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Ahi tuna - I made tuna salad with it! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

c oliver Oct 9, 2010 07:41 PM

Okay, it's not as crazy as it sounds. We bought a couple of decent sized pieces of tuna and had one piece for dinner. The next night something else was planned and totally forgot about it the following night. We were doing a house exchange and were then about to leave. What to do? I seared the piece til completely done but not overdone. I let it cool completely and crumbled up in small to not so small pieces. Added some capers, lemon juice, a dab of Dijon mustard, mayo and s&p. We're staying in a dog-friendly motel on the way home and having it for dinner. It was VERY important that I taste it ahead of time, right???????????????? It's the best dang tuna salad --- by only about a million percent :) Granted, it's a bit of a splurge but.... BUT. I will sometimes fix either chicken or shrimp salad as a little hors d' when entertaining. I'm going to add this to my repertoire.

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    smtucker RE: c oliver Oct 9, 2010 07:46 PM

    The next time you have "extra" tuna, consider poaching it in olive oil before making the exact same salad. Totally surprising experience!

    4 Replies
    1. re: smtucker
      c oliver RE: smtucker Oct 9, 2010 07:48 PM

      Talk to me, girl! Covered in oo? Details please.

      1. re: c oliver
        smtucker RE: c oliver Oct 9, 2010 07:51 PM

        This is just what it sounds like. Find the smallest pan you have that will fit the tuna sitting on the bottom. Pour olive oil into the pan until the tuna is covered. Poach [low temp, only a bubble coming to the surface every 20 or 30 seconds] until the fish can be flaked. This is how tuna was preserved around the Mediterranean Sea for centuries.

        p.s. This is a particularly good solution if you need to store the tuna for some time. Place it in a container in the fridge with the oil, and it will keep for a couple of weeks. However, I have found that the texture does decay after that first week.

        1. re: smtucker
          c oliver RE: smtucker Oct 9, 2010 07:53 PM

          Yes, ma'am. Soon.

          1. re: smtucker
            corneygirl RE: smtucker Oct 10, 2010 07:51 AM

            I've done this, but first I infused the oil with lemon zest, bay leaf, dried red pepper and black pepper corns. Add seasonings to oil. Bring to low bubble, let cool strain and then proceed as above. Either way it is greater than the sum of its parts.

      2. goodhealthgourmet RE: c oliver Oct 9, 2010 08:29 PM

        i love using fresh tuna for it, but it always makes me not want to go back to the canned stuff :) i typically also add minced shallot or red onion and some fresh parsley, tarragon or dill.

        6 Replies
        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
          c oliver RE: goodhealthgourmet Oct 9, 2010 08:34 PM

          It's true, isn't it? And I really love shallot or red onion. Actually I HAD shallot and totally forgot about.

          1. re: c oliver
            goodhealthgourmet RE: c oliver Oct 9, 2010 09:00 PM

            there's always next time :)

            speaking of which, if you use the OO poached tuna try adding a splash of sherry vinegar, chopped roasted piquillo peppers, and a pinch of smoked paprika (and if you're feeling really indulgent, some chopped toasted walnuts or pine nuts).

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
              c oliver RE: goodhealthgourmet Oct 9, 2010 09:17 PM

              You are SO playing my tune. Sherry vinegar is one of my recent addictions. And I've been on a search for pinenuts. Think I'm going to order some NV ones and then buy some also when in Reno next week.

              1. re: c oliver
                goodhealthgourmet RE: c oliver Oct 9, 2010 11:07 PM

                ooh, good call on the pine nuts! i've had a heck of a time finding any that aren't from China.

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                  c oliver RE: goodhealthgourmet Oct 10, 2010 07:43 AM

                  If you check my posts, you'll see the NV source I found.

                  1. re: c oliver
                    goodhealthgourmet RE: c oliver Oct 10, 2010 10:06 AM

                    great, thanks :)

        2. ipsedixit RE: c oliver Oct 10, 2010 12:26 PM

          I do this too, but only sear it on on side and leave about 3/4 of the tuna raw. Then dice up and mix into the salad.

          I think fresh tuna versus canned shouldn't really be compared side-by-side. They are totally different dishes IMO. Both very good, but different. Love them both, just for different reasons.

          1. roxlet RE: c oliver Oct 10, 2010 01:22 PM

            I have frequently done this with left over swordfish. It makes a fabulous 'tuna' salad.

            4 Replies
            1. re: roxlet
              ipsedixit RE: roxlet Oct 10, 2010 01:24 PM


              Do you ever find that swordfish is a bit too strong (some would say "fishy) for use in a tuna salad?

              1. re: ipsedixit
                roxlet RE: ipsedixit Oct 10, 2010 01:27 PM

                No, not at all. You have to remove the very dark meat though. I find it quite light in flavor -- more so than the tuna in some tuna salads I have purchased that are made with dark tuna.

              2. re: roxlet
                c oliver RE: roxlet Oct 10, 2010 01:52 PM

                I've done it with leftover cooked fish. But not ahi. It felt like such a splurge, but well worth it. I'm such a fan now of Italian tuna packed in oo, I should probably donate all those cans of albacore pack in water :)

                1. re: c oliver
                  just_M RE: c oliver Oct 18, 2010 11:12 AM

                  The fresh ahi might be cheaper per lb then the Italian canned. It was in my neck of the woods last year but I haven't checked this year. I'm still working my way through the home canned stuff from last year YUM! Anywho, I'm sure the food bank would love your gift, I know ours was out :(

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                smtucker RE: c oliver Oct 18, 2010 10:07 AM

                Didn't you just buy "around my french table?" ::whisper::: page 305, tuna confit.

                1 Reply
                1. re: smtucker
                  c oliver RE: smtucker Oct 18, 2010 10:45 AM

                  Ooh, doesn't that sound good. Thanks, smt.

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