Tuna Tartare on Grilled Potato Slices

While I was downtown in Chinatown searching for langon fruits, I spied me some beautiful Tuna. Whenever I see really good quality Tuna I hate the thought of cooking it. It’s just to gorgeous for that. What the fish monger hated even more was my instruction of the exact piece that I wanted. I don’t like to be a pain….nah, not true, I can be a nudge. I figure Italian grandmothers can get away with it, why not a Latina/Irishwoman?? Trust me though, I let that guy know that I really appreciated his efforts. In the end everyone was happy.

While stumbling around I also came across some fresh, tight Thai Chilies. You may see them in the market as more stores are starting to carry them. They are small, slim and green, and pack a smart punch that can really sting if you’re not careful. I, as you know, love them. Feel free to switch out to jalepenos of a lesser quantity if your not a heat freak like me, or eliminate altogether. I would add a good grind of black pepper at least though…

So once back in my kitchen with the spoils of my excursion, I sliced up a few potatoes as thin as I could get them, oiled them, and threw them on my grill pan. While the potatoes softened and charred, I pulled together the tartare.

I think tartare should be made a la minute, meaning not in advance. Though perfectly good the next day, I prefer it fresh, before the lime juice has a chance to do too much work on that beautiful tuna, but if you’re making a batch for a get together, go ahead and make it beforehand- just keep it cold, cold, cold.

So here you have it. My late afternoon lunch.

I need to head downtown more often…

Tuna Tartare on Grilled Potato Slices
serves 4
4 potatoes, scrubbed and sliced by hand as thinly as possible
1.25# of fresh sushi grade tuna
3T toasted sesame oil
.25 c cilantro
1 juicy thai chili, minced finely
zest and juice from 3 limes
3T minced red onion
pinch of salt
Heat grill pan to high. Brush potato slices with oil and grill on one side until translucent  then flip to second side. Cook in batches until all are done and arrange on plates.
In medium size bowl combine all the ingredients except the tuna. Taste for acid and chili balance. 
I tossed my tuna into the freezer as I was starting the potatoes so that I can get neater slices from the cold fish. Do no freeze completely though.
Dice the tuna into small pieces, then toss the lot into the dressing. Give it all a thorough coating and let rest for just a minute or two. I taste again for flavor balance. 
Divide the tuna between the plates and enjoy!

Open Tuna Sandwich with Anchovy Dressing

Because it’s Summer, because we need easy meals, because the basic ingredients are just so gorgeous on their own that they don’t need a lot of muss and fuss to make a satisfying meal. That’s why I am presenting this sandwich.
Back in the days when I was working full time in the kitchen and the kids were little I always kept stacks of tinned tuna in the cupboard for last minute tuna salad sandwiches. Trust me, they were a lifesaver and staved off many a lightheaded energy drop.
But now I’m not juggling so many plates ( only A Stack of Dishes- Ha!) and I can sit down in at my table in my sunny window and enjoy my lunch. I am truly enjoying the spoils of my free time. I have to say, a compilation of ingredients taste far better than a “throw together” somehow.
Though this is meal can be beautifully made with tuna right off the grill, a good quality canned tuna in oil is wonderful. Just go for the best you can find- spend a few shekels extra- you deserve it.
The anchovies in the dressing are not overwhelming- so fear not! please don’t shy away from giving this a try if that’s your reason. The fine fish breaks down into the dressing and you hardly know it’s there, except for it’s exquisite and delicate flavor.

In order to conserve space in my tiny (read: teeny tiny) kitchen, I have done away with my trusty toaster oven. It’s amazing to me that I can live without it when I used to turn that baby on at least twice a day. In addition to the feeling from the satisfying lack of burning unnecessary electricity, my toast and toasted things consumption has not suffered one bit.

I mostly rely on my stove top grill and toast my bread right on top. I even am known to toast bread directly over the flame with a set of long tongs, which is what I did here. Got me a nice char going there in seconds flat. Tasty too.

The best part of the simple sandwich is the vinegary, fish laced dressing that soaked into the bread. It complimented the tuna rather than competed with it, and it had enough oomph to add brightness to the tomatoes too.

The days are at their longest now. I hope you get to take some time to enjoy the sunlight and the hum and of world as it filters in through screened windows. Enjoy!

Open faced Tuna Sandwich with Anchovy Dressing
serves one hungry person
1 can high quality chunk tuna in oil
generous handful of cherry tomatoes
several leaves of fresh basil, torn
1 large slice of sourdough bread, toasted
3 anchovies
.33c red wine vinegar
.25 c fruity olive oil
Do I really need to tell you what to do here? Toast the bread, dice the tomatoes, tear the basil.
In a separate bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients, taking care to break up the anchovies.
Pile all the goodies onto the toast and drizzle generously with the dressing.
Now find a comfortable spot- like on your porch where you never sit, or in a sunny window, or at the table with a cloth napkin. Just a sweet calm place to relax and enjoy the simplest and best things in the world.
Thank you for coming by and reading my recipes.
I would love to hear how you are sharing with your friends, or any other stories you want to share with me.
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