Oil Poached Albacore
With Sungold Tomatoes, New Zealand Spinach, Sweet Corn and Feta
Every season is great for produce in California, but the bright crispness of summer is something special. Right now is peak time for tomatoes, the corn is sweet, the albacore are running, and our one of our favorite local wild greens, New Zealand spinach, is just right. So I figured why not just add butter, olive oil, thyme, fresh pasta from Lucca’s, and leave the flavors to shine through. This is on our menu at The Wild Kitchen this week. Info here. Serves 4 (with leftovers) You’ll need: 1.5 lbs fresh parpadelle 4 ears corn 1 lb sungold tomatoes 1/2 lb new Zealand spinach (forage this by the beach) 1/2 lb. butter 4 quarts olive oil 1 lbs albacore loin 2 heads garlic bay Miripoix (1/2 lb onion, 1/2 lb celery, 2 carrots) 1/2 lb feta cheese-First you’ve got to poach your fish, and get your pasta water going. (Basically giving your fishy friend a warm oil bath). To save oil, you can also do this in foodsaver bags sous vide style. If you need to cheat, you can use tuna canned in olive oil. It won’t be quite as tasty, but still pretty delicious.-You probably know how to cook pasta, but just in case, get a large pot of very salty water boiling.-Cut albacore into 4 inch chunks.
-Add garlic and bay to oil in a large pan. You want the oil to be able to cover the fish.
-Heat oil to 120 degrees over low heat, and then add the fish. The timing depends a lot on the consistency of the temp, as well as the size of the fish. You want the loin to cook through without drying out. When the fish pulls easily apart, its done, usually about 20-30 minutes. Don’t stress too much though, it’s a forgiving process with all that oil around.
-While that’s cooking, prepare your sauce.
-Clean all your veggies, shuck corn, pull leaves away from the spinach stalk, dice your miripoix, mince your garlic, and pick your thyme.
-Now make your sauce: Sweat onion until translucent in oil and plenty of butter (the butter is going to be what coats your pasta, so be generous), add celery and carrot, cook 5 minutes, add garlic and corn, simmer 5 more, then add tomatoes, reduce heat, add thyme, and reduce to simmer while you prepare the fish
-By now the fish should be done. Pull it apart into teeth sinkable chunks, and mix into sauce. Add salt and pepper to season.
-Now throw your pasta into the water, and cook until done (when it floats and is delicious). Drain, add it to the sauce, and stir gently for 3 minutes so you get a good coating of deliciousness on there. Mix in cheese. Done! Eat! Add some bread if you like (which I do). If you’re feeling fancy, grill the bread and brush it with fresh garlic. While not many people support the starch on starch thing, we all know it tastes great.
You can come enjoy the summer pasta with us (tickets here), or make it at home, but either way try this dish, tis’ the season.