I’ve had plenty of fish and salsa dishes, but I’ve never had one like this.
For the second meal of Week 25, Chef Brian’s bringing ahi back with a coriander-and-garlic-spiked marinade that had my palate wondering what the heck hit it. The corn and black bean salsa is familiar enough, but a hint of basil elevated the flavors even more.
Add to it the coolness of sour cream, the creaminess of pureed avocado and a whole lot of sour citrus and you’ve got one heck of a fiesta in your tummy. (So yummy, so yummy.)
Without further ado, here’s Week 25, Meal 2: Coriander and garlic marinated tuna over corn and black bean salsa with avocado puree and lime sour cream.
The Recipe (Yield: 2 servings)
2 5-6 oz. pieces of ahi tuna
2 T coriander seeds, toasted
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
2 T olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
Avocado puree (store the half for tacos in the fridge with plastic wrap literally on top of the puree to avoid oxidation)
2 avocado, pitted and rough chopped, get one that is fairly soft so that it purees easily
1 t salt
2 lime, juiced
water, as needed
Lime sour cream
1 c light or non-fat sour cream
4 limes, juiced
Salt, to taste
Corn and black bean salsa
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 ear of corn, husked
2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 shallot, small diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
2 T basil, chopped
2 limes, juiced
salt and pepper, to taste
cooking spray, as needed
When you’re ready to go on the marinade, heat a small saute pan over medium heat and toast 2 T of coriander seeds until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
In a Magic Bullet or with a mortar and pestle, crush the seeds and mix with 2 cloves of garlic and 2 T of olive oil. In a plastic bag or container, coat 2 5-6 oz. pieces of ahi tuna with the mixture and marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
When done marinating, season with salt and pepper.
Knock out the two quick components that don’t need a grill next, then preheat your grill closer to the time the fish is ready because you’ll need to roast the corn and grill the fish.
To make the lime sour cream, combine the juice of 4 limes with 1 c of light or non-fat sour cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
(Here’s a reminder to preheat that grill to high.)
For the avocado puree, remove the pit and roughly chop 2 avocados. Combine the avocados in a Magic Bullet or blender with the juice of 2 limes and 1 t of salt. The softer the avocado, the easier it is to puree, but if it doesn’t go easily, add 1/2 t of water at a time until you get a puree with the consistency of pudding.
Reserve in the fridge in an air-tight container with plastic wrap directly on top of it to keep it from browning. You’ll need to use it for plating today and for Week 25, Meal 3’s chicken tacos.
Finally, take care of the the bean salsa. Hit the grill with cooking spray and grill the corn on all sides until you get some color on the kernels. Remove the kernels from the cob. Next, drain and rinse 1 can of black beans, seed and dice 2 roma tomatoes and 1 jalapeno pepper, dice 1 shallot, chop 2 T of basil and juice 2 limes. Cut the kernels from the corn and add to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Wipe sweat from brow. Keep truckin’.
Back on the grill go with a little more cooking spray and cook the tuna for 1-2 minutes per side until the tuna is medium rare to medium.
Chef Brian’s note: “I know, I know — a chef saying to cook tuna more than rare? What?! But, I find the extra cooking time actually sucks the marinade into the meat a little more.”
Reserve until plating.
To plate: You’re going to do three intersecting lines.
First, put down a 1/3-1/2 c dollop of avocado puree on one side of the plate. Use the back of a spoon to press down on the dollop and spread it across to the other side of the plate.
Then do a line of lime sour cream across the avocado puree at about a 60 degree angle. Finish with a third line of the salsa in the large section between the avocado puree and the sour cream.
Finish the dish by slicing the tuna and laying it out in the middle of the three lines. I’d like to say my presentation was just how Chef Brian envisioned it, but it’s totally not and that’s okay. This one was a lot of work so enjoy the victory — it may not be pretty, but this one does taste great.
I couldn’t decide which was better, the black bean salsa or the tuna. I’m no fan of ahi, but the thick coating of coriander and garlic gave the meat an extra-savory taste and the extra time on the grill definitely lessened my disdain for ahi (weird texture, weird flavor). The salsa could be a side dish for a multitude of meals, and it’s just another I’m going to add to my rotation of sides that are quick to make and good for you. Combine the fish with the salsa and add a drizzle of sour cream and a dollop of avocado and you’ve got flavor and texture beating your taste buds like a pinata.
Viva fresh Mex!