A couple of days ago I was having a conversation with a friend when a dreaded question popped up. It was a question that I'd constantly batted away because it always put me in an awkward situation. But there was no way I was going to escape it this time. I just had to brace myself, listen up and answer it without making too much of a fuss. If you found out you only had one hour left on Earth, what would be the last thing you would eat? She asked. That question niggles away and always seems to activate my inner Larry David...I just don't know what I'd eat. I'd want to eat everything - like I was in Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, I'd take a bite out of the lamppost...take a bite out of an...Oompa-Loompa. But people like real answers and I didn't know what to say so I went through a list of things I wanted to eat. Mum's kibbeh, the biggest steak in the world, chips, labneh, nutty gelato, a really greasy burger/kebab/hot dog, pizza, a croissant made out of too much butter, cheese, otoro sashimi...
I'm pretty sure at this moment it had been 3 or 4 minutes since I'd said a word but my friend knew better than to wake me from my moment. Mmm. Fatty tuna. There's something so luxurious about eating tuna belly fat (clearly it's not inherent in the description) that to me is more rewarding than a great steak or a greasy kebab. I guess it's a pure and relatively guilt-free mouthfeel that also activates ancient synaptic connections that associate animal fat with pleasure and satiety. That and the fact it costs an arm and a leg and I hardly ever get to eat it...It would definitely be a fine way to say goodbye to the world. And the Bluefin species. I joke.
Tuna is way and beyond one of my favourite things to eat and overfishing is definitely a massive issue for responsible eaters. Ethically sourced tuna is without a doubt one of the better things to have in your fridge and I find it much more rewarding than chicken. I think we should be eating less chicken and more fish. Chicken is the meat world's pasta - so ubiquitous and so easy to cook that you wouldn't serve it for a special occasion (unless you had an amazing recipe). One of my favourite lunches is this griddled tuna steak recipe which I pair with curried chickpeas and a medium boiled egg. A boiled egg on top makes everything better. Serve it on the weekend with some rosé if you want to pretend that summer is still here. Oh, yeah, and one question: If you found out you only had one hour left on Earth, what would be the last thing you would eat?
2 tuna steaks
1 can of chickpeas
1 medium onion
1 teaspoon tomato puree
a small handful of chopped coriander
2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
a pinch of garam masala
a pinch of dried chilli flakes
zest of 1 lemon and the juice of half
Dice the onion and fry in a little sunflower oil until translucent. In another pan dry roast half the cumin and the mustard seeds until you can smell the essential oils of the spices in the air. Crush the seeds in a pestle and mortar and then add the seeds, the chilli flakes and the garam masala to the onions. Fry for 20 seconds and then add the tomato puree and cook out for half a minute. Add the chopped tomatoes, chickpeas and seasoning and let simmer on a low heat for 10 minutes. Add the coriander to chickpea mixture when you've turned the heat off. Dry roast the other half of the cumin seeds before crushing and massaging into the tuna steaks. Add the zest and the lemon juice and let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes. Boil the eggs at this point to medium (you could also poach them). Heat up your griddle until it's smoking and sear the tuna steaks (making sure not to overcook). Dish up the chickpeas, add the tuna on top and the egg on top of the tuna steak. Sprinkle a little salt onto the egg and garnish with coriander. Easy peasy.
PS - Sorry I didn't update for a while. I didn't have access to the internet on my computer for a few days!