I’ve been in Houston for several days visiting my daughter, Helen, granddaughter, Grace, Helen’s boyfriend, Will and his son Atticus. Alexandra, my youngest daughter came down for a week before me and has stayed this week too. It’s been great to spend time with Helen and Grace who I don’t get to see much and I’ve enjoyed getting to know Will. Helen has had to work so I’ve been hanging out with Grace and Alex. Cooking for them has been fun and different. Will is a pescatarian (eats only seafood-no other meat) so I’ve been making things with tofu, shrimp, roasted vegetables, and cheese. Here’s the list of what I’ve made this week:
Sunday: Mabo dofu (spicy tofu) with shrimp, garlic scallion noodles
Monday: Roasted eggplant, zuchinni, summer squash (from my garden), sweet potatoes with feta cheese, olives, and pita bread
Tuesday: Open face quesadillas with peppers, onions, shrimp, cheese and cilantro pesto.
Wednesday: Flash blackened big eye tuna with cajun spices, wasabi soy glaze, rice, and steamed vegetables
Thursday: Night out to Carrabas!
Friday: Plan to make two types of bean burgers–black and pinto

Also made orange vanilla biscotti and strawberry rhubarb pie.

I also went to Red Robin’s, a restaurant I’ve never tried, the day we went to Ikea for several hours. My intention was to have a salad but I ended up having their chili and munching on my daughter’s fries and burger. The mile high mud pie we shared was over the top, but I wanted to compare it to the one I made (lame excuse). Actually, my mud pie was much better really.

After a visit to the Houston Space Center we stopped at Carraba’s, the original one on Kirby St.
I had eaten at this one 20 years ago when I lived in Houston and remembered it being really good. It was smaller than the big chain duplicates and the hostess told us the Carrabas own this one and another one in Houston but all the others are owned by Outback Steakhouse. Maybe that explains why I didn’t like the food at the Carrabas in Grapevine. I enjoyed the fresh herb and olive oil dipping sauce–very tasty and I’ll probably make it sometime. My Mamma Mandola’s Sicilian Chicken Soup was wonderful. Waiter said a woman comes in every day and makes that soup–pulls all the chicken off the bone by hand. The big chain Italian restaurants are such a sad imitation of the original. I returned to Carrabas last night with Helen and Will and we enjoyed dinner. I loved the Spiedino di Mare (shrimp and scallops breaded and grilled) and ate the fettucine alfredo, something I usually avoid. My plan to lose a few pound this week has not worked out.

My favorite dinner this week was the big eye tuna. Here’s the recipe:

Flash Blackened Big Eye Tuna with Cajun Spices and Wasabi Soy Glaze

1.25 lbs big eye tuna steaks (1/2 inch thick) (you can also use ahi tuna steaks)
blackening spice (Paul Prudhomme’s redfish magic)
1 T olive oil

Wasabi soy glaze

1/2 cup soy sauce
2 T sugar
2 T mirin
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
Bring to boil, then simmer until reduced a little. Stain out garlic and ginger. Add wasabi paste, to taste. I used 2 tsp.

Heat skillet on medium high heat, add olive oil. Dust tuna steaks with cajun spices (lightly)
and sear 1-2 minutes on each side, and the edges. Tuna should be rare inside. Remove to plate. Slice tuna against the grain, and fan out on plate. Drizzle with glaze. Serve with steamed rice and sauteed or steamed brocolli, carrots, onions, pea pods.

I will make this again and take a photo to post.