Blackfin Tuna

Our neighbor recently gave us some lovely Blackfin Tuna that they caught. They were very generous in how much they shared with us so I was able to make Tuna Salad and Grilled some filets for dinner.

Tuna Salad
1/2 lb. fresh tuna
3-4 ounces sweet pickle relish or cubes
1/8 cup finely chopped onions
1/8 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 t white pepper
1/8 t salt
1 T capers
3/4 – 1 T Dijon mustard
1/2 cup mayonnaise – I used Hellman’s

Poach tuna in water that is only slightly boiling – the water should look like it’s quivering. (Lemon slices, onion slices, bay leaf and peppercorns can be added to the water for added flavor.) Poach until firm to the touch and flakes easily. Remove from water to bowl and flake apart with two forks.
Combine remaining ingredients well and add flaked tuna. Stir to combine. Adjust seasonings as desired.

I enjoyed the Tuna Salad on whole wheat bread (no extra mayonnaise on the bread – there’s enough in the salad) with iceberg lettuce (I like the crunchiness of iceberg on sandwiches) and potato chips with Chesapeake Bay Crab seasoning the side.

For dinner I grilled the tuna and served it with steamed broccoli, smoked mozzarella pasta salad and “cheese toasts”. Scrumptious!

For the tuna, I coated each side with a packaged spice blend of black pepper, garlic, salt, celery seed and other herbs and spices. I sprayed the preheated grill with vegetable oil spray to prevent the fish from sticking to the grates. The tuna was cooked to a little past medium. As I understand, if the tuna is not rated as “sushi grade” it should be cooked more than rare. These were cooked 3-4 minutes per side.

Smoked Mozzarella Pasta Salad
1/8 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup mayonnaise – I used Hellman’s
1/8 cup white wine vinegar
1 very small clove garlic, minced finely (1/4 to 1/2 t)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 lb. penne pasta
1 small jarred roasted red pepper, diced
1/4 lb. smoked mozzarella cheese, diced

Combine the Parmesan cheese, parsley, mayonnaise, vinegar, garlic and salt and pepper in a food processor – I use a “mini prep” food processor – until the dressing is smooth. Set aside.
In a medium pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta according to package instructions for al dente. Drain the pasta into a colander and run cold water over it or submerge in ice water until pasta is cold. Drain well. In a medium mixing bowl, combine cooked pasta, roasted red peppers, smoked mozzarella. Add dressing and stir until combined.

Steamed Broccoli
I had forgotten I was serving this as a side and couldn’t put my hands on my stainless steel steamer. So, I cut the florets off of the stalk, placed them in the plastic produce bag I had put it in when purchased, sprinkled a little water and kosher salt in the bag, gave it a shake, cut a tiny slit in the top and tied a not in the top. Placed in the microwave an set timer for 1 minute 30 seconds. Done, perfect. Easy breezy!

Cheese Toasts
We serve these a lot as they are so easy and tasty. For the two of us, I used one whole pita bread, halved it and broke each of the halves in two – exposing the inside of the bread. I then placed the pieces on a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil, brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. While the tuna was cooking on the grill, I placed the foil with pitas on the other side of the grill, closed the grill lid and waited for the cheese to melt and get a little bubbly and a tiny bit brown. These can also be cooked under the broiler on HIGH – just keep a close eye on them whichever method is used.

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