The Ultimate Tuna Melt

Mmm, the tuna melt.  One of my favorite sandwiches of all time.  I have heard countless chefs say that cheese is never supposed to go with fish, but I don’t understand what they’re talking about.  I mean, what about the sandwich that has been a staple on diner menus across this country for decades?  Have they never had the pleasure of eating this warm, delicious treat?  And this version, served open-faced, is literally the best I have ever had.  If you belong to the tuna melt fan club (of which I am the president) then you are going to love this!  So, without further ado, I give you…..the ultimate tuna melt.

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The Ultimate Tuna Melt

Ingredients:
Thinly sliced artisan bread, 3 or 4 slices
1 large can of wild-caught chunk light tuna, drained
1/4 to 1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 ribs celery, cut in half lengthwise and diced
1 large tomato, thinly sliced
Sliced Provolone cheese
Garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste
Butter
Non-stick cooking spray
Chopped parsley

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray and then wipe with a paper towel.

2. Mix tuna, mayonnaise, celery, garlic powder, salt, and pepper together in a bowl

3. Butter the slices of bread and place butter side down on baking sheet.

4. Place one or two slices of tomato on each slice of bread, enough to cover it.

5. Divide tuna evenly among the sandwiches, spreading to cover the entire slice.

6. Top with two or three slices of provolone for each sandwich, enough to cover the entire slice.

7. Place baking sheet in oven for 10 minutes. Remove and garnish each slice with chopped parsley. Return to oven for 8 – 10 minutes longer, or until the cheese has browned nicely but is not burned.

8. Grab your fork and knife and dive in! Be careful, though, the tuna and tomato are hot. Serve with a lightly dressed salad or your favorite chip. Enjoy!

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Jerk Chicken Wrap For One

Recipe yields one wrap. To serve two, double each amount per ingredients.

Ingredients:

For Wrap

  • 1 Agave tortilla
  • 4 oz. pre-cooked Jerk seasoned chicken
  • 2 leaves of lettuce
  • 3 sliced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp fruit salsa

For Fruit Salsa

  • 1 small pineapple diced
  • 1 small star fruit diced
  • 1 small red onion diced
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp chopped cilantro

Instructions:
1. Mix all ingredients in mixing bowl and let sit. If needed, it can refrigerate for up to 2 days.
2. Place lettuce on wrap followed by sliced tomato, salsa & chicken.
3. Roll up and cut in half or to desired size.

Makes 1 Wrap/Sandwich

Courtesy of Chef James Harris of Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City

Greek-Style Gluten Free Pasta Salad

Greek-Style Gluten-Free Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup gluten-free penne, ziti or rotini
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. of the green of green onions, washed and scissored thin
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped, fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped, fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or lemon flavor
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 6-8 oz. can artichoke hearts in brine, drained, rinsed and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. black olives, drained, rinsed and sliced (optional)
  • ½ lb. grape tomatoes, washed, dried and quartered, or 4 large Campari tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled, deseeded and cut into ¼” to ½” dices
  • 2 Tbsp. gluten-free finely chopped dill pickle
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, deseeded and cut into small dice (optional)

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta in boiling water according to package instructions. Drain and rinse in cold water to stop cooking and chill pasta.
  2. Place zest of lemon, salt, pepper in mixing jug. Add yogurts and whisk or use immersion blender to form an emulsion.
  3. Add mint, parsley, dill and green onion to jug and mix.
  4. Place pasta in large bowl. Stir in vinaigrette.
  5. Add artichoke hearts, olives, tomatoes, cucumber, pickle and red bell pepper.
  6. Taste and adjust seasoning. (Chill before serving, but it is better at room temperature.)
  7. Sprinkle with Feta cheese upon serving (optional).

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

Grilled Thai Salmon

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 16 minutes
Makes 6 servings.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp. Thai Kitchen Roasted Red Chili Paste
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tsp. minced lemon grass (optional)
1 1/2 lb. salmon fillets

Directions:

MIX Chili Paste, oil and lemon grass in small bowl until well blended. Place salmon in glass dish. Spread chili paste mixture on both sides of salmon.

GRILL over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes per side or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Carrot & Ginger Bisque

yields 2/12 gallons

  • 4 oz blended oil
  • 4 large onions
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Garlic in Oil (RC Chopped Garlic in Oil)
  • 12 lbs carrots rough cut with skin left on
  • 6 lbs cubed butternut squash
  • 1 1/2 gallons prepared Chicken Base (RC Reserve Collection Chicken Base)*
  • 1/2 gallon orange juice
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup ginger puree (such as RC Fine Foods ginger puree)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground thyme
  • Orange Extract (such as RC Fine Foods orange extract) to taste

In a heavy gage soup pot, heat blended oil and add chopped onions then brown slightly. Add chopped garlic in oil and saute till aromatic. Add carrots, butternut squash, prepared chicken base, orange juice, and bay leaves. Cook mixture until carrots & squash are tender enough to puree. Puree soup and add rest of ingredients. Finish seasoning with orange extract.

*For Vegan & Vegetarian version:  replace chicken stock with vegetable broth

Courtesy of RC Fine Foods

Lobster, Shrimp & Asparagus Risotto

Gluten-Free Lobster Shrimp Asparagus Risotto

Makes 2 very generous portions.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup white rice
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil (or other oil of your choice)
  • 3 slices gluten-free raw bacon, cut into thin strips
  • Bunch of green onions (scallions, spring onions) trimmed and cut into small slices, using white and green of onion
  • 1 13.5 oz. Asian-style coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. gluten-free chicken stock concentrate or powdered bouillon
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ tsp. Penzeys Arizona Dreaming or (smoked) paprika
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • ½ lb. fresh asparagus, stalks trimmed and cut into 1” slices; stalks and tips kept separate
  • 8 oz. cooked lobster
  • 4 oz. raw, small shrimp, peeled and deveined

Directions:

1. In a 4-cup saucepan, heat oil, add chopped green onions and bacon and cook gently until softening.

2. Add rice, turn in oil and cook gently for about 2 minutes until rice is looking toasted, but not burnt.

3. Add coconut milk, water, stock concentrate, Arizona Dreaming/paprika and dried thyme.  Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook covered for 10 minutes.

4. At 10 minutes, add the asparagus stalks and continue to cook for 8 more minutes. Meanwhile, cook the asparagus tips separately in small pan until crisp and tender, then drain.

5. After the 8 minutes of extra cooking add lemon zest, dill, parsley and raw shrimp, stir well and cook for 2 more minutes. You might need to add some more water so the rice dish stays moister, not dry and sticking to the pan.

6. Check that the rice is fully cooked, then turn off the heat and stir in the cooked lobster. Cover and leave for a few minutes for the lobster to heat without toughening and the shrimp to finish cooking in the residual heat.

7. Serve in bowls, topped with asparagus tips and more fresh chopped parsley.

From Chef Oonagh Williams

 

Winter Vegetable Soup

Gluten-Free Winter Vegetable Soup

Makes 7-8 cups.

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • ½ lb. fresh parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • ½ lb. squash (frozen squash is fine)
  • ½ lb. carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 sweet potato (weighing roughly 1 lb.), peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sprig of rosemary (optional)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 5 cups gluten-free chicken or vegetable stock
  • 12 oz. can of coconut milk, half-and-half or light cream

Directions:

1. You can do step one in one of two ways:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss all the vegetables in olive oil with maple syrup, salt and pepper. Place in a cast-iron skillet or roasting pan and roast for about a half hour, until the vegetables start caramelizing.

OR

In a large, soup-sized pot, heat the olive oil, add vegetables, salt and pepper and start frying until they are starting to brown nicely. Once they start becoming tender, add the maple syrup to make them brown faster.  Don’t add maple syrup earlier, as it will stick and burn. Wait until the vegetables start releasing some juices.

2. Add stock, dried thyme, bay leaves and sprig of rosemary. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat to simmer and cook, covered, for about half an hour or until vegetables are falling apart tender.

3. Remove the bay leaves and rosemary sprig. Puree the soup with an immersion blender or by transferring the mixture to a stand blender.

4. Stir in can of coconut milk. (I use the blender again to mix in the milk.)

5.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Thin the soup with more stock if it is too thick for you.

Tips & Alternatives:

Add some chickpeas or other beans to the pureed soup (perfect for a Meatless Monday!).  You can also serve with bits of ham or turkey.

Courtesy of  Chef Oonagh Williams