Monday, January 19, 2009

Recipe: Chris Lilly's Ahi Tuna w/ Salsa

I had intended to have a side by side comparison of Kingsford Competition Briquets (sic) and a leading charcoal used by competitors up on the site by now. Unfortunately, Mother Nature isn’t cooperating. Between persistent snow and temperatures below 30, I have been a bit of a laggard when it comes to grilling.

I’m going to push off the comparison until I have a stretch of weather where the temperature is at least in the high 30’s, but to make amends I’m offering this recipe from renowned BBQ expert and Kingsford pitmaster Chris Lilly. This is our second recipe from Chris in about a week and I’d like to thank Kingsford for passing them along.

Peppered Ahi Tuna with Cantaloupe & Pineapple Salsa

Makes: 6 servings

Prep time: 40 minutes

Cook time: 6-8 minutes


6 Ahi tuna steaks ¾ – 1 inch thick

Pepper Paste

¼ cup coarse ground black pepper

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce

¾ teaspoon apple cider vinegar

¼ teaspoon garlic salt

Cantaloupe and Pineapple Salsa

1 cup diced cantaloupe

½ cup diced red onion

½ cup diced pineapple

¼ cup chopped cilantro

tablespoons lime juice

2 teaspoons minced jalapeno peppers

2 teaspoons salt

In a small bowl, add the pepper paste ingredients and blend until the mixture forms a paste. Coat the tuna steaks evenly with the pepper paste. Wrap each steak individually with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Combine the cantaloupe and pineapple salsa ingredients in a medium bowl and toss until mixed. Add salt to taste. The salsa can be served at room temperature or refrigerated until ready to use.

Build a charcoal fire in an outdoor grill and open all dampers for maximum heat. Heat the grill to approximately 500 to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. Apply a light coat of oil to the hot grill grates.

Remove the tuna steaks from the plastic wrap and place on the grill, directly over the heat. Grill for three minutes on each side or less depending on how you like them. Tuna should be firm with pink in the middle. If you prefer your tuna to be rare to medium-rare, grilling time should be reduced to 1½ to 2 minutes per side.

To serve, slice the tuna into ¼ inch strips and top with a generous amount of salsa.

Recipe created by champion pitmaster, Chris Lilly, on behalf of Kingsford® charcoal


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