Posts Tagged ‘Tuna’

Swordfish & Zucchini Pie

March 24, 2009

ist2_6222730-grilled-swordfishThere is nothing quite like reeling in one of these sport fish.  They put up a hero’s fight and are beautiful breaking the surface with their long lances flailing the air.  The flesh is much like halibut, dense and pink in the raw.  Swordfish grills beautifully, even without marinating, though the marinade helps retain moisture.  This recipe is from the classic cookbook by Dorothy Batchelder, The Fishmonger Cookbook.  Tuna or halibut also work well in this recipe.  It was so popular at my restaurant in Tonga that lunch customers would come early so they wouldn’t miss out on this Friday special.  It is a bit time consuming with many steps, but it is not a difficult recipe and is well worth the effort.  Serve this with pickled lemons or hot and spicy mango chutney, a Greek salad, and a glass of wine.


Orange Zest Crust:

2 Tbsp orange zest

2 1/2 cups flour

1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp sugar

1 cup cold butter, 4 egg yolks

Cut butter into dry ingredients and mix in egg yolks just till crust holds together.

Knead together 2 or 3 times.  Roll out 3 rounds of crust to fit a 9-inch spring form; use the bottom of the form for a pattern.  Transfer to a flat baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and chill until assembly.  Sprinkle 1 Tbsp bread crumbs in the bottom of the 9-inch spring-form pan.

Zucchini Filling:

4 pounds zucchini julienned

1/2 cup flour, 1 beaten egg

Olive oil for frying

Dip zucchini in beaten egg then dredge in flour. Fry little bundles of the zucchini in oil until golden brown. Drain on a rack.

Halibut Filling:

1 1/4 pound swordfish steaks- cut into chunks

1/4 cup olive oil

1 clove garlic minced

1/2 cup onion minced

1 Tbsp tomato paste

1 celery rib, finely chopped

1/2 cup green olives chopped

1 Tbsp capers chopped

Sauté onion, garlic, and celery until translucent, add tomato paste, stir, and then add the fish.  Cook just until the fish is done, add the olives and capers.  Cool.


Place one crust on top of crumbs in spring form, top with bundles of fried zucchini, add another crust on top of zucchini, fill with swordfish, and top with last crust. Cut vents into top crust and egg wash.  Bake at 350° F. 45-60 min or until golden brown.  Let cool for 15 minutes before removing sides and slicing.

Salad Niçoise

March 18, 2009

j04365891The term Niçoise refers to the region of Niçe in France.  Salad Niçoise and Niçoise olives are specialties of the region.  There are as many recipes for this salad as there are chefs.  Some prefer the classic ingredients with anchovies, green beans, new potatoes, hard boiled eggs, and olives.  Others prefer tuna and capers as anchovies are not too popular with most restaurant patrons.  At my restaurant in Tonga, we served marinated and grilled tuna on this salad with lots of veggies, olives, eggs, and a Caesar dressing, made with anchovy paste.  It’s a meal in itself with just a side of garlic toast.

The Marinade:

1/3 cup lemon juice

1 tsp minced onion

1 garlic clove, minced

1 anchovy fillet, mashed to a paste

Pinch of sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped fine

2 dashes Tabasco sauce

2/3 cup olive oil

Salad for 2:

½ lb. tuna fillet, 3-4 oz per person

2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and halved

1 waxy potato, boiled, coarsely chopped and tossed with a little marinade

1 cup of fresh green beans (young tender skinny beans), steamed 5 minutes, tossed with a little marinade

4 cups Romaine lettuce, chopped (reserve a few large leaves for lining bowls or plates)

1 small fresh carrot, scraped and julienned

1 small daikon radish, scraped and julienned (may substitute jicama)

1 small cucumber, washed and sliced thin

 A few paper thin slices of red onion

12 Niçoise olives

6 green olives

12 cherry tomatoes

4 marinated artichoke bottoms

Whisk all the Marinade ingredients together in a small bowl or shake in a jar.  Pour about 2 Tbsp of marinade on a plate and dredge tuna fillet on both sides and set aside to marinate while preparing the eggs and veggies.  To assemble:  arrange large lettuce leaves on a plate, top with chopped lettuce, arrange the eggs, veggies, olives and artichokes around the circumference of the plate, leaving the center for the tuna.  Heat the grill or non-stick skillet over medium high heat and cook tuna until barely done… no more than 2 minutes per side.  Place in center of salad and sprinkle with capers and parsley if desired.  Remaining marinade may be served as dressing. Wedges of lemon are a nice touch and add color.