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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Spinach Puffs, and Peppered Tuna on Lemon Risotto

Note: According to my mom, my brother did not like the dark blue background on this blog. I could say "it is his age" - since he just had a rather large birthday - but I do know from my years in creating publications white text on dark is not very readable. So for now I will go with a new white background with black text for awhile - this one for my big brother.

The bon app├ętit November issue offered yet another inspiring recipe. One of my favorite appetizers is phyllo triangles with spinach and feta, and here it was using puff pastry sheets. So instead of taking hours to "wrestle" with phyllo I looked forward to the simplicity of making them with the puff pastry, and to planning a meal around them.

Spinach Puffs The exact recipe can be found at BONAPPETIT.COM/RECIPES.

I pretty much followed the recipe but I did use the entire puff pastry sheet, making nine puffs instead of the six in the recipe. I truly do not know why the recipe called for "reserving a strip of the cut pastry sheet for another use. " I did add a little bit more feta cheese and an extra splash of evoo to the mixture to accommodate the extra three puffs. In addition to the feta, spinach and olive oil the mixture included, minced onion and garlic and an egg. I did not add the dill.

Not only were these puffs very tasty and attractive I felt I could skip a salad course and a veggie or side course by offering these along side the entree.

The Entree: Peppered Tuna on Lemon Risotto.

The plan was to just serve the sliced peppered tuna along side the puffs, but at the last minute we invited a guest so I needed to make two small tuna steaks serve three. I had never served tuna with risotto nor had a I ever made risotto without lots of parmesan cheese - until now. So this recipe is truly a throw together "what you have and what flavors go well with tuna" dish.

I sauteed the rice in evoo for a few minutes according to the package and then tossed in the garlic and onion before adding the chicken broth. I did not have enough chicken broth so I tossed in chicken demi glace and water to stretch the liquid. When the liquid was absorbed I added chopped sun-dried tomatoes (for color, but they did add a nice taste)and lemon zest.

The tuna steaks were rubbed with evoo and crushed black pepper on both sides, seared on high heat for about 2 minutes each side and then placed in a 350 degree until medium rare (6-8 minutes). The tuna was sliced and placed on top of the risotto which had been plated in heated dishes.

I would certainly make this meal again. And the puffs will probably become a standard for my appetizer buffets.

Wine: Kuleto Pinot Noir. This Christmas gift went very nicely with the meal.


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