Recipe: Bluefin Tuna Tartare with Apple

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Especially for dishes like tartare, ceviche, and gravlax, the fresher the fish, the better the result. For this recipe, I start with a tuna steak about 1 inch thick and cut it into 1/2-inch squares. Using larger pieces rather than finely chopped fish, the conventional choice, gives the dish a creamier feel in the mouth. Do not mix the ingredients together more than 1 to 2 hours before serving; if combined sooner, the lemon juice will discolor the tuna, turning it an opaque white.

4 first-course servings

Cut the tuna steak into 1/4-inch-thick slices, then cut each slice into 1/2-inch squares. Peel the apple and cut the flesh into 1/4-inch pieces. You should have about 2/3 cup.

No more than 2 hours before serving, mix together in a medium bowl the tuna, apple, shallots, garlic, salt, pepper, Tabasco, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, and chives.

Peel the cucumber with a vegetable peeler. Use the peeler to cut 9 long strips of flesh from the cucumber, pivoting the cucumber and stopping before you reach the seeds in the center. Julienne 1 cucumber strip and set aside for the garnish. Mound the tuna tartare in the center of each of four plates and wrap 2 cucumber strips around each mound to enclose it. Garnish with some of the julienned cucumber and serve.

Episode 205: Chef's Dream

Combining silky tuna, crunchy apples, herbaceous chives, and piquant shallots, Jacques assembles a mountain of fresh Bluefin Tuna Tartare with Apple to open the show. Inspired by the flavors of the East, Jacques prepares exotic Lamb Burgers with Feta Cheese, cooked rare and served with a refreshing Yogurt-Cucumber Sauce and a "gratin" of Corn Parfait. He ends his cooking adventure with Cream Cheese and Fruit Medley.

Minute Recipe: Anchovy Spread

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This is an appetizer for anchovy aficionados. My wife adores this spread on pasta, toast or, as I suggest here, on cheese.

Put the contents of a 2-ounce can of anchovies in a food processor or mini chopper. Add 1/4 cup whole almonds, 1 garlic clove, 1 washed and quartered white mushroom, 3/4 cup diced (1/2-inch) country bread (preferably from a day-or-two-old loaf ), and 3 tablespoons best-quality olive oil. Process until the mixture is coarsely chopped. Cut 1/4-inch-thick slices from a firm cheese like Gruyère, Manchego, or provolone. Cut the slices into 1-inch squares. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the anchovy spread on each square of cheese, garnish with sliced almonds, and serve.

Makes about 20 small canapés