Smoked Pacific Albacore
- 10 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for drizzling tomatoes
- 2 pounds Pacific albacore tuna (or other fresh tuna steak)
- Herbes de Provence
- Coarse salt
- White Bean Puree, recipe follows
- Pesto, recipe follows
- Serving suggestion: Sauteed greens, asparagus or haricots verts
- Special equipment: oak, cherry or hickory wood for smoking, stovetop smoker or old roasting pan
Preheat oven to 225 degrees F. Arrange tomatoes, cut side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle the minced garlic and parsley on top. Drizzle with olive oil, place in the oven and roast until somewhat dry, but still pliable, about 5 hours.
Light a small amount of wood in your outdoor grill and allow it to burn thoroughly, about 30 minutes. When the wood is down to the smoky embers, transfer it to the smoker or a roasting pan that you don't mind scorching. Place the roasting pan containing the burning wood in the oven along with the fish and allow it to smoke for about 5 to 10 minutes. Be careful not to oversmoke and thus overpower the albacore flavor. (Chef's Note: The amount of time the fish should be smoked will vary depending on the size of your oven. Mitchell recommends experimenting to your taste.)
Mix the herbes de Provence and coarse salt together. Coat the exterior of the albacore with the mixture. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sear the fish on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes total, keeping the center rare.
To serve, place a mound of white bean puree just off-center on each plate. Cut the albacore into slices and fan out around the white bean puree. Add the roasted tomatoes and drizzle pesto all around the plate. Serve with sauteed greens, asparagus, or haricots verts, if desired.White Bean Puree:
2 cups dried white beans
1/2 cup diced white onion
2 to 4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Soak the dried white beans in 2 quarts of water overnight.
Drain the beans, put in a pot with the onion, garlic and water to cover by several inches. Simmer until beans are tender, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Drain. While still warm, put in a food processor and puree with butter, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm until ready to serve.Pesto:
4 cloves garlic
1 lemon, juiced
2 cups mixed fresh herbs, tightly packed (basil, parsley, mint)
2 cups olive oil
2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a food processor, pulse the garlic, lemon juice, and herbs until coarsely chopped. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil until the herbs are minced but the mixture is still slightly chunky. Add the cheese and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Professional Recipe: This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and makes a large quantity. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe in the proportions indicated and therefore cannot make any representation as to the results.
Recipe courtesy Bouchon Santa Barbara