Tuesday, June 17, 2008

New recipes: Seared tuna and beggar's purses

So last night as I was cooking and photographing the process, I realized that this blog may have a fantastic but unintended side effect: it will force us to keep the kitchen clean. It's bad enough that the photo down below shows off our inability to take out old newspapers often enough, but if our kitchen were messy I simply would not be able to post pictures of it. So, here's motivation to clean it every single day, for REAL this time.

Anyway, last night I made two recipes: quick-seared tuna and mushroom and goat cheese beggar's purses. The two didn't really feel like they would go well together, but they were about the right amount of Weight Watchers points for a meal and we wanted to try both of them, so I figured we'd just make them anyway and ignore the fact that they didn't really fit. Except that bizarrely, they did wind up kind of fitting together.

So first, the beggar's purses, and keep in mind that this recipe as I'm publishing it makes two, but the way I cooked it I made three (one to bring to work for lunch tomorrow). Also, all links in the instructions go to Flickr photos of the step described. Or you can see the full set here.

Mushroom and Goat Cheese Beggar's Purses: Makes 2 servings; 6 WW points per serving

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped [I used a whole onion.]
  • 1 cup mushrooms, any kind, chopped [I used a pre-sliced assortment of shiitake, baby bella, and oyster mushrooms.]
  • 1/3 cup arugula [I didn't have arugula so I just used mixed greens, and I didn't measure--I just grabbed a handful.]
  • 4 sheets phyllo dough, at room temperature [I wound up using twelve for my three purses, but I think they were smaller than the ones this recipe was talking about.]
  • 2 oz soft-type goat cheese, or brie, divided [I used goat cheese, not brie, and three ounces, one per purse.]


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F; spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil. Sauté onion until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the arugula and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes.
  3. Place the sheets of phyllo on a work surface and cover them with a damp towel. Stack 2 sheets and spray with butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray. Stack the remaining 2 sheets directly on top and spray them. Cut the phyllo into two 12 x 8 1/2 inch rectangles. [I don't think my sheets of phyllo were the same size as the ones this recipe discusses. I didn't cut them. I just used four sheets per beggar's purse. Also, I didn't really understand the point of the damp towel. I just pulled sheets out of the package as I needed them.]
  4. Place goat cheese in the center of each phyllo; top with mushroom mixture. Pull up corners of phyllo and twist, forming packets that look like drawstring pouches; place on the baking sheet and spray the tops lightly with butter-flavored spray. [I used olive oil-flavored spray throughout this recipe, because it was all I had.]
  5. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. [Ours were golden brown after ten, at least on top, which was the barometer I was using. But I think our stove and oven are off, temperature-wise, because nothing ever takes as long to cook as the recipe says it will.]

I thought I might have trouble making this, because the recipe sounded a little daunting, but actually it was really easy. Just saute a few things, put them on the phyllo dough, scrunch up the dough, bake, and you're done! And they came out totally delicious.

Verdict: We added this recipe to our "make again soon" pile, and Torsten is already asking me when I'm going to make it again.

Now, onto the steaks. Here I only used a pound of tuna instead of a pound and a half, in order to make three servings.

Quick Seared Tuna Steaks: Makes 4 servings; 5 WW points per serving


  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice [I used one lime. I didn't measure exactly how much juice there was.]
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds raw tuna (four 6-oz steaks)
  • 1/4 tsp salt [I skipped the salt, which I usually do unless I'm baking.]
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, coarsely ground


  1. Combine sherry, soy sauce, and lime juice in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. [I didn't notice it said this until just now. I stirred with a regular spoon.] Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper; add steaks to pan. Cook 4 minutes on each side until steaks are medium-rare or desired degree of doneness. Transfer steaks to a serving dish, and keep warm.
  3. Pour sherry mixture into pan. Cook 1 to 11⁄2 minutes or until reduced to 2 tablespoons, stirring to deglaze pan; pour over steaks.

This recipe was super, super easy. Just mix a few liquids, toss some fish in a pan, wait a few minutes, and you're done. And tuna is really healthy. Plus, the glaze has a nice flavor.

Verdict: We will definitely be making this dish again.

And lastly, the finished meal:


AP said...

whoohoo! love this new spin-off blog :)

Kristie said...

The purses sound delish! One suggestion for you...especially for the WW fans out there. If you know the points that might be awesome to post those too. :)

Misty said...

The purses look BEAUTIFUL and sound delicious! What a grand idea for a dinner party.

email said...

These both sound fantastic! I love that you're including the WW points. What a great resource this site will be for folks on WW.

Anonymous said...

the recipe looks awesome.

i have a question: what do you eat for breakfast and lunch? i get so bored with frozen dinners for lunch, and i am always in such a rush in the mornings.

Kristie said...

Hi sweetie! Guess what?! I made the beggar's purses for dinner tonight. I was actually going to make them last night but I accidentally bought pastry dough, oops! I made it to the store today and made a few changes to the recipe and thought I'd pass it along to you.

I used 3 sheets of phyllo dough, but didn't cut anything. I also used cooking spray and a tiny bit of olive oil. I used spinacha, also. The last thing I changed was that I used Laughing Cow light cheese in the garlic and herb flavor. I used 1.5 wedges per purse. With my few changes the purse that I made was 5 points and DELICIOUS!

Anyway, just wanted to pass it along and say thanks for the recipe, I'll be making it again very soon.

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