Winging It

Occasionally I’m asked if I ever whip up my own meals without the aid of a recipe. The answer is, yes, absolutely! The impetus behind it is usually we don’t have anything planned for dinner and/or more likely, I need to use up some ingredients that are about to spoil. This Seared Tuna Steaks with Shallots and Mustard Lemon Butter Sauce is but one of many meals thrown together on the fly.


The supermarket was having a great sale on some gorgeous tuna steaks, tempting me to buy two. With no recipe in mind, I knew the steaks would cook up quickly with little to no fuss. Before shopping, I did a quick inventory and made a mental note of provisions on hand including lemons, parsley, shallots and a large package of baby spinach about to expire. With the addition of some staples of olive oil, butter, dijon mustard, and a smattering of salt and pepper, it would only be a short prep away from preparing a quick tasty tuna dinner.

Let’s dig into tuna’s health benefits. For one, it has omega-3 fatty acid, which helps prevent high blood pressure. Plus it is a good source of selenium, an antioxidant that helps improve the body’s immune system. The immune system is a vital part of the body that is integral for fighting off sickness, diseases and infections. I mean, who doesn’t want to be healthy?

So make tuna your next meal choice. It is loaded with vitamins and nutrients, low in saturated fat and is an excellent source of protein. When eaten in moderation, you can reap the healthy benefits of this tasty fish, while avoiding the negative effects of high levels of mercury in your food.

When looking for a source of lean protein, tuna is an excellent choice. The fact that it is low in both fat and calories makes it an excellent substitute for dairy products and meats that have a higher fat content. So with all of this good-for-you-knowledge, start winging it today and see where your culinary adventures will take you…


Seared Tuna Steaks with Shallots and Mustard Lemon Butter Sauce

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: very easy
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Ingredients (for two)

  • 2 thick tuna steaks
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 small lemon zested, than juiced and divided
  • 2 medium shallots, minced and divided
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard (optional)



  1. Have two skillets at the ready. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large carbon steel or cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Season the tuna steaks on both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the tuna to the hot skillet and sear well, about 4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness and desired doneness. Remove from pan to platter and tent with foil.
  3. While the tuna is searing, add 3 tablespoons of the butter to the other skillet over medium heat. Add half of the minced shallots and sauté for several minutes until softened. Turn the heat down to low, swirl in the mustard then toss in the lemon juice and half of the lemon zest, mixing until well incorporated and slightly reduced. Add the parsley at the very end before plating.
  4. After the tuna is removed from the first pan, turn the heat down to medium and add the last tablespoon of butter and olive oil and the other half of the minced shallots. After a few minutes add the baby spinach in batches as it wilts down. At this point I also incorporated a half teaspoon of dry mustard, threw in the rest of the lemon zest and seasoned with salt and pepper.
  5. Place a tuna steak on each dinner plate and drizzle the lemon shallot mixture over each. Split the spinach, which will have cooked down considerably, between both plates and serve immediately.


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