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Tuna Burger


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Cuisine: Main Dish Seafood
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2007 GOLDEN WHISK AWARDS
(Our top 10 recipes of the year)

In his story on chefs' cookbooks, John Kessler called this, "Flat-out, omigod, stuff-your-face good. This is the tuna burger you won't be able to live without. The basil and oil do so much to deepen and frame the flavor of the tuna."

Hands on time: 5 minutes  Total time: 1 hour and 30 minutes  Serves: 4

Ingredients:

    1/2 pound fresh tuna

    4 garlic cloves

    1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided

    2 anchovies, minced

    1/2 cup minced basil

    2 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce, divided

    Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    1/4 cup mayonnaise

    1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

    4 hamburger buns

    1 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil

    2 cups mesclun greens

    1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

    4 thick slices ripe tomato

    16 thin potato chips

Instructions:

Using a large sharp knife, trim away and discard any blood lines (dark portion) and visible sinew from the tuna. Thinly slice the tuna, then chop it until it has the texture of ground meat. Place in a large bowl. Using a rasp grater, grate the garlic directly into the tuna (or mince the garlic and add it). Add 1/4 cup of the olive oil, the anchovies, basil, 2 teaspoons of the soy sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Place a piece of wax paper on a large plate. Divide the tuna mixture into 4 portions and shape the tuna into 4 patties about 1 inch thick. Place on the plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 8 hours, before cooking. Preheat the broiler.

Combine the mayonnaise, ginger and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce in a small bowl, mixing well. Set aside. Place the buns cut side up on a baking sheet. Place under the broiler and toast until golden brown. Remove from the oven, and turn oven down to 250 degrees.

Heat the grapeseed oil in a medium nonstick saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the burgers and cook for about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per side for rare. Remove the burgers to a plate and let them rest in a warm spot for a couple of minutes; or, if you want the burgers cooked more, place them on an ovenproof tray and then into the oven for 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, toss the greens with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and the vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spread the cut sides of the buns with the seasoned mayonnaise. Place the burgers on the bottom halves of the buns. Top each burger with a slice of tomato, 4 potato chips, if desired, and some greens. Place the tops of the buns on top or on the side.

Notes:

From "Happy in the Kitchen" by Michel Richard (Artisan, $45)

Nutrition:

Per serving: 581 calories (percent of calories from fat, 64), 20 grams protein, 33 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 42 grams fat (7 grams saturated), 28 milligrams cholesterol, 722 milligrams sodium.

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