Ahi with Miso Eggplant and Tomato-Ginger Jam
Seared tuna triangles star in a plate filled with Asian tastes. Miso paste crowns Japanese eggplant slices; roasted shiitakes carry the extra zing of soy-orange-ginger marinade. Truffles contribute their earthly delights. Chef Elka uses red wine sauce to unite the elements of the dish. Her Tomato-Ginger Jam could star at any dinner.
- Miso-crusted Eggplant
- Japanese Eggplants - 4
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
- White Miso - 4 tablespoons
- Sake - 1 teaspoon
- Mirin - 1 teaspoon
- Marinated Shiitakes
- Shiitake Mushrooms - 12, stemmed
- Soy Sauce - 1/2 cup
- Orange Juice - 1/4 cup
- Ginger juice - 1 tablespoon
- Canola oil - 1/4 cup
- Ahi Tuna - 20 ounces
- Clarified Butter - 2 tablespoons
- Red Wine Sauce - 3/4 cup (below)
- Truffle juice - 4 tablespoons
- Tomato-Ginger Jam - 4 teaspoons (below)
- Truffle - 1/2, shaved
- Red Wine Sauce
- Shallot - 1, minced
- Dry Red Wine - 2 cups
- Veal Stock - 2 cups
- Tomato-Ginger Jam
- Sugar - scant 1/2 cup
- Tomatoes - 1 large (8 ounces), seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- Fresh Ginger - 1 ounce, peeled and minced very fine
- Red Wine Sauce (above) - 1 cup
- Rice Wine Vinegar - 1/4 cup
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
To prepare the eggplant: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the Japanese eggplant diagonally into eight 1-inch-thick pieces and place on the prepared baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Combine the miso, sake, and mirin in a small bowl to soften the miso. Spread the eggplant with the miso paste and bake 15 to 20 minutes, until the eggplant slices are softened and the miso has caramelized. Remove from the heat and set aside.
To prepare the shiitakes: Combine the ingredients in a non-aluminum bowl and toss. Set aside for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spread the shiitakes over a baking sheet and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until softened. Set aside.
To prepare the tuna: Trim the tuna to a square block. Heat the butter in a non-stick saute pan over high heat. When the butter is sizzling, add the tuna and cook 1-1/2 minutes. Turn and cook 1 minute on the other side. Remove from heat and set aside. The tuna will still be rare inside.
To serve: Slice the tuna in half diagonally, then cut each piece in half diagonally again. Stand a piece of tuna, point up, on each warmed serving plate. Place a slice of eggplant on either side of each piece of tuna. Spoon red wine sauce around the tuna and eggplant. Drizzle truffle juice over the tuna. Add a small mound of Tomato-Ginger Jam and a small mound of roasted shiitakes to each plate. Garnish each plate with truffle shavings.
Red Wine Sauce
Combine the shallot and half the red wine in a non-aluminum saucepan. Cook until the liquid has nearly all evaporated. Add the remaining wine and stir up the glaze from the bottom of the pan. Add the veal stock and cook over medium heat until reduced to 2 cups. Remove from heat and let cool. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
Put the sugar in a non-stick saute pan and melt over medium heat. Cook until caramelized, then add the tomatoes, ginger, and red wine sauce. Cook over low heat until the mixture has thickened and the juices have all evaporated. Stir in the rice wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.