Sabtu, 21 Juli 2012

Marinated Poached Fresh Tuna with Caper and Anchovy Sauce

Are you familiar with vitello tonnato? It is composed of cold, poached veal that is thinly sliced. Then it is layered with a sauce made of canned tuna, mayonnaise, anchovies and capers. It has to marinate for at least 24 hours, during which time the flavors of tuna and veal melt and produce something that is like no other dish of meat or fish in tenderness with a sweet and tangy taste.

This dish is very similiar, only that there is no veal. The tuna is marinated in a citrus vinaigrette and comes together in a snap! It almost melts in your mouth with a light and refreshing citrus flavor.

Marinated Poached Fresh Tuna with Caper and Anchovy Sauce

(from Marcella Hazan)

1 celery rib
1 medium carrot
½ medium onion
¼ cup wine vinegar
1 lb. fresh yellowfin tuna, cut about 1 inch thick
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
2 to 3 flat anchovy fillets, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped capers
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon mustard
Freshly ground pepper

1. In a deep-sided skillet, combine the celery, carrot, onion, vinegar, a pinch of salt and 1 1/2 inches of water. Turn the heat to moderately high, cover and boil for 10 minutes.

2. Put in the tuna steak; when the water in the skillet returns to a boil, adjust the heat so that it simmers gently. Cover and cook the tuna until it is still pink in the center, 5 to 8 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the garlic, anchovies and capers with the lemon juice, olive oil and mustard. Season with salt and pepper and beat with a fork to combine.

4. Remove the tuna from the skillet and pat dry. Slice it 1/2 inch thick.

5. Choose a deep glass or ceramic dish that can contain the tuna in a single layer. Lightly spread some of the sauce over the bottom of the dish. Put in the tuna slices, laying them flat, and cover with the remaining sauce, spreading it evenly. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and let the tuna stand at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours.

Kamis, 12 Juli 2012

Two Cold Summer Soups

Today I have two cold soups for you. The first one is a White Gazpacho.
I have always wanted to try a White Gazpacho and my first attempt was a great success with my family. It is so rare that all four of us love a recipe equally but it was just the case with this soup. Light and refreshing, this soup makes a great dish on hot summer days. My soup turned out not to be white, but light green because I used small cucumbers and left the skin on.
I let it sit over night and found that the flavor improved over that period of time. Both soups need to be really really cold. So put your serving dishes in the fridge as well before serving the soup.

My second recipe for you is a cold tomato soup from Cooks Illustrated.  Half of the tomatoes are roasted in the oven which gives the soup an intensive sweet and aromatic flavor. There is no bread in this soup. Instead, Olive Oil is added to the pureed tomatoes which thickens the soup and gives it body.
Enjoy these soups on hot summer days and you will wish that summer never ends.

Dovetail’s White Gazpacho
Yield: 4 portions

¼ cup whites of leeks, sliced thin and washed
3 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
10 green grapes, washed
¼ cup blanched almond slivers (use Marcona Almonds if you can find them)
1 ½ tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 cups cucumbers
½ cup English cucumbers, peeled and juiced
½ tablespoon sour cream
¼ cup good quality olive oil
2 cups cold water
1 tablespoon salt

1. Cook leeks in a medium-size sauté pan over medium-low heat until translucent and tender, then chill in refrigerator.

2. Combine all ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth. (I soaked the bread for a couple of minutes in the water first before adding everything to the blender.)

3. Season with salt, adjusting amount as needed.

4. Pass through a fine-mesh sieve or chinois.

5. Serve very cold.


Chilled Fresh Tomato Soup
(Cooks Illustrated)
serves 4

  • 2 lbs. tomatoes, cored
  • 1 shallot, sliced thin
  • 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  •  teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
  • Pinch Cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar, plus extra as needed
  • Pepper (optional)

To create a chilled tomato soup recipe that produced a dish with complex flavor, we used a combination of fresh and roasted tomatoes. This gave us a dish with bright, tangy freshness as well as a deep, sweet flavor. We also used a small amount of tomato paste and lightly roasted garlic and shallot to boost the chilled tomato soup’s flavor.
1.Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray with vegetable oil spray.
2.Cut 1 pound tomatoes in half horizontally and arrange cut side up on prepared baking sheet. Arrange shallot and garlic cloves in single layer over 1 area of baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes, then remove shallot and garlic cloves. Return baking sheet to oven and continue to roast tomatoes until softened but not browned, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
3.Peel garlic cloves and place in blender with roasted shallot and roasted tomatoes. Cut remaining 1 pound tomatoes into eighths and add to blender along with tomato paste; paprika, if using; cayenne; and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Puree until smooth, about 30 seconds. With motor running, drizzle in olive oil in slow, steady stream; puree will turn orange in color.
4.Pour puree through fine-mesh strainer into nonreactive bowl, pressing on solids in strainer to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard solids. Stir in vinegar. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled and flavors have blended, at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
5.To serve, stir soup to recombine (liquid separates on standing). Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and vinegar, as needed. Ladle soup into chilled bowls, drizzle sparingly with extra oil, and grind pepper over each, if using. Serve immediately.

Selasa, 03 Juli 2012

Poppy Seed Buckwheat Wafers

The texture of this cookie is sandy, almost like a sable or shortbread. The flavor is nutty and earthy from the buckwheat flour but at the same time it is rich and buttery. Once the cookies are shaped, they are rolled in sugar and poppy seed and then sliced. I usually slice and bake only as many cookies as we will eat that day and then leave the rest of the dough in the fridge so that we can have fresh cookies the following day. They are the perfect cookies to enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea.

Poppy Seed Buckwheat Wafers
Recipe from Good to the Grain, by Kim Boyce

Wet Mix:

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 egg yolks (reserve whites)

Dry Mix:

1½ cups buckwheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
6 ounces (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature


2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
Egg whites from egg yolks above

Measure the cream and egg yolks into a small bowl—no need to whisk—and set aside.
Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl, pouring back into the bowl any bits of grain or other ingredients that may remain in the sifter. Add the softened butter to the dry ingredients. With your hands, squeeze the butter into the flour. After the butter is mostly blended in, add the cream and egg yolks. Continue squeezing the mixture until a crumbly dough forms. Scrape the dough onto a well-floured surface and, using the palm of your hand, smear the dough to fully incorporate all the ingredients.
Divide the dough in half. Roll each piece of dough into a log that is 8 inches long and 1¾  inches wide, flouring the dough and work surface as needed. Chill the logs for 2 hours. If the dough is more lopsided than round, you can gently roll the dough again after 15 minutes or so.
In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and poppy seeds and pour onto a plate. Brush one log very lightly with the egg whites. (I find it easiest to stand the log on one end as I brush it.) Roll the log in the poppy seed mixture until it is covered. Repeat this process with the remaining log and chill while the oven is heating up, or wrapped in plastic for up to 5 days.
Place two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Slice the logs into ?–inch wafers. Arrange the wafers on the baking sheets.
Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. The wafers should be dark golden-brown, with a darker ring around the edge, and smell quite nutty. Cool the cookies on a rack and repeat with the remaining wafers.
These wafers are best eaten the day that they’re made, but they’ll keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.