Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Prime Thyme Tuna

Last week, I bought tuna steaks.

It was nearing 8:30 p.m., and my creative juices run dry just before L. and H. go to bed.

With fresh thyme from the farmer's market and some various other ingredients, I knew I had the trimmings for something quick and bright.

I conducted a quick Internet search for seared tuna and found a seemingly lovely and - what was more important - quick Pan-seared Tuna with Lime Pepper Crust, and played with the recipe.

Prime Thyme Lime Tuna
(adapted from What's Cooking America, an adaptation of a recipe from Simply Seafood)

This was a late-night, tube-watching meal for us. We added a potato, a salad, and a bottle of yummy wine.

Mmm. Spicy radishes complimented the tuna well. Wish I had opted for the spicy spring mix at the farmer's market, though. Next time!

The rub.

2 tuna steaks (about an inch thick, about 6 ounces each)
1 lime
A large helping of fresh thyme leaves, plus some dried for good measure
About 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 or 2 pinches salt
1 to 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Extra-virgin olive oil

Remove leaves from fresh time by rubbing the stems in the opposite direction of leaf growth. (See how they just fall off?)

Grate the zest from the lime, then squeeze the juice separately and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine zest, thyme leaves (plus some dried thyme, if you are using it), pepper and salt; stir to mix.

Rinse the tuna steaks and pat dry with paper towels. Lightly rub both sides of the tuna steaks with olive oil.

Rub the seasoning mix on the tuna steaks; coating them well.

Warm the olive oil in a heavy pan (cast iron is fine, I'm sure).

Increase the heat to high and place the tuna in the pan.

Sear one minute each side until outside is crispy and inside is rare to medium-rare, depending on your taste. Tuna is best when not overcooked.

Remove steaks to plates, pouring lime juice over them immediately. Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs.

Makes 2 servings.

Review: I wouldn't call the seasoning a crust, but it was a tasty rub. Next time, I would up the thyme, lime and pepper. I'd keep the fresh thyme, though. It was lovely. I may even consider making it more of a crust, but I'd be careful not to overpower the tuna with the lime.

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