Holiday Recipes: Coastal Inspiration

Abby Sommer shares her Slappin' Tuna Curry

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The holidays definitely look and feel a little different this year. But, for many home chefs, small gatherings instead of huge parties are a chance to try out new recipes. We’ve asked three food experts in town for their own holiday suggestions and were delighted with the flavors and ingredients they came back with. The best piece of advice, no matter which one you try first? Have fun with it!

Before ABBY SOMMER started working at Seaview Crab Company, she didn’t really think about cooking that much.

“They encouraged me to bring home new seafood and try new ways of preparing it, because it helps our customers. If they had never pushed me to try different things, I don’t think I would have taken up cooking as a lifestyle,” Sommer says. Now, every time she cuts up a yellow fin at work, she’s obligated to bring some home to make this favorite warm, comforting dish. Growing up in Minnesota, seafood was not a regular feature at holiday dinners, so she makes it a point to honor her new home by having at least one seafood dish on the table. “You can use different seafood in it – like snapper, grouper, no matter what, it’s going to be good,” she says. “And, experiment with how much spice you want. It can be extremely spicy or extremely mild.”

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Coastal Inspiration

Slappin’ Tuna Curry

Serves 4


  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • ½ pounds fresh tuna steaks, at least 1-inch thick
  • ½-1 teaspoon Slap Ya Mama cajun seasoning
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1½ tablespoon avocado oil (or olive oil)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1 small shallot, finely diced
  • ½ red bell pepper, finely diced
  • ¼ teaspoon ground fennel
  • ½ tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon dill weed
  • 1⅓ tablespoon curry powder
  • 27 ounces milliliters coconut milk
  • 1 lemon, halved (with one half zested)
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 cups white rice, prepared
  • 4-8 fresh dill fronds, to garnish
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds, to garnish (optional)
  • Toasted bread or mini bagels, for dipping (optional)


  1. Combine sesame and poppy seeds in a shallow dish. Pat steaks with towel until dry and season the tuna with salt, pepper, and most of the Slap Ya Mama seasoning, leaving enough to sprinkle on finished dish. Dredge steaks in seed mix, coating evenly; set tuna aside.
  2. In a large saucepan warm ½ tablespoon of oil over medium-low heat, add in garlic and ginger. Let simmer until fragrant, usually about 20-30 seconds.
  3. Add shallot and red bell pepper to saucepan, sauté until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add spices: fennel, chili powder, garam masala, cinnamon, dill weed, black pepper, salt, and curry powder. Stir for about a minute until well combined.
  4. Slowly pour coconut milk into the saucepan while rapidly stirring. Once well combined, reduce to a simmer, adding salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer for 7-10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. While the curry simmers, add the remainder of the oil to a nonstick pan. On high heat, arrange the tuna steaks in pan, keeping at least 1 inch between steaks, let cook for 1 minute and flip. Squeeze half of the lemon over tuna steaks and let cook for one minute (or until cooked to preferred doneness). Transfer tuna to a cutting board and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices.
  6. Divide rice into four bowls and pour curry over rice. Place tuna slices nicely on top along with dill fronds and zest other half of lemon over tuna. Sprinkle dish with fennel seeds, nutmeg, and remaining Slap Ya Mama seasoning.
  7. Add toasted mini bagel or bread to side if desired.

Holiday Recipes:

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Categories: Taste