Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ahi Tuna with Boniato, Roasted Tomatillo and Tomato Salsa with a Citrus Jus

Dining out is nice but can get very expensive. Last night I recreated a savory dish from a great local restaurant for half the price.

The dish: Marinated Ahi Tuna with savory whipped Boniato, Roasted Tomatillo and tomato salsa with a Citrus Jus. Sounds a bit intimidating, right? Well lets break it down & I will show you just how easy a meal like this is to make in your own kitchen.

Ahi Tuna: this is very simple to cook/sear fish & best of all you don't have to worry about under-cooking the tuna, as it is also served raw in other dishes such as sushi.

Boniato: I know most of you are unfamiliar with what this is, I was too! Ladies and Gentlemen ... it is a potato! And we all know how to cook a potato. Boniato is known as the Cuban sweet potato. It has the same distinct shape as other sweet potatoes, unlike the common orange fleshed varieties, the Boniato is not as sweet.

Roasted Tomatillo and Tomato Salsa: A lot of us have made our own versions of salsa or pico de gallo, this is not much different at all. Rather than using tomatoes you are using tomatillos along with garlic, jalepeno & cilantro. A tomatillo is part of the tomato family, it is green and the flavor is zesty with a sour/sweet fruit finish.  See, not so intimidating

You still with me? Okay, lastly:

Citrus Jus: Jus is French for "with its own juice". In laymans terms, it is a fancy light sauce if you will.

I find that making this dish in parts eases the kitchen tension which allows you to enjoy each step rather than rushing around trying to do it all at once. I started with the Roasted Tomatillo and Tomato Salsa.

5-6 tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed until no longer sticky
1 large jalepeno
4 large cloves of garlic
1 bunch of fresh cilantro
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste  
1 large plum tomato, sliced OR a handful of cherry tomatoes 

Directions - click here for step by step instructions with photos

Start by removing the husks & stems from the tomatillos. Next rinse them under cold water to remove the sticky exterior. Don't worry if you cant get it all off. With a small knife, remove any imperfections on the outer flesh.

Next, cut the stem of the jalepeno off and split in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and inner white flesh (optional - remember most of the peppers heat lays in the seeds).

Remove the outer peel of the garlic cloves, leaving them whole. Cut off the woody end.

Now, arrange the tomatillos, jalepeno and whole garlic cloves on a foil lined baking sheet.

Put in the oven on the BROIL setting and cook for a few minutes. Remove garlic cloves first to avoid developing a bitter taste, as they will toast quickly. Continue to roast jalepenos and tomatillos until evenly charred, turning occasionally.

Set aside to cool. Do not remove the charred parts, this really adds a nice flavor to the salsa.

Lastly, place all the ingredients into a blender including the cilantro. Blend until you get a even consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add a few slices of tomato to the container and refrigerate until serving.

This will last for up to a week in the fridge.  

3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
6 thin slices of fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, crushed
pinch of dried red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk together. 
Put the tuna steaks in a large zip top bag and pour the marinade in the bag.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour but no more than 6 hours.  Turn the bag once or twice to ensure even distribution of the liquid. 

Click here for individual marinade recipe and other ideas to use it for.  
Citrus Jus    

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce 
1 cup orange juice
Juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons minced or grated garlic
2 teaspoons honey 

Directions - click here for step by step instructions with photos

In a small saucepan, add orange juice, soy sauce, honey, lemon juice, ginger and garlic.

Simmer over a low heat until the sauce thickens slightly, approximately 40 minutes.

2 large boniato potatoes
whipping cream
nutmeg (optional) 

Directions  - click here for step by step instructions with photos

Peel and cut the boniato into small cubes as you would a regular potato. 
Note: immerse peeled boniato in cold water immediately after cutting as the white flesh quickly discolors.

Boil the bonito over high heat until soft. 

Once it has fully cooked, drain over the sink in a strainer. 

Place back into the boiling pot, pour in the cream, add salt and pepper & nutmeg (optional) then whip with beaters, adding more cream until to reach your desired consistency. 

Now that you have prepared everything, it is time to sear the tuna.

To sear the tuna, place a large frying pan or skillet on medium-high heat until very hot.  Add a little bit of olive oil to the pan and sear the tuna for about 2 minutes per side, or until desired doneness is reached. 

Plate potatoes in the center of the plate, top with tuna steak, drizzle with citrus jus and place tomatillo salsa with tomatoes however you like. 

Just like that you have created a restaurant worthy dish in your own kitchen!!  Don't forget to pour yourself a glass of wine, after all, you deserve it!! 

Home Review: My fiance said: "this is by far the best meal yet" I defiantly agree!  I hope you all have as much fun with this dish as I did.   

Listening to: Dave Matthews Band - Gravedigger (Acoustic)  
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