Friday, January 29, 2010

Things to celebrate

Today I got some very good news...I'll be working as a judicial clerk for the Maryland Court of Appeals next year!  I definitely needed a good meal to celebrate, so I turned to my new Marcus Samuelsson cookbook, New American Table.  At first I was craving some sort of Asian preparation of seared tuna, perhaps because I am conditioned to want that preparation because that is what every American restaurant offers, but as I paged through my book I found Tuna with Parmesan Risotto.  I was a bit skeptical at first but after the success of Shrimp and Bacon Orzo, I decided just to go with it.

For the tuna:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon white miso
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
16 ounces tuna, thinly sliced (if you want to sear it, cut it after it has been cooked)
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

This recipe calls for leaving the tuna uncooked, and it sits ceviche-like in a lemony marinade ahead of time. I decided to sear my tuna first because I like the contrasting textures that seared tuna gives you.  I cooked the tuna in a hot skillet for 1-2 minutes per side.

Whisk the olive oil, miso, and lemon juice and pour over the sliced tuna.  Let the tuna sit in the marinade for 20 minutes. In a dry skillet, toast the chopped walnuts over medium heat, approximately 5 mins.  Be careful not to burn the walnuts. 

Arrange the tuna on a plate and pour over the remaining miso, lemon, olive oil mixture.  Top with toasted walnuts.


For the risotto:
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 cup shelled frozen edamame
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots - chopped
4 garlic cloves - minced
1 cup arborio rice
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon chopped marjoram
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon soy sauce

In a medium hot dry skillet toast the fennel seeds until fragrant, approximately 3-5 minutes.

Boil 1 cup water in a small saucepan.  Add the edamame and cook for 1 minute.  Drain and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat.  Add shallots and cook for 3 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.  Add the arborio rice and stir, cooking for 2 minutes.  Add 2 1/2 cups water, stir and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the salt, parm, and butter.  Stir until melted.  Add the fennel, edamame, marjoram, egg yolk, and soy sauce.  Stir together.

Top with shaved parm!

What is amazing about this dish is that it avoids the tedious process of adding ladelfuls of hot broth to the arborio rice in order to get the creamy texture.  I think you have to try this in order to believe it.

The tuna is placed atop the parmesan risotto where the freshness of the tuna provides a perfect balance to the richness of the risotto.  I recently got a shipment from the Channing Daughters wine club.  For this meal I choose the Romato, an innovative wine that is characteristic of this winery.  The Romato is made from Pinot Grigio grapes that are left to ferment on their own skins.  This process gives the wine a much richer flavor than you would typically expect with the Pinto Grigio grape.  However, it retains its bright acidity which makes it a perfect compliment to this dish. 

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