As I was looking for what to do this week, my attention was drawn to a grocery item that we do not run very often, Alessi Risotto con Funghi Porcini. Alessi is the brand name, Risotto is the rice and Funghi Porcini are Porcini mushrooms; some of the best mushrooms in the world.
Risotto is one of my favorite Italian dishes. It is made by sautéing Arborio rice with shallots, then adding small amounts of broth and/or wine. You can only add a small amount of the liquid at a time, and then you have to continually stir the rice over low heat until all of the liquid is absorbed. You then add more liquid, stir, etc. This procedure is repeated up to 10 times until the rice is perfect, which can be difficult to determine for a novice cook.
I was intrigued with the Alessi product because you don’t have to do all of the stirring and such; it is very easy to make and is absolutely wonderful! When I made the product for this recipe, it exceeded my expectations by leaps and bounds. I hope you agree!
Pine Nut Encrusted Ahi Tuna
- Two, 8 oz. yellowfin tuna steaks
- One 1 ¾ oz. jar Alessi pine nuts
- ¾ cup breadcrumbs
- ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup flour
- 1/3 cup cold water
- Vegetable oil
Remove tuna from packaging, pat dry and set aside. Place pine nuts in a food processor, coffee bean grinder, or blender and process for a couple seconds until roughly chopped. Add breadcrumbs, cheese, salt, and pepper to processor and process for a few more seconds until well blended. Place breading on a plate or shallow pan of some sort.
In a small bowl, beat eggs with cold water until frothy. Set aside. Place flour on a small plate or shallow pan.
Bread tuna; place fish in flour, turning to coat evenly. Brush off excess flour and put floured tuna in egg mixture, turn to coat evenly. Put tuna on breading and lightly press into breading to coat evenly. Turn over and repeat with other side. With your hands, push breading onto sides and/or any spots that were missed.
Heat a nonstick skillet for a few minutes over medium heat. Add enough vegetable oil to just cover bottom of pan. Before putting the tuna in pan, make sure pan is hot enough to start browning the crust on initial contact. You can test this by putting a tiny drop of the breading into the pan. It should bubble right away, but not burn. If it sits without doing anything, continue heating pan until it begins to bubble. If the pan is smoking at all, it is TOO hot.
Add tuna to pan and brown first side. Carefully turn tuna over (this is the time people get burned so wear oven mitts) and cook to desired temperature. I think the tuna should be rare to medium rare. If the pan is heated properly, 90 seconds per side should brown the breading nicely and leave the fish medium rare inside. Perfect!
Alessi Porcini Mushroom Risotto
Follow package directions.
- 6 to 8 pieces of asparagus
- Olive oil, extra virgin
- Kosher salt
Remove the woody stem from the asparagus and steam or boil for 60 seconds until tender, but firm. Toss asparagus with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Serve immediately.
To plate: place a healthy serving of the rice in the center of the plate. Put tuna on top of rice and top with asparagus spears.