Where Is...?

23 January 2011

Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio!?

I have started working again (yea!!) and I am the Executive Chef for Chartwells-Compass Group at Cal State Stanislaus in good ol' Turlock. Hence the reason I haven't blogged in almost a month (wow, really?) I am just beginning to get the feel of getting back into it... I have already introduced myself to the Sustainable Garden Engineer and collected a bucket of Meyer lemons and blood oranges. My attitude about this position is to do something "amazing" everyday. We'll see if I am able to live up to that for myself.

I don't often do seafood. There is a chunk of Ahi tuna that I was going to toss while clearing out room for things in the freezer, but I said, Hey, let's use this!! So, today we are going to make seared Ahi Tuna with lavender-fennel sea salt and blood orange beurre blanc. The blood oranges have come from the garden here at CSU Stanislaus. Talk about sustainable!!

Ahi Tuna with Lavender-Fennel Sea Salt and Blood Orange Beurre Blanc

6 oz Ahi Tuna Loin
1 tbsp Lavender-Fennel Sea Salt
1 tbsp Olive Oil

Beurre Blanc

juice of 2 blood oranges
zest of said blood oranges
2 shallots, sliced
8 oz white wine
2 bay leaves
6-8 whole peppercorns
12 oz cold butter, sliced into pieces

Squeeze and zest blood oranges and set aside. In a small saucepan, place the other ingredients over med flame. Allow wine to reduce by 3/4, or au sec (Fr, "almost dry"), add in the blood orange juice and zest, and allow to reduce by 3/4 again. Remove from heat and strain well. Return to saucepan the remaining liquid and over low heat begin whisking in butter, allowing each addition to be throughly incorporated before adding the next bit. Taste, then season to your taste

For the tuna:

Heat a saute pan on high with the olive oil til just smoking. Coat the exterior of the tuna with the lavender fennel sea salt. Place carefully in hot pan and sear all sides, maybe 30-40 seconds per side. Seriously, I counted out loud to 40 before turning the tuna. Remove and let rest. Slice thinly, 1/8th to 1/4 inch thick slices. And serve.

I love this dish. The colors and different flavors are remarkable and stunning. Cooking is not rocket science and anyone can do it. Just have some confidence.

OK. My camera died in the creating of this dish. The pics of the plating are not good quality, but I am determined to write this blog live and in person from the California State University, Stanislaus. Bear with me as I embark on my new challenge. The next couple of weeks are going to be very challenging as the new semester begins and I get to running the show there. For now, have fun and enjoy life!!