Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Seared Tuna Sandwiches

Ever since I made preserved lemons I have daydreamed about a sandwich I found on Epicurious involving canned tuna, preserved lemon and olive paste. I changed it up a bit to suit my own specific tastes and I must report, it is glorious. I used fresh ahi tuna instead of canned, and pounded the filet into thin palliards that just needed barely a minute of searing to keep their ruby interior. I also made a spicy mayo by mixing in some sriracha, a condiment my household cannot live without. A sprinkling of minced preserved lemon adds an allure, and the crisp topping of fennel and butter lettuce provides just the vegetal note needed. This is the type of sandwich that is meant to be eaten moments after you have assembled it so, in other words, don’t pack it in your lunch box to be devoured later.

For two sandwiches:

  • One baguette, cut into two, six-inch pieces and heated in the oven for 10 minutes or so

  • 4-6 ounces of fresh ahi tuna, pounded down to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into two equal pieces

  • 1½ tablespoons of mayonnaise

  • ½ to 1 teaspoon sriracha

  • 1 preserved lemon wedge, pulp discarded, rind rinsed and minced

  • Fennel shaved on a mandoline into 6-8 slices

  • 2 large leaves butter lettuce, torn into several pieces, ribs discarded

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • 3 teaspoons olive oil

  • Kosher salt and pepper

Stir together the mayonnaise and sriracha and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the fennel, butter lettuce, lemon juice and one teaspoon of the olive oil. Add pepper to taste and set aside.

Heat a cast iron skillet (or if you sadly don’t have one, you can use whatever mediocre thing you’ve got) on high. Add the remaining two teaspoons olive oil. Once very hot, carefully add the two tuna palliards, sprinkle with salt and cook, for 30 seconds to one minute. Flip the tuna and turn the heat off.

Spread the spicy mayonnaise on the bottom of both warmed baguette pieces, lay the tuna on top, sprinkle the minced preserved lemon over that, and finally, the lettuce fennel mixture. Enjoy the zesty goodness.

Adapted from a recipe on epicurious.com.

1 comment:

Eric said...

I was very excited to try this until I realized that I'm one of the sad ones without the right pan.

Guess I'll just go open a can of tuna fish instead.