Aristotle, Babe Ruth, Bill Gates, my dad. All of these great men are (or were, in some cases) lefties. Aristotle, of course, was one of the world's greatest philosophers. Babe Ruth, despite the fact that he played for the Yankees, was one of the greatest baseball players. Bill Gates is a great innovater and philanthropist (and great at making money to boot.) My dad? Well, among many other things that he is great at, all of which I would mention, but I don't want to embarrass the humble guy, he is incredibly great at being a dad. In fact, and I might just be a tad bit biased here, but I think he might even be the greatest dad. So, that being said, what does one get in return for being the greatest dad? In this case, in honor of Father's Day, you get a blog dedicated to you (Don't worry dad. I'm not that cheap. I got you something else--mom has it.)
My dad and I have quite a bit in common. I too am a lefty. We both have blue eyes; we both have lovely extreme Type A personalities, and we both enjoy a really good meal. Although his homemade pizza is a family favorite, and he makes a mean bowl of cereal, dad is not as much of a cook as I am. He is more than willing, however, to be there for me as a taste tester--what a guy! Like me, he is a creature of habit, happy to return to his tried and true favorite foods time and again, when he is looking for a deliciously satisfying meal.
Today's recipe was inspired by one of my dad's favorite things to eat, a good BLT. Although I tweaked the traditional diner favorite to fit my tastes, he pretty much likes his the good old-fashioned way, hold the mayo. I had this for lunch yesterday, along with an ear of sweet corn, just like my dad does, and let me tell you, it was fantastic! The combination of the smoky bacon with the sweet and sour tomato jam really hits all corners of your mouth. The ahi tuna adds a little more body to the sandwich, while raising the healthy quotient. I loved it with the peppery arugula, but it would be tasty with milder spinach, mixed greens, or lettuce. Dad, although you are several thousand miles away, the dogs and I thoroughly enjoyed it in your honor. Happy Father's Day! Here are a few extra tips for this tasty twist on a BLT:
- If you can only find sun-dried tomatoes that are packed in oil, then rinse them well under warm water, in order to remove any excess oil, prior to adding them to the saucepan.
- Feel free to cook your tuna steak to your desired degree of doneness. Rare is not for everyone!
- This recipe would also work nicely with other varieties of fish, such as halibut, swordfish steaks, or salmon. You can also make it with a grilled chicken breast that has been lightly seasoned.
- For a lighter sandwich, use turkey bacon or even Canadian bacon.
- Try to use a good, sturdy bakery-style bread for these sandwiches, as it needs to stand up to all of the ingredients and not fall to pieces.
BLTT (Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, and Tuna Steak Sandwiches)
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
4 (6-8 ounce) tuna steaks, about 3/4-inch thick
8 slices whole-grain bread
Arugula or lettuce leaves
Preheat the oven to 375F degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and arrange the bacon on the sheet. Bake the bacon until crisp, 15-20 minutes.
In a small saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 7 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Stir in 1/2 cup water, the sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until thickened, 8 minutes.
Season the tuna steaks with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the tuna steaks and cook for about 2 minutes on each side for medium rare.
Toast the bread and drizzle with olive oil. Top 4 of the slices with arugula, 1 tuna steak, 2 bacon strips, and a pile of the tomato jam. Cover with the remaining slices of bread, cut in half, and serve.