Sophisticated Savories

Sophisticated Savories

Friday, May 3, 2013

Ahi Tuna with Fruits and Veggies

Sometimes the most random flavors can be paired together… and work brilliantly!

I often will challenge myself in the kitchen… creating a “Chopped” scenario where I will mosey on over to the refrigerator/pantry to see what items exist… then create something out of nothing. By perusing the grocery store to see what produce is on sale… then purchase said items, one can embrace the challenge of creating flavors and dishes… not simply following a recipe. But this comes with experience and confidence in the kitchen.

Ahi tuna is one of my favorite fish to prepare… not only gorgeous with the bright magenta color, but bursting with flavors when consumed… raw or cooked. Tuna tartar is a bright, refreshing and healthy dish for the upcoming summer months. I happened to have a few green grapes that had seemingly staked their claim to a shelf in my refrigerator. Rather than simply eat them as a snack, I wanted to pair them with something… especially if it was an unlikely coupling.

When I was working at Hotel Le Meurice in Paris (3 Michelin-starred restaurant), I learned a plethora of different techniques in food preparation. Peeling grapes happened to be one of the more meticulous tasks…

Yes, I said “peeling grapes.”


Embracing my French heritage, I proceeded to peel a few green grapes… not only to gain a texture similar to the raw ahi tuna, but also to create a more “glossy” surface effect. After removing the grape skin, I cut the green translucent grapes into ½ or ¼ (depending on the size), then chopped the ahi tuna in a similar-sized dice. I seasoned the grape/ahi combination with lemon juice, sesame seed oil, freshly crushed sea salt, pinch of cayenne pepper, celery leaves (I love the bright yellow/green colors from the inside stalks) and pea shoots.

I had some left-over rutabaga puree left over from a few nights before. In order to extend the puree, I added some 0% Greek yogurt and used my Vitamix to puree into a completely smooth mixture. Using a “paint brush,” I brushed the rutabaga puree only a plain white plate. Atop the “smear,” I strategically placed the ahi/grape mixture. A sprinkle of roasted, crushed cashews topped the dish.

The combination of citrus (from the lemon), sweet (from the grape), savory (from the ahi) and umami (from the sesame oil) proved to be a winning combination.

“Cooking requires confident guesswork and improvisation-- experimentation and substitution, dealing with failure and uncertainty in a creative way” -Paul Theroux

Love y’all! ♥

No comments:

Post a Comment