night. It was easy to see where Elliott learned some of his cooking chops, since this pasta was a breath of fresh air in our midweek slump.
Packaged pasta (we usually use Tagliatelle for this recipe)
Fresh albacore (or canned tuna if you need a super quick meal)
Fish rub (optional)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
3 tbsp. capers
1/2 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
Handful parmesan cheese
High quality olive oil
Salt and pepper
While the pasta is cooking, rub the tuna with spice rub (or just salt and pepper) and sear in a hot cast iron skillet on medium-high. Nothing beats cast iron for searing – we use a 13″ Lodge skillet that works perfectly! It came pre-seasoned, but it has continued to improve with age.
For this recipe we like to cook the fish through, but you can leave it pink if you prefer. Once the pasta is done and the fish has rested a bit, toss the ingredients together and adjust the lemon juice, if needed. Use a generous portion of your best olive oil as this absorbs all of the flavor from the lemon zest, capers, salt and pepper, and adds its own layer of complexity. The flavors are focused and delicious!
Since we had some fresh raspberries on hand, we also decided to make a raspberry-ginger spritzer and an apple-raspberry crumble.
We drink a ton of soda water around here, so we finally took the plunge a couple of months ago and purchased a Soda Stream. We weren’t sure if it was going to be cost effective or functional, but our doubts have been completely erased – It’s super easy to use and the smaller canisters can carbonate a bottle-a-day for several months. We’ve gotten to be pretty creative making our own concoctions:
1-1/2 cup filtered water
1/4 cup sugar
2-3 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced thin
1/2 vanilla bean
1/4 cup raspberries, mashed
1/2 lemon, juiced
Essentially, this is an infused simple syrup. In a pan, bring all of the ingredients to a boil and simmer for 10-20 minutes. Strain the mixture and cool until serving. Mix with sparkling water at whatever concentration you prefer (a huge part of why we love the Soda Stream is that we can make beverages that aren’t as SWEET as regular soda).
For Elliott’s birthday last year, Carinn got two matching Le Creuset mini cocotte dishes; They’re perfect for making quick, single serve crumbles:
1 fugi apple
1/4 cup raspberries
1 tbsp. sugar
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1/4 lemon, juiced
2 tsp. quick tapioca
4 tbsp. stick butter
2 tsp. light brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
Dice the apple then toss the remaining ingredients together and let stand for a few minutes. Don’t worry, the raspberries aren’t going to hold up to the heat anyhow, so its okay if they disintegrate when mixing. For the crumble, place the butter in the freezer for fifteen minutes and toss the sugar and flour together with a fork. Chop the butter into small, 1/4″ cubes and toss with the flour and sugar until they’re loosely incorporated. You should end up with a clumpy pile of streusel pieces to pile on top of the filling in the mini cocottes. Bake in a 400° oven for 35-45 minutes, or until the topping is browned and the filling is bubbling up. Elliott likes to time this recipe by smell. After 20 minutes or so, our small apartment begins to smell like delicious fruit and vanilla. After 35 minutes or so, an additional nutty, brown-butter smell begins to emanate from the oven. That’s when we know that the topping is perfectly finished and the insides are heated through. Cool for at least 10 minutes.
Since we use quite a few kitchen tools in our posts, we thought we’d steer you to one of our favorite neighborhood spots to get them: the West Seattle Metropolitan Market. They are holding their annual Housewares sale from July 18-21, so now is the time to pick-up those mini Le Creusets, SodaStreams, and Lodge cast iron skillets, all up to 70% off! Or cookbooks, linens, dishes, the list goes on. If you’re like us, a kitchen store never gets old and you can always find room for one more toy, right? We’ve got our eyes on a brand new Pizza Stone ourselves. What are you eyeing? Let us know @awinkandapinch #MMHousewaresSale.