Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Yellowfin Tuna Steak Reuben & Blueberry Pomegranate Vinaigrette Dandelion Salad

     A Fresh Tuna Steak Reuben!
     The flavor of fresh Yellowfin Tuna on a Reuben Sandwich is delicious!  Back in the early 1990's,  Yellowfin Tuna Reuben Sandwiches were a hot selling item at a trendy French café that I worked in.  At first, I was not sure if the French chef's Tuna Reuben idea would fly, but after noticing the nice aroma of the first sandwich it was evident that the Tuna Reuben would be a success.
     A thin sliced Yellowfin Tuna Steak will cook to a medium rare temperature on a Reuben Sandwich just from the carryover heat.  Of course, only Sushi Grade Yellowfin Tuna can be cooked rare to medium rare.  The deep freezing process eliminates pathogen threats in fish.
     If the Yellowfin Tuna has not been prepared for sushi by deep freezing, then the tuna should be cooked till the center temperature is 145ºF.  This means that if a Yellowfin Tuna Steak is not sushi grade, then it must be fully cooked, no matter how fresh and clean that the tuna looks at the market.

     Most restaurants simply use pre-prepared Thousand Island Salad Dressing straight out of a gallon jug as a sauce for Reuben Sandwiches.  Honestly, manufactured Thousand Island Dressing does not exactly taste great, especially on a Reuben Sandwich.
     I used to work at a German delicatessen and the owner made everything from scratch, including the Reuben Sauce.  The old German chef claimed that Reuben Sandwiches were first created in his home country and the sauce for the sandwich was something special.  An authentic German deli style Reuben Sauce is rather zesty and it tastes much better than Thousand Island Dressing.  German deli style Reuben Sauce was designed for pickled beef, but it also tastes great with tuna.
     Yellowfin Tuna is better known as Ahi Tuna.  When I originally wrote this recipe several years ago, Yellowfin Tuna was available in great numbers.  Now Yellowfin Tuna are much lower in numbers and sustainability is an issue.  Some ecological experts say that because of restaurant and fishing industry pressure, the sustainability rating of Yellowfin Tuna is exaggerated so sales can continue, even though the number of Yellowfin Tuna in the sea declines each year.
     Personally, I do not market Yellowfin Tuna anymore and I prefer fish that have higher sustainability ratings.  Any mild tasting fish can be substituted in today's Reuben Sandwich recipe.  As a consumer, guilt free dining is where its really at!  Sustainability websites like Seafood Watch make choosing guilt free fish easy to do.  Here is the link:  Seafood Watch
     Reuben Sauce: 
     This yecipe yields enough for 2 sandwiches. 
     This German Reuben Sauce is rather zesty!
     Step 1:  Place 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1 tablespoon of German Mustard.
     Add 2 tablespoons of organic ketchup.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of horse radish.
     Add 1 tablespoon of imported German sweet pickle relish.
     Step 2:  Mix the ingredients together.
     Chill for 30 minutes, so the flavors meld.

     Blueberry Pomegranate Vinaigrette:
     This recipe yields about 1/4 cup.  (Enough for 2 petite salad portions.) 
     Blueberry Pomegranate Vinegar was widely available a few years ago.  If none is available, try another berry flavor vinegar.  
     Step 1:  Place 1 tablespoon of Blueberry Pomegranate Vinegar in a small mixing bowl.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
     Add 1 pinch of oregano.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar.
     Add 1 teaspoon of Dijon Mustard.
     Stir the ingredients.
     Step 2:  Slowly add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, while stirring with a whisk, to create a loose vinaigrette emulsion.
     Step 3:  Set the vinaigrette aside for 5 minutes, so the flavors meld.
     Stir before serving.

     Blueberry Pomegranate Vinaigrette Dandelion Salad: 
     This recipe yields 1 petite salad.  
     Step 1:  Place 1 1/2 cups of torn dandelion greens in a small mixing bowl.
     Add 1 tablespoon of thin bias sliced green onion.
     Chill the simple salad mixture till it is needed.
     Step 2:  Just before serving when the sandwich is ready, pour 1 1/2 tablespoons of the Blueberry Pomegranate Vinaigrette over the dandelion salad.
     Toss the ingredients together.
     Mound the salad on a plate as an accompaniment.

     Sauerkraut Preparation:
     This recipe yields enough for 1 sandwich.
     Step 1:  Place about 3/4 cup of sauerkraut in a strainer.
     Rinse the sauerkraut twice with water.
     Step 2:  Place a sauté pan over medium low/low heat.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of unsalted butter.
     Add the rinsed sauerkraut.
     Gently sauté till the sauerkraut is warmed.
     Keep the sauerkraut warm on a stove top.

     Yellowfin Tuna Reuben: 
     This recipe yields 1 sandwich.
     Step 1:  Select or cut a thin Yellowfin Tuna Steak that weighs 4 to 5 ounces.  The yellowfin tuna should be about 1/4" thick and is should be able to fit on the sliced bread. 
     Step 2:  Heat a cast iron griddle over medium/medium low heat.
     Pour 1 teaspoon of melted unsalted butter on the griddle.
     Place the thin tuna steak on the butter.
     Lightly season with sea salt and white pepper.
     Cook the tuna steak on both sides, while starting the grilled sandwich.
     Step 3:  Brush 2 slices of rye bread with melted unsalted butter.
     Place the bread on the griddle.
     Place a few thin slices Swiss Cheese (Ementaler Cheese) on the bread.
     Spread about 1 tablespoon of the Reuben Sauce over the cheese.
     Step 4:  *A thin tuna steak takes very little time to cook!  
     Check the thin tuna steak.  When it is almost fully cooked, place the tuna steak on one of the bread slices on the grill.  
     Place a layer of the warm sauerkraut on top of the tuna.
     Grill the 2 slices of bread till they are toasted golden brown and the cheese melts.
     Step 5:   Use a spatula to place the plain cheese and sauce grilled bread on top of the tuna and sauerkraut half of the sandwich.
     Place the Yellowfin Tuna Reuben on a cutting board
     Cut the sandwich in half and set it on a plate.
     Garnish the plate with pickles and Blueberry Pomegranate Vinaigrette Dandelion Salad.
     This is a nice tasting gourmet Reuben Sandwich!

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