Simple Art of Cooking: Cooking by the Sea, by the Beautiful Sea

Tuna CloseUp

There’s no better place to prepare fresh seafood than the East End.

3 cups cold waterZ
1 small whole onion
a few celery leaves
slice of lemon
3 to 4 peppercorns
dash of paprika

1. In a saucepan combine water, onion, celery leaves, lemon, peppercorns and paprika. Bring to the edge of a boil then simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain and freeze.


Serves 6

For the tuna
1 1/2 pounds sashimi quality tuna cut from the loin
juice of 1 lime
kosher salt
1 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper
extra-virgin olive oil

Tomato mint vinaigrette
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 to 5 ripe local tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped sprigs of mint for garnish, optional

Preheat wood or charcoal grill until coals are ashen hot or a gas grill to medium-high. Rub the grid with oil to prevent sticking.

1. Have fishmonger cut the loin into six 11/4” thick slices. Film the tuna with oil and sprinkle with lime juice, salt and pepper. Marinate about 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile prepare the vinaigrette. In a mixing bowl, combine shallots, lime juice, mint and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Add tomatoes and stir to mix. Taste to adjust seasoning. Transfer to serving bowl, set aside.

3. When coals are hot, put on the tuna steaks and grill until nicely seared, about 3 minutes on one side and 11/2 to 2 minutes on the other side until nicely charred and rare within. Let rest 2 to 3 minutes, then slice tuna across the grain on the diagonal for presentation. Arrange overlapping slices, divided equally, on 6 plates. Stir tomato vinaigrette to mix then spoon equally over the slices. Garnish with mint sprigs if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Seafood, vegetables and greens can be prepared up to one day ahead, the vinaigrette a few hours before, then arranged just before serving.

Serves 4 to 6

For the salad

1/2 pound medium or large shrimp
1/2 pound sea scallops, side muscle removed
1/2 pound haricot vert or green beans, trimmed and washed
1/2 pound mâche, washed and spun dry
1 head radicchio, washed and spun dry parsley sprigs or chives for garnish

For the vinaigrette

2 teaspoons finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 to 4 tablespoons light cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 to 3 1/2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
7 to 8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1. Prepare basic fish stock recipe ahead. Bring to a simmer and put in shrimp; cook at a brisk simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Do not overcook. Remove with slotted spoon, cool, peel and discard intestinal tract. Rinse, pat dry and set aside. Return broth to a simmer and add scallops. Cook for just a minute or two until opaque. Remove with slotted spoon, rinse, cool and halve crosswise. Pat dry and set aside.

2. Remove stem ends of beans and rinse well. Put into a pan of simmering water with a bit of salt and cook for 4 to 6 minutes depending on thickness of beans. Drain and refresh under a spray of cold water. Pat dry with paper towel.

3. Wash and spin-dry mâche and radicchio leaves separately. If radicchio leaves are large, tear in half or thirds. Wrap in paper towels and set aside or refrigerate, if preparing ahead. Prepare vinaigrette: Whisk mustard and cream in a bowl, add salt, pepper and vinegar and stir to mix. Whisk in oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until mixture is thoroughly incorporated. Taste to adjust seasoning.

4. When ready to serve, toss greens with two-thirds of the vinaigrette, reserving remainder, and divide on 4 to 6 plates. Arrange vegetables and seafood, keeping an eye to color, texture and form. Drizzle remaining vinaigrette over vegetables, shrimp and scallops and garnish with parsley or chives.

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