Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Marinated Ahi-Tuna Steaks

"In pepper or in paper?"did my flatmate asked me one day, showing me a pepper mill in one hand and a piece of paper in the other. We were just talking about the tuna recipe I had planned to cook for our bi-weekly dinner parties with our friends B&L in San Francisco...and he could not just put spicy+paper together even though he had seen me cook "en papillotte" before.  I know there is a major pronounciation difference between the two words but when come the evening: fatigue and a glass (or two) of wine make my French accent thicker, hence the confusion... and the funny situations I have got into over time!
So that night, the recipe for tuna was calling for pepper... and since I wanted to make sure not to use the 10-month-old pepper jar that was in our kitchen,  I had purchased high-quality multi-colored whole pepper corns that day. Pretty! High quality! High intensity! That pepper was soo spicy that we could just not possible eat the pan-seared tuna steaks. IMPOSSIBLE! Each bite was starting a fire...... After two bites, we decided to cut off most of the pepper to still eat the tuna. We drank a lot (and not just water!) and enjoyed a dressing-less salad to calm the heat!...  The next day though, we all felt that our skin was still perspirating pepper! That remained one of my best culinary disasters, yet a memorable moment full of laughter shared with great friends. And I laugh about it whenever I purchase/eat tuna!

I have not tried to cook tuna "in paper" nor have I tried "tuna in pepper" with my children yet. When we purchase raw tuna, I generally marinate it for a few hours (overnight is best) in a mix of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper (not too much!!), tomatoes, thin onions slices, and balsamic vinegar (I don't have a fix recipe, I just adjust the dressing to my liking.) We then just pan-sear the tuna in olive oil and eat it with a salad or over rice.  Easy. Tasty... but not as funny as my tuna steaks from San Francisco! Bon Appetit!

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