May 26, 2008

It's Officially Summer!

I don't care that it's not June 21. It's Memorial Day Weekend, which means that it is officially summer in my book. Also, in my book, summer is synonymous with burgers, and in a water city like Baltimore, it was fun to kick off the summer season with a Fresh Tuna Burger and Mini-Corn Cakes.

Tuna Burgers with Green Curry, Ginger and Mango Dipping Sauce

1 pound fresh tuna steaks, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 cup diced red and green bell peppers
2 scallions, sliced (green and white parts) 1 small carrot, grated
2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons Soy Sauce 1 teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil 1 teaspoon Ginger Oil 1 egg, slightly beaten
Salt and pepper
Pulse tuna cubes in a food processor about 8-10 times (do not over process or you will end up with a nasty tuna paste). Add ground tuna to bowl of chopped veggies and gently stir until everything is well-distributed. Form mixture into patties and grill on a flat-top griddle for about 4-5 minutes per side.

Green Curry, Ginger and Mango Dipping Sauce
(Inspired by Bobby Flay)
1 red onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1 Serrano pepper, coarsely chopped (seeds and white pith removed for less heat)
2 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
3 ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted, and coarsely chopped
1 cup water
3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
1 Tablespoon honey
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat a small amount of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, and Serrano chile and cook for 1 minute. Add the curry paste and cook for 2 minutes. Add mangoes and water, stir well, and cook until the mango is soft, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let mixture cool slightly and then transfer it to a blender. Add the lime juice, cilantro, and honey and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Spoon a dollop of the sauce on each tuna burger.

Save the leftover sauce for topping tacos, scallops, chicken, fish or even use it as a salad dressing. This sauce lasts in the fridge for weeks.

Mini-Corn Cakes

1 15 oz can sweet corn
1/3 cup milk
1 large egg
2 Tablespoons sugar
3 scallions, sliced (white and green parts separated)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup yellow corn meal
1/4 cup flour
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and coat a mini muffin pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until they just come together and drop rounded tablespoons of the batter into the greased muffin tin. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Remove from pan and serve with a tiny dollop of reduced-fat sour cream and green parts of scallions.