Friday, February 11, 2011

Fresh Tuna Fra Diavolo

I believe this was the first time I have ever cooked fresh tuna. My son, who discovered the joys of sushi, prefers it raw or lightly seared. Thinking about it, he might be right. Son and fiance came over to have dinner and talk about the wedding. They had sample invitations for our perusal. We perused. My husband offered his opinion. I really didn't have one. There was one invitation with a hanging sign on it that my husband said looked like a real estate sign. I agreed that the real estate sign one really was not the ticket.
The tuna, like all fish, came with sticker shock. Forty-five dollars is a lot for two pounds of fish and some corn chips. It would have been more if I had read the recipe carefully and included the 8 cherrystone clams that were clearly listed among the ingredients. But if I had done that, my husband couldn't have eaten it, which would have been mean. So, it all worked out.
The sauce was sort of like salsa, chopped bits of vegetables in a liquid, especially if one left out the two egg yolks that were called for on the following page. It was a nice complement to the tuna. In my opinion, the tuna was overdone. The recipe says to simmer it for 15 minutes or until it flakes. I would recommend trying it after 10 minutes and remembering that in these enlightened days, tuna does not have to flake.

Fresh Tuna Fra Diavolo

2 pounds fresh tuna fish
cold salted water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely diced carrot
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1 cup sliced mushrooms
6 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
8 cherrystone clams, well scrubbed
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1/4 teaspoon oregano
/4 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup fish stock or clam juice
2 egg yolks
juice of one lemon
chopped parsley

1. Soak the tuna overnight in cold salted water, draining and replacing the water as often as practical. (Since I bought the tuna the evening that we ate it, it wasn't practical to do this at all. Perhaps someone can tell us all via the comments why it is necessary.
2. Next day, heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan and saute the onion carrot, celery and mushrooms in it until lightly browned. Beat in the anchovies until well blended. (This is an odd instruction. Anchovies are not eggs. You can't beat them in.)
3. Towel dry the tuna and brown on both sides in the pan.
4. Add the clams in their shells, the tomato sauce, oregano, thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Stir. Add the wine and stock or clam juice.
5. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer slowly about fifteen minutes, or until fish flakes easily. Remove the fish to a warm platter. Strain the stock remaining and return to the pan.
6. Mix the egg yolks with the lemon juice. Add a little of the hot stock to the mixture, return to the pan and stir until sauces thicken slightly. Do not boil. Pour over fish. Garnish with chopped parsley. Makes 4 servings.

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