I think the first thing Aimée ever cooked for me was tuna steak. She is a strange vegetarian, in that, she’s basically a vampire, but she makes an amazing tuna steak.
Okay, since you ask: Aimée is vegetarian, most of the time. She doesn’t like meat, she doesn’t care for the texture, or the flavour, or anything else about it, really.
However, she does like venison – as long as it’s blue. And tuna steak – very rare.
I was raised to have all meat burnt black. It had to be cooked all the way through, or it was going back in the oven for a few hours.
With the BSE crisis, we didn’t eat beef, but if we had have done, it would have been coffee-coloured, right through to the middle.
Obviously, chicken and pork have to be cooked through, otherwise botulism and craziness ensue, but lamb was always brown as boot-leather and a little tough, when I was young. I didn’t know it could be served safely outside a restaurant. I figured chefs did special exams and knew things about meat that civilians couldn’t hope to know.
It was with some trepidation that I approached the meal Aimée had made. I was raised on cod and chips, tuna sandwiches, scampi – fully fond of fish. Brain food, after all. But tuna steak was unheard of.
I’d heard the fish hit the pan. I’d listened as its herb-dusting crackled on the heat.
Although I hadn’t timed it, I knew it was only a couple of minutes from the first hiss to the appearance of the plates.
And it was amazing. With some sort of mediterranean herb crust, it was cooked, but it was rare. And it was great.
Well done, Aimée.