Spice Crusted Tuna with Shaved Radish and Champagne Vinaigrette
Chef Rick Moonen of rm – New York, NY
Adapted by StarChefs.com
September 2004
Yield: 6 Servings

Spice Crusted Tuna
1 pound sushi-quality yellowfin tuna, cut into 4 rectangular logs
1 Tablespoon fennel seed
1 Tablespoon coriander
1 Tablespoon mustard seed
½ Tablespoon peppercorns

Champagne Vinaigrette

1 medium carrot, peeled and diced small
1 small white onion, peeled and diced small
1 stalk celery, diced small
4 ounces champagne vinegar
16 ounces extra virgin olive oil

½ pound shallots, peeled and sliced thin
1 pound unsalted butter
1 bunch of radish, washed and sliced thin, to garnish
¼ cup of celery leaves, picked from a bunch of celery, to garnish
Coarse sea salt, to taste

For the spice crusted tuna:
Combine all the spices in a spice grinder and grind into a fine powder. Coat the tuna with a few drops of olive oil and season with salt, to taste. Roll the logs into the spice powder, coating well.
In a large, non-stick sauté pan over medium heat, briefly sear each log of tuna, approximately 5 seconds per side. Remove the tuna from the heat and refrigerate.

For the shallots:
Place the shallots with the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook until the shallots are well caramelized, then remove the shallots with a slotted spoon. Reserve on a plate covered with paper towels. Reserve the butter from the pan separately.
Note: the shallot butter is excellent used in place of regular clarified butter in a Hollandaise sauce or in any recipe that calls for clarified butter.

For the Champagne Vinaigrette:
In a small pot with a splash of olive oil, sauté the diced onion, carrot and celery until translucent. Add the champagne vinegar and simmer over low heat until the vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat, and whisk in the remaining olive oil. Reserve.

To plate:
Slice the seared tuna very thin (one log of tuna per serving). Arrange a spoonful of the vegetables & vinaigrette on four plates. Top with the sliced tuna, sprinkle with coarse sea salt to taste, cooked shallots, and garnish with celery leaves and radish slices.