Mike Pawlenty; Inset: Bravo
Alison Schwartz
July 14, 2012 11:45 AM

If working on your costume for Comic-Con International 2012 has you working up an appetite, here are a few solutions straight from San Diego, where all of the action is happening.

Even if you can’t make it to the renowned geek-fest, try out these recipes in the spirit of the ultimate pop culture convention that unites Twilight fans and superhero junkies alike.

‘Get Your Freak On!’ Summer Watermelon Salad and Honey-Sherry Vinaigrette

From Top Chef alum Brian Malarkey’s Searsucker restaurant; serves four

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For the balsamic reduction:
• ½ cup red wine
• ½ cup balsamic vinegar
• ¼ cup sugar

For the salad:
• 4 cups seedless watermelon, diced
• ½ medium red onion, sliced
• 2 tomatoes, diced
• 1 tsp. chives, cut small
• 5 basic leaves, sliced
• ¼ cup sherry vinegar
• 1 tbsp. honey
• 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
• 1 handful arugula
• ¼ cup goat cheese, crumbled
• Salt and pepper, to taste

How to Do It:
• Make the balsamic reduction: In a small saucepot, reduce the ingredients until they have a syrup consistency. Let cool to room temperature.
• Make the salad: In a large bowl, combine the sherry, olive oil, and honey and whisk until blended. Add the watermelon, onion, and tomato, and gently toss. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.
• Finish the salad by tossing in the chives, basil, and arugula and mixing to combine.
• Top with goat cheese and balsamic reduction!

Seared Tuna with Japanese Salsa

From Katsuya restaurant

For the Japanese salsa:
• 3 tbsp. tomato, brunoise
• 3 tbsp. red onion, brunoise
• 1 tbsp. cilantro, chopped
• 2 tbsp. ponzu sauce
• 1 tsp. rayu sauce
• 3- to 4-ounce bigeye tuna
• 1 avocado
• 1 chive
• Salt and pepper, to taste

How to Do It:
Season bigeye tuna with salt and pepper to taste. Quickly sear in a sauté pan with clarified butter. Mark all sides.
• Slice tuna into eight slices and plate.
• Combine salsa ingredients, and top the tuna with the salsa. Garnish with six to seven slices of avocado, one whole chive and one flower.

Seared Tuna with Japanese Salsa
Mike Pawlenty

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