How to Make: Blackened Tuna w/ Cajun Tartar Sauce
This recipe comes from Raichlen’s Indoor! Grilling Cookbook – a present from my brother in-law that goes with the shiny new indoor grill my mother in-law got us for Christmas. Since we couldn’t bring the grill back with us in our luggage, we waited an extra week for it to arrive and then like the foodies we are, flipped through the cookbook to find the right recipe to test drive the grill with.
Blackened Tuna Ingredients:
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
4 tuna steaks (each 1 to 1 1/4 inch thick and 6 ounces)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Lemon Wedges, for serving
Cajun Tartar Sauce (recipe follows)
Fresh Yellow Tuna Steaks
1. Place the salt, garlic and onion powders, paprika, oregano, thyme, black and white peppers, and cayenne in a small bowl and stir to mix. Set the Cajun seasoning aside. (can be made a few days in advance if needed)
2. Trim any skin or dark/bloody spots off the tuna. Rinse the tuna under cold running water, then blot it dry with paper towels. Brush each tuna steak on both sides with the butter. Set aside 1 tablespoon of the Cajun seasoning for the Cajun Tartar Sauce. Sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon of the remaining seasoning on each side of the tuna steaks, patting it into the fish with your fingertips. Store any leftover Cajun seasoning in an airtight jar away from heat or light – it will keep for several months.
3. Cook the tuna steaks. If using a contact grill like me, preheat the grill on the high setting. When ready to cook, lightly oil the grill surface. Place the tuna steaks on the grill, then close the lid. The tuna will be cooked to medium-rare after 3 to 5 minutes.
4. Transfer the tuna to a platter or plates. Serve with lemon wedges and Cajun Tartar Sauce on the side.
Cajun Tartar Sauce Ingredients:
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 tablespoon minced fresh jalapeno pepper
1 tablespoon minced pimiento-stuffed olives
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1teaspoon Louisiana style hot sauce
Place all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl and whisk. Set aside until ready to serve. Can be made a few days in advance and refrigerated.
I followed this recipe to the letter, as it was a fish dish, and you all know how often I cook fish (almost never). The rub could be replaced by Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Blackened Redfish Magic but the Cajun Tartar Sauce is key to this recipe – it’s spicy but not too spicy that it overwhelms the flavor of the tuna. This may not be a mid-week meal, but if you prep ahead of time you can have it done in a matter of minutes. Fast, healthy and with a spicy kick – this is one recipe that I’ll be using again in the future.