Today must be a two-for day! The prior posts on Israeli Couscous with Sugar Snap Peas & Asparagus was a teaser for the remainder of our dinner last night.
Did you notice the last photograph on the post Israeli Couscous with Sugar Snap Peas & Asparagus? It showed the complete meal, something like the above photograph but Baby Lady & I can no longer eat 10 oz of tuna (it’s that aging thing) so we split ours in half. This post is really about the totality of the meal. As you should know by now, I love tuna, especially Big Eye Blue Tuna. I buy it fresh in bulk, vacuum seal it, freeze it and eat it as quickly as possible. I have also mentioned this beautiful earthy ancho chile rub. Last night’s meal was a meal in complete harmony. You had the wonderful meaty flavor of the tuna coupled with the earthiness and spice of the ancho rub, the creaminess, spice and acidity of the avocado salsa with the floral component of the cilantro, and the nuttiness and soft chewy texture of the Israeli couscous with the tang of the lemon, crunch of the al dente veggies, and sweetness of the corn and sugar snap peas. What a wonderful meal! I just had to share the whole meal.
And now for the rest of the story…
For the Salsa
- 2 firm Avocado
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 ear of corn, removed from cob
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium tomato, seeded and diced (large dice)
- 2 – 3 large jalapenos, diced
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 lime, juiced
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Tuna
- 1/3 cup Ancho Chile Rub (Recipe found here)
- 2 10 oz Blue Tuna Steaks
- 2 Tbsp Oil
For the Salsa
Husk corn and remove kernels from cob. Notice, Baby Lady does not grill or roast the corn. She likes its crunchy texture and natural sweet flavor. It goes beautifully with the meal and this salsa.
Baby Lady uses a neat trick to cut the kernels from the cob. Most people stand the corn on end and cut downward which results in kernels going all over the kitchen. Baby Lady, instead, lays the corn on its side and cuts the kernels like you would slice a zucchini lengthwise. No hassle, no mess. Why people stood the corn on end is beyond me as you don’t cut many things that way, unless you’re Baby Lady dicing a jalapeño but that is the next portion of this story.
Dice the jalapeños, onion and tomatoes, peel and mince the garlic, and chop the cilantro. Here is another trick and tip Baby Lady wants to share. When chopping jalapeños, I simply slice them in half and remove the seeds. In so doing, I get the chile oils on my fingers and heaven help me if I rub my eyes. 😮 Baby Lady stands the jalapeño on its point and holding the stem slices the jalapeño downward, repeating the process until all that is left are the membranes, seeds and stem. This way she never touches the jalapeño and never has to worry about rubbing her eyes. 🙂
Put all the veggies BUT the avocado into a mixing bowl. Add the minced garlic, lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss to incorporate.
Now, slice an avocado in half, pit and score the flesh in large pieces (1/2 inch) because you want a chunky salsa.
Using a spoon scoop out the meat of the avocado and put in the bowl.
Repeat process with the other half and the other avocado. Once the avocado is completed, gently toss the ingredients to incorporate. You do not want to mash the avocados into a guacamole.
Cover and set aside
For the Tuna
Make the rub (recipe found here), or if you’re like me you have some in the pantry, so get it out. Liberally dust the tuna with the rub on both sides.
Heat a heavy bottom skillet (preferably cast iron) on high heat. When hot, add the oil and immediately slide the tuna steaks into the pan away from you. Because you are searing the tuna you want very high heat. For this purpose I use my wok burner at 17,500 BTUs and my cast iron skillet. If you don’t have a high intensity burner, put a large lid or another skillet on top of the other skillet. This focuses the heat downward on the skillet as opposed to dissipating the heat upward. This will get you a very, very hot surface. Make sure you have a skillet designed for this as you can actually warp the skillet. With very high heat, the tuna will sear on the outside in 30 – 45 seconds and form a beautiful crust. After 30 – 45 seconds, turn the tuna and sear the other side for another 30 – 45 seconds.
To Plate: Take a generous amount of the avocado salsa and place on the plate in a nice mound.
Place one of the seared tuna steaks on top at an angle giving the dish vertical structure.
Add the Israeli Couscous with Sugar Snap Peas & Asparagus on the side. Serve & Enjoy!
And now you know the rest of the story.