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.
Inch-thick filets of fresh grouper are gently poached at exactly 120 degrees in top quality Spanish olive oil, thinly-sliced Meyer lemon, fresh Italian parsley and imported caper berries. Freshly-ground black pepper and crunchy sea salt top off this Mediterranean-inspired, velvet-textured dish..
Deceptively simple, the key to success in poaching fish this way lies in ensuring that the olive oil is kept at a constant temperature throughout the entire process (about 15 minutes to pre-heat, and another 10-15 minutes to cook over low heat). Use an instant-read thermometer to keep the temperature as close to 120 degrees as you can; if the oil is too hot the fish will be tough and the flavors will lose their delicate balance.
“…Groupers, widely distributed in warm seas, are characteristically large-mouthed, rather heavy-bodied fishes that tend to remain in discrete areas. Some are very large fishes, attaining a length and weight of about 2 metres (6 feet) and 225 kilograms (500 pounds)—in some instances reportedly much more. Groupers are often dully coloured in greens or browns, but a number are brighter, more boldly patterned fishes. Some, such as the Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus), are noted for their ability to change from one to any of a number of other colour patterns. Also, in many species, such as the blackfin and yellowfin groupers (Mycteroperca bonaci and M. venenosa), individuals inhabiting deeper waters are much redder than those living near shore. Groupers are protogynous hermaphrodites; that is, they first function as females and later transform into males. Groupers are prime food fishes and also provide sport for anglers and spearfishers…” –Encyclopedia Britannica
I would serve European-style smoked salmon on a toasted, by-God real New York bagel with locally-made triple-cream mascarpone, fresh dill, home-made preserved lemon, seasonal heirloom tomato, Sicilian capers, red onion, sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper..
Classic Smoked Salmon on a Toasted Bagel
Contrary to common legend, the bagel was not created in the shape of a stirrup to commemorate the victory of Poland’s King Jan Sobieski over the Ottoman Turks in 1683. It was actually invented much earlier in Kraków, Poland, as a competitor to the bublik, a lean bread of wheat flour designed for Lent. In the 16th and first half of the 17th centuries, the bajgiel became a staple of the Polish national diet.
There was a tradition among many observant Jewish families to make bagels on Saturday evenings at the conclusion of the Sabbath. Due to Jewish Sabbath restrictions, they were not permitted to cook during the period of the Sabbath and, compared with other types of bread, bagels could be baked very quickly as soon as it ended.
That the name originated from beugal (old spelling of Bügel, meaning bail/bow or bale) is considered plausible by many, both from the similarities of the word and because traditional handmade bagels are not perfectly circular but rather slightly stirrup-shaped (this, however, may be due to the way the boiled bagels are pressed together on the baking sheet before baking). Also, variants of the word beugal are used in Yiddish and Austrian German to refer to a round loaf of bread (see Gugelhupf for an Austrian cake with a similar ring shape), or in southern German dialects (where beuge refers to a pile, e.g., holzbeuge, or woodpile)…
Bagels were brought to the United States by immigrant Jews, with a thriving business developing in New York City that was controlled for decades by Bagel Bakers Local 338, which had contracts with nearly all bagel bakeries in and around the city for its workers, who prepared all the bagels by hand. The bagel came into more general use throughout North America in the last quarter of the 20th century, at least partly due to the efforts of bagel baker Harry Lender and Florence Sender, who pioneered automated production and distribution of frozen bagels in the 1960s. -Wikipedia
In celebration of the fact that the temperature was in the 60’s today and we’re still getting fresh tomatoes here(!), I decided to toss up a summery plate of Ventresca (sustainably line-caught yellowfin tuna bellies) with green garlic-tomato concassé, lemon-caper mayonnaise, balsamic glaze and a relish of roasted peppers, black olives and fresh herbs..
Ventresca with Green Garlic-Tomato Concassé and Lemon-Caper Mayonnaise
For the Concassé
1-2 bulbs green garlic, including tops, thinly sliced
1 large plum tomato, peeled, seeded and diced
1/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil, preferably from the Ventresca tin
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Very slowly soften green garlic in olive oil over low heat, then add tomatoes, parsley, salt and pepper and continue to warm until softened. All to cool in mesh strainer, reserving the oil for the mayonnaise.
For the Mayonnaise
6-8 oz reserved olive oil
1 small pastured egg yolk
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon baby capers, mashed
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
saffron threads, soaked
Soak the saffron threads in 1 teaspoon of cold, filtered water for 15 minutes, then whisk together with the lemon juice, egg yolk and salt. Add the oil in a very thin stream, whisking continuously to form an emulsion. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
For the Relish
2 tablespoon roasted and pickled bell peppers, peeled, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon ripe black olives, pitted and slivered
1 teaspoon fresh chiffonade-cut basil
Toss all ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the Balsamic Glaze
1/2 cup aceto balsamico tradizionale
Using a double boiler to prevent scorching, reduce unadulterated balsamic vinegar until reduced in volume by about half. The resulting syrup will thicken as it stands.
To assemble, spoon tomato concassé onto a serving plate, then top with a layer of Vetresca and dress with mayonnaise. Add a second layer of concassé, tuna and mayonnaise and top with roasted pepper relish. Dab the plate with balsamic glaze and finish the dish with coarse sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper.
Wild Alaskan salmon is marinated in genmaicha-infused olive oil before being slow-roasted and served with a pan sauce of caramelized lemons, shallots, garlic, capers, parsley and butter..
Slow-Roasted Wild Salmon with Genmaicha 玄米茶, Fried Capers and Caramelized Lemon
For the Salmon
2 wild Alaskan fillets
6 oz extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons genmaicha brown rice tea
1 teaspoon paprika
coarse sea salt and freshly-ground pepper
Heat olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until it reaches 185 degrees. Remove pan from heat and stir in genmaicha. Allow to steep until the oil reaches room temperature, about 30 minutes. Pour cooled oil over salmon set in a shallow dish and marinate 1 hour.
Remove salmon from oil, drain briefly and place in a heavy skillet (skin side down) and season with salt, pepper and paprika. Roast in a 225 degree oven until it is brilliant red and flakes easily with a fork, about 12 minutes.
For the Sauce (adapted from a recipe by Michael Symon)
Heat half of the butter in a heavy skillet over moderately high heat until the bitter begins to foam. Add the lemon slices and cook until they begin to caramelize, about 3 minutes. Flip the lemons over, add the capers and sauté 30 seconds. Add the shallots and sauté another 30 seconds. Add the garlic, parsley and the remaining butter and cook until the lemons begin to lose their shape, about 1-2 minutes.
Spoon sauce in the center of a plate. Place roasted salmon on top and garnish with lemon slices. Serve immediately.