PEPPERED AHI WITH SHOESTRING POTATOES
● 1 pound fresh spinach, stems discarded, washed twice and drained
● 2½ tablespoons sweet butter
● Fresh ground black pepper
● 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
● 4 cups plus 1 tablespoon oil for frying
● 1 pound baking potatoes, peeled and reserved in a bowl of cold water
● 2 (14-ounce) tuna steaks, 1½-inch thick (sushi quality)
● ½ tablespoon crushed black peppercorns
● ½ cup shallots, peeled and sliced
● 2 tablespoons Spanish sherry vinegar
● ½ cup vegetable stock
Tuna should be translucent burgundy, firm and not fishy smelling
1. Bring 2 quarts water with one tablespoon of salt to a boil in a pot over high heat. Plunge in the spinach leaves and boil for 3 minutes. Drain
and cool the spinach under cold running water. Drain again and set aside.
2. Melt ½ tablespoon of the butter in a pan over high heat until light brown. Add the spinach and salt and pepper to taste and stir well. Add the
garlic, toss 2 minutes and keep warm on the side.
3. Heat the oil in a deep fat fryer or deep skillet to 360℉.
4. Drain the peeled potatoes, cut each one lengthwise to a ⅛ inch in thickness, using a mandolin, food processor or knife to obtain
matchstick-size strips the length of the potato. Reserve in cold water until ready to fry. Drain the matchstick potatoes and pat dry in a towel.
Carefully plunge them into the fryer one handful at a time. Stir until a light golden-brown, about 3 minutes, remove with a mesh skimmer,
drain on paper towels, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Keep warm on the side.
✚ Preheat oven to 250℉.
5. Season the tuna steaks with salt and crushed black peppercorns. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over high heat and sear the tuna for 2 to 5
minutes on each side. (The tuna will be rare if cooked for 2 minutes, medium if cooked 3 to 5 minutes). Remove and keep warm in the oven
for 3 to 5 minutes. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and sweat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the vinegar
and reduce by half. Add the vegetable stock and reduce by half. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter, salt and pepper to taste, and keep
warm on the side.
6. Arrange a bed of spinach on the bottom of a warm platter or plate. Place tuna steak over the spinach. Spoon the shallot sauce over the tuna
and arrange the crispy matchstick potatoes in the middle in a dome, like a haystack.