08 Jul


Steven K. Ledin,


Strange, but true. My fish is now at least 60 pounds. It grew 10 pounds even after it died last Tuesday. It continues to grow. The best thing about a dead tuna is that you can eat it. Some of my 70 pound tuna was shipped to me Monday, and it was sufficiently thawed enough last night to prepare.

Pieces from my 80 pound tuna were wrapped in several bags when I got them, so I didn’t know what they would look like. When I opened the bags last night I almost fell over. The smaller steak of two in one package was about four inches in diameter and about 10 inches long, and had the most beautiful feel and scent you can imagine. I am more of a meat eater than a fish eater, but this looked and felt remarkably like a choice tenderloin just cut from a freshly killed big game animal, except for the color. It was maybe the nicest piece of fish I had ever held.

With a bit of a Google search I decided on a Moroccan rub made of paprika, cumin, turmeric, anise seed, ginger, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, and lemon juice. I cut the fish into half inch thick steaks with my favorite Henckels chef’s knife, rubbed them with olive oil, then applied the rub. The thickness of the rub and the coarse black pepper kept the fish slightly off the surface of the cast iron skillet. This favorite skillet once belonged to My Shirley’s great great grandmother. The finish is so smooth it looks like a black mirror. I heated some olive oil and seared the fish for about two minutes on the first side and about a minute on the other until golden brown, with the heavier parts of the rub leaving nice scorch marks all around. The house smelled fantastic as this 90 pound tuna offered up its flesh over heat.

I went out to the garden where our rainbow Swiss chard is proliferating nicely. I harvested a beautifully varied colored bunch with the help of my favorite outdoor grilling and gardening light, the superb Pelican 2680 HeadsUp dive headlamp. I trimmed the stalks and chopped and sauteed them first for a few minutes in olive oil and lots of garlic. I tossed in some Himalayan pink salt just because I could. The leaves cook quickly, so I cut and bunched them into the pan, did a quick stir and covered it for a few more minutes.

The plate with the crispy but rare steaks from my 100 pound tuna were right at home on a nice plate with the steaming chard, and garlic scent always counts for good. I topped it with fresh garden zucchini blossoms for both of us. My Shirley had a salad and milk with her meal, and I had some imported Dutch bleu cheese and Ry Krisp crackers with grape juice. For dessert we shared some Amish friendship bread.

I cook all the time, and although My Shirley loves my cooking, she rarely criticizes it like I do. I am terribly hard on myself. Last night, though, there was nothing less than perfect. Outstanding, and one of the best food experiences I have had for months. The light and flavorful crust was so good my wasabi paste and soy sat unused. I had several different dreams about this meal, and I can’t wait to tackle another fillet from my 125 pound tuna with a different recipe, maybe on our huge grill, affectionately called the “Mother ship”. Bon appetit.


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