11/12: Pan Bagnat, Oven Fries, & Tomato and Spinach Soup

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Jun 17, 2004
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Rachael's Tuna Pan Bagnat

Recipe Summary

Difficulty: Easy

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

1 French baguette

1 six to eight-ounce tuna steak

1 bay leaf

5 whole peppercorns

Juice of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons capers, drained

1/4 red onion, chopped

1 can artichoke hearts in water, 15 ounces, drained, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup good quality black olives, from bulk bins in deli area of market

1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley, a couple of handfuls

Coarse black pepper, to your taste

2 to3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, to your taste

* To get the juices flowing, place whole lemon in microwave on high for 10 seconds.

Crisp baguette in hot oven, then cool to handle. Cut baguette in half lengthwise, on an angle, then split each half lengthwise.

Put about 1 inch of water, the bay leaf, peppercorns, and juice of 1/2 the lemon into a small skillet and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the tuna steak, cover, and simmer until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove tuna from the water and allow to cool. Place tuna in a bowl and separate with a fork. Add capers, red onion, artichokes.

For olives, if they're pitted, coarsely chop them. If the olives have pits, place an olive or 2 on your cutting board. Turn your knife sideways and place the flat of the blade on top of the olives -- just like peeling garlic -- whack the heal of your hand on knife and the pits of the olives will be exposed. Remove pits and chop.

Add olives and parsley to tuna mixture. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into the bowl. Squeeze lemon halves holding cut side upright, allowing juice to spill over sides. The seeds will stay with the lemon half, rather than falling into your salad. Add black pepper to the bowl and drizzle salad liberally with evoo, extra virgin olive oil. Toss tuna salad and adjust pepper and evoo to your taste. Pack the tuna salad on to baguette halves and set tops in place. Press down to set the bread and salad together. The bread will absorb the evoo and salad juices -- YUMMY! Cut each half baguette in half again, making 4 sandwiches, total.

Notes: The longer pan bagnat sits, the tastier it gets. I make a whole baguette, even for just myself. In less than 24 hours, after a late night trip or two to the fridge, I can finish the whole loaf off! Also, This recipe is picnic-perfect! One last tip: wrap the sandwich in wax paper, peeling it back as you eat the bagnat. The wrapping over the end of each sandwich will catch the juices as you eat it.

Oven Fries with Herbes de Provence

Recipe Summary

Difficulty: Easy

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Tidbit: This makes a tasty picnic. Pack soup in thermos and rather than fries, buy a sack of olive oil and rosemary, garlic and onion or herb flavored specialty potato chips, such as Terra brand, from the snack aisle of market.

3 all-purpose potatoes, scrubbed and dried

Evoo, extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling, about 2 tablespoons

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence, 2 palmfuls OR

1 teaspoon each: dried parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme

Salt, to your taste

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Cut potatoes into thin wedges and place on a cookie sheet. Coat potatoes in a thin layer of evoo, then sprinkle very liberally with 2 palm fulls of herbes. Toss potatoes to coat evenly. Roast potatoes 25 minutes, until crisp and golden at edges. Season hot wedges with salt to your taste.

Tomato and Spinach Soup

Recipe Summary

Difficulty: Easy

Prep Time: 7 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

2 tablespoons evoo, extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan

1 large shallot, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice, drained

1 can crushed tomatoes, 28 ounces

2 cups good quality vegetable stock, available on soup aisle

1/2 ten-ounce sack triple washed spinach, stems removed and spinach shredded with knife

Salt and pepper to your taste

Heat a medium soup pot over moderate heat. Add oil, shallots and garlic. Sauté 5 minutes. Add drained tomatoes and crushed tomatoes, stir. Add stock and stir to combine soup. Stir in spinach in handfuls to wilt it and combine with soup. Season soup with salt and pepper to your taste. Bring soup to a bubble, reduce heat and simmer 10 to 15 minutes to reduce.


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