Sunday, January 29, 2017

Rosie Loves A Good Tuna.


Not only does Rosie love a good tuna, she loves a good poem about tuna.  And the poet never mentions tuna anywhere in the poem.  But, like I said, I love a good tuna.  And I got one fer yer.

But let's do something cultural first.
Like a poem.
An Ode to a Large Tuna.

Ode to a Large Tuna in the Market 

by Pablo Neruda

among the market vegetables,
this torpedo
from the ocean
a missile
that swam,
lying in front of me
by the earth’s green froth
—these lettuces,
bunches of carrots—
only you
lived through
the sea’s truth, survived
the unknown, the
darkness, the depths
of the sea,
the great
le grand abîme,
only you:
to that deepest night.
Only you:
dark bullet
from the depths,
one wound,
but resurgent,
always renewed,
locked into the current,
fins fletched
like wings
in the torrent,
in the coursing
like a grieving arrow,
sea-javelin, a nerveless
oiled harpoon.
in front of me,
catafalqued king
of my own ocean;
sappy as a sprung fir
in the green turmoil,
once seed
to sea-quake,
tidal wave, now
dead remains;
in the whole market
was the only shape left
with purpose or direction
in this
jumbled ruin
of nature;
you are
a solitary man of war
among these frail vegetables,
your flanks and prow
and slippery
as if you were still
a well-oiled ship of the wind,
the only
of the sea: unflawed,
navigating now
the waters of death.

Tuna Steaks
Serves 2.

2 tuna steaks, at least 1-inch thick

Marinade for tuna:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup fish sauce
2 TB Thai chili sauce
1 TB mirin
1 TB rice vinegar
2 TB coriander seeds
zest of 1 lime
2/3 cup lime juice
zest and juice of one lemon
1/4 cup ginger juice

Note:  I always have cubes of ginger in the freezer.  Nuke the cubes, about 25 seconds a piece, then squeeze them by hand or use a garlic press to extract the juice.  You really can't get juice from fresh ginger.

Combine all marinade ingredients in a pot, bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar dissolves.
Remove from heat and let cool before pouring mixture into a plastic bag with the tuna.
Marinate for at least two hours in the fridge, occasionally massaging the steaks.

In an iron skillet, melt one tablespoon of unsalted butter with one tablespoon of peanut oil over medium-high heat.  The butter is for flavor; the oil is to raise the smoke point.

For medium rare tuna, cook the steaks about two minutes on each side.
For rare, cook one and a half minutes on each side.

Let the meat rest a few minutes before slicing.

I like to serve the tuna on a bed of spinach with caramelized orange peel on top for a pop of citrus flavor.

Oshitashi Spinach Salad
1 TB black sesame seeds
1 TB white sesame seds
1 TB red chili flakes
8 oz. fresh spinach
2 TB unsalted butter
1 tsp sesame oil
1 TB mirin
1 TB lemon juice
1 TB soy sauce

In a small skillet, light dry toast the sesame seeds and chili flakes.

Steam the spinach until lightly wilted.

Melt butter with sesame oil in a medium skillet before stirring in the spinach, mirin, lemon juice, soy sauce, and toasted sesame seeds and chili flakes.  Heat through for about two minutes.

Caramelized Orange Peel
Peel one orange, slice the peel thinly, and place the strips of peel in a small saucepan along with the juice of the orange, 1/2 cup water, and 1/2 cup sugar.  Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Reduce heat and simmer until peel is soft, about 30 minutes.  Drain the peels on paper towels.

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