Sesame-Mustard Seed-crusted Tuna with Blood Orange and Watercress
Chef Allen Susser revels in the abundant fresh ingredients in south Florida. His enthusiasm for citrus has spilled over into a whole cookbook. For this appetizer, he coats tuna medallions with a mixture that includes lemon zest, and adds a sauce made with blood oranges. The result is a perfect marriage of fresh seafood and citrus. Note that instead of putting the olive oil in the pan and then adding the tuna to be seared, he puts the oil on the tuna and places it in a hot dry pan -- forming a crust on the tuna.
- Blood Orange Sauce
- Blood Orange Sauce - 4 cups
- Shallots - 1-1/2, minced
- Black peppercorns - 18 - 20
- Thyme Sprigs - 9
- Sesame-Mustard Seed-crusted Tuna
- Lemons - 3
- White Sesame Seeds - 1/4 cup
- Mustard Seeds - 1/3 cup
- Tuna Loin - 1, cut into 6 medallions
- Virgin olive oil - 3 tablespoons
- Watercress Salad
- Watercress - 3 cups
- Sesame Oil - 1/2 cup
- Soy Sauce - 1/3 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 1 cup (2 sticks), cut into tablespoons
To begin the sauce: Combine the blood orange juice, shallot, peppercorns, and thyme in a non-aluminum saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until reduced by half. Keep warm.
To prepare the tuna: Cut the zest from the lemon in thin strips. Combine the zest, sesame seeds, and mustard seeds in a shallow bowl. Press the tuna medallions into the seed mixture, coating them on all sides. Place the
coated tuna medallions on a plate and drizzle lightly with olive oil; turn and drizzle the other side. Gently press the zest, seeds, and oil into the tuna with your fingers.
Heat a medium non-stick saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add three tuna medallions and sear 45 seconds; turn with tongs and sear for 45 seconds on the other side. Remove and set aside on a plate to rest. Repeat with remaining medallions.
To prepare the watercress salad: Tear the watercress into bite-sized pieces. Toss the watercress with the sesame oil and soy sauce.To finish the sauce: Bring the sauce back to a boil, then remove from the heat. Whisk in the butter, a piece at a time, whisking constantly to combine the sauce. It will cool as the butter is added, and become lighter. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve.
To serve: Place a mound of watercress salad on each plate. Spoon blood orange sauce around the plates. Cut each medallion in half and open it on a plate to reveal the center.