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Cooking with Rebecca Bent

Monday, February 23, 2009

Tuna Burger with Orange-Ginger Glaze: a hearty meal you can eat with your hands

Glazes are an easy way to add as much or as little extra flavor to a traditional burger. I like to drench my tuna burgers in glaze and always include extra for dipping. To mix it up even more, slice the burger as thin as possible and serve it over a bed of lettuce with the sauce drizzled everywhere. This is a great appetizer.

If you like this recipe, you'll be happy to know this technique also works with fresh scallops, salmon, and shrimp. I highly recommend using the food processor to mince the seafood to the right consistency. If you want to make these burgers with crabmeat, check out the notes below.

Fun note: this was featured on the TODAY show and quite the hit!

Tuna Burger with Orange-Ginger Glaze
makes 4 hearty burgers

For the glaze:
1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon minced fresh ginger
½ teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup canned mandarin oranges, drained and chopped, plus 2 tablespoons of the canning juice

For the burgers:
2 pounds fresh tuna steaks
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup sesame oil (or olive oil)

4 fresh burger buns, toasted and buttered

Make the glaze: Combine all the glaze ingredients with 1/3 cup water in a 1-quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the glaze coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Strain through a sieve (or don’t, if you like chunky glazes) and reserve in a warm place until the burgers are cooked.

Make the burgers: Remove any skin or gristle from the tuna, then grind up the tuna in a meat grinder or chop it with a sharp knife just to the texture of hamburger meat. If you have a food processor, you should chop the tuna into cubes first and use the plastic dough blade to mince the tuna.

Transfer the ground tuna to a bowl and combine with the garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Divide the tuna into 4 equal portions. Using your hands, roll each into a smooth ball and then flatten into a compact patty.

Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over a medium-high flame and sear the burgers until browned outside and medium-rare, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve each on a buttered, toasted bun topped with 1 tablespoon of the warm glaze.

Make these burgers with crabmeat:
Use 1 pound of crabmeat, 1 large egg, beaten, 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, 8 crumbled no-salt saltine crackers, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 pinch kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, and ¼ cup olive oil for frying.

Cooking Times
tuna: about 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium-rare
salmon, scallops, cleaned shrimp, fresh lobster meat, crabmeat: 4 minutes per side This meat should turn opaque to be cooked through. For this, it's best to use a lid during the cooking process.


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Monday, February 16, 2009

Baked Salmon Fillets with Herb Mustard Glaze

Baked salmon is quite a treat, and leftovers the following day are also delicious when broken up over a bowl of veggies, rice, or mixed with mayonnaise and tucked into a croissant. Salmon is best removed from the oven the moment is it cooked through; it's a delicate fish and if overcooked can become dry.

I like to prepare my Herb Mustard Glaze from scratch, but if you are lucky enough to find any in your local grocery store, by all means use that instead.

Side dishes to consider with the Salmon are: pasta, rice, baked potatoes, mash tomatoes, or a nice mixed green salad.

Baked Salmon Fillets with Herb Mustard Glaze
Makes 4 Servings

For the Herb Mustard Glaze:
½ cup smooth Dijon Mustard
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon pickle relish
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon freshly grated horseradish
1 teaspoon fresh dill, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the salmon:
4 organic salmon fillets with skins (6 ounces each)
4 tablespoons of Herb Mustard Glaze

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees with a rack set in the middle.

Prepare the mustard glaze by combining the Dijon, mayonnaise, relish, parsley, horseradish, dill, and pepper in a small bowl. Mix with a fork until well combined. Set aside.

Place the salmon, skin side down, on a baking dish and generously coat each fillet with at least 1 tablespoon of the mustard glaze. Extra mustard glaze will keep in a well sealed container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Bake the salmon until it turns pink, or about 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and set it aside to cool for a few minutes before serving.


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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Oyster Rockefeller Dip: a twist on a classic

I got a request for Oyster Rockefeller Recipe and highly recommend converting the traditional recipe into a dip and that's what I've done here. It's very easy and super delicious!

This full-flavored recipe is perfect with crackers and sliced fresh bread and also works well tossed with thick spaghetti or as a layer in seafood lasagna or even an omelet.

For presentation, I have also stuffed this dip into a hollowed-out tomato. Use small ripe tomatoes so you can pick it up and eat it whole.

This dip can be prepared in advance and then baked moments before serving. This helps if you are planning a party and want to be front and center when your guests arrive.

Oysters Rockefeller Dip
makes 4 servings

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 ounces Pernod
2 medium shallots, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed
12 oysters, shucked, meat removed and roughly chopped (or already shucked oysters)
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
¼ cup heavy cream
8 ounces Brie cheese, at room temperature, cubed for quicker melting
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
Crackers or sliced fresh bread for serving

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, melt the butter and stir in the flour. Keep stirring until a thick paste (roux) forms, about 10 minutes.

Carefully deglaze the pan with the Pernod. Add the shallots and let them simmer for 5 minutes. Add the spinach, oysters, red pepper, and heavy cream, and stir until all the ingredients are well combined.

Transfer the dip into one attractive baking dish or several individual ramekins. Top with the Brie cubes. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the Brie has melted and become creamy. Let the oyster dip rest at room temperature for 5 minutes or so, to let the filling set. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve with the crackers.


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