Tuna Confit Sous-Vide

Canned tuna is cheap, but often of inferior quality. The tuna is dry and tastes mostly of salt. I have found good quality ‘organic’ canned tuna from the Ortiz brand, but that is more expensive than sashimi grade fresh tuna. So when I read about tuna cooked sous-vide with olive oil at 71ºC/160ºF for an hour as a tasty alternative for canned tuna on SVKitchen.com, my interest was piqued and I decided to give this a try. As the tuna will be pasteurized with this cooking time and temperature, it is perfectly fine to use frozen tuna for this that is a lot cheaper than sushi grade fresh tuna. Continue reading “Tuna Confit Sous-Vide”

Tuna Tartare with Runner Bean ‘Seaweed’

Teun came over to cook together for the first time again after my trip to Australia, and we created this appetizer together.  This use of runner beans was inspired by snow peas that looked like seaweed at Vermeer. The combination of the raw tuna with the crispy runner beans and the spicy dressing works really well. Continue reading “Tuna Tartare with Runner Bean ‘Seaweed’”

My First Poke

We eat most fish on Fridays and Saturdays, since I prefer to eat fish on the day that I bought it. The well-known Albert Cuyp market in Amsterdam is just a few blocks from the office, and I should take more advantage of that to go there and get fish during my lunch break so we can have fish on other days of the week as well as we both love fish.

When I was on the Albert Cuyp market I saw some nice tuna and thought it was time I would give ‘poke’ a try. Poke is a Hawaiian dish that I had never heard of before, despite having been to Hawaii for a week two years ago. I had noticed it on Richard McGary’s blog REMCooks.com before, but only when I saw the photo of the Baby Lady smugly enjoying poke I knew I really had to try this 🙂 I was not disappointed, as we both loved it and I will definitely make poke again.

Poke is a Hawaiian dish made with raw tuna (called ahi in Hawaii, either big eye tuna or yellowfin tuna) and a variety of other ingredients. I based my first attempt upon Richard’s post about Pesto Poke, but I added some avocado as well and replaced the cilantro with parsley.  Continue reading “My First Poke”

Ancho Chile Crusted Tuna, Tomato Salsa with Pickled Chipotles, and Zucchini with Pickled Jalapeños

This is how I dipped my toes in the world of chiles after receiving Richard’s package. The three jars seemed a little less daunting than those different kinds of dried chile peppers that I had never heard of before.  I had browsed a lot of chile recipes on Richard’s blog REMCooks.com for inspiration. It wasn’t needed to search or filter on the blog, because there are chiles everywhere 😉 And so I made up this dish, to get to know the heat and flavor of the first three items in the package. It turned out great, I absolutely loved it. The ancho chile rub is not very hot but does impart a lot of flavor and it pairs really well with tuna. The jalapeños en escabeche paired well with the zucchini, and the salsa with pickled chipotles was quite hot but very nice. Not bad for a first experiment. It gave me the courage to proceed with the rest. I can highly recommend Richard’s recipes for all three of the condiments (links below). Here’s what I did… Continue reading “Ancho Chile Crusted Tuna, Tomato Salsa with Pickled Chipotles, and Zucchini with Pickled Jalapeños”

Grilled Avocado with Tuna Sous-Vide

Yet another meal and another post inspired by fellow bloggers, two in this case. The idea to try tuna sous-vide came from A Single Serving, who left a comment on my sous-vide page. He mentioned tuna confit, which is not what I tried this time around (but I will). Instead, I cooked the tuna medium rare at 42C/108F. The idea to grill avocado came from Richard of REMCooks, as well as the idea to combine avocado and tuna. I made this for lunch, but it could also be a nice appetizer for two. If you don’t have sous-vide equipment, you could use a ziploc bag and stock pot as a good substitute (that will however require some attention to monitor the temperature) or simply serve the tuna raw.

You may now be thinking that I lost it. Grilling avocado? I had never thought of this, but I trust Richard and he’s right: it’s nice and a great way to eat an avocado that is not yet fully ripe. I was worried the avocado would ‘melt’, but that is not the case at all. The sous-vide tuna turned out very nice, with more flavor than rare tuna. I really liked the combination of flavors and textures, and the chile flakes made a big difference in this dish. Here’s what I did… Continue reading “Grilled Avocado with Tuna Sous-Vide”

Spicy Shrimp Crackers with Tuna Tartare

I have almost two weeks off from work, which gives me more time than usual to experiment. About a month ago we had a dish at Lasarte in Barcelona that I really liked: spicy shrimp trackers with tuna tartare. The combination of the spicy crispy shrimp with the tuna worked very well, so I wanted to try something similar. I was quite happy with the result, the only thing I would like to improve is the crispiness of the crackers. Do you think you have an idea to make them more crispy? Please leave a comment! Update January 11, 2013: … Continue reading Spicy Shrimp Crackers with Tuna Tartare

Amazing Sous-Vide Vitello Tonnato

If you’ve never had vitello tonnato before, you probably think veal and tuna are an unlikely pair. But in fact this classic dish from the Piemonte region in Italy (called vitel tonnà in the Piemontese language) is a great combination. Traditionally, vitello tonnato is made by poaching the “girello” cut of “Fassone” veal (a prized Piemontese breed of veal) in a stock with aromatic vegetables and white wine, sliced thinly and served with a sauce of canned tuna, hard-boiled eggs, capers, anchovies, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and a bit of the cooking liquid. Girello (also known as tondino … Continue reading Amazing Sous-Vide Vitello Tonnato

Spaghetti with Tuna (Spaghetti al Tonno)

This is my “go to” recipe for un unplanned but tasty and healthy meal, as all the ingredients have a very long shelf life (so I usually have them available) and it doesn’t matter to leave out some of the ingredients. The only things you really need are spaghetti, a can of tuna, a can of peeled tomatoes, salt and olive oil. The taste will be more complex if you do use all the optional ingredients, but it will still taste fine without them or with just a few of them. Another advantage of this dish is that it takes … Continue reading Spaghetti with Tuna (Spaghetti al Tonno)