Chef Mota, who helms the fabulous restaurant Ofrenda, was kind enough to pass this scrumpdilly recipe for tuna steaks along to Next magazine--and in turn, I am further sending it along to the readers of Evenings With Peter! Do enjoy!
Atún Adobado a la Parilla con Chile Pulla y Salsa Mexicana con Espinaca
(marinated, grilled tuna with Mexican salsa and sautéed spinach)
Adapted from Luis Arce Mota’s menu at Ofrenda ~ Cocina Mexicana
2 6-8 oz. yellowfin tuna steaks
1 pulla chile
2 pasilla chiles
1 ancho chile
1 tablespoon coriander seed
16 cloves garlic
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
5/8 cup canola oil
1/8 teaspoon ground chile de arbol
2 large, ripe and firm plum tomatoes, diced
½ small red onion, diced
½ Serrano pepper, minced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 lemon
4 cups baby spinach
Remove seeds from the pulla, pasilla and ancho chiles. Toast chiles lightly for about 2 minutes, taking care not to burn them. Tear the chiles into small pieces and add them to the coriander seed, 6 cloves of garlic, cumin, black pepper and 1/8 cup canola oil and put into blender and blend to a slightly textured consistency. Rub sauce into tuna steaks and refrigerate for 3 hours.
To make the Mexican salsa, put diced tomatoes into a bowl and season with salt. Add diced red onion, minced Serrano pepper, chopped cilantro, and lemon juice. Let rest for 10 minutes at room temperature, and then mix all ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate.
Take ½ cup canola oil and remaining 10 cloves of garlic, making sure the garlic is immersed in the oil and put in a small pan. Cook at low temperature until the oil is infused by the garlic,and the garlic has become very soft, taking care not to burn the garlic. Strain the oil and put aside. This will be the oil used to sautée the spinach. About 15 minutes before serving, remove Mexican salsa and tuna from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature.
Pre-heat a grill until very hot. Place marinated tuna steaks on grill and grill each side for 1-2 minutes. The outside should be seared and the center should be warm and rare. Sautée spinach with previously infused garlic oil with a pinch of chile de arbol for 30 seconds. Put spinach in middle of the plate and the grilled tuna on top of the spinach, and garnish the tuna with the Mexican salsa.
First published in part in Next magazine.