Southwestern Tuna Tostada With Black Bean-Mango Salsa

THIS is a meal to impress. Just look at these beautiful photos! (side note: my talented husband took these gorgeous food photos this week. Being the professional that he is, everything was perfectly lit and controlled and well, just came out looking amazing.)

A family friend had given J Bobby Flay’s cookbook from the Mesa Grill (a restaurant started in New York City) for his birthday. It is FULL of delicious sounding southwestern recipes. I hadn’t tried any of the recipes until just now because many of them are quite complex with ingredients that I’ve never heard of, but flipping through last weekend, this recipe stood out immediately. I already have a fish taco recipe that has a tangy mango salsa–yum–so I knew instantly that this somewhat similar recipe would be a winner.

This recipe might sound complex but it is really quite simple. It only requires about 10 minutes of actual cooking… most of your time with be spent dicing avocados, onions, mango and the like. The salsa is sweet and tangy, the avocado vinaigrette has a surprising hint of honey, while the fish is lightly golden and salty. Put it all together and you get an amazing combo of flavors…plus it just looks like it’s restaurant quality. J practically inhaled his portion and keeps talking about how much he liked it. This is definitely worth the effort.

Just a small note: there are 3 parts to this recipe–the fish, the avocado vinaigrette and the salsa. Make the salsa and vingaigrette FIRST, the fish LAST. I’ll put the recipe in that order. This recipe serves 4-6. I suggest one 6oz fillet of fish per person.

AVOCADO VINAIGRETTE (makes about 1 cup)
– 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
– 1/8 (about a handful) red onion, finely chopped
– juice of one lime
– 1/2 tsp sea salt
– 1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper
– 1/4 C olive oil
– 2 tsp honey
– 2 T chopped fresh cilantro

Place the avocado, onion, lime juice, salt and pepper in a blender and process until smooth. Add in the olive oil until combined, then the honey and cilantro until just blended. Set aside. This can be made up to an hour in advance and refridgerated.

Black Bean-Mango Salsa
– 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
– 1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted and diced
– 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
– 1 jalepeno chile, seeded and finely diced
– juice of 2 limes
– 1-2 T honey (depending on the sweetness of the mango)
– 1/4 C olive oil
– 1/4 C chopped fresh cilantro
– salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and set aside. This can be prepared up to a day in advance and refridgerated. Let come to room temp before serving, though.

Making the Tostada
You will need olive oil, 6-8 inch flour tortillas, 4 6-oz tuna steaks (or more for 6 people), sliced avocado for garnish, fresh cilantro for garnish.

In a larger saute pan, heat 1 tsp of olive oil over med-high heat. Add the flour tortillas (one for each dish) one at a time, turned them after about 10 seconds or when eat side is golden brown and puffs up a bit. Once all the flour tortillas are cooked up golden brown, set aside.

Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in the pan again and heat until almost smoking. Season each tuna steak with salt and pepper and cook for about 3 minutes per side until golden and cooked through (you can also do seared tuna where it is still raw in the middle — just reduce cooking time to 2 minutes on the first side and 1-2 minutes on the other side).

Top each tortilla with the tuna. Add a couple of spoonfuls of the black bean mango salsa and drizzle with the avocado vinaigrette. Top with sliced avocado and garnish with cilantro leave. Eat and drool.

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