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Wednesday, July 26, 2006
The year of the tuna
The Food section's Maine correspondent tells me that the fishermen up there say this is one of the best fresh tuna years they've ever seen. Well, I've never met a tuna steak I didn't like, so I wondered how much better it could get. This afternoon, in Jim Scherer's photo studio, where I my Globe magazine co-author and co-stylist Julie Riven and I meet every Wednesday -- joined today by magazine designer director Brendan Stephens -- we tasted tuna that was so extraordinary we could hardly believe what we were eating.
The dish for the photograph was seared tuna, so it was still quite rare, garnished with a Nicoise salad: tiny yellow potatoes, French haricots verts (pencil thin green beans), and capers, all tossed with olive oil and good wine vinegar.
Julie bought sushi-grade tuna at Legal Sea Food (I won't tell you how much it cost in case my editor is reading this), and then we fired a cast-iron skillet and seared those beauties. One of the cardinal rules of food styling is not to taste until the photo is done. We were salivating! When we dug in, we found sweet meat, not the least bit "fishy," so full of sea taste. The leftovers went home with Brendan.