Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tuna Tartare, Just Eat It!

This tuna tartare recipe was a big hit at the beach this past weekend. It all started when I planned a scampi-esque preparation of shrimp and scallops sauteed with garlic and white wine, then tossed over pasta. The assemblage greeted this announcement with a reaction that could only be called lukewarm. In assessing the temperature of their response, and correlating it with the temperature outside, I hit upon another idea--tuna tartare. The idea of this cooler, lighter dish heated up their enthusiasm, so I switched gears. The seeming lack of gratitude for my anticipated efforts, whether I was offering a gourmet seafood dinner or leftover hamburger helper, did rankle a bit. While noteworthy, it is more topical for an etiquette blog than a food blog, so I will address that issue elsewhere.

Although, to be completely honest, I really felt like breaking out into the following song:

But on to the tartare--this simple, crowd-pleasing concoction is great as a light summer entree served with crispy rice crackers or crostini and a salad of mixed greens, offered the same way in a smaller portion as a starter, or served in a large bowl surrounded by crackers or toast points as a part of a cocktail buffet.  Reading Terminal Market's seafood merchants and  produce merchants provide the building blocks, and we provide the recipe.

Here's the procedure:

Tuna Tartare (this makes a dinner portion for 3-4, a starter course for 6-8, and enough for a 'cocktail buffet crowd' of 12 or so if offered with a few other app's.)

12 oz sashimi grade tuna cut in uniform 1/4 inch cubes
1 TBSP toasted, cooled sesame seeds (place seeds in small dry skillet, heat on medium stirring and shaking skillet frequently to avoid burning. Cook approx 1 minute; when seeds are brown they are done)
2 TBSP sesame oil
2 TBSP mayonnaise
1 tsp hot mustard (or more to taste)
1 tsp Wasabe (or more to taste)
1 TBSP soy sauce
3 TBSP chopped scallions
Optional:  Sriracha or other hot chili sauce; start with 1/4 tsp and add as desired.

Blend all ingredients in mixing bowl.  Chill in fridge 30 mins to allow flavors to blend.  Serve and enjoy!

Ultimately, the crowd was grateful when they tucked in to this stuff and I did not have to serenade them with Wierd Al's song.

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