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Tuna for Two

June 25, 1992|BEV BENNETT | Bennett is food editor of the Chicago Sun-Times and a cookbook author. and

Here's an adaptable dish that can be varied with little effort. Marinated in lemon juice, olive oil, shallot and thyme, the fish is juicy and full-flavored when grilled. But for those who want more, there's a choice of two sauces.

GRILLED TUNA STEAK WITH 2 SAUCES

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 shallot, minced

1/4 teaspoon crushed dried thyme

Freshly ground white pepper

2 small to medium (12- to 16-ounce) tuna steaks

Aioli-Style Sauce

Rouille-Style Sauce

Mix lemon juice, olive oil, shallot, thyme and white pepper to taste in glass bowl or glass pie plate just large enough to fit tuna. Add tuna steaks and marinate at room temperature 30 to 45 minutes.

Place tuna on oiled grill and cook over ash-covered hot coals until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side for 1-inch-thick steaks. Do not overcook. When tuna is done, serve with either sauce. Makes 2 servings.

Aioli-Style Sauce

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon minced Italian parsley

Salt

Freshly ground white pepper

Combine mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice, parsley and salt and white pepper to taste in small bowl. Set aside 10 minutes so flavors blend. Makes about 1/4 cup.

Rouille-Style Sauce

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 small slice French bread, soaked in water and squeezed dry

1 scant tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon water

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

Salt

Freshly ground white pepper

Combine garlic, cayenne, mayonnaise, bread, tomato paste, water, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste in food processor. Process about 20 seconds, until bread is pureed into sauce. Do not overmix. Scoop mixture into bowl.

Set aside 10 minutes for flavors to blend. Makes about 1/3 cup.

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