HEARTY TUNA CASSEROLE

HEARTY TUNA CASSEROLE
CASSEROLE

3 cups cooked and cooled egg noodles
1 can Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup WHOLE milk
1/3 cup FINELY grated white cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons Duke’s hint of lime mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon Coleman’s dry mustard (optional)
8 ounce can petite baby peas, drained well
8 ounces sliced mushrooms, lightly sauteed.
1/4 cup chopped roasted sweet red pepper or pimientos, drained
2 cans white tuna, drained well

  • Preheat oven 400°.
  • In a large bowl combine the soup, milk, mayonnaise and mustard if using.
  • Stir in drained tuna and red pepper.
  • Fold in noodles, cheese, peas and sauteed mushrooms.
  • Transfer to a greased 8×8 baking dish.

TOPPING
1/4 cup Panko crumbs
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon paprika
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Combine topping ingredients until well blended.
  • Sprinkle over casserole.
  • Baked uncovered 30 minutes until bubbly.

NOTE – Crushed potato chips (I like sea salt and vinegar) make a great alternate topping.

GRILLED SHRIMP SALAD with LIME VINAIGRETTE

GRILLED (or sauteed) SHRIMP SALAD with LEMON LIME VINAIGRETTE
1 pound FRESH LARGE shrimp
1 teaspoon avocado oil
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 avocados, halved, seeded, peeled and sliced
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup chopped cucumber

1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
1/4 cup FRESH chopped cilantro

  • Peel and devein shrimp.
  • Coat shrimp with avocado oil and sprinkle with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Thread shrimp onto skewers if grilling.
  • Grease grill rack and grill skewers 3-4 minutes, turning once, until the shrimp are opaque.
  • Arrange shrimp, avocados, tomatoes, cucumber and onions on plate.
  • Drizzle with the vinaigrette and sprinkle with cilantro.

VINAIGRETTE
1 LARGE lime, zested and juiced
1 LARGE lemon, zested and juiced

FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons avocado oil

  • Whisk together the lime juice, zest, cayenne pepper, FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Slowly whisk in oil until well blended.

SONORAN CLAM CHOWDER

I LOVE clam chowder, but honestly, it does get a bit boring. Growing up in California it was almost always served in a bread bowl or at the very least with some crusty sourdough bread, which was always tasty, but once again it was never changing so could get boring!

When I found this recipe in my TASTE OF HOME magazine I was elated for a new take on it and it sounded absolutely delicious. I have made several changes to make it to our liking and reduced its size as they had it serving 10! Plus they used the pressure cooker and I just didn’t find it necessary as long as you time preparing the potatoes while you are preparing the rest of the chowder.

SONORAN CLAM CHOWDER
4 slices peppered bacon, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon WONDRA flour
1 LARGE shallot, diced
1 SMALL stalk celery, SMALL diced
1 SMALL red pepper, diced
2 ounces chopped green chiles, drained
2 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
2 cans (6 1/2 ounce) chopped clams, drained, juice reserved
3/4 pound YUKON gold potatoes, diced
1/2 cup homemade chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons KINDERS taco seasoning
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon chopped FRESH cilantro
Shredded cheddar cheese, for garnish

  • In a large sauce pan bring salted water to a boil.
  • Add potatoes, boiling until potatoes are JUST tender.
  • Drain.
  • In a stockpot melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium high heat.
  • Add bacon, rendering until crisp. Remove to paper toweling to drain with a slotted spoon.
  • Add remaining butter to pan.
  • Add celery and shallots, sautéing 3-5 minutes until soft.
  • Add flour, mixing well.
  • Add red pepper and chiles, cooking 3-5 minutes until peppers are tender.
  • Add garlic, cooking 1 minute longer until fragrant.
  • Add clam juice and chicken stock.
  • Stir in taco seasoning, cream, clams and half of the chopped cilantro, simmering 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until heated through and chowder has reached the desired consistency.
  • Serve topped with garnishes of choice such as bacon, chopped avocado, shredded cheese and cilantro…

BLACKENED ORANGE ROUGHY

BLACKENED ORANGE ROUGHY for 2

Buttery, tender and super quick make this the PERFECT weeknight menu choice.

2 orange roughy fillets
2-3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon paprika
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
pinch of cumin
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped thyme
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 LARGE lemons, 1 sliced in rings the other in wedges
scallion greens or chopped cilantro for garnish

  • Rinse orange roughy fillet in cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Mix spices in a small bowl and cover the fish entirely.
  • Preheat WELL seasoned cast iron pan in oven if you have time.
  • Heat butter in HOT skillet.
  • Add fillets, cooking for 3-4 minutes.
  • Gently flip and cook another 3-4 minutes.
  • Add lemon slices.
  • Top with wedges and chopped greens.
  • Serve immediately.

NOTES: DO NOT move fish during cooking otherwise it may stick to the skillet.

LEMON HERB BAKED SALMON

LEMON HERB BAKED SALMON

2 pound boneless salmon (preferably 1 inch thick) – skin on or off, wild caught if possible (or fillets)
5 sprigs FRESH chopped tarragon or thyme rosemary
2 small lemons, 1 cut into thin slices, the other juiced
2 tablespoons avocado oil
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
Chopped green onions or parsley for garnish
Lemon slices for garnish

  • Let salmon stand at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Line a large baking dish or rimmed baking sheet with a large piece of aluminum foil.
  • Lightly coat the foil with baking spay.
  • Arrange half the lemon slices in the center of the foil.
  • Top lemon slices with half the chopped herbs.
  • Drizzle the salmon with avocado oil and generously season with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper. Gently rub the oil and seasonings into the fillets.
  • Lay salmon over sliced lemons and herbs. If using fillets, nestle them closely together.
  • Scatter the remaining herbs and lemon slices on top of the salmon.
  • Scatter the garlic over the top.
  • Pour lemon juice over top.
  • Fold the sides of the aluminum foil up and over the top completely enclosing the salmon, but tenting the foil a bit.
Bake 15-20 minutes or until the salmon is almost completely cooked through at the thickest part and it flakes easily.
  • Remove the salmon from the oven and carefully open the foil so that the top of the fish is completely uncovered, but be careful of hot steam.
  • Change the oven setting to broil, then return the fish to the oven and broil for 2-3 minutes – WATCH CLOSELY SO IT DOES NOT BURN.
  • Sprinkle with additional fresh herbs and top with a squeeze of lemon.

ORANGE LEMON ORANGE ROUGHY

ORANGE LEMON ORANGE ROUGHY

1 tablespoon avocado oil
4 – 6 ounce orange roughy fillets
1 LARGE orange, juiced
1 LARGE lemon, juiced
1 lemon, quartered for serving
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
chopped green onion tops

  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Arrange fillets in the skillet, and drizzle with orange juice and lemon juice.
  • Season to taste with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Cook for 5 minutes, or until fish is easily flaked with a fork.
  • Plate fillets.
  • Whisk butter into pan drippings quickly. Pour over fillets.
  • Top with green onion tops.
  • Serve immediately.

BAYOU BLEND CASSEROLE – previously known as BLEND IN THE BAYOU and once known as SEAFOOD CASSEROLE EXTRAODINAIRE

I’m trying to clean up some old recipe posts. This was originally posted on March 24, 2010 and again on November 4, 2010. I then posted it for the Magazine Monday meme on March 24, 2011. I’m now changing it to a current date so I can update it. It was originally done tutorial style, but I was never happy with the pictures so am updating it a bit.

Magazine Mondays was hosted by Ivonne over at Cream Puffs in Venice.  She HAD a great blog with some great recipes, but has since deleted it I guess. I really intended to stick with this recipe as it was originally written, really I did! But, as I read it more closely I felt some changes coming on. You know that feeling you get when you realize hubby won’t like ingredient 5 or your son would hate ingredient x, etc… The more I messed with the recipe the further it got from what they intended.

So here is their recipe as written:

BLEND IN THE BAYOU
8 ounces cream cheese
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 large onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 pound cooked medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined
2 – 6 ounce cans crab meat, drained and flaked
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup cooked rice, prepared
4 1/2 ounce jar sliced mushrooms, drained
1 teaspoon garlic salt
3/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup crushed butter-flavored crackers
  • In a small saucepan, cook and stir the cream cheese and 2 tablespoons butter over low heat until melted and smooth. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet, saute the onion, celery and green pepper in remaining butter until tender.
  • Stir in the shrimp, crab, soup, rice, mushrooms, garlic salt, pepper sauce, cayenne and cream cheese mixture.
  • Transfer to a greased 2 quart baking dish.
  • Combine crackers crumbs and cheese. Sprinkle over top.
  • Bake, uncovered 25 minutes or until bubbly.

and here is the new recipe as made and enjoyed and savored as the plates were licked clean!

SEAFOOD CASSEROLE EXTRAODINAIRE inspired by Taste of Home’s Blend in the Bayou
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 large bunch green onions, chopped

4 large mushrooms, chopped2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green or red pepper, cleaned of ribs and seeds, diced

1 – 8 ounce package crab meat, chopped & flaked
2 – 6 ounce cans white albacore tuna, drained and flaked
1 can cream of celery soup
3/4 cup cooked rice, prepared
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 + teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
3/4 cup shredded cheddar/jack cheese
1/2 sleeve crushed butter-flavored crackers (I used Keebler herb and butter)
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • In a small saucepan, cook and stir the cream cheese, soup and 2 tablespoons butter over low heat until melted and smooth. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet, saute the onion, mushrooms and garlic in remaining 1 tablespoon butter until tender.
  • Stir in the tuna, crab, soup, rice, mushrooms, salt, pepper sauce, chili powder and cream cheese mixture.
  • Transfer to a greased 2 quart baking dish.
  • Sprinkle crackers over top.
  • Bake, uncovered 25 minutes or until bubbly.
  • Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake 5 minutes more.

SHRIMP SCAMPI PASTA

SHRIMP SCAMPI PASTA

Shrimp Scampi always sounds a bit decadent and eat out at a restaurant date night meal to me, but is a super easy to make at home.

The prep time is only 20 minutes followed by 20 minutes of cook time and VOILA’ dinner is ready. Light the candles and serve.

1/2 package (8 ounces) linguine pasta
1 + 1 tablespoons butter
1 + 1 tablespoons avocado oil
1 shallot, FINELY diced
1 cloves garlic, minced
1 pinch red pepper flakes (Optional)
1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
¼ cup dry white wine
1 small lemon, juiced
1/8 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, or to taste

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; cook linguine in boiling water until nearly tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain.


  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon avocado oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Cook and stir shallots, garlic, and red pepper flakes in the hot butter and oil until shallots are translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Season shrimp with kosher salt and black pepper; add to the skillet and cook JUST until pink, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Remove shrimp from skillet and keep warm.


  • Pour white wine and lemon juice into skillet and bring to a boil while scraping the browned bits of food off of the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in skillet.
  • Stir in 1 tablespoon avocado oil into butter mixture, and bring to a simmer.
  • Toss linguine, shrimp, and parsley in the butter mixture until coated.
  • Season with salt and black pepper.
  • Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil to serve.


PISTACHIO CRUSTED ROCKFISH or HALIBUT

PISTACHIO CRUSTED ROCKFISH or HALIBUT
1/2 cup roasted pistachios
1 shallot, minced
1/2 teaspoon sugar
FRESH ground black pepper
2 tablespoons FINE breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
4 skinless halibut fillets (or white fish of choice like a rockfish)

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Coarsely chop pistachios, shallots, black pepper and sugar in a small food processor.
  • Add breadcrumbs, butter and lemon zest pulsing JUST until combined, but before it becomes paste.
  • Season to taste with additional FRESH ground salt and pepper.
  • Line a baking sheet with greased parchment paper or SILPAT.
  • Dip fish in lemon juice and shake off excess.
  • Gently pat pistachio mixture onto each fillet arranging in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  • Bake 8-10 minutes until center is cooked and fish is opaque and flaky.

PAN SEARED BLACKENED ROCKFISH (RED SNAPPER) with LEMON THYME SAUCE

Hubby wanted swordfish last week, but finding it proved to more difficult and truly impossible in this area so we settled for a Rockfish. I wasn’t even sure what Rockfish was but after an in depth online search I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it is related to my all time favorite, Red Snapper.

There used to be a mom and pop seafood house near where we lived. They made an amazing Blackened, Cajun like Red Snapper before Cajun or Blackened was even a popular thing, at least on the west coast.

I also wanted a sauce so made one based on Julia Child’s French butter sauce.

PAN SEARED BLACKENED ROCKFISH (RED SNAPPER) with LEMON THYME SAUCE

FISH
2 Rockfish or Red Snapper fillets
2 tablespoons Pampered Chef Chile Lime seasoning
2 tablespoons lemon garlic seasoning
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 tablespoon butter

  • Rinse fish and pat dry.
  • Whisk together the seasonings.
  • Gently rub fish fillets with the seasoning rub.
  • Heat avocado oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat.
  • Sear fillets 3-4 minutes on each side until fish begins to flake.
  • Plate fish and keep warm while you prepare the sauce.

SAUCE
Pan drippings
1 tablespoon WONDRA flour
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped thyme leaves
1 green onion, minced
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
4 tablespoons COLD butter, diced into small pieces

  • Over medium high heat heat pan drippings and 1 tablespoon of the butter until melted.
  • Add onions and saute 1 minute.
  • Whisk in flour until combined.
  • Whisk in lemon juice and thyme leaves until smooth.
  • Whisk in butter, one piece at a time until all melted and smooth consistency.
  • Serve immediately over fish fillets.

SHRIMP PAD THAI

This recipe is the PERFECT downsized recipe for 2! This flavor combination offers a complex salty AND sweet yet spicy AND pungent flavor with just enough acidity from the lime for balance in the sauce. Add in the sauteed shrimp, the scrambled egg, salty peanuts and crunchy bean sprouts and scallions that balance out the texture and flavors for a complete meal.

SHRIMP PAD THAI
SAUCE
2 LARGE limes, juiced, about 3 +/- tablespoons
3 tablespoons water
2 1/2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons avocado oil (or other neutral oil)
3 teaspoons rice vinegar (I often use seasoned – flavor of choice)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Whisk all together and set aside.

NOODLES & SHRIMP
4 ounces WIDE rice noodles
1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 shallot, minced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 LARGE egg, lightly beaten
1 cup bean sprouts
2 tablespoons crushed dry roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped cilantro (for garnish – optional)

  • Bring 4 quarts of water to boil.Remove from heat, add rice noodles and let stand 10 minutes until noodles are tender. Drain noodles and set aside.
  • Pat shrimp dry.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add shrimp and a pinch of salt, sauteing 2-3 minutes until shrimp are opaque.
  • Transfer to a plate.
  • Add remaining oil to skillet.
  • When oil is shimmering add shallots and garlic, sauteing until light golden brown.
  • Add in egg and cook 20-30 seconds until scrambled.
  • Add noodles, tossing to mix.
  • Add sauce, tossing continually to coat for 1-2 minutes until well blended and coated in sauce.
  • Add bean sprouts, peanuts, scallions and shrimp, tossing to coat.
  • Serve immediately.

NOTE: As a quick cheat I use pre-prepared yakisoba noodles from my butcher to replace the rice noodles.

SALMON TERIYAKI and SALT & VINEGAR CUCUMBERS

SALMON TERIYAKI adapted from JET TILA

SAUCE
2 ounces sake
3 ounces mirin
4 ounces Bragg’s liquid aminos
3 tablespoons (45 grams) sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch combined with 1 tablespoon water

  • Mix all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat; whisking 1 to 2 minutes until the sugar dissolves and the sauce bubbles and thickens slightly.
  • Set it aside to use on the salmon and store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

SALMON
2 pounds salmon filets, deboned and scaled
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons avocado oil
3 scallions, sliced on the bias, for garnish
Steamed white rice, for serving

  • Pat the fish dry with a paper towel, cut into four 3-inch pieces, and season it with salt and pepper.
  • Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Once you start to see white smoke, lay the fish flesh-side down in the skillet. Move the fish around constantly while cooking to keep it from sticking. When the fish is medium, 4 to 6 minutes, turn with a spatula only once.
  • Cook the other side for another minute.
  • Add the teriyaki sauce to the pan and reduce the heat to low. The sauce will begin to simmer and reduce.
  • Tilt the pan around a few times and turn the fish until it’s well coated with the sauce.
  • Serve with rice on the side. 

This quick and easy salad is essentially just a big ol’ bowl of quick-pickled cucumbers, which is exactly why it’s so tasty. It makes a fresh, crunchy and acidic side to any main dish. Assemble it the night before and it will be even more perfect.

SALT & VINEGAR CUCUMBERS

1/4 cup rice wine or white vinegar
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons flaky sea salt, plus more as needed
FRESH ground black pepper
4 medium cucumbers
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill 


  • Place the vinegar, oil, sugar, salt, and a few grinds of pepper in a large bowl and whisk to combine. 
Slice the cucumbers into 1/8-inch-thick rounds.
  • Place them in the bowl, add the dill, and toss to combine.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight to allow the flavors to meld together.
  • Taste and season to taste with more salt and pepper as needed before serving.