November 05, 2006

Sesame-encrusted Tuna

The tuna is supposed to be deep red and firm to the touch, although we don't really feel comfortable asking to poke the fish before we buy it.

The sauce:
1 medium scallion, with the green part sliced into little rings and the white part minced
2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup water
1-1/2 tsp. sesame oil
2-1/2 tsp. sugar (although this is probably optional. at least use less.)
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

The fish:
Dry the tuna really well with paper towls
Coat it with vegetable or light olive oil (about 1 tsp.)
Season both sides of the fish with salt and pepper
Coat with sesame seeds

Heat 1 tbs. oil on high heat until you see little wisps of smoke
Put the fish in, and swirl the pan around to get the oil underneath
Set the timer for 30 seconds, then turn down to medium
Cook 1-1/2 minutes until there is a golden crust on the first side
Flip and cook for roughly 1-1/2 minutes on the second side (depending on thickness) for rare
Up to 3 minutes for medium rare but no more than this is recommended

Slice immediately and spoon the sauce over it. Eat!

30-minute turkey chili

Courtesy of the Food Network:

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon kosher salt*
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 chipotle chile en adobo, coarsely chopped, with 1 tablespoon sauce
1 pound ground turkey
1 (12-ounce) Mexican lager-style beer
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, with their juice
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Sliced scallions, cilantro sprigs, avocado, sour cream, grated Monterey jack cheese, and/or tortilla chips, for garnish, optional

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, salt, chili powder, and oregano and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and the chipotle chile and sauce; cook 1 minute more. Add the turkey, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and cook until the meat loses its raw color, about 3 minutes. Add the beer and simmer until reduced by about half, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes—crushing them through your fingers into the skillet—along with their juices and the beans; bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 10 minutes.

Ladle the chili into bowls and serve with the garnishes of your choice.

Food Network Cook's Note: A skillet's larger surface area reduces sauces faster than simmering in a saucepan.

*We added only a teaspoon of Kosher salt and it seemed to be enough. Also, we added a dash or two of cumin.