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Big Eye Tuna with Rainbow Swiss Chard and Heirloom Potatoes
Chef Christopher Albrecht
Eno Terra Restaurant, Kingston, NJ


 

10ea Bigeye Tuna loin, 4oz each
3 bn Rainbow Swiss Chard (about ½#)
6oz Pancetta (can substitute Slab bacon or sliced)
5 ea leeks
12 ea Garlic cloves
2C Ver Jus, or white grape juice
4C Vegetable Stock
10sp Thyme

2ea Bay Leaf
t.t. salt and pepper
24oz Fingerling potatoes
2T vegetable oil
1-1/2C Olive oil (1C for cooking garlic, 1/2C for garnish)
5sp Lemon Thyme
1ea Lemon zest dried
1t fennel pollen
1/2t toasted coriander seed ground

Directions:

Cut the bacon into lardons or into pieces about the size of a postage stamp.

Peel the Garlic, put in a small sauce pot and cover with the 1C of olive oil. Bring the heat to low and cook the garlic until soft. Do not boil the garlic, barely simmer is best. This yields soft, cooked garlic, as well as 1C of very flavorful garlic olive oil. Tie the thyme and bay leaf together with some kitchen twine.

Cut the Leeks into coins about ¼" thick and put in a bowl with cold water. Be sure there is enough room for the leeks to float, the sand will fall to the bottom.

Trim the rainbow swiss chard by separating the leaves from the stems. Next cut the stems into uniform sized pieces. Batons, squares, diamonds, etc. I prefer batons about ¼" wide and 2-1/2" long.

In a heavy bottom pot, add 1T of oil and the Pancetta. Render the Pancetta until almost crispy. Drain the leeks and pat dry. Add them to the pot, season, and begin to cook gently until they are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the cooked garlic and about another 1 or 2T of garlic oil. Once the garlic has developed an aroma, add the ver jus and reduce by half. Add the vegetable stock, and return to a simmer. Adjust seasoning.

Simultaneously, bring a medium sized pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Once you have added the vegetable stock to the leek mixture, add the stems to the boiling salted water. In about 2 minutes remove the stems from the water and add them to the leek mixture. If you are serving the chard immediately, let the stems simmer for 2 minutes in the leek mixture then add the tops to the boiling water for 15 seconds. Drain and add them to leek mixture also. Check seasoning and serve.

If you are serving another day, after the stems have been added to the leek mixture, and they have simmered together for 2 minutes, remove from the heat and chill immediately in an ice bath. Separately, cook the tops in the boiling water for 15 seconds, remove, chill in an ice bath, and drain. Reserve the tops so you can add them at the last minute when you are heating the stems.

Wash and dry the potatoes. Cut them into coins about 1/3" thick. In a heavy bottom pan add 1T vegetable oil and sauté the potatoes until golden brown and tender. Season with salt and pepper.

Prepare a grill. Once hot, brush the tuna with a little oil, and season with kosher salt and black pepper. Place on a hot area of the grill, and cook to desired temperature.

To plate, place the braised swiss chard (stems, leaves, leeks and garlic) in the center of the plate with some of the braising liquid. Arrange the potatoes around the outside and on the chard. Cut the tuna into thirds and arrange on top. Garnish with lemon thyme, lemon zest, the fennel pollen, coriander, sea salt and extra virgin olive oil.

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