Fresh Tuna Steaks in the Manner of Tavira
Vicki Butts (lazyme)
Tavira, a whitewashed cubistic village on the Algarve's south coast, is the "Tuna Capital" of Portugal. Until recently, schools of the big fish swam not far offshore, but supplies are now so depleted that the tuna fishermen must sail far into the Atlantic for their catch -- sometimes as far as the Azores or Madeira.
From The Food of Portugal by Jean Anderson.
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- 1 large
- garlic clove, peeled and quartered
- 1 tsp
- kosher salt
- 1/2 c
- chopped fresh coriander or mint
- 1/2 tsp
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 c
- olive oil
- 2 lb
- fresh boneless tuna, cut into steaks about 3/4-inch thick
- 1/2 c
- dry white wine
- 2 Tbsp
- lemon juice
1Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic, salt, 2 tablespoons of the coriander, and the pepper to a paste; blend in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
2Rub the mixture on both sides of each tuna steak and lay the steaks in a 9 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish. Mix 2 tablespoons of the remaining coriander with 1/4 cup of the remaining oil, the wine, and lemon juice. Pour evenly over the tuna, cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
3When ready to cook, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy skillet over high heat until ripples appear on the skillet bottom; add the tuna and brown about 3 minutes on each side, keeping the heat high.
4Meanwhile, strain the marinade, warm in a small saucepan over moderate heat, and stir in the remaining 1/4 cup chopped coriander.
5Serve sizzling hot with a little of the hot marinade spooned over each portion. Accompany with sun-ripened tomatoes, cut into wedges or rounds, and crisp slices of cucumber -- both drizzled with olive oil and vinegar.
On the grill
When ready to cook, make a hot charcoal fire, and when it burns down, leaving coals covered with white ash, adjust the grill so that it is about 6 inches above the coals. Brush the tuna steaks well with the marinade. Strain the remaining marinade into a little saucepan and set to one side of the grill so that it will heat as the tuna grills. Grill the tuna 3 to 4 minutes on each side, brushing often with the marinade, just until cooked through. Stir the remaining chopped coriander into the marinade, top each portion with a generous spoonful of it, and serve.