Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Seared Ahi Tuna and Avacado Tartare

One recipe I got from a magazine that I cook a lot is this one from the September 2004 Bon Appetite from Michael Shrader. It is more like a ceviche than a tartare but it is good! I love the interplay of the flavors and textures; a little spice, a little tang, the clean fresh taste of the cilantro, the creaminess of the avocado with the crunch of the red onion. A great dip for parties; the magazine suggest tortilla chips but I prefer either taro chips or rice crackers. Sometimes I make it for a light dinner (I just realized I eat a lot of things on chips or crackers for dinner!) and eat the rest of it on top of salad greens for lunch the next day.

Seared Ahi Tuna and Avocado Tartare
1 6-ounce ahi tuna steak
3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, diced
1 serrano chile or jalapeño chile, seeded, de-veined, minced
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tsp chopped fresh oregano

Heat heavy small skillet over high heat 2 minutes. Brush tuna with 1/2 tablespoon oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in skillet and sear until brown outside and almost opaque in center, about 3 minutes per side. Cool tuna; dice finely. Combine tuna, remaining 3 tablespoons oil, and all remaining ingredients in medium bowl. Using fork, mix just to blend. Season tartare to taste with salt and pepper and chill.

Note: I rarely add the oregano and usually put in a bit more cilantro. Don't overcook the fish, he lime juice will "cook it" a bit more. Don't over mix or it gets mushy. I usually mix all the other ingredients, then add the tuna and avocado and just mix it in lightly. Makes about 2 1/3 cups.

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