Tamatem Ma’Amrine

Tamatem Ma’Amrine is a Moroccan dish of roasted tomatoes stuffed with albacore, capers, olives and preserved lemon..


Tamatem Ma’Amrine (click to enlarge)

Adapted from a recipe by Claudia Roden

Carve a lid out of the tomatoes and scoop out the insides as you would a jack-o’-lantern.  Don’t let the walls get too thin, or the tomatoes will split while roasting. Turn the tomatoes upside down and let the water drain.

Meanwhile, flake apart US Pacific troll or line-caught albacore and toss gently in extra virgin olive oil with bits of roasted red pepper, coarsely chopped capers and black olives, thinly slivered preserved lemon and chopped flat-leaf parsley.

Season tuna mixture with cracked coriander, fennel and white sesame seeds and stuff into the tomatoes.

Drizzle with a little more olive oil and season with sea salt and cracked pepper.  Roast in a 375 degree oven until slightly blackened, perhaps 30 minutes.

Serve warm or refrigerate and serve cold; a crisp salad goes well in either case.

This post is part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Fridays

© Monterey Bay Aquarium

© Monterey Bay Aquarium

Seafood Watch: Tuna, Albacore

Sesame-grilled Tombo with Shiromiso-Dashi, Coriander and Red Dulce

Fresh Tombo (pole-and-line-caught US Pacific albacore tuna) is briefly marinated in mirin, ponzu and sesame seed oil before being indirectly-grilled over a roaring wood fire.

Served rare/medium rare with a flavorful broth of white miso and dashi with bits of red dulce, fresh coriander and flecks of rooster sauce, these 1-1/2 inch thick steaks were grilled for just under 2 minutes per side, then rested 5 minutes before plating..


Sesame-grilled Tombo with Shiromiso-Dashi, Coriander and Red Dulce


Fishery researchers generally agree that the Northwest Pacific albacore population is a healthy stock at the current time. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program considers the North Pacific albacore fishery to be “eco-friendly”, in that there is very little by-catch and no impact on fishery habitat.  Unlike some other tuna species, albacore do not usually swim with dolphins – and for this reason there is not a dolphin-associated albacore fishery anywhere in the world.  Because the catch consists mostly of younger, smaller specimens, Northwest Pacific tombo tend to be much lower in mercury than those caught elsewhere in the world.

Achiote-Grilled Shiro Maguro with Mango Salsa Fresca

Fresh Shiro Maguro (albacore tuna, sustainably pole-and-line caught in the Pacific Northwest) is marinated in a paste of ground achiote, coriander and cumin seeds, Mexican oregano, garlic, olive oil and Seville orange juice.  The inch-thick steaks are rare-grilled over a hot mesquite fire and served with a salsa of fresh mango, heirloom tomatoes, green onions, cilantro and fresh green cayenne peppers with a pinch of chipotle and a touch of piloncillo..

Achiote-Grilled Shiro Maguro with Mango Salsa Fresca

For the Tuna

2 very fresh tuna steaks, about 1 inch-thick
2 tablespoons organic achiote seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1 scant teaspoon sea salt
3-4 oz Seville orange juice
1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup raw olive oil

Grind the achiote, cumin and coriander together in a spice or coffee grinder, pour into a bowl and combine with oregano, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil and vinegar until a thick paste is formed.  Thin with orange juice until it is of a spoonable consistency.  Set the tuna steak in the marinade and refrigerate 1 hour, turning once.

For the Salsa

1 ripe mango, diced
1 heirloom tomato, diced
1 4-inch green cayenne pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced
2 green onions, slivered
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon freshly-squeezed lime juice
1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
1/2 teaspoon Mexican piloncillo (substitute palm sugar)
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients together in a non-reactive bowl and refrigerate 1-2 hours.

To prepare, sear cold tuna over a hot wood fire until rare, about 5 minutes total.  Move to the cool side of the grill, baste with additional marinade and let stand until almost medium rare, about 2 minutes more.  Serve straight from the grill with mango salsa and a wedge of lime.