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Monday, August 20, 2012

Blackened Ahi

Menu Notes:
  • This simple preparation is best accompanied by Aspara-gusto, as the wasabi mayonnaise in that recipe is delightful with the ahi also.
  • Most ahi is quite high in methyl mercury (see information on the Monterey Bay Aquarium web site), so I don't advise making this dish very often.
    The Ingredients (for 4 small servings):
    • 1 piece of sashimi-grade ahi, at least 3.8 cm (or 1½ inch) thick, and weighing approximately 560 gram (or 20 oz)
    • 15 cc (or 1 Tbsp) of butter
    • 30 cc (or 2 Tbsp) of blackened seasoning, made by combining the following ingredients:
      • 175 cc (or ¾ cup) of Hungarian paprika
      • 60 cc (or ¼ cup) of powdered chili
      • 30 cc (or 2 Tbsp) of black pepper
      • 30 cc (or 2 Tbsp) of white pepper
      • 60 cc (or 4 Tbsp) of Cayenne pepper
      • 45 cc (or 3 Tbsp) of garlic powder
      • 30 cc (or 2 Tbsp) of ground oregano
      • 45 cc (or 3 Tbsp ) of ground cumin
      • 15 cc (or 1 Tbsp ) of ground ginger
      • 15 cc (or 1 Tbsp ) of salt
    The Method:

    1. Heat a griddle or large fry pan over medium high heat but do not add oil.
    2. Turn the hood fan onto high or open windows, as the blackening process produces tear-jerker fumes.
    3. Melt the butter and baste half of  it onto one side of the ahi.
    4. Sprinkle blackened seasoning onto the butter and lightly press it down. Use as much or as little as you think wise, based on the ingredients and your tolerance of spicy seasoning.
    5. Place the ahi, seasoned side down, on the griddle.
    6. Immediately basted the exposed side of the ahi with the rest of  the butter, sprinkle seasoning, and lightly press it down  as before.
    7. Watch the ahi on the griddle and turn it over when the opaque (cooked) layer is about 5 mm (or inch) thick. 
    8. Cook the second side as for the first side, and remove the ahi to a cutting board.
    9. Slice the ahi across the grain immediately to stop the cooking.

    The Story:

    My husband's uncle loves to fish and, some years ago, made a trip with a group of friends on the sport fishing boat Royal Star, out of San Diego, California. At that time, the galley was run by a man named Dave, and he published some of his recipes online. The web page is no longer there, and Royal Star no longer publishes recipes, as far as I can tell. We were lucky that Uncle Wally told us about Dave's blackened ahi, and that we kept a printout of that web page. The blackened seasoning is good for any "blackened" recipe, and can be added to many dishes for extra piquancy.  

    1 comment:

    1. I have never found a decent "blackening" mixture in California or Hawaiian grocery stores, and Dave's recipe is really good. You could probably do without every different kind of pepper, but need to retain at least the paprika, chili, and black pepper. Maybe add a little extra of the black pepper to make up for omitting white and Cayenne. I'm not sure how much the ground ginger contributes, maybe that could be omitted also.