Chili's Margarita Grilled Tuna Reduced-Fat copycat recipe by Todd Wilbur
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Chili's Margarita Grilled Tuna Reduced-Fat

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A plateful of rice and black beans are topped with a corn tortilla, garlic aioli, lettuce, pico de gallo and a fresh tuna steak smothered with chipotle ranch dressing.

There are many opportunities to obliterate fat in this one, most easily in the garlic aioli and chipotle ranch dressing. The tuna you purchase may come in thick eight-ounce steaks. If so, slice the tuna through the center, making two thinner four-ounce pieces. With the rice, black beans, and toppings, this dish is an entire meal on its own. And it looks good on the plate.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size–1 entree
Total servings–4
Calories per serving–691 (Original–899)
Fat per serving–16g (Original–38g)

Source: Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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Garlic Aioli
  • 1 head garlic
  • 2 tablespoon fat-free mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon white vinegar
  • Pinch salt
Fat-Free Santa Fe Dressing
  • 1/3 cup fat-free Catalina dressing
  • 1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
Pico De Gallo
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped Spanish onion
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
Margarita Marinade
  • 1 cup sweet-and-sour mix
  • 2 teaspoons tequila
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
Searing Spice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Schilling poultry seasoning
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 1/3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup converted or long grain white rice (not instant rice)
  • 1/4 cup frozen corn
  • 2 tablespoons diced carrots
  • 2 tablespoons diced red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons diced celery
  • 1 tablespoon diced white onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • Pinch ground black pepper
Black Beans
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup diced white onion
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans with liquid
  • 4 4-ounce tuna fillets (2 8-ounce fillets cut through the center)
  • 4 corn tostada shells
  • 1 1/3 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Do This
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    • Instructions

      1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

      2. Prepare the garlic aioli by roasting the garlic: cut 1/2 inch off the top of the papery skin from the garlic, but leave enough so that the cloves stay together. Place the head of garlic in a small casserole dish or baking pan, drizzle the olive oil over it, and cover it with a lid or foil. Bake for 1 hour. Remove the garlic and let it cool until you can handle it. When cool, squeeze the roasted garlic cloves (without the skin) into a blender or food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and purée into sauce. Set this aside until later.

      3. Prepare the dressing, pico de gallo, and margarita marinade by combining the ingredients in small bowls. Cover and chill these mixtures until later.

      4. Pour the searing spice ingredients into a blender or food processor and puree until you have a smooth mixture with the consistency of pesto. Set this aside.

      5. Prepare the rice by bringing the chicken stock and butter to a boil over medium/high heat. Add the remaining ingredients to the pan, stir, and cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked.

      6. Prepare the black beans by pouring a teaspoon of olive oil into a saucepan. Use a paper towel to wipe the oil around the pan and then set it over medium heat. Saute the diced onion and red bell pepper in the oil for a minute or two and then add the cans of black beans, along with the liquid, to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium/low, and simmer until needed. Stir occasionally.

      7. Preheat a large saute pan over medium heat.

      8. Place your tuna fillets into the margarita marinade. Marinate for only 15 minutes and then dry the tuna on paper towels. Be sure not to marinate the tuna for more than 15 minutes or the lime juice will begin to toughen the fish.

      9. Place the four tostada shells into an oven preheated to 350 degrees F. Turn off the heat after 5 minutes and let the shells sit in the oven until they are needed.

      10. Brush the top of each of the fillets with the searing spice blend and turn them with the spice side down onto the hot pan. Brush additional searing spice over the topo of each fillet. Cook the fish for about 2 minutes per side or until the fish is browned on both sides and cooked through.

      11. Build each dish by spooning about 3/4 cup of rice into the center of a dinner plate. Encircle the rice with a portion of the black beans. Spread a thin layer of garlic aioli onto a tostada shell and place it on the rice. Sprinkle about 1/3 cup of lettuce onto the shell next. Place a tuna fillet on top of the lettuce. Drizzle the Santa Fe dressing over the entire dish with a sweeping motion. Finally, pile about 1/3 cup of the pico de gallo on top of the tuna. Repeat for the remaining plates and serve immediately.

      Serves 4 as an entree.

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I'm Todd Wilbur,
Chronic Food Hacker

For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.

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