Tuna Niçoise Tartine at Bouchon Bakery

Tuna Nicoise Tartine

Happy Bastille Day!! What a perfect occasion for some Parian style cuisine. well, actually, we didn’t realize it’s Bastille Day until we walked into Bouchon Bakery.  Bouchon Bakery in Timer Warner Center is definitely one of our favorite restaurants in the city. Whenever we come to Columbus Circle, even though there are many other restaurants in the area, Bouchon Bakery is always our go-to place for a nice and simple sit-down lunch.

As we sat down at the bar, we were presented with the Bastille Day Special Pre-fixe Menu – A three course lunch with dishes like moules au saffron, poulet roti with polenta, and peach melba for 38 dollars, not a bad deal at all. I can’t say we weren’t tempted, but we both went for the Tuna Niçoise Tartine on the regular menu instead. There’s something magical about this Tuna Niçoise here, we (or at least me) can never manage to turn it down. The tartine is basically an open-faced sandwich– with a big generous mountain of tuna salad on a slice of fresh pain de campagne (which is a round French country-style loaf similar to sourdough), topped with thinly sliced radishes, eggs and sprinkles of sweet paprika and fresh chives. The tartine is served with a side of field green salad and baby pickles, just enough to round out a perfect meal. Instead of drowning the tuna in heavy mayonnaise, Bouchon Bakery’s chef, Tomas Keller, blends the tuna with shallots, capers and other herbs for a flavorful mix, and finishes it with Garlic Aioli to give it the sweet and creamy sensation. This is a tuna niçoise sandwich that bursts with flavors, yet nothing overwhelms the freshness tastes of the tuna,  it’s creamy but light,… ahhh…. it’s just extremely satisfying and yet healthy. How I want to give the chef an award for this wonderful creation. Even the bartender told us that this dish has changed  a lot of people’s impression on tuna salad. It is no doubt one of the best sandwiches on our lists.

We walked out of the bakery feeling all nourished and happy, wondering how great if we could get the recipe for this yumminess…..AND, guess what I found in one of my magazine teared pages, THE RECIPE!! It’s unfortunate that name of the magazine was torn off, but i’m glad the recipe was kept untouched. We haven’t had a chance to test it out yet, but here it is…. and we sure will have another post once we get our hands on it..

Tomas Keller’s Tuna Niçoise Tartine

Adapted by Bouchon Bakery

Serves 2 /  Prep time 30 mins; Cooking time 20 mins (plus cooling)

Ingredients

For Sandwich

  • 2   Thick slices pain de campagne (or sourdough if not available)
  • 2   Leaves of butter lettuce
  • 2   Hard boiled eggs, thinly sliced
  • 8   Niçoise olives
  • Finely chopped chives, sweet paprika, extra virgin online oil to serve

Confit Garlic Aioli

  • 3 Garlic, peeled
  • 3/4 Cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 Cup Canola oil
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice

For Tuna Salad

  • 2 tsp flat-leave parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp chervil (or celery if not available), finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chives, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp golden shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp capers, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 5 oz drained canned tuna in oil

Method:

  1. For confit garlic aïoli, combine garlic and half the olive oil in a small saucepan, cook over low hear until garlic is soft (20-30 minutes). Strain (reserve garlic), combine garlic oil with canola oil and remaining olive oil, set aside. process egg, lemon juice, and reserved garlic in a small food processor until smooth. Add combined oils and process until thick and emulsified. season to taste, adjust consistency with a little water if necessary.
  2. For tuna salad, combine 1/4 cup of garlic aïoli, herbs, shallot, capers and lemon juice in a bowl. Add tuna and mix until just combined, season to taste.
  3. To serve, spread the bread slices with a little garlic aïoli, top each with lettuce leaves, layer with tuna salad, egg and radish slices. Garnish with lives, chives and paprika, drizzle with olive oil, if desired, and serve immediately.
  4. Bon Appétit!!

Asian Spiced Roasted Peanuts

These are some yummy spicy peanuts that totally deserve a post on their own. The first time we made these peanuts is when we were recreating a Thai Salad we had from a restaurant. We’re so obsessed with spicing everything up and decided to spice up the peanuts, too. Since we used some soy sauce in the mix to spice things up, and we mostly used them to top off our Thai dishes, I decided to name these delicious delights Asian Spiced Roasted Peanuts. They’re awesome as a snack too, it’s great to make a little extra and save it for later (if you can manage to not finish it all). The savory and spicy combo is just perfect with some ice cold beer in a hot summer day!

We didn’t do a precise measurement when we’re making it, but the flavor is very simple, you can’t go wrong with these ingredients. Here’s the recipe:

Asian Spiced Roasted Peanuts

  • 2 cups  Unsalted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup  Soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Brown sugar
  • Sprinkles of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Sprinkles of hot sauce or oil of your choice (we used this Mongolian Fire Oil as shown in the picture)
  • Salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 350F.  Mix soy sauce, sugar, and all the hot sauces in a big bowl, add the peanuts in and toss them around to coat evenly. Roast the peanuts (stir occasionally) for 15-20 minutes or until it’s golden brown.

Look at these good looking peanuts. The glaze comes from the sugar and the soy sauce; the redness comes from the hot oil and chili flakes, since we usually like to crank up the spice meter. Chop them in the salads, or eat them just like that. They’re addictive, too…. just giving you a heads up.

Spicy Thai Salad

I don’t think I’ve seen this many Thai restaurants before I moved to New York. Walking down 9th Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen, you can find almost one (or more) on each block. Of course we have our favorite ones ,(there will be posts about them, too), but on a lazy Sunday like today, we decided to create our own Thai Salad at home instead of eating out.

I remember feeling intimidated by Thai recipes years ago when I first started to cook. Not only because it’s usually a long list of exotic ingredients, some of the items (such as tamarind and galangal), I didn’t even know how to pronounce the names correctly, and they were only available in specialty stores. Although all these foreign herbs and spices are now more common and are definitely easier to find in regular markets, we still decided to go with a more approachable route and only use the ingredients we can find in the neighborhood markets…. We might hold off on some of the unpronounceable exotic ingredients, but we are definitely not holding off on the flavors in any sort.

Spice Thai Salad:

Serves 2/ Prep time: 30 min

For the Salad:

  • 1 head of lettuce
  • Cherry Tomatoes, cut into halves
  • Red Onions, thinly sliced
  • Asian Spiced Roasted Peanuts
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • extra toppings such as cucumbers, carrots, or bean sprouts

For the dressing:

  • 2Tb      Fish Sauce
  • 2Tb.     Lime juice
  • 1 ts.      Soy sauce
  • 1 tb.      Garlic
  • 1 tb.       Ginger
  • 1-2ts.    Sugar
  • 1 ts.       Chili oil (We like it hot!)
  • 1 ts.       Sesame oil (optional)
  • 1 tb.       Green onion, thinly sliced (optional)

Toss all the salad greens, tomatoes and the extra toppings in a big bowl. Loosely chop the peanuts and set aside, so they don’t lose the crunch before we eat it.

Blend all the dressing ingredients (besides green onions) together. I usually use a spice grater and grate the garlic and ginger into a paste, but it’s easy to just throw everything in a food processor to blend it up, too.  Take half of the dressing and marinate the red onions, too. It only takes about 5 minutes, the onions turn translucent and it simply adds an extra punch to the flavor. Throw in the green onions if you’re using it in the remaining dressing. Let it sit for a few minutes for the flavors to settle in.

Now it’s time to put everything together.  Pour the dressing over the salad and toss it till everything is evenly coated, top it off with with the marinated onions, roasted peanuts, and sprinkle on the cilantro leaves, and that’s your delicious Spicy Thai Salad right there. As flavorful as it is, it’s actually very light and refreshing. It is fulfilling too as a perfect summer salad. For those who wants something heartier, top the salad with some shredded chicken, sliced steak, or grilled tofu for vegetarians to upgrade the salad into a main dish. It doesn’t require anything overly seasoned, there’s already a lot going on in the salad… Easy like that!

The last time we made it, we top it off with some grilled steak, medium rare. And I’m just saying, THAT, is one delicious meal!!!

Hello World!!

We love to eat; we live in the F and G units of our building. And that’s how Eat.F.G. got it’s name!

One in finance, one in fashion… we don’t really have the job titles that qualify us as food experts, but that doesn’t stop us from loving to cook and exploring food together.

People say that you don’t need to know how to cook to eat well, and I couldn’t agree more. We live in the magical City of New York where there are countless restaurants to choose from. The options and types of cuisines out there are just unreal. As much as we love to cook, it would be silly of us to not take advantage of the myriad delicacies the City has to offer.  Whether it’s a star-filled world famous restaurant or hole in a wall kind of joint; whether it’s Asian, European, Middle Eastern or some regional cuisine we’ve never heard of; or whether it’s a vegan, seafood or carnivore meal, we want to try them all!

When we have a chance to take a break from the eventful restaurant scene, we also enjoy rolling up our sleeves and cooking in. There is nothing better than home-cooked meals using fresh ingredients from the market. Whether its a simple meal for two or a multi-course dinner party, we want to experience it all, feasting at every meal.

I’m not saying we’re different from the other foodies in the world. But we take pride in being adventurous, open-minded, and willing to explore all cultures and cuisines, and we have certainly enjoyed our experience along the way.

This is where we’ll be documenting our eating journey… from the F&G!

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