Monday, June 23, 2008

Tuna Tartare

This weekend, Bob and I helped John and Peggy move. Not only was it a really hot day, it was also Cicada time!

Cicada??? These are really big bugs, about 2 inches long, that look like flies with red eyes. The particularity for these bugs is that they only come up every 17 years. As soon as it gets warm, the Cicadas come out of the ground were they have leaved for 17 years, climb on branches, get out of their shell and start flying around. Then they start the mating sounds...loud like a store alarm ringing all day long.

Why am I writing about Cicadas in a foood blog??? Well it seems that a group of people think they are a culinary treat. So of course, when the usual suspects came for dinner I was tempted to tell them Cicadas were on the menu!

Instead I decided to prepare Mike's feshly caught tuna as an appetizer. The quality of the fish was such that it would have been a shame to cook it. Raw tuna it is.

Tuna Tartare

1 lb sushi grade Tuna
10 Sundried Tomatoes
1 bunch of fresh Mint
3 tbsp Sesame seeds, toasted
1 1/2 tsp Wasabi powder
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Clean and dry the mint leaves and place in a food processor with the sundried tomatoes, the wasabi powder and about 1/3 cup oil, salt and pepper. Pulse to chop, but do not puree.

Chop the tuna with a really sharp knife. Pieces should be no more than 4mm. Again you do not want to puree the fish.

Tranfer the tuna in a medium bowl with the sundried tomatoes mixture and combine carefully. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

When ready, mold the Tuna Tartare in a ramequin, or very small bowl, and turn onto a plate. Decorate with a couple of mint leaves and the toasted sesame seeds.

Serve cold.
Serves 4.

I did not have any sundried tomatoes in my pantry but had some tomato Tapenade, which is pureed sundried tomatoes. It worked really well as I did not have to use the food processor. I chopped the mint with a knife and mixed everything together.
You may also adjust the quantities of wasabi according to taste. Remember, thought, that too much heat can be overpowering and kill the taste of the fish.

Bon appetit!!!

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