Sunday, January 2, 2011

Grilled Sesame Crusted Tuna

I’ve been pondering and mulling over ideas for a few days now, trying to think of something that will be useful, simple and appealing to you. I chuckle every time I come up with something because of the story behind the recipes. Sometimes events lead me to think of recipes. Often, it’s a simple subject that brings me to recall a recipe. Most, if not all recipes have a story (often kind of twisted) behind them. My stories are always fueled by emotion, laughter, compassion, inspiration, people I talk too face to face and emails that randomly pop into my mailbox from time to time.

One of the great things about New Years Day is that I get non stop episodes of my favorite food programs. Since noon I’ve been watching “Two Fat Ladies” on the cooking channel. I enjoy learning the styles and themes of the British. I get to experience how people across the pond love to cook, Like Nigella Lawson. I feel it contributes to my style of cooking and sometimes I get great ideas to try.

I’ve had the pleasure to know quite a few people from across the pond and back in the days of my Kitchen years, I spent quite a bit of time with them. But firstly, my good friend Terry would shoot me if I didn’t point out that he is Welsh, and should never, be confused with the British. Personally I can’t sort out the difference but that’s a whole different Blog altogether. I had dinner with my friend Terry and a half a dozen other people from around the world at a place called “The Broker Restaurant” in Denver, CO. The food was outstanding but one dish over the others stood out in my mouth and mind. The dish I ate was called “Sesame Crusted Tuna”. Now, normally I would never EVER order so-called fresh seafood in a land locked state but the maître d'hôtel (head waiter) recommended the dish highly since the Tuna had just been caught and delivered that day and they were running low on supply as he stated they do almost every day. I took the maître d'hôtel’s advice in mind, while thinking to my self, “This fellow must be getting pressure from the Chef to push the Tuna so he doesn’t lose his overhead among other part of his anatomy when the owner sees how much he spent on the Tuna.”

Terry, in his dry Welsh manner, teased me about being afraid to order fish. He said that you American’s are “Dozy” when it comes to fish and what to know about them. I explained to him in my George W. Bush blunt manner with a few colorful words and phrases, that in the states you take your taste buds into your own hands by risking that the fish is fresh. Unlike Europe, in America you just never know how old and/or frozen the fish has been. My friend would not give up the taunting, and so in the best interest of international relationships, I ordered the Tuna.

It was Delicious, and like so many things my friend Terry has exposed me too in the food world, he didn’t steer me wrong yet again. There has only been a few other times were the fish was so fresh, and absolutely mind blowing that it stuck in my memory.  I still often think about San Francisco and Hawaii. In Hawaii, I caught a Mahi-mahi and took it back to our bungalow and cooked it with fresh scallops for Amy and me and our good friends that we went there with.

The “Sesame Crusted Tuna” I had at “The Broker Restaurant” was so amazingly fresh that you could taste the ocean. From what my friend Terry told me, that is when you know you have yourself some pretty fresh fish. The Tuna was hearty, rich in flavor and had delicate texture. I can only keep describing it as OUTSTANDING!

Because of the price I don’t often cook with Tuna but after many years playing with it, when it was available to me, I recreated my own taste and style all the while thinking about the delicious meal I had at “The Broker Restaurant”

Grilled Sesame Crusted Tuna

Sesame mix:
1 cup sesame seeds
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced, peeled fresh gingerroot
1/2 teaspoon dark oriental sesame oil
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons soy sauce
10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter,

You’re going to want to prepare 4 (1/2-pound 1-inch-thick) tuna steaks

Sesame mixture:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. On a baking sheet toast sesame seeds in oven until golden, roughly about 5 to 10 minutes.

*After letting the sesame seeds cool*

Add in a small bowl and stir together the sesame seeds, chives, garlic, gingerroot, sesame oil, olive oil, lemon juice and soy sauce.

Prepare grill:
*While grill is heating, make sauce*

In saucepan boil wine and lemon juice over high heat till reduced to about 1/3 cup. Incorporate the cream and simmer, stirring occasionally, till reduced by half. Add soy sauce and reduce heat to low. Whisk in butter, one piece at a time, lifting pan from heat occasionally, to cool mixture, and adding each new piece of butter before previous one has melted completely. (Sauce MUST NOT get hot enough to liquefy.) Keep sauce warm only.

The Task of Grilling:
Coat both sides of each tuna steak with sesame mixture. Grill tuna on oiled rack set about 6 inches over heat source, about 1.5 minutes on each side. Your aiming for a grilled outside and a raw inside. Key to keeping the crust from falling off is not to mess with the Tuna once on the grill only touching it when turning over. If you don’t feel confident with you skill on the grill you can always just use a Sauté pan on high heat searing both sides for the same amount of time.

You can serve this in several styles. You can cut the Tuna in slices and fan them out on the plate. Or you can julienne some veggies and make a little pile on the center of a plate or bowl and then place the Tuna Steak on the top of that. However you plate the tuna, once you do, you will then drizzle the sauce over the top of the Tuna and around the plate or bowl.

This is a refreshing dish with bold but yet subtle flavor. My hope is that you experience the freshness of the sea and taste the ocean with every bite.


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