Monday, August 20, 2007

Too Many Books, Part 2...But Good for You

A while back, I posted on my "problem" of having too many books, and the resultant problem of running out of shelf space for them. I bought another bookshelf at Ikea on Saturday (a narrow one, only 15 inches wide by 41 inches high) to fit the last remaining bit of wall space in the upstairs hallway, and promptly filled it up. There are more books still on floors and under the furniture, though, so I'm not sure what I've accomplished.

And, of course, we bought more books over the weekend. Agnes bought several cookbooks (we need more cookbooks like Iraq needs more violent lunatics), and I yielded to temptation and bought the latest (last?) book in Harry Turtledove's wonderful alternative history series about World War II as fought between the US and the Confederate States of America (title is "In At the Death"). So I suppose I shouldn't whine about an excess of books, eh?

But my problem could be a good thing for you, because I made a recipe from one of the new cookbooks for supper last night, and it turned out so well that I thought I'd share it with you. From our new "Fish and Shellfish Quick From Scratch" cookbook, here is your recipe for Seared Tuna with Avocado and Salsa Verde:

2/3 cup lightly packed flat-leaf parsley leaves (from my garden, of course!)
3 tablespoons drained capers
1 clove garlic, mashed
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard (I forgot to add the mustard, and the sauce was still great)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground pepper
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tuna (or any firm-fleshed fish) steaks, about 1 inch thick (about 2 pounds total)
1 avocado, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks

1. Put the parsley, capers, garlic, lemon juice, anchovy paste, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper into a food processor or blender. Pulse to chop, about six to eight times. With the machine running, add the half-cup of olive oil in a thin stream to make a coarse puree. Leave the sauce in the processor/blender and, if necessary, pulse it again before serving to re-emulsify it.

2. Heat a grill pan or heavy skillet over moderately high heat. Rub the fish with the remaining tablespoon of oil and sprinkle with the remaining salt and pepper. Cook the fish for three minutes, then turn it over and cook until done to your taste, three to four minutes longer for medium rare (that's for tuna...if you use a different fish, cook it a bit longer until it's just done, rather than medium rare).

3. Serve the fish topped with avocado chunks and drizzled with the sauce. As accompaniments, try a nice rice pilaf and a crisp white wine.

4. Sit back happily while your guests tell you what a great cook you are.

This is a very good recipe, and very easy to make. You may want to cut back on the extra salt in the sauce, though. Anchovy paste tends to be pretty salty itself, and we found the sauce to be saltier than we usually like.

Hope you enjoy this recipe...we did. If you do try it, let me know how you liked it.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


1 comment:

Jean-Luc Picard said...

If you have a lot of books, you might be interested in Shelfari, where you can list your books and join groups and a friends list. I'm there under 'Jean-Luc'.