Friday, August 16, 2013

Dinner Tonight: Panko-crusted Tuna with Lemon Basil Chermoula Sauce

August is here and with it comes an avalanche of vegetables in their prime - if not a little water logged from the amount of rain.  With summer vacations behind us, it's time to get back into the kitchen. There's plenty of things to be eating.

Dinner's catch tonight is tuna served with local roasted vegetables: baby eggplant, tomatoes, chinese wax beans, and okra!  Here's how it was done.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Slice the eggplants length-wise. Put in bowl.
Slice the tomatoes 3cm thick. Put in separate bowl.
Cut okra into uniform pieces. Add to eggplant bowl.
Add beans to the eggplant bowl.

Season all the vegetables except the tomatoes with:
3 Tbsp EV olive oil
1 Tbsp high quality mirin (sweet rice wine, like Takara)
pinch of celery salt
pinch of zatar

Coat tomatoes with a bit of olive oil and sherry.  Season with a mixture of salt and pinch of sugar.

Line a pan or two with aluminum foil brushed with oil and the vegetables with ample spacing. Put in the oven and cook the vegetables for 35 - 40 minutes until slightly browned.

Tuna Prep:
Add to a bowl: 1/4 cup Matzah meal, 1/4 Panko breadcrumbs, 2 tsp cumin, 2 tsp curry powder
Heat a non-stick pan to Med High with 2 Tbsp of canola or sunflower oil.
Make sure the tuna pieces are patted dry with a paper towel.
Rub a bit of oil on both sides of the tuna.
Take tuna pieces and cover them with the panko, matzah meal and put them in the pan with generous spacing for 2 - 3 minutes depending on thickness. Flip the pieces and cook for 30 seconds before removing from the pan. You want the presentation side to be the golden brown side (the first side). Pieces should have a pink middle.

Chermoula sauce:
Put in a blender (VitaMix or Ninja):
1/2 preserved lemon (remove seeds)
1/8 cup water
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup fresh herbs: I used baby basil, a bit of purple Thai basil, and oregano
1/4 cup olive oil

Blend. Add:

1 Tbsp capers - chopped (optional)
Handful of small pitted olives like nicoise - chopped (optional)

Paired with a Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Blanc.

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