Grocery shopping in NYC can be a royal pain in the ass. Sure, its fun when you only have to get the necessities for that night’s dinner, and you can extol the virtues of residing in a City where nearly any ingredient is at your fingertips. Its much like I always imagine it would be to live in Paris, where I could drop in on the butcher, the baker, and the local fromagerie, filling my darling little red Hermes bag full of goodies as I daintily make my way home from work, smiling sweetly at the delivery boys who whistle at the sight of me tip-toeing down the cobblestone streets in my perfect pencil skirt and 3 inch heels.
But sometimes, you really need to stock the pantry, like the times you don’t just need milk and eggs, but you’ve also run out of pasta, soy sauce, the husband’s hot pockets, and triscuits (gotta have triscuits). On those days, I substitute my imaginary darling red Hermes bag for my not-so-darling red Granny Cart (its impossible to be dainty when using a Granny Cart), and make my way to Brooklyn’s own ‘Steve’s “Boogie Down” C-Town.’ (No, its not actually called “Boogie-Down.”) Steve’s C-Town is usually a complete and total zoo, but comes the closest to suburban one-stop grocery shopping that you are likely to find in my part of Brooklyn. Packed to the gills, and staffed almost entirely by teenagers. I once made the error of asking a young man working the produce section to help me to find won-ton wrappers. 15 minutes later, he led me to taco shells, and seemed satisfied with a job well done. He then went to the next aisle, where I think I heard him break up with his girlfriend.
What does any of this have to do with Seared Tuna Steak w/ Avocado and Cilantro Lime Dressing? Well I am getting to that. You see, your heroine made the trek to Steve’s C-Town, in the pouring rain mind you, just to be able to make this dish for you, my dear readers. As some of you have pointed out, I have been a particularly bad blogger as of late. My dear friend Rebecca further pointed out that this has been particularly frustrating, as she now has to actually pick up the phone and call me when she wants to know what is going on in my life. This will not do.
There are actually benefits to grocery shopping in the pouring rain in NYC. For one, C-Town was dead, and I did not have to stand in a 15 minute line where I always seem to end up getting questioned by the woman behind me about why I would ever be crazy enough to pay that exorbitant amount for organic eggs. Two, the deli guy was in rare form, giving me samples to try when I couldn’t decide on my deli meat. Three, one of the teenagers actually helped me to load my Granny Cart, and lifted it over the gate that prevents anyone from stealing grocery carts. I even got a “New York whistle” (this is when men hiss at you like you are a cat) from some delivery boys on break. My Paris dreams were all coming true! And that’s when the rain wetting the plastic bags in my cart caused the entire top layer of stacked bags to fall to the ground, with the bag holding my organic eggs leading the pack. Oh New York, you do make it hard to love you sometimes.
So on to the recipe. Yes, this is the recipe that I have been promising these past few weeks, the one I made not once, not twice, but three times when my husband was away on his business trip. What’s so great about it, you ask? Well first of all, it has lots of avocado. Secondly, well…does there really have to be a secondly where avocado is concerned?
Seared Tuna Steak w/ Avocado & Cilantro Lime Dressing
adapted from both Tyler Florence & Dr. Andrew Weill
1 fresh tuna steak – as big as you are hungry
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon freshly microplane-grated ginger
2 cloves freshly microplane-grated garlic
1 teaspoon brown sugar
juice of 2 limes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 handful chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 haas avocado – cubed
salt & pepper
Step 1: Prepare your dressing. Add the soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sugar, and lime juice to a bowl, and whisk together. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking as you do, until incorporated into the dressing. Taste, and adjust oil/salt/acidity if needed. Add the chopped cilantro and mix gently. Step 2: Set a dry non-stick pan over medium-high heat, until its hot. Season the tuna steak on one side with plenty of salt & freshly ground black pepper.
Step 3: Place the tuna, seasoned side down, into the pan. It should sizzle loudly. Season the side facing up, allow the tuna steak to cook for just a minute, and then flip it over. Step 4: Immediately spoon a large spoonful of the dressing over the cooked side of tuna. It will sizzle around the tuna as it cooks for barely one more minute, forming a syrupy glaze around the bottm of the tuna steak.
Step 5: Remove from the pan to a plate, top with the cubed avocado, and drizzle with the remaining dressing. Enjoy.
Did you catch how remarkably quick and easy this recipe is? Its seriously like not even 10 minutes till its on your plate. Now let me fill you in on a little secret about grating fresh ginger. Cooking with fresh ginger used to be a huge pain in the butt to me until I learned this cool trick. Take your ginger home from the market, peel/cut away the brown skin, and make yourself cubes and sticks of the yellow root. Now place them in a small plastic bag, and freeze them. Whenever you need grated ginger, just grate one of the little frozen blocks for the amount you need. It works beautifully. You know who I learned this from? Rachael Ray! See, we shouldn’t hate on Rachael Ray, ill-fitting pants aside.