The Perfect Sandwich

One of the problems with sushi bars is that they have weaned us away from enjoying cooked fresh tuna. I know some restaurants serve grilled tuna studded with black pepper or accompanied by some exotic fruit salsa – de rigueur for any California joint that sells fresh fish. But really that’s about all the variety you get in most joints. But you are really missing something if you haven’t tried a real tuna fish sandwich. The great thing about sautéing tuna is that it really soaks up the flavors in which it is cooked. Here’s a recipe I have every summer during albacore season but you can use any fish in the tuna family. This recipe borrows from Italy, Mexico and Japan.

fishpic2.jpgTuna Ingredients

12-16 ounces of fresh tuna cut into 2 equal pieces
juice of 2 medium lemons
2 minced garlic cloves
2 green onions cut into about 1/4 inch pieces
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger (about an inch piece grated)
2 roma tomatoes thinly sliced
1/4 cup minced Kalamata olives
1 small to medium minced jalapeño pepper
1 teaspoon Kosher or coarse salt
2 tablespoon sherry or sake
olive oil or grapeseed oil

 

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montecristoA Monte Cristo consists of ham, turkey or chicken, and Swiss cheese sandwiched between two slices of white or challah bread that is dipped in an egg batter, then grilled or fried in butter until golden brown. It is often dusted with confectioners’ sugar and served with a side of red currant jelly.

The Monte Cristo is an American version of the Croque-Monsieur, the famed French grilled cheese and ham sandwich that is fried in clarified butter.

The sandwich first appeared on the menu at Gordon’s, a restaurant on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, but it didn't get its big break until Disneyworld got involved. When the Blue Bayou Restaurant in the Pirates of the Caribbean put the Monte Cristo on its menu, its popularity soared.

I hadn't eaten a Monte Cristo since I was a kid, and I didn't remember particularly loving it. My, how things have changed. This sandwich has it all: it's sweet, salty, and chewy. It's addictive.

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