Saturday, July 05, 2008

Grilled Tuna with Warm White Bean Salad (Page 299)


  • Date: Tuesday, July 1, 2008 -- 8:30pm
  • Location: West Newton, MA
  • Kitchen: Mike and Tim's Mansion
  • Fellow Chef: Matty
  • Dining Companion: Mike, Tim, and Pam
  • Recipe Rating: A-

Mike and Tim are living in a huge house this summer, which has a huge kitchen, and a huge grill. So they, knowing that I have no grill of my own, invited me over to grill at their place last week. Since I am in all-seafood-all-the-time mode, I made two grilled fish recipes. This grilled tuna was delicious. The tuna steaks were seasoned with lemon, oil, salt, pepper, and fennel seeds and then grilled until just barely cooked through. The seasonings complemented the smoky grill flavor perfectly, producing flavorful, tasty pieces of tuna. The fish was served atop a white bean salad. For the most part the salad was very tasty, but it had one strange and annoying feature. The salad contained red onion, which rather than being finely chopped, as you might expect, was thinly sliced. So there were these big rings of onion in the salad. As they got warm the rings got slimy and stringy. It was texturally very unappealing. The flavor of the onions was important, but why were they not just chopped instead of sliced? It's a mystery. The flavor of the salad was excellent though, and it complemented the fish very nicely. With some non-stringy onions, I likely would have given this recipe an A. It was tasty -- all five of us found it very satisfying!

Here is the recipe.

Today was just an all-around shitty day. I had a little meltdown about some work-related stuff, followed by a little meltdown about some personal stuff. So I was two for two today. Granted, once I had the first minor meltdown I was probably more prone to the second one, but still, it was not a good day.

There is some common wisdom that being a post-doc (as I am) is the most miserable three years in the academic life of a mathematician. Getting a post-doc is the last phase where hiring is done based partly on potential rather than entirely on accomplishment, so there is a lot of pressure to prove oneself (READ: to publish) as a post-doc before one applies for tenure-track jobs. So, people say, post-docs are miserable. Having just finished the first year of my three years as a post-doc I can honestly say that I wasn't miserable. But I know a lot of people who have experienced post-doc misery, and in a moment of great frustration earlier today, I really understood it. Being a math academic is a great job, especially once you have tenure. But it is hard, and competitive, and there is a lot of pressure. I cried at my desk this afternoon, which is something that I haven't done in years. It's hard to even articulate exactly why I was crying. I just had a moment of overwhelming frustration. I could have stopped crying (probably I could have never even started) but instead I embraced it. I sat there for 15 minutes, staring out the window at the Charles river, and cried. I just let it all go. Afterwards, I felt a bit better. Maybe it had been too long since I had done that...


Anonymous said...

Hey Teena,
This is one of those times one of your many fans steps in to give you a thumbs up. We are behind you in your many constructive endeavors. Being a math academic is tough beyond belief so you just hang in there!

Teena said...

Thanks so much! I really appreciate the support!