Tuna Steaks, Spinach Corn Ragout. Salmon Variation

I urge you to get familiar with Frozen Tuna steaks: You’re in for a treat!

While fresh tuna is most often not affordable (sorry to say I never get near it), frozen tuna steaks are the best deal: individually wrapped, sushi quality, at less than the price of Fresh fresh tuna. There’s nothing I don’t do with frozen tuna steaks. They take very little time to thaw, plus you can help the thawing along by placing the wrapped frozen fresh tuna steaks in a bowl of warm (not hot!) water. The simplest is of course, seared tuna steaks, 1-2 minutes on each side for medium rare, and slice them against the grain. I make Tuna Tartare, Tuna Burgers, Sashimi Salad, Salade Nicoise Etc… And now this Quick Fresh Tuna Ragout. Affordable Fresh Tuna will make a creative Fresh Tuna cook out of you!

Believe it or not, last night was the first time I tried making a stew with fresh tuna, as opposed to searing it or using it raw in tartare and other dishes.

I am happy to report, it worked beautifully. While seared fresh tuna will end up quite uninteresting if you sear it beyond medium rare, using it in a quick stew/ragout and cooking it along with other quick cooking ingredients results in a delicious dish. I am sharing here my new fresh tuna star, born just last night with a natural French flair (do look for that fresh tarragon sprig, widely available!). Now that I my first try with fresh tuna ragout is a hit, I will try the fresh tuna in combination with other ingredients next time: Stay tuned!

My recipe amply serves four for main course, and is a whole meal in made in a single pot in minutes. You can easily double the recipe, only be sure to use a large wide skillet with strait sides, so there’s no piling, and everything cooks evenly and in no time. I made mine with frozen spinach, which I always keep on hand for omelets, burgers etc..)

Friendly warning before I part with my recipe: Sadly, the dish doesn’t reheat well. The tuna in the reheated dish starts tasting fishy and oily, instead of clean and fresh when eaten on the spot, or at room temperature. Fresh tuna is just too delicate to withstand reheating. If you intend to serve the dish the next day, simply substitute salmon for the tuna.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, sliced thin
  • 4 large cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 4 large plum tomatoes, diced small
  • 2 cups water (or part water part dry white wine or sake)
  • 3 cups frozen spinach leaves, thawed (no time to thaw? just throw it in and break it up right in the skillet, it will warm up in no time), or 6 cups baby
  • spinach leaves
  • 3 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup pitted nicoise olives
  • 3 tablespoons tiny capers
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • Good pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 sprig fresh tarragon, leaves only, minced (settle for 1 teaspoon dry)
  • 4 6-ounce frozen fresh tuna steaks, cut in 1-inch dice (settle for salmon)

Instructions

Heat the oil in a large skillet. add the shallots, garlic and tomatoes, and saute 2-3 minutes. Add everything else except the tuna, and give the mixture a good stir. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the flame to medium. Add the tuna cubes, and cover the skillet. Cook for no more than 10 minutes. Serve hot, or at room temperature. Do not reheat the dish if you used tuna. OK to reheat if you used salmon.

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