We had a very relaxed holday, no parties or big meal. Bob is climbing his first mountain tomorrow and he was busy staring at maps, pondering the right energy bars for his meals, and double checking the special equipment he needs to bring. So, we stayed home and pretty much grazed all day long. Of course, we ate some tomato sandwiches. Then, I fired up the Weber and grilled some Ahi tuna for one of my favorite sandwiches. Whenever we go to Mustards Grill in Napa I usually order this sandwich, because I'm addicted to it. It's one of their signature items, so I'm not the only person who loves it. Then I got the Mustards Grill Napa Valley Cookbook and was able to recreate them from their recipe. Now I can order the Mongolian porkchops at Mustards and make these sandwiches at home. I must say, they tasted a lot better than the picture above looks. For one thing, the recipe says you should use buns made from brioche dough. Well, I wasn't in the mood to make buns, so I used a mediocre store bought version. Next time, bricoche buns it will be.
This is such a simple recipe, easier than a regular burger. But, all the ingredients, the pesto mayo, ginger, and tuna, work together to produce a truly memorable meal, so don't leave any of them out. If you can't get brioche buns, try to find a good quality soft variety of bun. And finally, the tuna should be cooked rare, not well done. You don't want dried out tuna, it should have that meltingly soft texture of good Ahi tuna. I like mine really rare, so I only grilled them for one minute on each side. You could grill them longer, but in no event should they be cooked longer than two minutes per side.
Later that night, I tested a new Ben & Jerry's flavor that sounded promising, but turned out to be very disappointing. It's called Turtle Soup and contains cashews, swirled chocolate and caramel. The cashews were coated with such a heavy layer of dark chocolate, I couldn't tell what kind of nut they were (Ben & Jerry have a bad habit of doing that, in my opinion). And there was too little of the chocolate or caramel. Back into the freezer went that pint. Anyone want it?
6 Ahi tuna steaks, each about 3/4 inch thick
6 slices red onion. each about 1/4 inch thick
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon olive oil
6 buns, preferably made with brioche dough
1 to 2 Tablespoons basic pesto
4 to 5 Tablespoons good mayonnaise
Japanese pickled ginger
Arugula or other lettuce/greens
Sprinkle tuna slices with salt and pepper and brush with olive oil. Split buns and toast cut side down on the grill. Combine the mayo and the pesto and spread on the buns.
Grill tuna and onions on a grill. Plan about 1-1/2 to 2 minutes per side for medium to medium rare.
Assemble each sandwich with some arugula or other greens, a slab of onion, tuna, and pickled ginger.