Vadouvan Crusted Ahi

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Description

I make my own vadouvan, which means that's it's about 90 percent crispy-dried onions, shallots, and leeks cooked slowly and gently seasoned with curry-inspired spices. When it comes out of the oven it's dry and somewhat chunky, so I pulse it in a food processor. For the Ahi's crust I grind the vadouvan further with a mortar and pestle, the use of which provide a sort of primal use-of-tools enjoyment, at least for me. If the prospect of making homemade vadouvan activates your fight or flight stress response you can find it as a pre-made spice blend in some grocery stores. You'll need to combine the pre-made blend with some finely ground breadcrumbs (or panko).

Yield Serves 4

Ingredients

Procedure

  1. Pat the ahi dry with paper towels and then brush it with a little olive oil. Place the vadouvan on a plate and lightly dredge the top and bottom of each piece with the vadouvan.
  2. Preheat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium high heat. I use a non-stick griddle, but any large pan will work. When it's very hot evenly distribute the fish. When the bottom of the ahi has thin layer that's cooked (which you can see when you look at the side of the fish) turn it over. Cook the second side until the cooked layer is the same thickness as the first. If the fish is an inch thick a layer that's 1/8-inch thick is rare, 1/4-inch is medium rare.
    Remove from the skillet, slice on the bias (for large/wide slices) and serve.

Notes

This recipe is featured in Vadouvan Crusted Ahi in Under 30 Minutes .

I prefer to buy a large fillet and cut it into smaller steaks at home. The larger pieces tend to be thicker, so I end up with small portion-size pieces that are still quite thick – which means I can get a nice sear and still have a juicy rare or medium rare center. The photo below shows how to cut a large 2-pound triangular fillet into 4 smaller pieces that are close to the same size. It’s an example of how the geometry we learned in grade school really was important.

Ahi Steak - cut into 4 eq triangles

 

 

 


Andy Broder - KitchenThink



Vadouvan

Description:

Vadouvan is curry-inspired spice blend. It's a sort of French homage to traditionally Asian flavors, and it's one of my favorite things to have in a jar in my kitchen. You'll note that it's a fairly big recipe, but 1) it's hard to go smaller and keep the spices properly proportioned, 2) It's a gentle spice, and you'll need about 1 tablespoon per portion in a recipe, and 3) it makes a great in-jar gift ...

Yield: 3 cups

Ingredients:

Procedure:

  1. Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. When hot add oil, onions and shallots. Sauté for 10 minutes and add garlic. Reduce heat to medium and stir occasionally until onions and shallots are lightly browned about 30 minutes total time.
  2. Add wine and increase heat to high. Stir occasionally until nearly all wine has evaporated, about 8 to 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 F, convection when you add the wine.
  3. When most of the liquid has evaporated add all remaining ingredients, and stir to combine. Cook for 3 more minutes, stirring often. Transfer the mix to 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Spread evenly. Bake until well browned and nearly dry. Stir occasionally. This will take 45 minutes to a little over an hour.
  4. Alternative method: Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Transfer to lined trays of a dehydrator. (Lined with a silpat or parchment). Spread to a thickness of 1/2-inch or less. This will take several trays (I need 3 trays) and they’re each about the size of a standard cookie sheet. Dehydrate on high until completely dry, which will take 12 – 20 hours. As desired place in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and pulse to desired consistency.

Notes:

When completely dried out the vadouvan will keep at room temperature (in sealed jars) for 6 months.

This recipe is featured in Vadouvan Crusted Ahi in Under 30 Minutes .


Andy Broder - KitchenThink


Plum and Endive Salad

Description:

This simple, salty-sweet salad is perfect with fish (and on fish tacos). It's also great with anything that's been grilled.

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

Procedure:

  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl. Toss to combine. Toss a few times for 15 to 30 minutes before serving.

Notes:

This recipe is featured in Vadouvan Crusted Ahi in Under 30 Minutes.


Andy Broder - KitchenThink


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