Rush Hour

December is a busy month for my husband and me ... and this year is no different. However, we try to fit in at least one romantic dinner during the holiday season. That can sometimes be a real challenge when every weekend is filled with visits, parties and other holiday events and the week is filled with work, holiday shopping and last minute pot lucks! But this month's menu is truly a blessing this time of the year. It's elegant, easy and light enough to allow you to feel full without feeling stuffed ... always a nice for a romantic dinner. Maybe you can even work in something a little more decadent and fun for dessert!

This menu really stands on its own, but you'll want to pair a nice white wine (or sparkling grape juice) and maybe a dip for the tuna. While wasabi (a Japanese horseradish) is a traditional choice, my husband and I found a delightful wasabi-lime mustard that has a great combination of flavors to compliment the intense flavor of the tuna, which should be served as rare as you are willing to try!

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!

Seared Tuna with Sautéed Spinach

  • 2 tuna steaks (about 3/4 pound)
  • 2 T. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
  • 4 T. olive oil, divided
  • 10 oz. fresh baby spinach
  • 1 T. toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 T. balsamic vinegar

Rub the steaks vigorously with the lime juice and allow to rest on a plate. Meanwhile, combine the salt, black pepper, garlic powder and red pepper in a shallow bowl.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Dredge the tuna steaks in the seasoning mixture, making sure that they are generously covered. Place the steaks into the skillet and allow to cook for 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in another skillet and quickly add the baby spinach. Sauté lightly for 1 minute and cover briefly with a lid.

Using a spatula, carefully turn the tuna steaks and cook for an additional 2-4 minutes, depending on your desired doneness. Remove the lid from the spinach and remove it from the heat. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and vinegar. Toss to coat and serve immediately alongside sliced tuna steak.

  • Yields: 2 servings
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes