Seared Tuna with Herbed Olive Oil and Horseradish Whipped Cream
Serves 6 as a small appetizer
2 small tuna steaks, cut 2-inches thick, about 1/2 to 3/4 pounds in total
Flavorless vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
A small handful each of basil and Italian parsley
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chilled crème fraiche
3/4 cup chilled whipping cream
1 small shallot, minced fine
1-2 tablespoons prepared white horseradish
Fresh lemon juice (optional)
Combine the cream and crème fraiche in a medium-sized bowl, add a bit of salt and pepperthen beat with an electric mixer until the mixture is a stiff whipped cream. Gently fold in the shallot and one tablespoon of the horseradish and taste the mixture for heat, seasoning, and acidity — you can add more horseradish, salt and pepper, and a little lemon juice if you think it needs it. You don’t want the cream to taste lemony or acidic, just so that it leaves a little tingle on your tongue. Put the cream in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it.
Using a mini-food processor, grind up the basil and parsley with a tablespoon of olive oil. Add a little salt and pepper. Add another tablespoon of oil and process again, the herbs should be nicely pureed. If they won’t puree, add little more oil and process again. Set the herbed oil aside.
Film the bottom of a small skillet with vegetable oil, and heat on high until you just barely see a whisp of smoke coming from the pan. Salt the tuna on one side and put it salt-side down in the pan, sear for 30 seconds then turn it over and sear it on the second side. Put the steaks on a plate and let them rest for 5 minutes, then brush them with some of the herb oil. You should have a lovely thin layer of green on the top of the steaks. Transfer the tuna to a cutting board and slice them across the grain 1/4-inch thick with a very sharp knife. Put a dollop of the horseradish cream on each plate, then arrange the slices of tuna on and around the cream. Serve immediately.