Friday, June 23, 2017

Tuna! And What To Do With All Those Cucumbers In The Garden.

 Lately, I've been jonesin' for tuna.
Finally got my fix today.
I'm serving seared tuna fillets with a cucumber and peanut topping along with another cucumber  and corn salad side dish.   This is what you make when you have bunches of cucumbers producing.
Cucumber on top of more cucumber!

Cucumber Peanut Salad Topping For Tuna Steaks
½ cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
¼ cup raw peanuts
1 TB chopped parsley
1 TB chopped mint
1 TB oil
zest of  ½ lime
juice of one lime
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp Asian sweet chili garlic sauce
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Combine all ingredients.
And here's the Cucumber Peanut Salad topping for the tuna.
Cover and refrigerate.

Next, make the Corn and Cucumber Salad.
Corn and Cucumber Salad
1 ear corn, kernels scraped off
2 TB chopped onion
½ jalapeño, finely chopped (Seeds removed.)
1 TB chopped red pepper
½ cucumber, peeled and diced
2 TB feta cheese, small cubes
2 TB basil leaves, julienned
 juice of 1 lime
2 TB buttermilk
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Heat a little olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and add corn, a pinch of kosher salt, and a pinch of sugar.  Sauté for a few minutes, then add in onion, jalapeño, and red pepper.  Sauté a few more minutes until corn is slightly browned in spots and onion is translucent.  Transfer to small bowl, cover, and refrigerate.

While the corn is chilling, make the dressing.

For the dressing:
Whisk juice of one lime while slowly pouring in ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil.  Whisk in the buttermilk.  Add in a pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste.
Combine chilled corned, pepper, and onion mixture with diced cucumber, cubed feta, and basil.

Pour lime dressing over top and toss to coat.

Cover and refrigerate Corn and Cucumber Salad.

Now, on to the tuna steaks.
I coated my tuna fillets with white and black sesame seeds and a dusting of cumin.

Sauté tuna steaks in 1 TB unsalted butter and 1 TB peanut oil in a hot skillet (350°).
Depending on the thickness, cook 1-2 minutes each side for rare, 2-3 minutes for medium.  Tuna is very flaky meat, so you can actually spread the meat apart to see the progress of cooking.  Set tuna aside.

Now here comes the fun part.
See all those juices in the pan?  That's all flavor.

Take hot pan away from heat source and pour in a little alkyhol.
You could use sherry.
You could use white wine.
Or, you could use a blood orange liqueur like I did.
Pour in the alcohol, return pan to heat, and tilt it to flambé.  Let the flames die down on their own, then pour the concentrated juices over the tuna fillets.

Mr. Hawthorne actually made his own liqueur from blood oranges a few months ago when they were in season.  He took a few blood oranges, peeled and sliced, put them in a jar, and covered the pieces with vodka.  Every now and then, he'd come in and agitate the mixture.  After about 2 - 3 weeks, he strained the mixture, pressing the liquid out of the oranges.  And voila!  Blood orange liqueur.

 Ta da!
 I served the tuna with the Cucumber and Peanut Salad on top and the Cucumber and Corn Salad as a side.
Happy flavors.


No comments: