I love simple recipes that reproduce the flavors you adore in high-end eateries, especially when I am entertaining. So I was delighted to be a part of a cooking demonstration/tasting with other LA based food bloggers featuring Chef Johnny Prep. This Detroit based chef & cooking coach is committed to helping the home cook with simple recipes that are restaurant quality.
In his book “The Five Star Casual Entertaining Cookbook”, Chef Johnny offers tips and simple recipes for making entertaining stress-free.
Here are a few of Chef Johnny’s tips:
Don’t experiment on your guests. Guilty! I do try to warn people if they are about to partake in my culinary experiments.
Half of your dishes should be ‘do-aheads’. So that is the secret to not crashing after your dinner party.
Put effort into finding quality ingredients. Amen. This can make or break a dish for me. I try to buy as much as I can at my local farmers market.
You can check out other tips, videos and recipes from Chef Johnny on his website; johnnyprep.net.
- ▪ 1 lbs. fresh ahi tuna
- ▪ 1 teaspoon vegetable or peanut oil
- ▪ 1 large head bib lettuce (I used a spicy green mix)
- ▪ ½ cup chopped fresh basil
- ▪ 4 ounces goat cheese
- ▪ 2 large navel oranges
- ▪ 2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
- ▪ 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ▪ 1 teaspoon roasted sesame oil
- ▪ 2 teaspoons sugar
- ▪ 1 tablespoon black or white sesame seeds
- ▪ 1 avocado
- ▪ salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Clean and thoroughly dry the lettuce and toss with chopped basil.
- Preheat a pan over high heat. Pour oil into pan and let heat up for 30 seconds or so.
- Season tuna with salt and pepper. Sprinkle a coating of sesame seeds on the large surfaces of the tuna and press them into the fish.
- Place tuna in pan and sear on each side for 60 seconds. Remove from pan and let rest while you make the rest of the salad.
- Slice the top and bottom of the oranges off so you can clearly see the spoke pattern of the segments inside. Moving your knife in the same direction as the segments complete the peeling of the orange. While holding the orange over a bowl to catch the juices, remove each segment without any of the pith attached.
- Squeeze the remaining orange pith to extract as much juice as you can into the bowl. Move the orange segments into another bowl, leaving the juice to continue making the dressing. (I used 2 tablespoons of orange juice)
- Whisk in the sesame oil, sugar, seasoned rice wine vinegar, and season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Toss the dressing with the lettuce. Start with half the dressing and add more to taste.
- Place lettuce on serving plates. Garnish with goat cheese chunks, orange and avocado slices. Slice tuna in ¼ inch slices, cutting across the grain. Fan out an equal amount of tuna slices on each salad. Sprinkle remaining sesame seeds on top.
Want to see a great method for segmenting an orange, click here to watch a video tutorial.
This refreshing salad would be great for a luncheon served with hearty bread and a light soup such as Tomato & Strawberry Gazpacho.
“A smart way to brighten up your diet is by eating colorful foods. The more colors in your diet, the likelier it is that you’re getting all the nutrients you need.” – The Huffington Post
This colorful salad will have you well on your way.
…and then, she paused for thought.