My mother-in-law introduced me to a lovely little store called Balducci's last year. I believe it's Maryland-centric, but I don't know for sure. It's a magical place filled with 14 month aged Manchego cheese, Champignon brie, deboned quail, and hard-to-find ingredients like Buddha's Hand Citron.
It is a place where one can find basil that smells and looks like real basil - in January.
Sadly, until I move up there later this summer I've only able to peruse their beautiful aisles on the few occasions I've had to get up there. That lovely mother-in-law of mine, or as I like to call her "The Good Food Fairy," brought me some tasty treats to tide me over in the food wasteland that is central North Carolina.
One of those treats was some gorgeous tuna steaks. They were the first things we had. I overcooked mine accidentally, I'd prefer them to be a tad less done. Cook them to your liking and keep a close watch - but please, no more than medium rare. Make sure to get a really high-quality tuna as well, the flavor of the dish rests on the freshness of the fish.
Seared Tuna with Creamy Soy Dressing
Yields 4 servings
16 oz sashimi grade tuna, preferably in 2 one-inch thick, 8 oz steaks
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon mirin
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
Scallions, chopped, for garnish
Black sesame seeds, for garnish
Season the tuna steaks with kosher salt. Coat both sides of the steak liberally with freshly ground black pepper. Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Sear the steaks for no more than 2 minutes per side. Remove from pan and set on a cutting board to rest. In a small dish whisk together the soy sauce and mayo until homogenous, then whisk in the mirin and rice vinegar. Slice the tuna steaks thinly and fan on an appetizer plate. Drizzle with the creamy soy dressing and sprinkle with chopped scallions and black sesame seeds. Serve immediately.