Friday, March 28, 2008
Evolution of a recipe; Fennel Crusted Tuna
I think I have covered this ground before, but I just wanted to show why all my recipes end up in freeform territory. I selected this one from Epicurious at the beginning of the week and penciled it in for Wednesday night.
fennel-crusted ahi tuna with lemon aioli over couscous Bon Appétit | August 2005
This is the running commentary in my head as I prepare the recipe.
Combine first 3 ingredients in heavy small skillet. Toast over medium heat until fragrant, shaking skillet occasionally, about 3 minutes. Grind spice mixture in spice grinder. Transfer to bowl; mix in 1 teaspoon salt. (So far so good)
Whisk mayonnaise, lemon juice, chives, ( oops, no chives, scratch that) and half of garlic in small bowl. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Store spice mixture airtight at room temperature. Cover and refrigerate lemon aioli.)
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrot and onion and sauté until crisp-tender,(@#$% forgot to buy carrot and onion. I'll just leave it out. Next?) about 3 minutes. Add thyme and remaining garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add 2 1/4 cups water and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; bring to boil. Add sugar snap peas (wha? Sugar snap peas!? I'll use green beans instead I guess. I'll blanch them and serve them on the side) and cook until crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Using slotted spoon, transfer peas to plate. Immediately add couscous (couscous!? oh forget it, I'll just make a batch of lemony quinoa) to water in skillet and stir to combine. Cover and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes. Fluff couscous with fork. Transfer to bowl and cool completely. ( why am I cooling? I want to have it hot for dinner. I'll just ignore that step) Mix in sugar snap peas and dill. Season to taste with pepper. (Couscous can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)(blah blah blah, quinoa it is)
Prepare barbecue (high heat). (oh come on, really??! BBQ, I think not. Hot cast iron skillet will do just fine, thank you.) Coat tuna with 6 tablespoons oil.(ignore oil measurement as totally ridiculous) Sprinkle with spice mixture. (Liberally, as I just realized this is a recipe for 6 and I have two portions of tuna steaks)
Grill tuna until seared outside and rare in center, about 4 minutes per side. (try sear tuna less than a minute per side in hot skillet) Refrigerate uncovered for 1 hour (again with this refrigerate thing. I am eating it NOW), then cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices(1/2cm slices would be far more elegant). Spoon couscous (quinoa) onto plates. (Plate Green Beans as well)Top with tuna and drizzle with lemon aioli.
There you have it! my crazy and disorganised kitchen brain at work. And here is my take on the recipe, in full, sans running commentary.
Fennel Crusted Tuna
Makes 2 servings.
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced,
Quinoa, prepared, with fresh lemon zest
Green Beans, blanched and tossed with olive oil and salt.
2 tuna steaks
Combine first 3 ingredients in heavy small skillet. Toast over medium heat until fragrant, shaking skillet occasionally, about 3 minutes. Grind spice mixture in spice grinder. Transfer to bowl; mix in 1 teaspoon salt.
Whisk mayonnaise, lemon juice and garlic in small bowl. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Store spice mixture airtight at room temperature. Cover and refrigerate lemon aioli.)
Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Coat tuna with spice rub, then sear a minute per side. Slice and serve with quinoa and green beans.