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Seafood collection: Grilled Tuna Ciabatta
July 28th, 2011 @ 05:15 PM EST by admin

The Seafood Collection:

In the fifth part of the series, we’ll prepare a Grilled Tuna Ciabatta.

A variation of the traditional New Orleans muffaletta, this hearty sandwich is a taste treat for seafood lovers. You can use your favourite Italian or French bun or my choice… ciabatta!

What you will need:

½ C. finely chopped pickled vegetables ½ C. finely chopped pimiento olives
¼ C. extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp. olive juice
1 tsp. dried oregano 4 – 4 oz. thin sliced fresh tuna filets
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar 4 slices Provolone cheese
4 ciabatta buns (split) Salt & Pepper

Easy steps for preparation:

Preheat grill to medium (300˚F – 350˚F). Combine vegetables, olives, evoo, oregano, vinegar, and olive juice in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, cover, and set aside.

Brush tuna with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 2 – 3 minutes per side… longer if you can’t cope with medium rare tuna.

Brush the split sides of buns with oil and grill facedown for 1 minute. Flip buns, place cheese slices on bottom half of each bun, and close grill to melt cheese.

Place 1 tuna filet on top of the melted cheese bun half. Top tuna with the olive mixture and cap with second half of bun.

About the main ingredients:

Tuna is one of the world’s favourite fish. It provides a critical part of the diet of millions of people across the globe. It is also the core of the luxury sashimi markets. The five main commercially harvested tuna are: skipjack, yellow fin, big eye, albacore, and blue fin.

Tuna are incredible creatures. Highly migratory, they travel thousands of miles over their lifetimes. Despite weighing up to 700 kg, the majestic blue fin can accelerate faster than a Porsche and can swim as fast as 43mph. Some species travel from North American to European waters several times each year. Yellow fin have been recorded traveling from the US Pacific coast to Japan, they travel at an average speed of ten miles per hour, but can reach up to 50mph.

In Italian, ciabatta means “slipper,” leading some people to call the bread “slipper bread.” The name is a reference to the shape, which does rather resemble a slipper. Ciabatta bread tends to be short, wide, and long, which makes it ideally suited to sandwiches. It is also offered with olive oils and other dips, since the crumb absorbs dips and liquids very well, and it may be toasted when served for this purpose. Dried ciabatta bread can also be turned into excellent croutons.

Pairing:

A short trip up the Niagara Escarpment will take you a world away at De Sousa Wine Cellars. The estate winery, surrounded by lush vineyards, gardens, and groves of trees, offers a 2006 Meritage Reserve for $16.95. The Bordeaux grapes used in the production of this wine were harvested late October and early November 2006. The wines remained on the skins for a period of 16 to 26 days and after pressing and malolactic fermentation (when malic acid is changed into lactic acid), aged in oak barrels for periods of 12 to 13 months. The Meritage is a blend of 29% Cabernet Franc, 22% Merlot and 49% Cabernet Sauvignon. It won the Bronze Medal at InterVin International Wine Competition in 2009. A great companion to grilled tuna and red pasta dishes.

Hints and tips:

Friends and clients often ask me about knives. What to buy… How much to pay… What does one really need? My answer is always the same. Start with two basic knives, an 8 or 10-inch chef’s knife and a paring knife. With these two knives, you can do almost anything you’ll need to do in your kitchen. Add more knives for specific tasks only as you need them.

You won’t find quality kitchen knives at a grocery store, a gas station, or a bait-and-tackle shop. Go to a specialty kitchenware shop, cutlery store, or online cutlery retailer. When shopping for knives, avoid your local big-box retailer. It may carry the same brand names as a cutlery store and they may be cheaper, but they won’t be the company’s top-of-the-line knives. You’ll find that you do indeed get what you pay for. If you want a quality chef’s knife, expect to pay $80 to $150 or more for it. Beware of buying knives in a set. You’ll end up paying for knives you don’t need and will never use.

The best knives in the world come from Solingen in Germany, Thiers in France, Sheffield in England, and Sakai or Seki City in Japan. If you buy a knife made in one of these locations, you will be investing in a quality knife that will last literally a lifetime.

Damon G. Beggs
sparrow_nyc@sympatico.ca