These steaks are delightful and just the right replacement when you're in the mood for red meat... or just the dramatic! I highly recommend another e2 dish by Mitzi, because when combined with Wasabi mashed potatoes, this dish will create a vortex of tasty nose-hot (from the wasabi) and tongue-hot (from the jalapeno) which will not only delight one's palate but induce gentle waves of endorphic euphoria over your sated dinner
This tuna is served with an orange-avocado salsa which is to die for, and great with many other kinds of fish as well.
First and foremost, let's talk tuna. Use either Yellowfin or Bigeye tuna from your market. Forget Bluefin, Albacore or Tomba**. The steaks should be at least an inch thick. For a rare steak that is still cold in the center, choose an inch and a half steak.
3/4 cup sesame seeds
4 tuna steaks, 8 ounces each and 1 inch thick
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (or high heat friendly oil)
salt and fresh ground pepper
Spread the sesame seeds on a plate. Dry the tuna steaks, then rub both sides with the olive oil. Salt and pepper each side of the steak. Then press both sides into the sesame seeds to coat. This looks particularly nice if you use black and white sesame seeds - bravo my dearest!.
Heat the grapeseed oil in a skillet, preferably non-stick over high heat, so that the oil is just beginning to smoke. Put the steaks into the skillet and cook 30 seconds without moving. Reduce the heat to medium-high and then cook for a minute and a half until the seeds are turning golden brown. Use tongs to carefully flip steaks. Cook them without moving until the seeds are golden brown, about a minute and a half. At this point, the steaks should be rare, opaque on the edges and translucent red and cool at the center. For a medium rare (reddish pink) at the center, cook for three minutes. If you do want a rare to medium rare steak, be sure to slice the steak right after it is removed from the pan, otherwise it will continue to cook! You don't want a nasty suprise when you cut into it five minutes later to find that your beautiful rare tuna is now medium! Yech!
For one cup of the orange-avocado salsa, choose the best looking oranges and make it just before you cook the steaks to keep it from discoloring.
1 large orange
1 ripe avocado, diced medium
2 tablespoons minced red onion
4 teaspoons lime juice (preferably key lime baby)
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
salt to taste
Cut off the top and bottom of the orange, by at least a half an inch. Cut away the peel and pith and remove the wedge shape flesh by cutting away the membranes. Nothing but orange pockets of goodness here! Cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
Serve tuna with a heapin' helpin' of salsa. Really, if you like avocadoes, you should make twice as much, as this amount of salsa is recommended for four steaks, and we barely had enough for two...
**Note: Cook's Illustrated always does an excellent job of going to extremes when it comes to researching their recipes. In their blind taste tests of the four most readily available varieties of tuna in the U.S., Bluefin was found to have an odd metallic aftertaste and too mushy. Albacore was too bland and dry. I myself have recently had Tomba, seared medium rare and as another white tuna, like Albacore, it was just not tasty like the red varieties.
This recipe is from Cook's Illustrated, January & February 2003, Number Sixty