Tuna Tartare with Meyer Lemon and Purple Potatoes

Tuna Tartare with Meyer Lemon and Purple Potatoes

1 pound ahi tuna (sushi grade)
1 shallot
1 bunch chives
2 pounds purple potatoes (either B size or fingerlings work well)
10 sun-dried tomato halves
2 Tbsp. capers
4 Meyer lemons
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
Salt and white pepper, to taste
2 cups canola oil (or other neutral oil) for frying

This is a simple hors d’oeuvre that requires minimal cooking. It is mostly
knife work and can all be done ahead of time. Once you’ve done the prep, it
only takes a couple of minutes to throw together, making it perfect for a
New Year’s cocktail party.

Clean the tuna of any blood line and take it off the skin. Dice the tuna
into 1/2-inch cubes, toss with a little of the olive oil and reserve in the
refrigerator on ice until ready to serve.

Wash the potatoes thoroughly and place 1 pound into a pot with cold water
and salt. Slowly bring to a boil. When the water reaches a boil turn it
down to a simmer and check. When the potatoes are easily pierced with a
sharp knife, take them out and let them cool on a tray in the refrigerator.

Mince the shallots and chives, set aside. Zest the lemons and then juice
them, keeping the zest and lemon juice separate. Cut the sun-dried tomatoes
into a small dice and rough chop the capers.

When the potatoes are cool, peel them with a paring knife and cut them into
1/2-inch cubes just like the tuna.

Peel the remaining 1 pound of potatoes and cut into thin batons, like
shoestring potatoes. You can use a mandoline with the teeth attachment if
you have one. Heat the canola oil to 350 degrees - check with a
thermometer. If you do not have one, you can throw a potato stick in and
see how it reacts. The oil is ready if it bubbles rapidly when the potato
hits it. When the oil is ready toss the potato sticks in and remove them
when the oil stops bubbling, about 3 to 4 minutes. Place them on a plate
with a paper towel and sprinkle liberally with salt. Set aside.

When ready to serve, toss the tuna with all the vegetable garnishes, oils,
and lemon juice. Start out using half the lemon zest, season to taste with
salt and pepper and check the seasoning. Add more lemon zest if necessary.

Using two spoons make a quenelle (a small football shape) with the tuna
mixture. Place it onto a white china spoon and top with a few of the purple
potato fries. Alternatively, you can slice the raw potatoes into circles
and fry, making chips. Then use these chips as the serving vehicle for the
tuna tartare.

Serving size: 20 hors d’oeuvre-size bites

Jeff Mosher, executive chef, Robert Mondavi Winery