Friday, November 6, 2009

Pan Seared Tuna

Pan Seared TunaA nice tuna steak is a great change every once in a while. We eat fish normally once a week and stick to wild halibut or salmon (sometimes organic salmon as well), but the halibut and salmon did not look great this week. However I was happily surprised that my fish monger had some sushi grade tuna that did look great. Quality is very important with fish, especially tuna steaks, as the center will be raw once cooked (does that even make sense?:)). The key to tuna is cooking it properly, really hot and not too long! The roasted pepper sauce was a beautiful and simple addition to the tuna steak. I am sometimes limited by what I can find organically at the local markets, hence I made a yellow pepper sauce, but this would also be great with roasted red peppers.

The Recipe: Pan Seared Tuna with Roasted Pepper Sauce
2 servings, prep time 25 minutes, cook time 5 minutes

2 pieces of sushi grade tuna about 1/2 pound each
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

Roasted Pepper Sauce:
1 shallot finely diced
1 clove of garlic minced
2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
1 large red or yellow pepper (I used three small peppers)
2 tbsp chicken stock
pinch of sea salt
pinch of pepper

Parsley Drizzle:
1/4 cup of parsley
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Roasted Pepper Sauce:
Roasting yellow peppersTo roast the peppers I place them directly over the flame on my stove top (I have a gas stove), although you can also use the broiler on the oven. The key to roasting the pepper is making sure that all the skin is black. Any skin that is not black will stick to the pepper when you are trying to peel it. You will need to rotate the pepper often while roasting.

Once the pepper is completely blackened, place it in a paper bag to steam for about 10 minutes.

Remove the pepper from the bag and gently scrape the blackened skin off with the edge of a knife. Remove the stem and seeds. Do not rinse the pepper under water as it removes a lot of flavour.

In a small pan add 1/2 tbsp of the olive oil and sauté the shallots and garlic over med-high heat for 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil and transfer to a blender.

Add the remaining extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and pepper to the blender. Blend until smooth and remove from blender.

The Tuna:

Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat for about 5 minutes (do not use non-stick pan, it is a serious health hazard to heat a non-stick pan to high). The pan should be as hot as the stove can make it!

While the pan is heating, add salt and pepper to each side of the tuna and gently rub them in with olive oil.

Place the tuna in the pan and sear for about 1 minute, flip and continuing searing the tuna for another minute. Remove the tuna from the pan. Fire alarm alert, I suggest purchasing the kind that have the remote off buttons! The outside of the tuna should be completely seared and the middle should be raw.

Combine the parsley and olive oil in a mortar and pestle and grind until smooth. You can add a little coarse sea salt if you are having a challenge grinding the parsley.

I suggest placing the parsley drizzle and roasted pepper sauce beside the tuna on the plate so that you are able to get as much or little as you want with every bite. Enjoy!


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