Daily Archives: March 1, 2007

Checking in

It’s March 1st, and I am roughly one sixth of the way through this here project. I have gained 59 new recipes, a greater appreciation for what it must take to write a cookbook quickly, and five to ten pounds. I have lost freezer space, the ability to write salt instead of slat, all concept of cooking something in mass quantity for the purpose of consuming it myself for days afterwards (as opposed to doling it out to friends and neighbors), and occasionally, though luckily not permanently, my sanity.

My husband is lobbying hard for a change of approach; he thinks I ought to be a little less long-winded and post just a recipe more often, with no explanation or story, presumably because he’d rather see me on the couch with a magazine at 10 p.m. than frantically typing away. But although brevity is said to be the soul of wit (thank you, Will), it isn’t always best for a recipe.

That said, this sixtieth day of the year has me crunching some numbers, which is never a good idea. It turns out that I’ll either be travelling (mostly work-related) or will have friends visiting for 28 of the next 45 days. Oy yoy yoy, she said. (Actually, my real comment was slightly less blog-friendly.) As my husband rightly pointed out, we are so lucky to have so many people near and dear to us. But maybe this is a lesson I should take to heart for the remainder of the year.

For those who wanted simple recipes, this is your season.

I went to Ballard Market for the first time the other day. What a refreshing way to hedge, when I really feel like going to PCC but don’t want to spend so much, don’t have time to hit Trader Joe’s, and can’t bear the thought of walking into Safeway. (But hark! Joe will be in Ballard soon!) Anyway, they sell frozen ahi tuna steaks that must be from the back of the fish; they’re just the right size for one reasonable portion and I was pleased with the quality.

With my pans, and my gas stove on high, two minutes per side gives me the tuna I want: seared on the outside, but still raw on the inside.

Searing Tuna - 2 minutes per side

This dish is a great compromise if you’re having people over for dinner and want to whip up something special, but really don’t have time to do much before they show up.

Quick Pan-Seared Tuna wtih Dijon-Caper Cream Sauce

Recipe for Quick Pan-Seared Tuna with Dijon-Caper Cream Sauce
Recipe 60 of 365

If you like your tuna still cold in the middle, buy it from a source you trust, or use another fish, like salmon or cod, and cook it all the way.

TIME: 10 minutes (really)
MAKES: 2 servings

2 small ahi tuna steaks (sushi grade, or from a source you trust), 1/2 pound total
1 teaspoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons (drained) capers

Heat a skillet over high heat, if you’re going to cook the fish quickly and leave the center quite rare, or medium heat, if you’re going to cook it all the way through. Rub the tuna on both sides with a little of the oil, using just a little for the top and bottom of each steak, and season both sides liberally with salt and pepper.

When the pan is hot, sear the tuna 2 minutes (on high) or 4 to 5 minutes (on medium) per side (for 1-inch thick steaks), depending on desired doneness. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil. Reduce heat to medium.

Add the mustard, cream, and capers to the pan. Season with pepper and simmer for 1 minute, stirring with a rubber spatula, or until the sauce begins to thicken. Pour the sauce over the tuna, and serve immediately.

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