Dinner for the Greeks

We have a contingent of Greek friends & family at home this week. Yesterday night, I cooked them a nice meal that I thought I should share with you all.

Menu:
Seared tuna with coriander seeds salad
Dungeness crab and avocado mousse
New York steak with baked red beets
Mount Tam cheese & bread

I’ve already posted the recipe for the dungeness crab dish. The tuna dish is an old favorite of mine, inspired by a dish I had at Nobu. It’s very easy to make, and always make a very good impression. The secret is obviously the tuna, that has to be very fresh and sushi grade. For 4 people, I usually get a tuna steak of 1 pound. In a pestle and mortar, crush a handful of coriander seeds. Sprinkle the tuna with salt, pepper and the coriander seeds. In a very, very hot pan, sear on each side for 30-40 seconds. With a long knife, cut thin slices of tuna and reserve in the fridge, covered.

Dice (very small dices) half a sweet onion and add to a bowl. Add two tablespoons of soya sauce, two table spoons of rice vinegar, a pinch of brown sugar, salt, pepper. Mix well. Then add 3 tablespoons of sesame oil, and 3 tablespoons of canola oil (or grapeseed oil).

Get the tuna out of the fridge, distribute the slices among 4 plates, laying down some of them, rolling others. Add some greens in the middle (could be anything). With a spoon, cover the tuna slices with some of the dressing.

For the steak, it’s dead easy and very yummy. First of all, cut the meat so you have 4 equal pieces. If you have a very big meal, 1 steak should be enough, especially as the meat usually comes at the end of the meal. If you want the dish to be more filling, 2 steaks for 4 people will do the work. On each side of the pieces, sprinkle lot of salt, pepper and fresh thyme. Let rest for at room temperature (i don’t hesitate to have it there for up to 45 minutes). During that time, pre-heat the oven to 375F. Cut the top and the bottom of the beets. For each beet, cut a piece of kitchen foil big enough so it will wrap it up completely. Place each beet on its piece of kitchen foil. Salt, pepper, and thyme. Add a tiny bit of olive oil and then wrap in the kitchen foil. Place in the oven for 40-45 minutes.

When the beets are cooked, turn off the oven and let them in to keep them warm. In a very hot pan, cook the steak, turning regularly. I like mine medium rare (even more on the rare side) so as soon as it hits 120F, I stop. When the meat is cooked, place on a plate and let it rest, while you finish preparing the beets. Remove them from the kitchen foil and peel them with a knife. Place each beet on a plate, and cut them in quarters. Add the meat in the middle of the place, with a tiny bit of butter on top of it. Done!

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