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Everything-Crusted Tuna With Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
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    Everything-Crusted Tuna With Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons dry minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons dry minced onion
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 3 tablespoons black sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons white sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 4 sushi-quality center-cut tuna steaks, 3 inches by 11/2 inches by 1 inch thick
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 medium-size roasted red peppers, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsalted or low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar -- (3 to 4)
  • 1/3 cup grape-seed oil
  • 1 1/2 cups canola or other vegetable oil
  • To make the crust, mix together the minced garlic, onion, poppy seeds, sesame seeds and salt. Sprinkle some of this mixture on a plate. Dip the tuna steaks in the beaten egg white just enough to coat, then roll each steak in the crust mixture to coat it thoroughly, adding more of the mixture if necessary. To minimize the potential mess, coat the tuna steaks by holding them with a fork rather than your fingers. Put steaks on the same plate, atop the remaining mixture; set aside at room temperature.

    Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

    To make the sauce, warm the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat, and add the garlic and shallots. Cook, stirring, until they are soft but not colored, about 5 minutes. Add the peppers, chicken stock and wine, season with salt and white pepper, and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about 8 minutes. Carefully transfer the mixture to a blender, add the vinegar and with the machine running, pour in the grape-seed oil. Blend just to emulsify. Adjust the seasonings, adding water if sauce is too thick, and set aside in a warm place.

    Have a metal baking pan at the ready; you will need it quickly after frying the steaks. Pour the canola oil into a 12-inch sauté pan or a wok, and set over high heat; when the oil reaches 350 degrees, slip the tuna into the pan. Fry for 1-1/2 minutes on each side, until the crust is well browned. Lift out the steaks with a slotted spatula, and place in the baking pan. Transfer to the oven, and roast for 1 minute for rare, 2 minutes for medium-rare, 3 minutes for medium.

    Remove from the oven; spoon some sauce on each of four warmed dinner plates. Cut each steak in half on the diagonal, and place the two pieces in the center of the plates. Drizzle the steaks with additional sauce.

    Yield: Four servings.

    To get the most out of this dish, make sure you're using premium-quality tuna (not that foul Chicken of the Sea stuff) and cook it only just enough. If you don't already have good Yellow Tail like Marilyn, ask your fishmonger for tuna steaks that are each cut like a brick. One inch thick is ideal. The tuna will look like beef. And like beef, you'll want to keep it rare.

    The sauce is a blend of roasted red peppers, garlic and shallots. Gently sautéed, the garlic and shallots are a sweeter version of the garlic and onions in the crust. I roast the red bell peppers over a gas flame or under the broiler until they're black and blistered, then I rub off the skins. Their slightly charred flavor makes the sauce lusty enough to play opposite the assertive crust. I'd also suggest serving it with some saffron rice or some couscous.

    From:   Islandman, islandman@islandman.com
    Posted By:   Islandman, Via: Chile Head Mailing List
    Post Date:   Sun, 20 May 2001

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