Pan-Seared Ahi Tuna with Asian Dipping Sauce

Pan-Seared Ahi Tuna with Asian Dipping Sauce and Wasabi Sour Cream combines three of Ample Bites’ favorite elements into a delightful entree.

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Pan-Seared Ahi Tuna with Asian Dipping Sauce
(Mark Kelly, 2015)

Serves 4

2 pound Ahi tuna loin, sliced 1-inch thick
1 Tbsp sake
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp mirin
1 Tbsp peanut oil
1 tsp sesame oil

1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 Tbsp wasabi paste
1 tsp Sriracha

Dipping Sauce
1/2 cup sake
3 Tbsp mirin
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp lime juice
2 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger

Marinate the tuna in the following six ingredients for 30 minutes before cooking.

Combine the dipping sauce ingredients and let stand at room temperature while the tuna marinates. Also whisk the wasabi paste and Sriracha into the sour cream. Refrigerate until serving.

Heat a flat cast iron cooking plate over medium-high heat on a grill or two burners of a gas cooktop. Sear the tuna for about 1 minute per side for medium rare. Serve immediately with the dipping sauce and Wasabi Sour Cream.

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Asian Lamb Chops

Asian Lamb Chops uses a marinade that is very different than the typical olive oil, garlic, rosemary, lemon version. The fish sauce and soy sauce combined with lime juice, honey and a touch of bourbon create a different flavor profile and super-tender chops.

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Asian Lamb Chops
(Mark Kelly, 2015)

Serves 4

12 bone-in lamb chops, about 1 1/2″ thick
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1/4 cup bourbon
3 Tbsp lower-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp minced garlic (6 cloves)
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp fresh lime juice

Put the marinade ingredients in medium bowl and whisk together until thoroughly combined. Place the chops in a large ziptop plastic bag and pour the marinade over the chops. Squeeze out as much air as possible and refrigerate overnight, turning occasionally.

Take the lamb chops out at least an hour before grilling. Remove them from the marinade and allow them to come up to room temperature before grilling.

Heat grill for medium-high direct cooking. Grill the chops for 3 minutes per side to sear them. Turn off the middle burner and cook indirectly for another 4 minutes to medium-rare. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving.

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Beer-Glazed Carrots

Beer-Glazed Carrots is a variation on a recipe my wife has made for year using wine. This version is less healthy (3 tablespoons of butter) than her version but it is a pretty darned tasty side dish to serve with grilled chicken or pork chops.

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Beer-Glazed Carrots
(Adapted from recipe courtesy of Chicago Tribune, May 2015)

1 lb. carrots, peeled, trimmed and cut into 1-inch sections
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
Sea salt
1 cup beer, preferably a German lager or Stella Artois
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh chives to garnish

In saucepan large enough to hold all of the carrots in a single layer, melt butter over medium heat. Add the carrots and season with salt. Cook the carrots for about 5 minutes, stirring to coat them with butter. Add the beer. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the carrots and continue to reduce the glaze for another 5 minutes. Add the carrots back to the glaze. Toss to coat and serve immediately with chive garnish.

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Cheddar Crostini with Broccolini Relish

Cheddar Crostini with Broccolini Relish is an appetizer with a salty, vinegary flavor that derives from the malt vinegar and fish sauce. Kale, spinach or arugula can be substituted for the broccolini.

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Cheddar Crostini with Broccolini Relish
(Mark Kelly, 2015)

2 Tbsp canola oil, plus more for brushing
2 bunches of broccolini, stems trimmed
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 Tbsp Asian fish sauce
2 Tbsp malt vinegar
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
16 3/8″ thick by 2-inch square slices of rustic white bread
1/2 lb. finely grated sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375F.

Prepare the crostini brushing both sides of each bread slice with oil. Bake for 7 minutes. Flip and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Allow to cool.

In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the broccolini and onions on oil until the onions are softened the broccolini is wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and fish sauce and cook for another 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.

Switch over to broil and set a rack 4″ below the heating element.

Top each bread slice with cheese and bake until cheese is just melted. Top each cheese crostini with broccolini-onion relish. Broil until the relish is beginning to brown and the cheese is bubbling. Serve immediately.

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Green Beans and Avocado with Sesame-Soy-Ginger Drizzle

Green Beans and Avocado with Sesame-Soy-Ginger Drizzle is a terrific side salad with an Asian flair.

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Green Beans and Avocado with Sesame-Soy-Ginger Drizzle
(Mark Kelly, 2015)

1 lb. green beans, trimmed and steamed
1/2 large yellow onion, sliced and sauteed
1/2 large avocado, sliced
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
3 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
Juice of a medium lime
1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
3 green onions, chopped, including greens

Arrange the vegetables in a serving bowl.

Mix the vinegar, soy sauce, lime juice, ginger, sugar and garlic in a small bowl. Drizzle in the oils, whisking constantly to help the dressing emulsify. Add the green onions and cilantro. Allow to sit for an hour at room temperature.

Drizzle over the vegetables and serve immediately.

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