Like a lot of folks I set goals for the New Year. I try to make them realistic, yet challenging enough that I can benefit from the effort in some way. This year it is was ‘simple’. I want to keep things simple.Simplicity is a way of thinking, a way of life; which to this point has escaped my mental capacity as long as I have been putting thoughts together. Maybe next year I can give the whole simple everyday life a try but for now, I thought I would start with my approach to food.I have decided, and already put into action, a more simplistic method of creating, writing and preparing new dishes. Oddly enough, I fell right into Jan. 1, as I was preparing my menu for my first "Tuesdays with Troy" on Fox News Rising of the year.I ditched my old recipe template that I made up years ago to write recipes and went with a one-sheet, no-frills blank sheet. That was the easy part. The next step was to conceptualize simple recipes. I had to think about using less ingredients without compromising my signature bold-tasting food. Also taking less steps in preparing them, which meant using less pots, pans and utensils to make them in. Sounds simple enough, right?Actually, it really was simple. Imagine that, simple being – simple. For me, it is a refreshing way to think about food and it has spilled over into other aspects of my life as well. Maybe the simple life concept is closer than I think.This tuna recipe is fresh, clean and really easy to put together. The cook time on the tuna is less than two minutes. The eggplant relish, or caponata, has a couple of steps and far less ingredients than the version I used to make and the flavor profile is just as good if not better, because there isn’t a lot of other ingredients muddling the flavors.I hope that you give this one a try it makes a really great weekday or weekend dinner meal that the whole family is sure to enjoy.
Tuna with a Sweet & Sour Eggplant Relish (Caponata)
Serves 4 as an EntréeTuna:
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· 2 tuna steaks, 10-12 ounce each
· To drizzle - extra virgin olive oil
· 1 lemon - zest of, chopped fine
· 1 tablespoon kosher salt/black pepper
Caponata:· 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
· 1 pound eggplant, stem removed, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
· 1/4 cup red onion, diced
· 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
· 2 cloves garlic-smashed and chopped
· 3 cups baby spinach
· To taste - kosher salt/black pepper
· 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
· 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
· 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, leaves only, chopped
Caponata:1. Warm oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat, add eggplant and onion.2. Cook, stirring frequently, until eggplant is golden brown, about 5 minutes.3. Lower heat, medium, add the tomatoes, garlic and spinach.4. Cook stirring frequently until spinach is wilted, about 1 minute.5. Season with salt, pepper, add vinegar and chicken stock.6. Cook until liquid is reduced by half.7. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley.
Tuna:1. Preheat grill/skillet for direct heat grilling over medium heat.2. Combine zest, salt and pepper.3. Fillet tuna, separating top from the bottom.4. Place in plastic wrap, gently pound with the flat side of a meat mallet, about 1/4-inch thick.5. Drizzle both sides of tuna with olive oil and season with lemon zest mixture.6. Place on grill/skillet, sear for 30-45 seconds per side.7. Place on individual plates/serving platter top Caponata and serve.