Tuna in Portuguese Sauce
Seared tuna fillets arrive covered with a very Portuguese mixture of peppers, olives, tomatoes, and anchovies. This dish, prepared for Great Chefs by Emeril Lagasse when he was executive chef at Commander’s Palace, begins with Commander’s seafood seasoning. You may use cod, haddock, amberjack, or lemonfish in place of the tuna.
- Yellowfin Tuna - 4 fillets (5 to 6 oz each)
- Commander’s Palace Seafood Seasoning (recipe follows)
- All Purpose Flour - For dredging
- Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon
- Red Bell Pepper - 1/2, finely diced
- Green Bell Pepper - 1/2, finely diced
- Onion - 1 medium, diced
- Celery - 1 stalk, diced
- Dried red pepper - Pinch, crushed
- Garlic - 3 cloves, minced
- Black Olives - 1/2 cup pitted, halved
- Green Olives - 1/2 cup pitted, halved
- Parsley - 2 teaspoons chopped fresh
- Anchovies - 4 to 5 fillets, minced
- Tomato - 2, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- Unsalted Butter - 6 tablespoons
- Olive Oil - 1/4 cup
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Sprinkle both sides of the tuna fillets with seafood seasoning. Combine the flour and a pinch of seafood seasoning. Lightly dredge the tuna fillets in the mixture. Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan over high heat. Sear the fillets to medium rare, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and reserve in a warm place. Degrease the pan and return it to the heat. When hot, add the red and green bell peppers, onion, and celery. Season with crushed dried red pepper flakes. Saute until the vegetables begin to turn translucent. Add the garlic, black and green olives, and chopped parsley. Cook for a few seconds, then stir in the anchovy and tomato. To finish the sauce, beat in the butter, a few tablespoons at a time, then add the olive oil.
Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Return the tuna to the pan to rewarm, spooning the sauce and vegetables on top of the fillets.
Serve the tuna topped with sauce, garnished with roasted potatoes. This dish can be made a day in advance of service. Refrigerate the seared tuna overnight in the sauce. Reheat or serve cold as a salad entrée.
Commander’s Palace Seafood Seasoning Makes 2 cups
Combine all ingredients. Mix thoroughly and store, tightly covered, in a glass jar.