I love tuna cooked this way. Outside on the grill, over an open flame. Somehow, it just tastes better outside! Sometimes, I just walk through the supermarket looking and waiting for an inspiration to hit me. That can be a good thing or a very bad thing. Some of the best meals I've made have come from not having a clue as to what I went to the store for. That can also be dangerous as I have no list and spend waaaay too much money and bring home things I didn't really need! Then there are my more rational, organized shopping trips. That's when I'm a woman with a mission.
Cucumber Dill Sauce
This shopping trip, I KNEW I wanted to make Cucumber Dill Sauce. For what you ask? I really had no idea what I wanted it for. I just wanted to make it and post it to my blog! I made this sauce at least once a week for almost four years while we were cooking at the Strong House Inn. It was for my famous Grilled Salmon dinner and everyone loved it...except for me! Back then, I didn't care for salmon. Not sure why either. Maybe I just didn't give it a proper chance. Four years later and I've learned to love salmon and fresh tuna, but it has to be cooked right or otherwise John gets the whole thing. BTW, he loves it when I don't finish my meals. Are all guys the same?
Hangin' Out at the Grill!
Now that summer is in full swing, the grill at the top of the dock is a more inviting place to hang around. We grilled in the winter too, but the trip back down a slippery ramp with a pan of food was a little precarious! Our dock mates walk by all the time and check out what's on the menu and on the grill. Some of them are quite surprised by what we eat on a boat. Most boaters have little to no interest in making anything more than hamburgers and hot dogs when they're here for the weekend. Either that, or they go out for supper every night. Because we live here and we're not independently wealthy or retired, we eat in more than we eat out. But, I refuse to eat like we're camping!
We make grill time an event. We carry everything up with us, and I do mean everything! Last night it was drizzling and John put up this monster beach umbrella and chairs and we sat underneath with a friend sipping our bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon! What a sight we were! But hey, we're living the good life with waterfront property!
SO, I was telling you about my Grilled Yellowfin Tuna with Cucumber Dill Sauce! I purchased a piece of bright red tuna. I picked it out because it was pretty. Shallow, huh? It was almost one pound in weight which I thought would be just the right size for the two of us. About an hour before we were planning to eat, I slathered it with light mayonnaise and a touch of salt and fresh ground pepper and put it back in the fridge. I do this because tuna can be a very dry fish if cooked too long or the wrong way. I like it nice and moist and full of flavor, not dry and fishy. I find that mayonnaise seals in the juices and gives it a nice flavor.
In the meantime, I made the Cucumber Dill Sauce with my new Cuisinart Mini Food Processor! Man, I love that little thing! (Thanks to the good son that loves his mother very much, thank you!) It was just John and I, so I made half a batch. It lasts for a few days if kept cold and I could have made it earlier and refrigerated it, but I didn't need to. I make it with lemon yogurt and light mayo, not just to cut down on fat and calories, but the lemon yogurt gives it such a nice flavor.
CUCUMBER DILL SAUCE (full batch)
- 1) 8 ounce container fat-free lemon yogurt
- 1 cup light mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup peeled and diced cucumber
- 1/4 cup fresh dill
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic (to taste)
- 1/2 tsp fresh grated lemon zest (to taste)
- Pinch salt
- Empty the yogurt into the food processor.
- Fill the empty container with mayo and add to the yogurt. WOW! Time saver! This way you're not dirtying another measuring cup!
- Put remaining ingredients in the food processor and blend until smooth and there are no cucumber chunks left.
- Refrigerate until ready to use.
- 3/4 - 1 pound fresh tuna steak (I buy it boneless and skinless)
- 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
- Fresh ground salt and pepper (to taste)
- Fresh lemon
- Preheat gas or charcoal grill on high and close for 10 minutes.
- With long tongs, slap that piece of tuna right on the grill. Do NOT disturb it for at least 2-3 minutes. You want the flesh to sear, sealing in the juices and making the flesh firm enough to flip over and not break apart.
- Turn the tuna 180 degrees and leave it there for another 2 minutes. This is to give your tuna steak that pretty diamond pattern you see in the fancy, schmancy restaurants!
- Carefully, flip the tuna steak over and grill for another 3-5 minutes or until the desired degree of doneness (is that a word?) is achieved. There is no way I can tell you how long to cook it for. Everyone is different. Peek inside with a sharp knife and see. Some people like it almost raw in the middle, much like sushi with the outside seared for flavor. Others poo-poo that idea thinking that fish needs to cooked through. Still others choose to cremate the poor thing, which in my personal opinion, is a waste of good expensive tuna! Only you will know how far to let it go. BUT, keep in mind that no matter what you cook, it continues to cook for a few minutes after you take it off the grill, pan or pot. (I found a good site by Helen Rennie that has tons of information about fish and seafood. Click here and see what she says about the burning question on everyone's mind, "Is it done?" Look at the photos.see what it looks like right off the grill and after 5 minutes.)
- Remove to a warm plate and serve with lemon or let cool and refrigerate the leftovers for REAL tuna fish salad!
- 2-3 large sweet potatoes
- 1 Tbsp rosemary oil or whatever you like
- 1 Tbsp fresh minced herbs or 1 tsp dried
- Wash sweet potatoes and cut off the ends.
- Pierce a few times on all sides with a fork.
- Bake potatoes in the microwave for 5 minutes and turn over. Continue cooking for another 3-5 minutes. Don't overcook to mush.
- Remove and let cool until you can handle them. You can do this a few hours ahead of time and leave at room temperature until ready to use.
- Slice lengthwise into spears and coat with oil and herbs. Let sit for 15 minutes.
- When you're ready to grill the tuna, place the spears over medium coals and grill for just a few minutes or until heated through and leaves those nice grill marks on them!