Agua de Pepino

Popular throughout Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, non-carbonated Aguas Frescas (fresh waters) are a delicious, healthy way (at least when homemade) to stay hydrated during the long Texas summer.  Along with agua de Flor de Jamaica (made with hibiscus flowers) and agua de horchata (rice and cinnamon), this cucumber cooler is super inexpensive and easy to make..

Agua de Pepino

2 quarts cool, filtered water
1 medium cucumber, thinly sliced
1 fresh lemon, thinly sliced
1 bunch fresh mint
1-2 tablespoons (or to taste) raw sugar, honey or other sweetener of choice
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt (helps pull the liquid out of the cucumber)

Combine all ingredients together in a large glass container and steep (covered) overnight in the refrigerator.  Serve well chilled.

Tuna Salad

Chopped egg, cucumber, scallions, pickled ginger, shaved fennel, black and white sesame seeds, spinach, lemon wasabi, sashimi-grade ahi, sesame oil and shoyu.

Toss the salad ingredients together and moisten with a little brown rice vinegar.  Season lightly with salt and pepper. Briefly marinate the tuna in shoyu with a little sesame oil while the skillet heats.

Sear the tuna over medium-high heat for two minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to cutting board and allow to rest 5 minutes.

Plate the salad and top with sliced tuna. Dress with wasabi and a scant amount of the marinade.

Rating  ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Green Tea-Crusted Cod with Buckwheat Tabouli

Green Tea-Crusted Cod with buckwheat tabouli

Rinse hulled buckwheat and cook according to package directions. Allow to chill in refrigerator for an hour, then combine with olive oil, garlic, mint, parsley, tomatoes, cucumber, green onion, lemon juice, toasted hemp seed nuts and sea salt.

Lightly coat cod with rice flour seasoned with toasted green tea, sea salt and pepper. Pan fry over medium heat in a little oil and butter, turning once (approximately 4 min/side depending on thickness).

Remove fish from pan and deglaze with white wine. Add lemon juice and parsley and reduce for a minute or so. Finish with pat of cold butter and spoon over the fish.

Rating  ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ +