a fusion of traditional Hawaiian Poke and Mexican nachos
For the Poke
2 C ahi (yellowfin tuna, sashimi grade) diced as small as you can
¼ C sweet red onion, minced
¼ C scallions, green parts only sliced thin
½ C soy sauce
1 T sesame oil – I used hot chili sesame oil I found at the Chinese market
½ tsp red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Season Ahi with Hawaiian or other good finishing salt. Add all ingredients, mix well then chill for 3 hours tossing occasionally.
For the Cheese Mixture
4 C finely crumbled good quality Queso Fresco cheese
1 cob of corn – husk on but “de-silked”
2 medium red peppers
1 or 2 Jalapeno peppers (Use 2 if you’re using those wimpy jalapenos you get at most grocery stores. Use one if you’re using the real deal you get at the local farmer’s market). Remember there is some heat in the Poke as well.
High quality nacho chips (I used some made fresh by Don Antonio’s at the downtown market)
Peel back but don’t remove the husk on the corn and remove the silk. “Re-wrap” the cob in the husk and soak in cold water for up to an hour.
Prepare your BBQ with a healthy handful of soaked mesquite in a foil pouch. Once it is smoking, roast the red peppers, the jalapeno and the corn. Remove the red pepper and the jalapeno when they are charred and put in a paper bag to cool. Continue cooking the corn in its husk until the husk is blackened and you can see some of the corn kernels starting to turn brown. Remove the corn and let cool in the husk.
When cooled, take the peppers out of the bag and remove the blackened skin; slice open; de-vein and de-seed. Finely chop the roasted red and jalapeno peppers and add to the Queso Fresco. Husk the corn and slice off the kernels. Add the corn to the Queso Fresco and pepper mixture and stir well.
I served this dish as an appetizer so I arranged four large nacho chips on a smallish rectangular plate with the concave surface facing up and serving as a dish for the cheese mixture. Scoop a couple of tablespoons of the chees mixture into each nacho chip. Arrange the plates on a cookie sheet and place under a medium hot broiler. Be careful not to let the chips burn. You may have to fiddle with temperature a bit to get this right. The Queso Fresco will not melt but it will begin to turn brown.
When the nacho chips and mixture have a nice brown surface remove from the broiler. Top each nacho chip with a scoop of Poke and serve immediately.
Goes great with chilled Perseco