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When It's Tuna, Make It Rare

CAROUSEL, In this June 2, 2009 file photo, Lt. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, then President Obama's nominee to be commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File
When beef and pork are too heavy a meal and lamb is just not what you're hankering for, try reaching for a meat-like fish instead. The fish in question is tuna, and we're not talking the tuna sold by the can.

All tunas (albacore, bluefin, yellowfin, and bonito) have a distinctly rich-flavored flesh that is moderate-to-high in fat and firmly textured, flaky and tender.

The larger tunas are the tunas from which tuna steak come. These include yellowfin (called ahi), which reach 300 pounds and have pale pink flesh, and bluefin (the largest of the tunas), which exceed 1,000 pounds and have deep red flesh when adult.

Bobby Flay loves cooking with tuna because it is a hearty fish that can be treated a lot like a meat. Tuna is very mild in flavor, which makes it a perfect canvas for rich spices and tangy flavors. It can hold up to stronger seasoning in much the same way as meat does. When served as a steak, the girth alone is enough to fool a meat lover. (Tuna steaks should be cut one-and-a-half to two inches thick.)

For the person who shies away from fish because of the fishy flavor, tuna steaks are the perfect palate pleaser because they lack the fishy flavor so many folks find unpalatable.

As with a great cut meat, tuna should be served fairly rare. Overcooking dries out the meat and robs the fish of much of its natural flavor.

Enjoy the tuna with a side of hearty Green Onion Potato Salad.

Recipes:

Tuna Steak with a Hot Mustard Glaze & Green Onion Potato Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients For Mustard Glaze

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon molasses
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preparation

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.Add onions and garlic and cook until soft.Add wine and reduce by half. Add vinegar and cook for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the remaining ingredients.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Tuna

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 tuna fillets, 6 ounces each
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Mustard Glaze

Preparation

Heat grill pan over high heat. Brush the pan with some oil, season tuna with salt and pepper on both sides and grill on one side until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.

Turn over, brush tuna with the mustard glaze and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes for medium-rare doneness.

Green Onion Potato Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients

3 lbs new potatoes, cooked and cut into large chunks
6 green onions, thinly sliced
2 jalapeno peppers, grilled, seeded and finely diced
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Place potatoes, onions and jalapeno peppers in a large bowl. Whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard and vinegar in a medium bowl.

Add the mayonnaise mixture to the potatoes and mix well to combine. Fold in the cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste.