Sunday, June 27, 2010

Saturday Dinner - Seared Ahi Tuna Salad and Shrimp and Mint Summer Rolls

Ah. Something healthy! It may seem to you readers of this blog that I eat totally unhealthy creamy sauces with large chunks of red meat every day. Not so! About once a week I get a hankering for a really light meal, like fish or salad. This particular salad is a perfect combination of the two. I've been making this salad for several years - and I usually do a different version of the dressing every time. Once a long time ago, I found the perfect dressing in a recipe I came across online. And then I promptly lost the link. Note to self: bookmark, bookmark, bookmark! But I came across what I think was the version yesterday here. You gotta love the Canadians! A side note on Canadians, kind of: I went up to B.C. last spring was completely amazed at what great food they have there. I'm gonna have to go back soon.

This dressing is really good, but of course, if you have your own version it's not really a big deal. Do whatever feels and tastes good to you.

I found the summer roll recipe on my new favorite obsession, Serious Eats.  They were definitely the highlight of this meal for me. I love trying new stuff - and I always resign myself that I may mess up the recipe. But this was super easy and they turned out great. Better than I've had in a restaurant ever. I encourage you to try them. The peanut sauce is a creation from my friend Ashley and her boyfriend with some alterations here and there. It, too, was super easy and delicious. It was a little chunky for Trey's taste, but I loved its peanut-y flavor.

Shall we?

Seared Ahi Tuna Salad (adapted from of all places):

1 tbs fresh ginger minced
2 tbs green onion minced
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup olive oil

Whisk olive oil, lime juice, orange juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, onions and ginger in a small bowl and blend.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

Mixed baby greens
16 sugar snap peas
24 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large carrot, shredded
Wonton wrappers, cut into strips and fried
1 package Ramen noodles, cooked, drained and cooled (I love this addition, but I completely forgot to add it last night. Drats!)

Blanche snap peas until tender crisp. Mix together with cherry tomatoes, carrot and mixed baby greens.  Set aside.

4 5 oz fresh tuna steaks (3/4 to 1 inch thick)
2 tbs Montreal Steak Spice
1 tsp Five Spice
6 tbs toasted sesame seeds    

Preheat grill to medium-high. Mix toasted sesame seeds, Montreal steak spice and 5 spice together on a plate.  Dip fish into the seeds coating all sides and pressing fish so that everything adheres.  Oil grill and sear fish until it is just opaque in the center.  About 3 minutes per side, this will depend on the thickness of your ahi steak as well as the heat of your grill. Our new grill has its quirks - the back gets really hot while the front stays fairly cool. As a result, one steak was overcooked and one was too rare. Oh, well. We'll overcome the learning curve!

Toss the salad all together with half of the dressing.  Place cooked Ramen noodles on a plate.  Top with salad. Thinly slice the tuna and overlap slices on top of the salad.  Top with fried wonton strips. Drizzle with remaining sauce.

Shrimp and Mint Summer Rolls with Peanut Sauce (from Serious Eats):

For the rolls
2 ounces thin rice noodles, (about 1 cup cooked)
12 (8 1/2-inch) round rice paper wrappers
12 large shrimp, peeled, deveined, cooked, and cut in half lengthwise
1 cup peeled seedless cucumber, sliced into thin strips
1/4 cup carrots, sliced into thin strips
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
12 pieces fresh green leaf lettuce (3 by 5 inches), cut along the rib and rib removed

In a large pot, bring 6 cups of salted water to a boil. Cook the rice noodles until softened, 2 to 4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Shake off the excess water and set aside.

Spread a damp clean towel on a counter. Fill a pan with hot water. (Keep a bowl of hot water next to the pan and towel, as you will need to occasionally refill the pan with water.) Arrange all the ingredients within reach.

In the pan of hot water, dip one sheet of rice paper to wet it completely. Set the paper on the damp towel; the rice paper should become soft and pliable immediately. Arrange 2 pieces of shrimp in a horizontal line on the bottom third (2 1/2 inches from the bottom and 1 inch from right-hand side) of the rice paper wrapper. Place a small portion of rice noodles over the shrimp. Distribute some cucumber, carrots, and 4 to 5 mint leaves over the noodles. Place one lettuce leaf over the mint leaves. Fold the bottom half of the rice paper wrapper over filling, while using your fingers to press down on the ingredients. Fold the right-hand side of the rice paper over to enclose the ingredients at the bottom of the roll.

Pressing gently on the ingredients with your fingers, tuck in the ends, and gently roll the rice paper up tightly to form a cylinder. Repeat these steps to make the remaining spring rolls. Serve immediately with the peanut dipping sauce.

Peanut Sauce:
1 c. roasted peanuts (you can "roast" them in the microwave for about 2 minutes on high)
1/4 c. hoisin sauce
Dash Sriracha sauce
1/4 c. peanut butter
Olive oil to thin the sauce out

In a blender or food processor add all ingredients and process until well mixed. Drizzle olive oil until you reach the desired consistency. The sauce will be chunky - and delicious.

Bon Appetit!

No comments: