Pan Seared Tuna Steaks on Spinach a la
recipe has been reproduced with the kind permission
of Jane Butel and comes from her latest book
Real Women Eat Chile.
credited with starting the Tex-Mex mania, Jane Butel
published her first cookbooks on New Mexican and American
Mexican food in the 1960s. Sixteen cookbooks later,
her books and her Cooking School in Albuquerque, which
Bon Appetit called among "the best in the US",
bring you all there is to know and love about this cuisine.
is an internationally recognized authority on the regional
cooking of the American Southwest. The daughter and
granddaughter of accomplished home economists, she is
a cookbook author, teacher and television personality.
interest in Southwestern cooking predates its current
widespread popularity by decades. She was the first
to write about the cooking style that evolved in the
Southwestern border area and is credited with starting
the USA's love affair with this cuisine.
operates her own site-based Cooking
Schools, which have been recognized far and
wide for their quality of instruction. Jane's Cooking
School specializes in week long and weekend full participation
classes on New Mexican and Southwestern cooking - to
find out more click
tuna steaks are so good that they should be only subtly
enhanced. This tease with orange and garlic is just
perfect. Most people agree that tuna should be cooked
only to the rare to medium stage to preserve the moist,
fresh flavor. For this dish to be at its best, the tuna
must be cut about an inch thick, no less. Wilt the fresh
spinach in the same pan.
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon crushed caribe chile
1 tablespoon vegetable oil or oil spray (optional)
2 fresh tuna steaks (5 to 6 ounces each), cut 1 inch
1 10-ounce package fresh spinach, rinsed
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
a zester or a grater on the fine setting, zest the
very outside (orange part only) of the orange. Squeeze
a shallow, non-reactive bowl, combine the orange zest,
juice, garlic, and caribe chile.
the tuna and press into the liquid; turn the tuna
and press the other side into the marinade. Let stand
at room temperature at least 10 minutes and up to
10 minutes before serving time, heat a heavy, well-seasoned
skillet until hot over medium-high heat (see Note).
the tuna from the marinade (reserve marinade) and
cook for 4 minutes, then turn and cook for about 3
minutes. Keep warm.
the spinach to the skillet, drizzle with the reserved
marinade, and cover.
for 3 to 5 minutes, until the spinach is just wilted.
the vinegar and toss.
on warm serving plates and top with the tuna.
sprinkles should dance on the surface when it is hot
enough. If you do not have a well-seasoned skillet,
add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to a skillet.
with permission from Real Women Eat Chiles by Jane Butel