Seared Tuna Steaks or: How I Learned to Stop Paying Attention and Burn My Hand

That greyish slab of meat you’re looking at is not a pork chop. It’s a tuna steak.

This particular experiment gone wrong was adapted from a Men’s Health recipe for seared swordfish steaks. I foolishly thought that if I replaced the expensive swordfish steaks with the affordable (i.e. previously frozen) tuna steaks, everything would be fine. Did I mention how foolish this was?

I did follow the recipe very closely, adding a sprinkle of salt and pepper to each side of the steaks before tossing them in hot oil. After searing them for several minutes, I flipped the steaks and threw the whole skillet in the oven for another 8 – 10 minutes.

When removed from the oven, I was disappointed that the fish did not look as professionally “crusted” as I expected. But the real surprise came with the taste test.

After cutting in and sampling a bit, my worst suspicions were confirmed. Not only were they overcooked (not a hint of pink on the inside), but they retained that unpleasant fishy taste.

Like any desperate cook (or politician), I tried to cover up my mistake. There was still some oil in the skillet and I thought it would be a good way to moisten up the meat before turning to the refrigerator and spice rack for additional flavors.

Somehow, I ignored the fact that the skillet had just finished a good 10 minute bake at more than 300 degrees and was therefore extremely hot.

So I grabbed it.

It took a split second for my brain to realize what my hand was doing. But that split second was all it took for the burn to take hold. I like to describe it this way: OWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!

Ten minutes under cool water and a good numbing ice pack later, I was finally able to use my left hand to eat some of what I prepared.

The conclusion: my fingers were better cooked than the fish.

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