Dinner aloneThe cats away and mice might play so they say.

I was really looking forward to tonight meal. Matthew is out and despite the treacherous task of bathing and getting two toddlers to sleep AFTER play school, gymnastics, soft play, dinner, games, fighting, more games, more fighting….I decided to make an effort, treat myself, and have something I like for dinner.

I made two dishes for myself tonight and am still in food heaven 2 hours later after eating them.

Tuna with Red Bell Pepper Sauce, Claudia Roden, ARABESQUE, page 90

Tuna with Red pepper sauce

 The red pepper sauce has 4 ingredients, red peppers, garlic, olive oil and red wine vinegar. This is all that’s needed (oh and a bit of salt). The peppers and garlic are roasted in a hot oven then whizzed together with the olive oil and vinegar in a food processor. I did add some sugar and some salt as the peppers here in the middle of winter are average in flavour.

 The tuna is cooked for a minute on either side that results in a delicious outer crust encasing a soft and juicy pink core. The tuna is then placed on top of the sauce which I served at room temperature and sprinkled with chopped parsley. The utter simplicity of the flavours of this dish make this more than just delicious. The texture of the rare tuna and the sweetness of the sauce which has the appropriate lift by the addition of red wine vinegar is food nirvana as far as I’m concerned. There is nothing I would change about this dish at all – other than chop the parsley up super super fine or even leave it out altogether. It was distracting to be chewing through leaves of herb in my mouth when trying to savour the utter loveliness of this dish.

 I also made a delicious pasta sauce from half of the sauce before I added the parsley and vinegar for the children. This was done by adding crème fraiche, some leftover tomatoes, sweetcorn and cubed raw chicken and heating until the chicken had cooked through. The recipe for this can be found here. My kids loved loved loved this dish. I could blame the energetic output of gymnastics and play gym for the increased enthusiasm of my children’s appetite, but I really do think this sauce was amazing and so adaptable that I just think the food was delicious.

 This is a near 10 out of 10 but I will give it 9 out of 10 because of the distracting nature of the parsley.

Squid Salad with Lime, Coriander, Mint and Mirzuna, Nigella Lawson, Forever Summer, pg 19

 This is a Thai fusion style dish. Its basically lightly pan fried squid on top of a bed of rocket leaves and chopped red onion. The injected of flavour of this dish comes from a dressing of lime juice, coriander, mint, fish sauce and chilli, which the cooked squid chunks are sluiced in before throwing them onto their salad mattress. The recipe can be found on-line here. http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/squid-salad-with-lime-coriander-mint-and-mizuna-214

 I added some spinach leaves to the rocket as I had some left (and still do) and I also added some more lemon juice, olive oil and salt to the whole dish at the table. This was due to personal taste and some may not wish to do this. You could just pour over more of the dressing and that would be perfect but in all honesty I’m saving the last scraps for tomorrows steak night with my husband.

8 out of 10

I am still in raptures over this whole meal. I drank a couple of glasses of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (Oyster Bay) which complemented the flavours perfectly. I hope my husband goes out again next week!

 

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