Olive Oil Poached Tuna with Piquillo Peppers and CapersThis recipe comes from Amanda Lydon one of Food and Wines top-ten chefs of 2000.
1 lb fresh tuna belly
For the marinade: 1 tbsp coarsely ground fennel seeds, pinch of Aldo Armato red pepper flakes, zest of a half a lemon, finely ground black pepper
4 cups olive oil
4 cloves garlic, slivered
the zest of one lemon, peeled in strips
2 ripe red or heirloom variety tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
8oz piquillo peppers, cut into thin strips
2 Tbsp salted capers, rinsed and dried
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp Cepa Vieja sherry vinegar
kosher salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp whole parsley flakes
Trim the tuna of any silverskin, and cut into portion-sized pieces. Marinate the fish in the spices, lemon zest and black pepper up to 4 hours before cooking. Set aside. Combine the olive oil with the parsley flakes, garlic and zest in a small, deep-sided saucepan. Bring the oil up to 140 degrees, then lower the heat to maintain an even temperature: it should never come to a boil. Let the herbs infuse the oil for up to 30 minutes. Combine the tomatoes and peppers with the remaining ingredients. Check seasoning, adjust if necessary. Set Aside. To serve, season the marinated tuna with kosher salt. Check the oil's temperature, then slide the tuna into the oil so that they are completely submurged. Poach about 4-6 minutes. Remove the fish from the oil with a spatula, tilting to drain off the excess oil. Sprinkle the additional salt if necessary, top with tomato-pepper mixture.
Serves 4 as an appetizer.