Tuna Tacos with Tequila Crema
Source: Steven Raichlen
Serves: 8 as a main course
This recipe from master griller Steven Raichlen comes just in time for National Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day! Teach them how to take a Mexican favorite — tacos— to a whole other level. These tuna tacos are sophisticated and delicious. Your adult guests will be more than happy to help finish off the tequila after you add a splash to make the crema. (Check out this Fiery Margarita Recipe.)
3 pounds sushi-quality tuna steaks, each 1-1/2 inches thick
Premium extra virgin olive oil
For the rub:
3 teaspoons coarse salt (sea or kosher)
3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 teaspoons ground cumin
3 teaspoons hot red pepper flakes
For the tequila crema:
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon each sea salt (sea or kosher)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 cup sour cream
1 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons tequila or mezcal
1 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
Pico de Gallo (recipe follows)
3 cups shredded cabbage or lettuce
24 corn tortillas
1. Place the tuna on a platter. Make the rub: In a small bowl, combine the salt, black pepper, cumin, and hot red pepper flakes. Brush both sides of each steak with olive oil and sprinkle with the rub. Refrigerate for 30 minutes while you make the sauce and light your Angara grill.
2. Make the tequila crema: Place the garlic, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl and mash to a paste with the back of a wooden spoon. Add the cilantro, ginger, sour cream, yogurt, lime juice, tequila, and lime zest, and stir to mix. Place the crema in an attractive serving bowl.
3. Make the Pico de Gallo and place in an attractive serving bowl. Place the cabbage or lettuce on a platter or in a serving bowl.
4. Light your Angara grill and heat to high. Brush and oil the grill grate.
5. Arrange the tuna on the grate and grill until charred on the outside, but still quite rare in the center, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the tuna to a cutting board and thinly slice. Arrange on a platter or plates.
6. Grill the tortillas until warm and pliable, 30 to 60 seconds per side.
7. To serve, place a few slices of tuna on each tortilla. Add a spoonful each of tequila crema and Pico de Gallo. Top with shredded cabbage or lettuce and fold the tortilla in half. Serve at once.
SUB-RECIPE: PICO DE GALLO
Makes 3 cups
4 luscious ripe, red tomatoes, preferably heirloom, finely chopped
2 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped (for a hotter salsa, leave the seeds in)
1 white onion, peeled and finely diced
4 red radishes, trimmed and finely chopped (optional)
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup fresh lime juice, or to taste
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Within 2 hours of serving, combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl and gently toss to mix. Correct the seasoning, adding lime juice or salt to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl.