Caught Vang’s Bowls & Rolls pop-up at Bottlecraft Virginia Beach tonight. Did a take-out order, bringing home the SayNoelMore (Noel is the owner) and the Momma Shiela (his baby momma) rolls. So good!
I had to share these Tuna Kebabs I made for dinner last night. My friend James caught a bunch of tuna off the coast here and gave me belly. I had to freeze so I figured since it was frozen I would cube it and put it skewers. The marinate was simple: teriyaki, garlic, onion, salt, and pepper. I tossed on some cherry tomatoes my mother gave me and some red onion.
Simple and delicious...it looked pretty too!
I will usually make couscous with basil shrimp at home but it works well with the Genova tuna I was sent. The cool, refreshing tuna atop of the warm, paprika spiced couscous will be a crowd pleaser. We love Mediterranean and Anatolian food, give this a shot and you will not be disappointed. It's easy too! You'll need a few pots and two oiled ramekins to make what you see above. Do not overly oil the ramekins or else the couscous will stick! Approximately 2 servings.
- 1 can Genova Tonno tuna
- ½ teaspoon fresh chopped Dill
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped Red Onion
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped Cucumber
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped Red Bell Pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped Green Onion
- 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Pine Nuts
- 2 large clove Garlic
- 2 tablespoons of finely chopped Red Onion
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric
- 1 teaspoon Brown Sugar
- ½ teaspoon Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Paprika
- 1 cup Couscous
- 1 ½ cups Chicken Stock (heat in microwave before adding to couscous)
- Juice from 1 Lemon
- Grated rind of a Lemon
- 1 tablespoon minced Parsley
- Salt to taste
- Single parsley leaf and chopped tomato
- Prepare the tuna mixture and let sit in the refrigerator for an hour.
- Heat olive oil in pot at medium heat for couscous.
- Put pine nuts into oil and let toast for about 2 minutes, stir constantly to prevent burning.
- Add garlic and red onion, sauté for 1 minutes till clear.
- Pour in cumin, turmeric, brown sugar, pepper, paprika and toast seasoning for no more than 1 minute. Add a little salt to taste.
- Add couscous and toast for 2 minutes.
- Pour in lemon juice and let reduce. This will happen quickly.
- Pour in chicken stock and cover pot. Remove from heat and let sit for 15-20 minutes.
- After stock has been absorbed by couscous, fluff with fork.
- Remove tuna from fridge and press half of the tuna into an lightly oiled ramekin.
- Fill the rest of the ramekin with couscous, press firmly.
- Flip ramekin onto plate and tap top until you hear a hollow sound. Gently remove ramekin.
Go back to Genova Tonno!
Arancini is Italian street food and consists of breaded, balled risotto that is fried to perfection. I'm a sucker for anything fried and this is no exception! I mixed it up a little bit and added some extra cheese and seasoning to the risotto that is then wrapped around a chunk of Genova tuna fish before it's panned fried. Everyone loves these things, I've made a bunch of them and shared them with friends and co-workers. This recipe is tested and true. You're going to need parchment paper on hand to pour the risotto on after it's done. 20-30 arancini, depending on the size you form.
Tonno alla Arancini
- 1 can of Genova Tonno tuna
- 1½ cups arborio rice
- 6 cups chicken stock
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 medium shallot or ½ small onion, chopped (about ½ cup)
- 2 cloves of Garlic (finely minced)
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup grated Mozzarella cheese
- 1 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley
- ¾ cup bread crumbs
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 1 inch of vegetable oil in a frying pan
If you haven't made risotto before you'll realize the process is a little involved. It's high maintenance, but worth it in the end. Seriously, you'll see.
- Pour the chicken stock into a saucepan and place on low heat. This needs to be hot when added to the rice.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pot then sauté the shallot and garlic. Approximately 2 minutes till clear.
- Pour the arborio rice in the pot and stir briskly for about 1 minute. Do not brown the rice.
- Add the wine and stir till reduced, you'll smell it and it'll smell good.
- Start adding the stock to the pot a ladleful at a time. Constantly stir the rice and stock until the stock has been absorbed into the rice. Keep doing this until the stock is gone, the starch and mixing will create a nice creamy texture to the risotto.
- When al dente remove risotto from heat.
- Add cheese and mix in thoroughly.
- Pour risotto onto parchment paper and spread out as a thin a layer.
- Let cool.
- When cool, measure out squares of risotto, approximately 20-30.
- Make sure the risotto easily separates from the parchment, if not, use a oiled spatula to separate from the risotto from the paper before adding the tuna.
- Place a square of risotto in our palm with a piece of tuna in the center.
- Fold the corners over the tuna and ball into your palm, roll till round.
- Complete process till all the risotto or tuna is gone.
- Rolled risotto balls into bread crumbs till lightly coated.
- Heat frying pan with oil on medium heat and brown arancini, place on paper towels to remove excess oil.
- Serve and enjoy!
A traditional Sicilian winter dish is the Blood Orange Salad. The fruit primarily grown in Italy but is also grown in Spain and the United States among other places in the world. The blood orange has a dark red pulp that is sweet and has many health benefits. Blood orange salad is usually made with shaved fennel bulb but I went with ground fennel seed that is bright and highly compliments the tuna and citrus. Start with the tuna first and let the flavors blend, the orange salad is ready to go as soon as it is plated. Plating consists of arugula that has been used in Italy since the ancient times. This makes approximately two servings.
- 1 can of Genova Tonno tuna
- 1/8 ground Fennel Seed
- 1 teaspoon Lemon Zest
- 1 ½ tablespoons finely minced Red Onion
- Pepper to taste
- 4 Blood Oranges
- 2 Oranges
- 1 can of Solid Tuna in Olive Oil
- 1 small Red Onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons Parsley, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Kosher Salt to taste
- Freshly Course Black Pepper
- Arugula and/or leafy spring vegetables
- 3-4 Kalamata Olives sliced or chopped
- ¼ teaspoon Capers
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- The tuna is lightly seasoned so it doesn't get lost in the mix. Use a fork to toss the tuna with the listed ingredients, wrap then let it sit in the refrigerator for an hour while you prep the oranges.
- Place a layer or arugula on your serving plate. The rest of the ingredients will rest on top of the green.
- You'll need a sharp knife to cut the skins and pith off the blood oranges then cut them in slices as seen in the photos. The regular oranges you'll slice the pulp out of the skins after skinning them them. You'll want to ensure the seeds are removed from both types of oranges before plating.
- Lay down a layer of blood orange then a thin layer of red onion.
- Place the regular orange on top of the blood orange and red onion, space evenly to allow room for the tuna.
- Spoon the tuna mixture between the oranges and then garnish with olives and capers.
- Drizzle with olive oil.
Serve chilled to room temperature. This would be good with a vinaigrette too!
I remember when I was a kid, tuna fish was always packed in oil – at least the stuff we ate my house. This was the 1970s everyone was eating tuna fish sandwiches, tuna casseroles, all of the that stuff. Eventually tuna was being shipped in water and marketed as a healthier alternative to the soybean oil it was usually in. My kids grew up eating tuna fish packed in water! We just kind of went along with it and never gave it a second thought.
Recently I was contacted by Genova Tonno (tonno translates to tuna in Italian) to review their canned tuna fish. Genova solid yellowfin tuna is packed in olive oil. If you don't know the difference between tuna fished marked as solid or chunk buy a can of each and check them out. I can tell you that solid tuna in a can looks like a sliced piece of fish nestled into a can whereas “chunk” tuna looks kind of mushy and shredded. They shipped me a nice gift basket to sample their product and inspire me to come up with some ideas on how their tuna can be prepared. It's a nice gift basket too!
I checked out the contents of the basket and grabbed one of the cans of tuna. I liked the branding, kind of along the veins of traditional tuna packaging. If you're into that type of thing, search the web for other examples. The blurb on the side of the can states:
Genova Tonno© Premium Yellowfin Tuna. Wild caught from deep waters, Genova Select Yellowfin if all natural with no additives or preservatives. Packed in the Mediterranean tradition with olive oil, it has a delicious flavor and is a natural source of Omega-3.
When I opened the can it wasn't fishy like other cans of tuna I've had, which was normally the cheapest, store brand. The oil was pretty much clear when I poured it out and the fish inside the can looked solid. I could pull apart flakes with my fingers and when I tossed a piece in my mouth it wasn't mushy at all. Pretty tasty stuff.
Of course the first thing that popped into my head was tuna salad, right? I love that stuff but I wouldn't be doing Genova justice if I just tossed it in a bowl with some relish and mayonnaise. I started to think about traditional Italian recipes and dishes that would compliment the solid, fresh tasting tuna they gave me. You'd probably like to hear a story of my Italian grandmother passing down tuna recipes from the Old Country being passed down from generation to generation but I can't do that. I was born in Bangkok and raised in Virginia Beach, VA – I had to do a little research.
One thing we like to do in our house – and Shelby is great at this – is experiment with food. She'll just take a mental inventory of what we have in the cabinets and figure out what goes well together and then make it. She hits the mark on the head too! I like to look up a few things, get an idea of where a recipe is trying to go and follow that path. After I get comfortable with it, I'll explore flavor profiles and ingredients to come up with something new; this is what I did for Genova. They gave me three cans of their premium tuna fish, so I came up with three recipes. Each one was a nod to regional Italian dishes, or so I hope, that incorporate Genova tuna fish. Find where Genova tuna is sold locally in your area and give these a shot. As always, feel free to modify the recipes to suit your own tastes and preferences.
A traditional Sicilian winter dish is the Blood Orange Salad. The fruit primarily grown in Italy but is also grown in Spain and the United States among other places in the world. The blood orange has a dark red pulp that is sweet and has many health benefits. Blood orange salad is usually made with shaved fennel bulb but I went with ground fennel seed that is bright and highly compliments the tuna and citrus. Click the this link for the recipe.
Arancini is Italian street food and consists of breaded, balled risotto that is fried to perfection. I'm a sucker for anything fried and this is no exception! I mixed it up a little bit and added some extra cheese and seasoning to the risotto that is then wrapped around a chunk of Genova tuna fish before it's panned fried. Everyone loves these things, I've made a bunch of them and shared them with friends and co-workers. This recipe is tested and true – click this link for the recipe.
I'll admit that this one isn't truly Italian but it allows me to share my Golden Couscous recipe with the world. I will usually make couscous with basil shrimp at home but it works well with the Genova tuna. The cool, refreshing tuna atop of the warm, paprika spiced couscous will be a crowd pleaser. We love Mediterranean and Anatolian food, give this a shot and you will not be disappointed. It's easy too! Click here for the recipe.
I mentioned a gift basket earlier and I wanted to let everyone know that Genova has generously offered to allow me to give away one to my readers. Check out the olivewood cheeseboard that comes with it, it's amazing. Shelby feel in love with it as soon as she saw it. Go to I-Heart-Food's Facebook page to learn how you could win this for yourself.
I finally made it to Zeke's Beans & Bowls in Virginia Beach, VA and I'm glad I did. Zeke's is located down Norfolk Ave. close to the Oceanfront (Virginia Beach's resort area) and inside an old building that's been around for as long as I can remember. They're sprucing the place up on the outside at the moment; it's been painted blue, looks good.
Inside, it feels casual and there were a several people in there eating or drinking coffee. I noticed that Three Ships Coffee is served there, cool. I talked to Victoria behind the counter and asked her a few questions about Zeke's. She patiently answered everything I asked and helped me with the menu. I ended up getting the Spicy Tuna Poke Bowl: Sashimi grade tuna, wasabi, sesame seeds and oil, cucumber, green onion, and some other ingredients. I also added rice to the order. I asked for take-out and while I waited I checked out the inside of the restaurant. Local art lined the walls with nice signage. A bicycle hung from the ceiling and nice tall windows let a lot of light in.
Once I got my food, I took a few shots of it and headed out. When I got back to my office I ate the bowl and it was amazing. The tuna was so clean and with a great texture. The sesame oil and sriracha really added to the flavors. When I finished I was already planning on my next trip.
Check out Zeke's Beans and Bowls next time you're in Virginia Beach, VA. Definitely worth it.
Check out more photos of Zeke's by clicking here.
Dinner at Eurasia, Virginia Beach, VA