"Hosanna: Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord, the King of Israel" (John 12:13).
Palm Sunday is the one of two feast days during Great Lent where the Church deems it appropriate to eat fish (the other being the Annunciation Day). Since we've fulfilled our sushi cravings on Thursday, I thought I'll prepare us a fish meal last night. After church, I stopped by the fish market and got a couple of tuna steaks (and BTW, crawfish is in season and I ordered three pounds that I hope to pick up Saturday, keep your fingers crossed for me.) I generally prepare tuna steaks with some lemon and parsley or oregano, but thought I'll change it up this time and found Mrs Hazan's recipe for sweet and sour tuna steaks (Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking) very appealing and I had all the ingredients on hand. I adapted the recipe for smaller portion.
Mrs Hazan said that fish steaks prepared this way (Trapani style) come from the Sicilian cuisine. We appreciated the balance blend of sweet and sour flavors that did not overwhelm the fish. I served the tuna steaks with Bobby Flay's lemon-glazed sweet potatoes and roasted asparagus. It turned out to be a fabulous meal and it took less than an hour to prepare.
Sweet and Sour Tuna Steaks, Trapani Style
3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 small onion, sliced very thin
1.5 Pounds of fresh tuna steaks (about an inch thick), rinsed and patted dry and skin removed.
Flour for dredging the steaks
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Salt to taste
1 Tsp. granulated sugar
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 Tbsp. chopped parsley
Place the sliced onion and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in saute pan and cook on medium heat until the onions are golden. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the onions to a plate. Add the rest of the olive oil to the pan. Dredge the tuna steaks on all side with flour and place them in the hot pan. Cook them for 3 or 4 minutes on both sides (depending on their thickness). Sprinkle with black pepper and salt, and add the sugar, white wine, red wine vinegar and onions. Cover the pan and cook on high heat for another 3 or 4 minutes. Uncover, turn the steaks over and if necessary cook some more (don't overcook the fish though). Add the parsley and transfer the steaks to warm plates. Boil down the juices in the pan scraping the pan with a wooden spoon. (If no more juices are left, add 2 tablespoons of water and boil down). Pour the juices over the tuna steaks.
Lemon-glazed Sweet Potatoes
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Combine the juice and sugar in a small sauce pan and bring to boil until reduced by half.
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Toss the sweet potato cubes in oil and roast them in the oven until lightly browned and just cooked (about 20 minutes). Transfer them to the sauce pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss the potatoes well in the lemon glaze. Cover and let cook until glazed and soft, stirring occasionally (about 15 minutes).