About This Blog

This is, as the title indicates, my kitchen notebook (the header is actually a scanned image of the cover of a notebook that I started using about 25 years ago and the background is a stained page from that book). I am not a professional recipe writer. If you try any recipe here, please keep that in mind, these recipes have not been tested by an independent tester. The "recipes" are often not even really recipes but rather a list of ingredients that I've noted after preparing a dish on the fly that I thought came out well. Perhaps I've also added some instructions, but I rarely keep accurate track of what I've done in terms of time or temperature, I've just noted to the best of my memory (feeble) what I did.

Please feel free to take some inspiration from here, but on the other hand, please give credit where it is due. I also welcome any constructive comments that you might have if you are inspired to try a recipe. Questions are welcome, but keep in mind that I may not remember specifics. The dishes do evolve over time...

Thank you and enjoy!

Tomato Tart with Seared Tuna and Caramelized Onions

This is based on Cal Stamenov's recipe which is in the recipe booklet that I received when I attended the 1998 TomatoFest at Quail Lodge in Carmel, California.

1 lb. puff pastry (Dufour is a good brand, it's 14 ounces which is enough)
2 medium onions, sliced thin - 1/16 inch crosswise
2 tbsp olive oil
1 branch of fresh thyme
1 tbsp sugar (or 1 tsp if using sweet onions)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp vinegar (rice vinegar works well)
1 lb. Ahi Tuna (I've also used local Albacore tuna), sliced 1/2 inch thickness

fresh lemon or lime juice
1 tbs vegetable oil
3 medium tomatoes, sliced
3 tbsp fresh basil, chopped

1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Roll the cold puff pastry into a rectangle onto a floured surface, approximately 1/8-inch thick. Trim the edges off and cut into four equal portions (squares or squarish). Place the portions on a baking sheet. Prick each piece 12 times with a fork and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and keep them on the baking sheet.

Sauté the onions with oil, thyme, and sugar for 20 to 25 minutes, until light brown. Deglaze with soy sauce and vinegar. Add the garlic and cook for another 5 minutes.

Season the tuna slices with salt, pepper, and lemon or lime juice. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, swirl in the vegetable oil and sear the tuna on both sides for 20 seconds. Remove from the pan.

Assembly: Spread the onions evenly over the cooked puff pastry squares (do not remove from the baking pan). Slice the cooked but rare tuna diagonally into 1/4-inch thickness. Arrange the tuna evenly over the onions. Arrange the tomato slices over the tuna and warm them under the broiler for 2 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle with the basil and drizzle with the garlic vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 as a main course, or slice into smaller portions and serve as an appetizer for more.

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