Sunday, July 28, 2013

Smokin' That Tuna, Serbian Style

I wrote last month about my visit to the Mercator, Slovenia's answer to Whole Foods. One of the things I found there was smoked salmon, from Montenegro. It was more or less the same as the smoked salmon I buy from time to time at the Harris Teeter, which is to say, delicious.

I was thinking about getting some more last week, when I saw this package in the same display case. Smoked tuna, I thought. That's weird. It sounds delicious, and yet I've never seen it before. Let's give it a try. The packet, which had four thin slices, was about 400 dinars--4 bucks.

I wasn't sure what I was going to do  with it, but I was thinking of pasta.  I had a couple of very ripe tomatoes and some fresh fettucine in the fridge, so I decided on a garlic and oil inspired pasta salad.

When I opened the package, I noticed that information on the back was written in all of the EU languages. It must be from Italy, I thought. It sounds like something an Italian would do. But then I thought about all my visits to Italy and Italian restaurant meals: I couldn't recall ever seeing smoked tuna on the menu. I looked at the label more closely and there it was: "proizvod od Srbija"--smoked tuna from landlocked Serbia. Hmm. Here goes nothing.

  I cooked the pasta, reserving a cup of the cooking water, doused the noodles in cold water, and put them in the fridge. Then I sauteed 4 minced cloves of garlic in about 1/3 cup of olive oil, adding a generous pinch of red pepper flakes for the last thirty seconds. I added the reserved pasta water and cooked the mix for about 5 minutes, until the water was about half gone. I tossed the sauce with the pasta, the diced tomatoes and some shredded parmesan, along with the tuna, which I chopped into bite-size pieces, and some lemon juice.

The result was very nice, even better for breakfast this morning--I hadn't allowed it to cool sufficiently last night . The smoked tuna was everything that you would expect from a Serbian smoked tuna, which is to say, not much. But I bet I buy it again. I wish I had bought some parsley at the farmers market, where it is plentiful. Maybe next time.

No comments:

Post a Comment