Friday, June 3, 2011

Pan Seared Tuna Steaks & Nutty Vinaigrette Salad

It’s Friday Night. You might have a movie to catch or a drink date with friends. Even if your plan consists of curling up on the couch with a good book, you probably do not want to spend the entire night cooking and cleaning after the long workweek that just ended. With this simple recipe you can cook, eat, and clean up in under an hour and a half. Make this meal in a flash and head out to the theater or whatever else your night might bring.

Sidebar: This meal is perfect for “Date Night” and serves 2. If you are cooking for more people just increase the recipe as desired. If desired the strawberries, goat cheese, and hazelnuts can be increased or decreased depending on your preference. Additionally, they can be substituted for other ingredients of your choice.

Serving Size 2
Special Cooking Equipment: Food Processor (If you do not have a food processor the following will work: blender, magic bullet, etc.)

Ingredients for Nutty Vinaigrette Salad
3 cups Spinach Leaves
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 garlic clove
3 tablespoons balsamic
¼ cup hazelnuts
½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Place the garlic clove, balsamic, hazelnuts, and extra virgin olive oil in the food processor. Blend until mixed through. Place spinach leaves on small plates. Top with goat cheese and strawberries. Drizzle nutty vinaigrette over salads. The salads can be prepared before the Tuna Steaks.

Ingredients for Seared Tuna Steaks
2 -3.5-5-oz. boneless, skinless tuna steaks (If tuna steaks seems thick you can slice in half down the middle to cut down on cooking time)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
½ medium shallot, finely chopped
½ cup yellow tomatoes, halved
½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/8 cup sliced pitted green olives
1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh basil
1/4 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
Season the tuna with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Place the tuna in the skillet and cook, turning once. Total cooking time will be around 3 to 4 minutes total for medium rare. Transfer the tuna to a large plate and cover with aluminum foil.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the shallot to the skillet. (Helpful Hint: A great way to test to see if the oil is ready is by placing just a few pieces of shallot into the pan. If it sizzles then it is ready to go).Cook the shallot for about one minute. Add the tomatoes, olives, basil, 1/4 tsp. salt, and a few grinds of pepper; cook until warmed through and the tomatoes are just softened, about 2 minutes more. Remove the skillet from the heat and gently stir in the lemon juice.

Transfer the tuna to plates, top with the tomato mixture and serve. Enjoy!

*Seared Tuna retrieved in part from Fine Cooking Magazine.