Seared Spicy Tuna with Mole Amarillo ►
While most Americans think of mole as the brown sauce topping chicken in Mexican restaurants, the word mole means “concoction” and refers to a variety of sauces. In this dish, heady bright yellow mole accompanies rare tuna that has been seared with spices.
- Mole Amarillo
- Unsalted Butter - 1 tablespoon
- Yellow Onion - 1 large, chopped
- Guero Chilies - 15, stemmed, halved, and seeded
- Yellow Bell Peppers - 3, roasted, peeled, and seeded
- Tomatillos - 8 fresh or drained canned
- Garlic Cloves - 3 roasted
- Cinnamon - 1/2 teaspoon, ground
- Allspice - 1/2 teaspoon, ground
- Sugar - 1 teaspoon
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- Salt to taste
- Peanut Oil - 2 tablespoons
- Tuna Steaks - four 6-ounce
- Chili Powder - 4 tablespoons
- Coriander - 1 tablespoon, ground
- Black Pepper - 1 tablespoon, coarsely ground
- Fennel Seeds - 2 teaspoons, crushed
- Thyme - 1 teaspoon, dried, crumbled
- Kosher Salt - 1 tablespoon
To prepare the mole: Melt the butter in a large saute pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chilies and bell peppers and saute over low heat for about 25 to 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until the chilies are tender.
Husk the fresh tomatillos, if using, and wash them with hot water. Chop the fresh or canned tomatillos and place them in a blender or food processor with the chili mixture, garlic, cinnamon, all-spice, sugar, nutmeg, and salt. Puree the mixture, adding a small amount of water if necessary to make a smooth liquid.
Heat the oil in a large saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sauce and cook 5 to 7 minutes, stirring constantly, to thicken. The sauce may be made up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated, tightly covered. Rewarm over low heat in a small saucepan before serving.
To prepare the tuna: Rinse the tuna steaks and pat them dry with paper towels. Combine the chili powder, coriander, pepper, fennel seed, thyme, and salt in a small bowl and mix well.
Heat a large heavy nonstick saute pan or skillet over high heat until extremely hot, at least 5 minutes. Coat both sides of the fillets in the seasoning mix. Blacken the fillets by searing them for about 2 minutes on each side; if they are thick, also sear the sides so that the seasoning mix will be cooked.
To serve: Cut each piece of tuna on the diagonal into 2 pieces. Stand 2 pieces of fillet on each of 4 plates with the cut sides upward to show the rare centers. Spoon Mole Amarillo around the tuna; garnish each plate with a rosemary sprig.