Monday, August 13, 2012

mango avocado tuna tartare

One of my favourite things about being home in Victoria are the dinner parties that my parents throw. Of course, I also love the ones that my friends throw, but the difference is the food. My parents have a group of friends who love food - making it, eating it and talking about it - and they bring the BEST nibblies to parties. We had a going-away party for some friends departing to Australia last week (complete with blow-up crocodiles floating in the swimming pool) and the good grub and wine was in abundance, bigtime. 

Fresh scallops with homemade pesto were skewered with real rosemary sprigs. 

Juicy figs were stuffed with melty blue cheese... heavenly.

... and a bunch of other delicacies were gobbled down too quickly for me to take pretty pictures of them.

My mom and I brought tuna tartare. We'd made it before and knew it would be a goodie - and it didn't let us down. Made with fresh albacore tuna, it made the perfect light, healthy and flavourful summer appy with some slices of crusty french baguette (have to be crusty). 

In fact - scrap the 'appy' label - I'd probably eat a bowl of this for dinner too, and be really, really happy about it. 

We use Ina Garten's recipe from her Barefoot Contessa Family Style cookbook. As we were grabbing the ingredients, I had the brilliant idea (ahem) to add fresh mango to the mix. We grabbed the ripest mangos we could find, which was easy at this time of year (have you had one? They're like biting into sunshine) and tossed them with avocado, diced tuna, jalapeño, scallions, sesame seeds and a bunch of juices and seasonings to make the ultimate hot mess of deliciousness. 

The flavours here are fantastic - savory, sweet, slightly spicy. The melt-in-your mouth tuna, mango and avocado mixture is perfectly peppered with the crunch of scallions and sesame seeds. I hogged my own appy all night (while occasionally leaving guard to gorge myself with the others). 

Great party guest. Totally invite me to your next jam. 

Oh, and make this. That'll guarantee my attendance. 

Mango Avocado Tuna Tartare
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Family Style
Serves 6 to 8

3/4 pound very fresh tuna steak
4 tablespoons olive oil
grated zest of 1 lime
3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice
1/2 teaspoon wasabi powder
1.5 teaspoons soy sauce
6 dashes tabasco sauce
1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1/4 cup minced scallions, white and green parts
2 teaspoons minced fresh jalapeno pepper, seeds removed
1 ripe hass avocado
1 large ripe mango
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

To Do:
- Cut tuna into 1/4-inch dice and place it in medium bowl.
- In a small bowl, combine olive oil, lime zest, lime juice, wasabi, soy sauce, tabasco, salt and pepper.
- Pour over the tuna, add the scallions and jalapeno and mix well.
- Cut the avocado in half, remove seed and peel. Cut into 1/4-inch dice.
- Peel mango and cut into 1/4-inch dice.
- Carefully mix avocado and mango into tuna mixture. Make sure not to mash mixture.
- Add toasted sesame seeds and season to taste.
- Allow mixture to sit in refrigerator for at least an hour for flavours to blend.
- Serve cold with crackers or crusty baguette.


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