The Ardent Epicure

An Ode to the Pleasures of Food

Truffle Salted and Balsamic Glazed
 Seared Yellowfin Tuna with Manzano
Pepper and Cucumber Salad


This is a quickly put together dish that will serve well as a main dinner delight with
 a larger portion or along with a side, or as an equally satisfying lunch. The salad
 marinating time can be anywhere from 1 hour if you are needing to  prepare
 same day, or overnight to make a quick meal in a matter of minutes.


Our chosen salt is nothing short of a treasure, especially for anyone looking to
get a bit of truffle essence in their dish. With a beautiful blend of Italian sea salt
 and shaved bits of Abruzzi black truffle, we are instantly seduced by an earthy,
rich and sensual aroma. This is a beautifully balanced finishing salt, but today
we will be utilizing its intoxicating flavorings as a rub for our Ahi.

I went a bit further here with the truffle-infused ingredients and utilized both
 a white truffle-infused olive oil along with a white truffle infused balsamic
 glaze. This dish will work wonderfully with any of your own favorite
 flavors, so substitute with any balance of flavors that you enjoy :)


And as for our adorable hot pepper selection may I introduce the Manzano 
Pepper for those that are not familiar. This organic pepper variety is one of
 the "pubescens" and a cousin of the Rocoto pepper. They are typically used
fresh as they have a thick meaty body so are difficult to dry. The name
Manzano is apple in Spanish, so termed by their similarity to mini
apples or really crabapples if size is a factor.

This variety of peppers is on the hot side and varies between an index
of 30000-60000 Scoville units, similar to that of Cayenne pepper.
So we are talking quite a bit hotter than the Jalapeño at 2500-8000
 heat index, but not as hot as the Habanero or Scotch Bonnet at
100000-350000. Although some varieties are considered to be
 hotter than the Habanero by some, this can range by both palate
 as well as variety and region of the peppers cultivation.

Capsicum pubescens can be identified by their large black seeds,
 being the only chili pepper variety with this characteristic. The
Monzano peppers come in a range of colors from yellow,
 orange, red to a brownish red.


What you will need:
For the salad
6 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
2-3 manzano peppers, thinly sliced
(or mini peppers of choice)
3/4th cup white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons grapeseed,or other light oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
A pinch of sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
Baby romaine or other lettuce for bedding

For the seared tuna
4-6 ounce sashimi  grade yellowfin tuna steaks
2 tablespoons white balsamic glaze or
(Balsamusse White Truffle Balsamic Glaze)
1 tablespoon truffle salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons truffle infused olive oil
 or oil of choice


Let's get cooking:
For the salad
Whisk together all ingredients except cucumbers and peppers in a bowl.
Place thinly sliced cucumbers and peppers in a large bowl and cover with
marinade. Refrigerate loosely covered for at least 1 hour to overnight.

For the seared tuna
Drizzle each steak with balsamic glaze on one side, then rub on both
truffle salt and freshly ground or cracked pepper.

In a large heated heavy bottomed sauté pan drizzle oil. Once has just
started smoking, add tuna stakes. Over medium/high heat sear each side to
1 to 1 1/2 minutes for rare. Sear for 2-3 minutes for medium rare.

Allow steaks to cool to touch before slicing for serving. Then
drizzle with additional glaze at serving, Layer the cucumber/pepper
 salad onto individual plated and top with the seared ahi.
Serves 4 

*Note: for steaks on the thinner side you can use a high heat
and shorter searing time. And if you are unable to find a
balsamic glaze, here is a link to a guest post I did for my friend
 Lazaro over at Lazaro Cooks that will give you the basics on
preparing your own balsamic glaze.


Enjoy~
Alisha ~ Magic of Spice

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