Whatever else it may imply, having friends in town is, frankly, an awesome excuse to cook all fancy like. For example, when I visited my friend Andrew (hi, Andrew!) in London, we roasted a chicken, made risotto, two kinds of soup, and Andrew rocked a tiramisu so hard it's like the Pope itself had blessed it. Now, are we big food geeks who wanted to save some money? Mayhap, gentle reader, mayhap indeed. Nevertheless, it was awesome.
So when my friends Ben and Jon (Hi, Ben and Jon!) decided to venture back up to the great city of Struggledelphia this weekend, I wanted to pull out all the stops. For a dinner that is sure to impress, without hours of labor and time spent in the bathroom sobbing because your soufle wouldn't rise and your sauce wouldn't reduce and no one will EVER LOVE YOU, or, you know, whatever, I can always recommend Tuna Steaks. Simple and tasty, as long as you get good quality fish the dish just speaks for itself. Here is one recipe I tried this weekend, which I served with roasted potatoes, red wine, and no mention whatesoever at all of being single on Valentine's Day. Not even the one time.
Provencal Tuna (Adapted from Bon Appetite):
2 tuna steaks of 1" thickness ( I like Ahi Tuna, but do whatever works)
2 zucchini, cubed to 1/2" cubes
1 medium eggplant, cubed like the zucchini
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup grape tomatos
1 tablespoon Herbs de Provance (it's a mix of herbs, a popular gift to bring home from trips to France, Thanks, Lisa. If you can't find it, you can use a combination of equal parts dried thyme, basil, savory, and fennel seeds.)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small white onion, chopped
Combine the zucchini, eggplant, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, herbs de Provence, salt, pepper, garlic and onion in a small roasting pan or baking sheet with raised edges ( just so nothing falls out, burns up in your oven, and causes an awkward morning in the burn unit). Broil mixture on high heat until the zucchini and eggplant are cooked through and the mixture begins to brown, about 15 minutes or more, depending on your broiler. Once the mixture is cooked through, add the tomatoes and mix well. Heat the other tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan. Dry each tuna steak well, to brown, and sprinkle each with salt and pepper. Sear the steaks, about 3 minutes per side for rare centers. Serve steaks topped with vegetable mixture and starch of your choice. Entire bottle of wine and good company optional, but recommended.