Fresh tuna is a beautiful fish to enjoy, and it requires so little manipulation to taste good. In fact, the less you cook it, the better it is. I made the “Tuna Kebobs,” from the American Institute for Cancer Research, and broiled them for seven minutes, to make sure they did not “dry out.” My fish, thankfully, was still pink inside. I did marinate the fish for one hour. I used fresh mint instead of basil in the marinade, and used 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes. I assembled my kebobs on six 9-inch bamboo skewers (well-soaked). My vegetables did not turn brown, as the recipe suggested they should. This left my kebobs with a pallid complexion. Dave enjoyed the kebobs. I felt the flavor was unspectacular. If you try these, pump up your marinade with more assertive taste elements.

To accompany my kebobs, I also made the “Asian Noodle Salad with Peanuts and Mint,” from the June 2008 issue of Everyday Food (recipe below). It’s another cool noodle recipe that’s easy to prepare, easy to dress, and satisfying to eat.

ASIAN NOODLE SALAD WITH PEANUTS AND MINT
Serves 6
Prep Time: 5 min
Total Time: 15 min

coarse salt and ground pepper
12 oz. soba (buckwheat) noodles
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil, such as safflower
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/4 cup unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook noodles until al dente. Drain, and rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Drain well.

In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, lime juice, and oil. In a large bowl, combine noodles, scallions, cucumber, peanuts, and mint. (To store, refrigerate noodle mixture and sauce separately, up to 1 day.) Toss noodle mixture with sauce, and serve.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

I used Koyo organic soba noodles, which cooked in 6 minutes. Buckwheat noodles have a hearty bite, and they’re a pleasure to combine with the fresh tastes of lime and scallions and cucumber and mint. You can make large crowds happy with a dish such as this.

RECIPES: kebobs could be super with a more daring marinade; soba noodles are always an easy treat
PREP TIMES:
one hour to marinate the tuna (mere minutes to cook it); noodles cook quickly, then benefit from some cool-down time
TASTES:
enjoy the flavor of barely cooked tuna, aptly served alongside the lime-dressed noodles

Are you ready to take a culinary adventure? Next time, I want to prepare “Grilled Herbed Poussins,” from the July 2008 issue of Gourmet, as well as the “Garlicky Stuffed Portobellos,” from the March 2006 issue of Vegetarian Times. And just to be kooky, I’ll also make “The Green Lantern” cocktail, again from the July 2008 Gourmet. Come back on Monday, October 20, to witness my results.