Monday, January 12, 2009
Tuna and Fennel with a Lemon Dill Aioli and an Embarrassing Story
Every once in a while we all have to chuckle at ourselves. Hopefully that chuckle can be followed with a bit of relief at how far we have come. I used to not like sushi. I think in retrospect, the first several trys I had at it, just also turned out to be bad sushi. When we went to dinner with friends, who unwittingly, ordered a ton of sushi for us to share…I had little choice but to eat it. I waited anxiously for the sushi to come, not knowing how I would make my way through (the last sushi I had had, I couldn’t force myself to swallow…literally). Luckily for me (and several sushi restaurants near me), it turns out I love sushi if is good and now there is not a week that goes by I don’t indulge in some.
Prior to realizing raw fish could be good ,I went out to eat with a young chap I would later marry. He took me to a lovely restaurant in his town. We each got a salad and decided to split an entrée. It was a thia tuna dish. The waitress brings it out and we dig into the tuna, and it was rare!! Egad. We immediately called the waitress over and explained the obvious issue. God love her, with out bursting out laughing, she carried that beautiful piece of tuna back to the chef and had that man cook it within an inch of its life. Honestly, I just simply did not know you could eat tuna rare. I still like mine medium rare and not full on rare, but now a well done tuna steak, in my mind is ruined. It is dry and heavy. So to that chef and that piece of tuna who sadly gave its life to have me desecrate it… my humblest apologies. I hope this recipe offers some solace.
1 fennel bulb sliced (tops removed)
½ large Vidalia sliced
1 tbs olive oil
Salt and Pepper
4 tuna steaks
1 tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp mustard
1 tbs lemon juice
2 tsp dill
1 tsp caper
Make the aioli, by combining mustard, lemon juice, dill and capers. Mix well and set aside.
In skillet heat 1 tablespoon of oil to medium high. Add fennel and onion and sauté for 1 minute reduce heat to medium low and sauté for another 10 minutes until nice and brown.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in skillet over high heat. Add tuna and sear for 30 second on each side. Reduce heat to medium. I personally like my tuna medium rare, so I cooked it and additional 2 minutes on one side and 1 minute on the other and let it rest, but it was a pretty thick steak. Unless you like it very well done, it is always better to pull it off early and put it back if need be than overcook it. Once you pull fish off squeeze lemon over.
Top tuna with a heaping spoon of fennel and onion and then top with a healthy spoonful of aioli.