Monday, March 21, 2011

My journey with Tuna.

I have memories of a child sitting in the kitchen in our apartment.  The walls were wallpapered with colorful flowers on a white background.  The floor was rolled vinyl and unmemorable in pattern.  The table had shiny, tubular metal legs that curved at the corners.  The tabletop was mottled grey, white and some cream.

I remember sitting at that table and eating tuna sandwiches with pickles on the side.  I remember that shortly after that my parents tried the "Tuna Diet" where you were to eat large quantities of tuna in a short amount of time.  Shortly after that, we stopped eating tuna on a regular basis.  My Mom would buy me the cans of tuna every once and a while as a treat.  There would be several diet attempts after that - Grapefruit Diet and the Cabbage Soup Diet.  Each time we'd stop eating whatever the main ingredient was.  To be honest, I kind of giggle when reading about these kinds of diets.  How absurd they sound!

Tuna and I persevered though.  I love my tuna packed in water and drained, a tiny bit of mayo (just enough to barely hold it together), a teaspoon of dijon mustard, 10 green olives chopped, a tablespoon of parmesan cheese, black pepper and some chopped parsely.  If I have it, I add minced celery.  I love it plain, with crackers, on toast and in a melt.

Fresh tuna is another story.  It's like salmon to me - mysterious and appealing.  For the record I do not like salmon unless it's smoked.  I keep trying it and it just does nothing for me.  The texture and the strong taste is off-putting.  So a few weeks ago I bought Pete salmon and instead to my usual tilapia I bought a fresh tuna steak.  I brought it home and marinaded it some soy, ginger and garlic and baked it with his salmon.  Verdict?  It tasted just like canned tuna.  Hmmm....

This weekend I was determined to try it again.  I asked for recipes on facebook and searched online.  I found a good recipe and learned that you're only supposed to cook it a minute on each side and eat it rare.  Ummmmm.....Ok.  I marinaded in soy, garlic, honey and wasabi paste.  the marinade was delicious.  I grilled it this time on the grill pan I have after dipping in sesame seeds on both sides.  1 minute was not very long and it was still all pink so I went for 1.5 minutes on each side.

Verdict?  The outsides that were cooked longer were ok, but still lacked intense flavor that I thought would be there.  The middle?  I couldn't eat it because rare tuna to me is...icky. 

I think my journey with fresh tuna is over.  Canned tuna, will you take me back?

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