19 June 2010

White Tuna

Yes and no. I cooked tuna after a recipe by Marco Pierre White, and could not resist that title. ;) In colour, my fish was a deep reddish brown, though. I'm currently cooking my way through Marco Pierre White's "Canteen Cuisine" and was irresistably drawn to a recipe entitled 'Grilled Tuna, Ratatouille, Tapenade, Beurre de Tomate'.

Like many of White's recipes, it's a several stage affair but I found it was well worth the effort. It might be a little off-putting to read a recipe only to find that you are to turn to another section of the book for part of the preparation which in turn requires as an ingredient another recipe on a different page. Don't fret, on the whole this was a straight forward affair. I did most of the preparation in advance during a relaxed period of the afternoon, and thus cooking supper was a matter of less than ten minutes - bearing in mind that I cooked and served the children's portions first so that they would cool down while I cooked ours.

Preparations include making a tomato puree, dicing the vegetables for the ratatouille and making a tapenade. I also prepared but did not yet cook the tomato butter sauce in advance. When we were ready to eat, I only needed to reheat the vegetables, heat the sauce and fry the fish. And this is what it looked like.
The following instructions are from White's book, pp. 98, 206, 212. Firstly, you need to prepare a tomato puree for the ratatouille. White calls this 'tomato fondue' , and it is a superb home-made tomato sauce, one that I will certainly use with fresh pasta or gnocchi one of these days.


Tomato Fondue
6-8 large ripe tomatoes
1/2 shallot
1 garlic clove
1 sprig of thyme
1/4 bay leaf
100 ml olive oil

Skin, deseed and dice the tomatoes. Peel and chop both shallot and garlic. Heat the oil in a large pan (I used a heavy, low-sided pot), sweat off shallot and garlic for a few minutes without browning. Add tomatoes, thyme and bay leaf and cook over a low heat until all the moisture has evaporated. It took about the time I needed to prepare the vegetables for the ratatouille and make the tapenade.
Remove thyme and bay leaf and puree in a blender.

Ratatouille
3 courgettes
2 yellow peppers
2 red peppers
1 small aubergine
1 onion
6 leaves of basil
olive oil

To skin the peppers, heat under a grill until the skin is scorched, place in a plastic bag, close the bag and leave a while. In the meantime wash and cut slices of ca. 5 mm off the outside of the courgettes. Keep the inside for a vegetable stock or another dish. Cut into thin strips and cube. Do like wise with the aubergine, keeping each vegetable in a separate bowl. Skin and dice the onion. Finally, skin and deseed the peppers, and cut into cubes.

Place the tomato fondue in a large pot, heat up gently and add the basil, cut into thin strips. Fry off each vegetable separately in olive oil, and add to the tomatoes.

Tapenade
This makes more than you need for this dish, but will keep for several days in the fridge. I'm looking forward to using this on crostini; it's good with pasta, too.

125 g black olives
25 g anchovies
12 g capers
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon olive oil

Stone the olives. I find the easiest method by far is to rub them between thumb and middle finger until the olive is smashed and sheer pressure forces the stone out. Add all dry ingredients to a mixer and blend until smooth-ish, then add the oil and blend again. Easy!

Beurre de Tomate
225 g cherrry tomatoes
2 teaspoons olive oil
50 g butter
salt and pepper

Liquidise the tomatoes in a blender and pass through a fine sieve. In a small pot, heat to below boiling point, add the butter and olive oil and season to taste. I placed everything in its pot and heated it gently while reheating the ratatouille and frying the fish.

Tuna
This is your preparation done, now to the fish. White recommends four pieces of tuna weighing 150 g, I bought two large slice weighing close to 400 g each. I cut off a smaller wedge from each for the children, reserving a larger portion for the adults. Season the fish with salt and pepper and fry it off in olive oil at a medium to high temperature. I gave mine two minutes either side and it was perfectly cooked, crispy at the outside whilst retaining a lightly raw core - just as I like it.

To serve, ladle some ratatouille on a plate, place the tuna on top and add a spoonful of tapenade. Surround with beurre de tomate.

1 comment:

Amelia PS said...

mmm that tomato butter sounds very intriguing. Complicated recipe but I am sure tantalizing result :)