Sunday, March 18, 2007

Sunday Supper: 10 Minute Magic -- Glazed Tuna Steaks with Just 'Gus and rice

I waffle on Sundays, either being filled with drive, vim and vigor, ready to face the next week OR indulging in complete, belligerent laziness, which pervades my very soul, FORCING me to lay on the couch with my feet up eating reduced-fat popcorn and watching old movies. It's a crap shoot, frankly. Take your chances, if you're anything like me, but definately ante up to this easy-peasy Sunday supper. It's healthy, filling, and tastes gourmet, so your roommate/significant other/free-loading relatives will be utterly impressed with your efforts. And to someone like me, who physically runs on the power of her vanity, the impress factor is critical.

Sunday morning, when you're padding around in pink fluffy slippers and drinking coffee, make this marinade and pop your steaks into it. You'll need:

4 (6 oz) Tuna Steaks*
3 T. reduced-sodium soy sauce (for optimum calorie-saving)
2 T. rice vinegar (You can totally use normal vinegar, but the taste is a little more strident. Just be aware. The vinegar is key, though. It really gives the meat a nice tang.)
1 T. honey
1 chopped scallion
splash of lemon juice, fresh
kosher salt, fresh ground pepper and Old Bay seasoning (or similar) to taste.

You'll also need 2 t. oil for later, as well as optional sesame seeds. But meanwhile, season the steaks sparingly with the salt, pepper and Old Bay. You don't need a lot, just a little sprinkle. Then place in a big, sealable plastic bag. Toss in that scallion. Whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, honey, lemon juice and pour over steaks in bag. Give the bag a firm shake (show it who's boss) and then pop into the fridge for up to 8 hours. You can also do this marinade 5 minutes before cooking, so you decide when you want to spend your time in the kitchen. When you're ready to cook, pull the meat out and let it lose the fridge chill. Take the marinade from the bag and heat it in a small saucepan. Let it come to a boil and then simmer while you cook the steaks. This would also be a fine time to put on some 10-minute brown rice. None of us are getting enough fiber, you know.

Also, this is when I usually do my Just 'Gus**, while the steaks are coming up to room temp. Preheat the oven to 450 and get out a rimmed cookie sheet or jelly-roll pan. Spray it with Pam cook spray. Take a fresh bunch of asparagus, rinse it and trim the hard ends off. Place the 'gus in a single layer on the pan. Now, mix 1/4 C. olive oil with 1/4 C. red-wine vinegar and pour that over the 'gus evenly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss it in the oven and cook for 10 minutes, shaking the pan once in the midst of the cook cycle to get an even bake.

While your rice and Just 'Gus is cooking, get started on your main course. Heat 2 tsp. of oil (I like to use that asian sesame oil, but any kind is fine) in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the room temp. steaks to the heat and cook until pink in the middle, about 3 -- 4 minutes per side. Serve with the sauce over it, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

The 'Gus is like 50 calories, the Tuna steaks are only 230 -- 250, and if you use brown rice, then a half cup is only 85.

Now get back to your Sunday indulging! Those pink fluffy slippers won't wear themselves, you know!

Tuna Tunes:
"Sunday Kind of Love" by Etta James (because you love yourself enough to treat yourself to a Sunday Supper!)
"Gus: The Theater Cat" (from Cats -- see note below)
"Ball and Chain" by Sublime (it will remind you how free we are of the traditional chains of cooking all day!)

* Tuna ain't always cheap -- I was lucky this week, it was a "fresh catch" at the Teet, and nearly half the normal price, but normally it can be a bit cost prohibitive for every day munching. You have options, though. You can always buy the frozen tuna steaks and simply defrost them under cool running water as you prepare the marinade. Or you can buy a different meat. Chicken breasts are good with this, so are pork chops and swordfish. See, this would be an excellent time to get to know your local grocery store personnel. Go to the Teet. They won't steer you wrong.)

** I call it "Just 'Gus" because whenever I used to make it, I always got this blasted song in my head from Cats -- Gus: The Theater Cat. Anyway, one of the lyrics is, "His name, as I ought to have told you before, is really 'Asparagus', but that's such a fuss, to pronounce, that we usually call him 'Just Gus'..." The recipe I originally got from Redbook, which has good recipes but is hit and miss regarding fat/calorie content.

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