Archive | May, 2012

Tuna, Parsley, Walnut Salad in a Pastry Shell

12 May

We have been secretly wanting to make this 1980s Seventeen magazine recipe for years. It’s an elegant take on tuna salad with parsley walnut pesto nestled in a pâte à choux shell. Plus avocado. Simple but sure to be a show stopper.

Not sure what year this page was from, as I only have a photocopy that’s partially cut off!


“Tuna salad takes on new elegance the way Elizabeth serves it here. It’s easy but impressive — for a meal that begins and ends with summer-fresh ideas.”

Pastry Shell
3/4 cup milk
4 tbsp butter
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 tbsp softened butter

Tuna Salad with Parsley-Walnut Dressing
1 cup loosely packed fresh parsley
1/2 cup walnuts
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cans (7 oz each) tuna, drained
1 tbsp lemon juice

1 ripe avocado
Lettuce leaves

Pre-heat oven to 400*. Prepare the puffy pastry shell: In a medium-size saucepan, cook milk and butter over medium heat until butter melts and milk almost boils. Remove mixture from heat, and with a wooden spoon, beat in flour and salt all at once.

Return to low heat, and stir vigorously for about 1 minute, til batter leaves sides of pan and clings to spoon.
Remove from heat, and let cool 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition (use an electric mixer or a wire wisk). After you’ve added the eggs, the batter will be smooth and glossy.
Grease a 9-inch pie plate thoroughly with the softened butter. Spoon in batter; spread evenly.
Bake at 400 for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven, and set on a wire rack to cook for 10 minutes. Shell will collapse slightly. Carefully remove shell from pie plate, and let it cook completely before filling.
Meanwhile, prepare tuna salad: Break off stems from parsley. Fill a measuring cup with enough leaves to measure 1 cup when pushed down slightly. Put parsley in food processor bowl or blender along with walnuts, garlic, salt, and half the oil. Whirl several times seconds. Scrape down sides, and whirl again while pouring in the remaining oil. In a mixing bowl, break up tuna, leaving some chunks. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Toss with parsley-walnut dressing.
Assemble salad: Cut avocado in half, remove pit, peel each half, and slice lengthwise. If not serving immediately, dip the slices in a mixture of 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1/2 cup water, so they won’t darken. Line cooled shell with lettuce leaves, place avocado slices around edge, and spoon tuna salad in center.
Cut into pie-shaped wedges. Serves 4.

Cinco De Mayo

2 May

Cinco de Mayo is upon us.

So festive! We’ve been experimenting with slow cooked carne asada and carnitas for the past few years. We love stuffed roasted poblanos, and we’ve added a strong list of tacos to our arsenal: bright orange and cilantro chicken, sweet potato, lime and and chipotle chicken, and shrimp and fish.

And we recently acquired granite molecajete. Ole.

So, while we have a satisfying collection of tried and true recipes, here are two very basic condiments that have escaped us: pickled red onions and simple crema for fish tacos.

Cebollas en Escabeche from Rick Bayless
1 small red onion, peeled and cut in half
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Thinly slice the onions with mandoline. Add to a non-reactive bowl. Pour boiling water over to wilt them for about 10 seconds. Drain immediately.
Add back to empty bowl, and pour lime juice over, stirring in salt. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Will last for a week or more in the refrigerator.

1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream or heavy (whipping) cream
1/4 cup milk
Mix together.

1/2 very small green cabbage, coarsely grated
Juice of 1/2 lime
Pinch Maldon sea salt
Combine everything together and let it sit for 20 minutes. The cabbage will wilt slightly, but will retain its crunch.