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Grilled Tuna with Black Bean Chili, Avocado Puree and Tortilla Strips

September 5, 2008

Yes, it’s another Emeril Lagasse recipe if you can believe it.  This is a great one for entertaining- it’s elegant and very tasty.  If you made the Jambalaya Pasta I posted, this is a great way to use up some of the Emeril’s Essence (or you can just use any Cajun seasoning).  I also think you could seriously short-cut this recipe and make it a pretty quick meal by using canned beans.  You could substitute 2 cans of black beans for the dried beans, drained and rinsed, and cut the chicken stock down to a cup or two (just enough to cover the beans), and simmer for 15 minutes.

Black Bean Chili:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onions
Salt & pepper
1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 cup dried black beans
8 cups chicken stock
1 lime, juiced
Essence, (or other Cajun seasoning)
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon butter
4 (6-ounce) fresh tuna steaks
6 (8-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1/8-inch strips
1 recipe Avocado Puree, recipe follows

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a saucepan over medium heat and add onions when hot.  Saute the onions until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the jalapenos, garlic and beans. Continue to saute for 1 minute.  Stir in the stock and lime juice. Season with Essence, chili powder and cumin. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 1 hour or until the beans are tender.  Stir in the cilantro and butter. Remove from the heat.

Make avocado puree (recipe below) and put aside.

Season the tuna with olive oil and Essence. Place the tuna on the grill and cook for 2 minutes on each side for rare. Remove from the grill.

While tuna cooks, or sits after cooking, place the tortilla strips in the hot oil and fry until crispy, about 2 minutes. Remove from the oil and drain on a paper-lined plate. Season the tortillas with Essence. To assemble, spoon the Black Bean Chili in the center of each plate. Place the tuna on top of the chili. Drizzle the tuna with the Avocado Puree. Garnish with the fried tortillas.

Avocado Puree:
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/2 cup heavy cream

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor, fitted with a metal blade. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Yield: about 1 cup

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