"Every man is a damn fool for at least five minutes every day; wisdom consists in not exceeding the limit." Elbert Hubbard

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Tuna steaks...mmmmm

In my efforts to improve my cooking and baking skills, I took two classes this spring. I'm self taught and wanted to actually get some professional training. To supplement that, I'm doing a lot of reading on the subject and subscribed to two magazines. Edible Jersey and Cook's Illustrated.

I highly recommend the latter if you want practical information without all the fluff and advertising of other culinary magazines. Edible Jersey is excellent too, but only concerns itself with the local and seasonal foods of New Jersey.

I decided to try a recipe from Cook's for a red wine vinegar and mustard vinaigrette designed to help prevent tuna steaks from over or under-cooking on the grill. I don't own a grill, the money was set aside when I moved into this house, but I haven't gotten around to buying one. I just pan fry on a non-stick skillet.

The finished vinaigrette, seen here, was easy and quick to make. I did modify it slightly to suit my own taste and ingredient availability.

Here is the recipe:

Vegetable oil (to coat the grate if you're grilling)

3 tbls + 1 tsp red wine vinegar

2 tbls Dijon mustard (Grey Poupon is best)

2 tsp honey

2 tbls freshly chopped thyme or rosemary (which I didn't have, so it didn't go in)

3/4 cup olive oil (for this type of cooking, extra-light is best)

1/2 tsp salt

Whisk all the ingredients together except the olive oil. Use a stainless steel bowl as aluminum will affect the taste because of the acidity in the vinegar. While whisking, slowly drizzle the olive oil into the mix until thickened.

Generously coat your tuna and place on the cooking surface, which should already be pre-heated to temperature. I had the burner set to medium for my skillet on an electric stovetop. Salt and pepper to taste. Save the remaining vinaigrette for dipping or applying to the steaks when served.

The tuna steaks after preparation and just put on the skillet. Looks good, doesn't it?

After I turned them. Look even better, don't they? Normally I use tongs, but I also used a spatula because fish can fall apart on you quite easily. Don't fuss with it, you only need to turn a piece of meat once really, unless you want those fancy cross-hatch marks when you grill. Cutting into it or using a fork is bad and so is pressing down on it. Yeah the sizzle sounds great but is actually drying out the meat.

The finished product with a side of steamed golden and white corn mix. Yeah, that's a paper plate. Lazy of me but I'm not cooking for an audience here. Once I tasted the tuna, I didn't care what it was on. It was that good. Nicely seared and charred on the outside, still pinkish on the inside. The vinaigrette was excellent with the taste of vinegar and mustard definately there but subtle and complementing the tuna. Cooking time about five minutes per side as they were thick steaks cooked on medium heat.


  1. This sounds fantastic! I will share this with a friend of mine who loves to grill and enjoys tuna steaks.


  2. It looks great, Sarge! I'll definitely be trying this over the summer.