1/2 butternut squash
1/2 small shallot
Salt and pepper to taste
Fruit olive oil to drizzle
1 medium zucchini cut into obliques
1 red finger chilli
300 gms tuna (2 pieces)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
Microgreens - optional
1 scallion or green onion - optional
Preparation time: 15 to 20 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Cutting and peeling butternut squash, chillies, scallions and zucchini is an art, you can do at home. Chef Caicedo explains further.
1. We will first cut the butternut squash to place it in the oven, as roasting it will take time. Ensure the squash has a flat surface to place on a chopping board. Cut it into two halves and remove the seeds. How to ensure the butternut squash is good? Check the insides, it should look bright orange in colour.
Cut into small cubes for a faster cooking time.
Tip: Cutting and peeling the butternut squash can be tricky. A well-honed sharp and heavy chef's knife will make it easier to slice while it's weight will give you more control.
2. Put the small chunks of cut butternut squash in a baking or cooking tray you have at home. Cut the shallots into thin slices and sprinkle it on the butternut squash. The delicate and sweet flavour of the shallots alongwith its hint of sharpness will taste well when roasted with squash.
3. Toss butternut squash with fruit olive oil. Season it with salt and pepper, and mix.
4. Cover the tray with an aluminium foil. In a preheated oven (200C) place the tray at 180C for 30 minutes.
5. Cut the zucchini into roll cuts or obliques. These cuts create two angled sides and add visual appeal. Then cut the red finger chilli into thin slices. Chef uses a medium spicy chilli.
6. Next, julienne the scallion and cut some of it angluar. Put the two different cuts into cold water. The temperature will curl up the scallions and make it look good while plating.
7. Remove the butternut squash from the oven and mash it using a fork. Keep it aside.
8. Heat a pan and drizzle some oil, to coat it well. Put the zucchini, sprinkle salt and pepper. Toss it. Using a pair of tongs flip it until it starts turning golden brown. You can also put the zucchini in a microwave at 180C for 5 minutes.
For a pan seared tuna steak
For a raw middle and caramelised upper layer, you have to make sure the pan is heated well. This will ensure that the outer layer is cooked well, without disturbing the inner layer.
11. In a plate or tray, pour sesame oil and soy sauce. Spread it. Take the tuna and dab it in the sauce, all sides well. Chef does not prefer using salt or pepper while dabbing, because the soy sauce is already salty. You may also use a less or no salted soya sauce if you wish.
12. Once the pan is hot (smoke begins to release) place one side of the tuna in it. Drizzle some oil on the sides and let it cook. After about 20 seconds, move it on, using a pair of tong. The tuna's colour will begin to lighten in colour, to white-ish.
13. If you like your tuna raw in the middle, this pan smeared technique is what you need. Else, for a fully cooked tuna, put it in the oven. Cook for 5 minutes at 175C.
To plate: Place the mashed butternut squash on the side, place some zucchini atop it and add a couple of thinly sliced red finger chillies. Cut the tuna into sqaures and stack it on the plate. Neatly place the scallions (drain any excess water), sprinkle some microgreens and voila! Enjoy your tuna steak at home.
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