I went to the store with the kids on my way home from sledding last weekend, I needed to pick up some cheese (Mr. Man likes Kraft Sharp Cheddar slices) and milk, really not a big deal at all... unless you are me, with a 3 year old an and 8 year old in tow. I stopped at the only Grocery store between the park and our house it is a Polish Grocery store but tries to cover everything and the produce, maybe a little pricey but really good. So we go into the doors, the Produce section is first and the questions come from the two kids both wired for sound...
"What is this?"
"Orka is Freaky!"
"Daddy this looks Gross"
"Some people like Cactus Leaves honey"
That went on for a while until they both had me afraid for my life or the little scraps of sanity that I have left. I start racing/shopping, I have seen the "super hyper kids in shopping cart" game go bad it isn't good, the screaming, the hitting, the yelling at innocent passers and it can go down hill from there. I pick up the speed and just start grabbing. My mind goes something like this... "Blood Oranges, Wow Martini recipe! Lettuce, Kris likes that... be quiet you two you don't like Artichokes... Oh look Kumquats, need those... Rabbit Liver Pate, not going to happen, Oh Tuna..."
Anyway, those of you with kids get the picture, I was racing through this quaint little store madly grabbing things that I might need desperately trying to get out the door before the "super hyper kids in shopping cart" game gets us a police escort. By the time I get to the car I realize that my trip to the store for Milk and Kraft Sharp Cheddar Cheese Squares has netted me:
3 Blood oranges
1/2 pound of Kerrygold Aged Cheddar Cheese
1 pound of Kumquats
5 Frozen Tuna Steaks
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1 head of Lettuce
2 bunches of cilantro
a double handfull of shallots
Oh and 1 gallon of milk
Real good, now my best bet was to get it all put away before I had to admit that I spent $45 on the Gallon of milk I was going to pick up plus a couple of "impulse items." As I was putting things away I was trying to consider what to do with some of the stuff. Ok Kumquats... they are funny Cherry Tomato sized citrus fruit but really how many of them am I going to eat 2 maybe 3 in the next several months. I start to think they might work well a pickle, so the meal idea comes: Grilled Tuna Steaks with Pickled Kumquats and Shallots.
Ingredients for pickle:
Juice from 2 Limes
finely grated peel from one of them
2 tsp Brown Sugar
5 Kumquats sliced thin
4-5 shallot bulbs sliced thin
Juice the Limes into a small saucepan and add the Brown Sugar, you may want to adjust to suite your taste, bring to a boil. Grate the Lime Peel into a small dish thinly slice the Kumquats and shallots then add the hot liquid and set aside for at least 40 minutes. I made it a day ahead and chilled.
Oh and for the love of God please don't go out and buy Kumquats just to make this. This process is so forgiving, fruit and vegetables pickled this way are so great! I could well have made a similar recipe with Red Onions, Orange Peels and Rice Wine Vinegar, or Vadalia Onions Cilantro and Lemon Juice... I was just using up my funny little fruit. The pickled fruit adds such a light Spring like flavor to a meal.
The Tuna was easy, I set a Tuna Steak in a dish on the counter with some Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper and some Lime Juice. I heated up the cast iron grill and put the Tuna on for about 3 minutes on each side, it is pictured here with French bread slices topped with a little garlic butter.