Peppercorn Encrusted Tuna Carpaccio

(May 21, 2021) What is time? Why is it so ineffable? Will time’s elusive quality ever become tangible?

We may never know these answers, but most of us would agree that events are arrayed in an orderly fashion according to time.

The majority would also agree that events become a reality, and over time disappear.

But when one examines these suppositions, you might conclude conflict permeates these judgements.

If events are arranged in chronological order, how can they become a reality and then just disappear? Is the passage of time a reality, or a subjective perspective of our experience?

Allow me to take a trip down memory lane so one can come to their own conclusion.

The longstanding clock must rewind by many decades. My address was 106 Central Park South, more specifically Trump Park South. Doormen were adorned in tuxedos and white gloves. My life read as a modern rendition of Cinderella.

Nick, my dear friend, and I were patronizing the world-famous Harry Cipriani restaurant located in the Sherry-Netherland Hotel. I remembered sitting at the bar, and Nick suggested I try their celebrated peach Bellini and beef carpaccio.

While I respected his suggestions, I had no idea what a Bellini and carpaccio were.

A brief description enlightened me to the fact that Harry Cipriani’s peach Bellini was a refreshing drink made with fresh peach juice and champagne.

Carpaccio was a dish that consisted of transparent thin slices of raw beef garnished with a delicate sauce.

As the saying goes, nothing ventured nothing gained. As much as I adored Nick, it became very apparent my heart and palate were starting to have “roaming eyes.”

I was instantly in love and knew my repertoire of goodies had just been elevated to a higher degree.

Much has changed since the visit to Harry Cipriani: Nick is no longer with us, I do not live in New York, and I have added many chapters in the book of life.

The reality of time is experienced in variable degrees. That experience at Harry Cipriani will always be a part of me and influences me to this day.

The chronological order of life is anything but sequential, and time is a fusion of reality and our perspective of the actual encounter. As a result, we must hold onto these memories for they are the key ingredient to individuality. Contrary to popular belief, time can be your very best friend.

Getting back to the subject of carpaccio; if you are not familiar with it, you might want to consider adding this dish to your repertoire of possibilities. This elegant appetizer is a great way to “wow” your guests.

Following are a few tips for luscious carpaccio.

Place your beef filet or tenderloin in the freezer to get it partially frozen. You want it frozen, but not frozen solid.

Once the beef is frozen, use a very sharp knife or meat slicer to cut extremely thin slices. Do not use a serrated knife.

Place the sliced beef on a cold plate. Artfully arrange the slices on the plate. Add a few shavings of Parmesan cheese, a few capers, a drizzle of olive oil, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Some carpaccio enthusiasts like to add a little arugula because of its peppery taste.

If you think carpaccio is only a beef dish, think again. Today, chefs have taken the theme of carpaccio to new heights. Seafood, vegetable and even a fruit carpaccio’s have become quite popular.

The following recipe is a peppercorn encrusted tuna carpaccio with lemon aioli.

The peppercorn mixture consists of crushed peppercorns, black sesame seeds, toasted white sesame seeds, wasabi powder, ground ginger, cayenne pepper and kosher salt.

This mixture has a lot of texture, so I sliced the tuna just a touch thicker to offset the contrast in consistency.

This peppercorn mixture is also a great way to coat pan seared tuna.

The recipe calls for a significant amount of the rub. The peppercorn mixture can be stored in an 8-ounce canning jar for future use as opposed to making it every time you prepare tuna.

The lemon aioli is a combination of mayonnaise, lemon zest, lemon juice and Dijon mustard. I wanted a little color, so I added a tiny drop of yellow gel food coloring to emphasize the color of fresh lemon. This step is optional.

I also placed the lemon aioli in a plastic squeezable bottle so I could decorate the serving plate. This step is also optional and one can simply spoon the lemon aioli onto the tuna.

Peppercorn encrusted tuna carpaccio with lemon aioli is simple to make and will add pizzazz to any celebration.

In closing, fresh tuna is a must for delicious tuna carpaccio. Give Kerry Harrington 443-235-3448 a call, his boats go out daily. Enjoy!

Lemon Aioli

1 cup mayonnaise

2 ½ teaspoons lemon zest

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard

kosher salt to taste

1 tiny drop of yellow gel food coloring (optional)

1. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients until thoroughly blended.

2. Spoon lemon aioli in a plastic squeezable bottle to decorate and garnish the dish.

Peppercorn Encrusted Tuna Carpaccio

1-pound fresh yellow fin tuna

1/3 cup very, coarsely ground pepper

1 ½ tablespoons toasted white sesame seeds

1 ½ tablespoons toasted black sesame seeds

¾ teaspoon wasabi powder

¾ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon cayenne powder

1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

1. Cut tuna to form either a square or rectangular shape.

2. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for 45 minutes.

3. Place the peppercorn mixture on a plate.

4. Roll the edges of the tuna in the peppercorn mixture.

5. Slice the tuna paper thin.

6. Artfully arrange the slices according to your personal preference.

7. Garnish the plate with the lemon aioli.

8. Serve immediately.

Secret Ingredient – Individuality. “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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