Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tuna Steaks with Roasted Cipolline Onions

I keep getting fooled by Mother Nature. This morning it was snow flurrying on Holly Bear and I at the dog park. Brr... Everyday I look out my kitchen window promising the grill we will get reacquainted only to be foiled by nature. 

Tonight I think I'll fight back with a little comfort food (for my spring cold) and a little bit of spring by grilling indoors. I adapted this recipe from an original by Giada De Laurentiis. (who I secretly hate because she weighs 1 1/2 pounds fully dressed).

Roasted Cipolline Onions:(chip-o-lean-ee)
1 pound cipolline onions- skins removed. (to easily remove skins, drop in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes. cool. The skins will slip right off)
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Whisk it all together, coat onions, put in a small oven proof casserole and roast at 450 degrees for about 30 minutes(uncovered). You will know they are done when they are soft and the balsamic vinegar has reduced to a syrup stage. Salt & Pepper to taste.

Tuna Steaks: (enough for 4 people)
2 tuna steaks (about 1/2 pound each)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 T lemon juice (don't make me say it... FRESH SQUEEZED.. throw that bottle out)
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt, few grinds fresh black pepper. 
Whisk everything together, place tuna steaks in marinade, turning to coat and let rest for about 5 minutes per side.

Now the comfort food part:
Polenta with wilted arugula (you could also use spinach or blanched asparagus tips)
2 cups chicken broth (low salt)
2 cups water
3/4 cup polenta (quick cooking)
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream (I told you this was comfort food)
2 cups fresh arugula - rough chopped

Heat the broth and water to simmering. Slowing whisk in the polenta (your Italian grandmother will tell you that you have to stir in only one direction). Continue to cook until thick and smooth - about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic. Stir. Add the cheese. Stir. Add the butter and cream and stir until butter is melted. Stir in the arugula. Season to taste with salt and pepper (easy on the salt - remember to taste because the cheese will add salt).

Back to the tuna:
Preheat your grill pan to medium high. Remove tuna steaks from marinade and grill about 3 minutes per side for medium. Cut the steaks in half. Plate - spoon the onions and balsamic sauce over. Pass the polenta. 

Take that Mother Nature. 

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