seared tuna with mango relish and buttered corn

July 28, 2008


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If you' re looking for something quick, light and pretty this combination is a great option for summer. It can be tweaked to serve many or few, and the quick prep-time makes it a worthwhile option, even if yours is the only mouth to feed. I sometimes approach cooking just for myself with something of a defeatist attitude: who cares if it' s good if nobody but me will know? Why not just order a salad or scramble some eggs? This simple menu is why—if you' re willing to pay the high price of good quality tuna. I also served this up with a summer slaw made with ginger and apples. A few dashes of lemon-zested sea salt were perfect with both the corn and fish.


Coat two sides of tuna steak with olive oil mixed with grated ginger, diced jalapeño and lemon zest. Or marinate the fish with the mixture, if you have enough time or foresight.
Coat pan in olive oil.
Wait until olive oil begins to smoke and place fish on pan.
Cook a few minutes on either side, until the tuna begins to grey toward the center—remove according to your taste. Good tuna is great rare.

Mango Relish:

(Serves 4)
Dice 2 mangos; chop ½ c cilantro; dice 1 large, red onion; diced whole jalapeño (or half, depending on your taste); mix diced ingredients together until mango softens into a jam-like consistency. Add 1 tbsp lime juice and mix well. Salt if necessary. Let cool (covered tightly) in refrigerator until dinner is ready.


With a sharp knife, remove kernels from an ear of fresh corn. Use one ear per person.
Have ready ¼ c chopped cilantro and lemon zested sea salt (see below).
Sautee kernels in a pad of butter.
When the corn is warm (you can tell that it is finished cooking when it begins to smell like itself—don' t overcook! If your corn is nice and fresh, it will taste best al dente) remove from pan and put on a plate at room-temp. Sprinkle with lemon zested salt and mix in ¼ c cilantro.

Lemon Zested Sea Salt:

Zest a lemon or two (preferably organic, since the rinds are where all of the chemicals collect) and add it to a few tablespoons of sea salt—depending on your savory needs.

Apple Ginger Slaw (Low fat option is equally delicious):

(Serves 4 but is easily doubled, tripled, quadrupled, or adapted to fit your preferences)

½ head of green cabbage, sliced finely
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, cut into small chunks
1 carrot, same prep.
1 apple, same prep.
1 very ripe tomato, seeded and cut into chunks
1 oz or so fresh ginger root, peeled, shredded super-fine
→ Mix these ingredients together in a bowl

½ c yogurt (full or non fat, depending on what you like)
1 tbsp mayo or sour cream (I might use low-fat sour cream. But I never use low fat mayo because it is so offensive.)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp local honey
→Whisk these wet ingredients together at the bottom of a very large bowl

Add dry ingredients to wet, 1 scoop at a time. Let this chill a bit in the refrigerator and serve it cold alongside the warm corn and tuna covered with mango relish.

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