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Friday, May 1, 2015

CATHY & THE COOKBOOKS

The other day I wanted to make tuna fish, using "real" (not canned) tuna.  I knew I had a recipe for slow roasted tuna steak with some sort of salsa on top.  I looked all over for the book I thought it was in, Fast Food My Way by Jacques Pepin.  I couldn't find it anywhere and began to doubt my memory.  Had I just dreamed everything up?

I checked my Cookbook Inventory and found the name of the recipe, along with the book.  But, I still couldn't find the book.  I have several books by Jacques Pepin so I went through all of them in case he had repeated the recipe.  No luck.

I did find his The Shortcut Cook which had a recipe for tuna steak au poivre with cucumber sauce.  It sounded good and, surprisingly, I had all the ingredients on hand.  If you're interested, here it is:

CUCUMBER SAUCE
1 cucumber
3/4 teaspoon sale
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/3 cup canola or safflower oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 cup water

Peel the cucumber and cut it in half length-wise and remove the seeds by scraping them out with a spoon.  Cut the cucumber half into pieces and place them in the bowl of a food processor or blender.  Add the remaining ingredients and process for a few seconds, until the mixture is chopped fine without being completely liquefied.  Transfer the sauce to a serving dish and set aside.

TUNA STEAK
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
2 teaspoons herbes de Provence (I used 1 teaspoon each of thyme and basil)
6 tuna steaks (I used 1)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil

Spread the peppercorns on a work surface and using a rolling pin or bottom of a heavy saucepan (I used a coffee grinder which I only use for spices) crush them.  Stir the herbes de Provence into the crushed peppercorns on the work surface and dip each steak into the mixture, coating them on both sides.  Sprinkle the steaks with the salt.

Heat 1 large or 2 medium size skillets until very hot.  Add the oil spreading it quickly to coat the bottom and add the steaks.  Cook 1 minute on each side.  Turn off the heat and allow the skillet(s) to remain on the stove, covered, to steam for 5 to 6 minutes.  Serve immediately with the cucumber sauce on the side.

I served this with Honeyed Carrots with Pepper which is also in The Shortcut Cook.  I'll post that recipe another time, don't want to make this post too long, it might bore you.


An odd thing happened while I was searching the book for a vegetable recipe, I found a five dollar bill neatly folded between the pages.  I have no idea how it got there, but it was a pleasant surprise.

I should have mentioned earlier that it was delicious and I definitely will make it again.  Of course, I served it with a glass of wine, Sauvignon Blanc. My theory is that when trying a new recipe, I must have a glass of wine.  That way, if the food does not turn out well, at least I can enjoy the wine.

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