Friday, January 22, 2021

Life & Style

The Dinner You Really Wanted

Hip replacement surgery made for a long week.

It began with a night at a motel (not exciting, honest), an early dinner (a superb turkey club salad), a not-terrific sleep, and an early shower. My daughter, Darcy, drove me to Gifford Hospital at 7:30 a.m., and the journey to a new hip began at around 9 a.m. A few hours later, I was in recovery, starving. (Are you surprised?)

By the time I was wheeled into my own room, I ate something (nothing memorable) and got onto a Zoom. I kept the audio but deep-sixed the video. The next morning, I was discharged and we drove home.

Yes, there was some pain and the big white pills worked. I walked from the couch to my upstairs bedroom and onto the very tall bed. The cat and I slept well. The next breakfast was a bagel with cream cheese, onions, and tomatoes, along with a big glass of V-8. As I whined on the couch, Darcy began to cook. That night we had carne asada (her own salsa, marinated beef, soft corn tortillas).

The PT fella came Thursday, as did the visiting nurse. Compared to how I felt a few days after the last hip, a year ago, I felt I could run a marathon. On Saturday the PT said I could start on a cane and we walked to my car, I got inside, then outside and back to the couch. Then the food began. First, it was roasted pork chops from Sue, which we ate the next day. Then she-crab soup and housemade bread from Judy and Dick. Chicken curry and a cake from Sharon George (she and her husband are Indian, so the food was the real deal). Darcy and I ate like queens and, just because she cannot get clam bellies in California, we ordered in from Flanders. I made my own sauce with Heinz and lots of horseradish.

The next day Darcy made a gorgeous fresh tuna salad. She had bought the tuna steaks at Aldi’s, and bought lots of veggies and lettuces. It wasn’t what I thought I wanted for dinner, but, boy, was I wrong. The dish below is hers. She rarely uses recipes but was kind enough to tell me what she used, along with other things which do just beautifully. So the recipe doesn’t look like my own recipes. And if you want her own char siu as a marinade, email her at

Lee White of Old Lyme has been a food editor and restaurant reviewer for more than 25 years. You can email her at

Seared Tuna Salad

From Darcy White

Serves 2


2 tuna steaks (together, less maybe 10 ounces)


For the marinade:

2 to 3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons coconut oil (for the skillet, not for the marinade)

Lettuces and cabbage, about 2 to 1, sliced thin

Raw salad add-ons, julienned, sliced, or chopped:

grape tomatoes, snap peas, mandarin orange wedges

(I always have Haloes at home), apples, cucumbers,

sweet peppers

Sesame seeds (regular, black or white)

Good ginger dressing


Thaw tuna steaks at room temp. Marinate the tuna, turning a few times, in a baggie overnight or for a few hours, in the fridge. Take them out of the fridge before searing and allow them to get to room temp, 15 to 30 minutes.

Heat up coconut oil in a good skillet. Plan to sear at least two minutes each side. This is for rare tuna, the best way to eat it; not rare, a little longer.

Once off the heat, cut the tuna on the grain; doing this makes them very pretty. Place the tuna gently on the plate over the prepared salad. Drizzle the dressing lightly. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Lee White is the Columnist for Zip06. Email Lee at .

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