This was the first raw fish appetizer that we put on the menu, pre-1990, my twist on the East meets West craze. The combination of potato salad and raw fish came as a surprise to our customers, but it quickly turned into a favorite.
"Cool" Potato Salad
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups peeled and cubed potatoes
1/2 cup good-quality mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup capers, drained
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of white pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 pound sashimi-grade ahi
(yellowfin) or any good-grade tuna
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
To prepare the potato salad, in a saucepan, add the salt and potatoes and water to cover. Cover, bring to a boil, and cook for about 10 minutes, until the potatoes are just fork tender. Drain and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise and sour cream. Add the basil, chives, dill, and capers and mix well. Add the potatoes and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill well.
To prepare the seasoning mix, combine all the ingredients and mix well. (You can substitute a premixed Cajun spice blend for this mixture.) Spread on a plate.
Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat until the pan stops smoking and ash has collected on the pan bottom. This will take 10 to 15 minutes.
Cut the fish into 2 by 2 by 6-inch blocks. Dip the fish in the melted butter and coat with the spice mix. Place in the skillet and sear on each side for 30 to 45 seconds, until blackened, but still rare inside. Transfer to a plate and allow to cool. Slice very thinly across the grain with a very sharp knife.
To serve, place a spoonful of the potato salad in the center of each plate. Fan 3 or 4 slices of fish around each plate and serve immediately.
This dish must be prepared either outdoors or in a well-ventilated kitchen.. and note that the fish must be seared in a cast-iron skillet. A word about these great pans: make the investment because they are truly indestructible. And they make great "frahd" chicken!
The Hali'imaile General Store Cookbook:
Home Cooking from Maui
By Beverly Gannon with Bonnie Friedman
Ten Speed Press, February 2001
Hardcover, $ 35.00
224 pages, full-color photographs
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created April 2001
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