Saturday, 18 January 2014

Tuna with basil butter - Perfect supper

I woke up this morning with a need to create something a bit tasty for supper tonight. I was fed up with the constant rain and wanted something to lift the gloom. Tuna was my first choice. Lighter than a meat based meal and I can almost always pick up a great cut of it in town. After a quick scan on the net I found a recipe to fuel the imagination and set off for the shops to see what ingredients I could find. A short while later I returned with tuna, basil, fennel and some extra virgin olive oil.

A few hours later, after the chores were out of the way and we had enjoyed a couple of good 'afternoon' films to help occupy our time as the rain returned, I set about cooking supper. I seasoned two half inch thick tuna steaks and put them in individual ziplock bags with a cup of olive oil and some fresh basil leaves. These went into the sous vide at 43C for about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, I dug out my food processor and popped a good handful of basil, a couple of garlic cloves and about 50 grams of unsalted butter in.Once blended, I pitched the resulting mix into some grease proof paper and formed it into a cylinder and popped it into the freezer for a while to set a little. I now prepared the fennel bulb. I cut it into quarters and popped it into a pan of salted boiling water to soften. Once it was tender (after about 10 minutes) I drained it. Put the fennel core quarters to one side on some kitchen paper to dry a little. At this point I put a couple of cast iron skillets on the gas to heat to a good searing temperature. The remaining fennel was pureed using the Bamix.

I put a little groundnut oil in one skillet and caramelized the fennel cores. While this cooked I removed the tuna from the sous vide and opened the bags. The Tuna was placed in the very hot skillet to sear. I turned the tuna after a minute or so and then, once the other side was seared, I placed a good knob of the basil butter on each steak and served up.

The result was fantastic. A succulent tuna steak wit h the peppery basil butter with some fresh lemon rind to cut the butter was well balanced with the pureed fennel and the caramelized fennel heart. A little fresh lemon juice helped to cut the richness of the dish but it is a simple and filling recipe I will be repeating in the future.

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