Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A French Affair

Over the weekend my dear friend Kelly and I had a girls night.

She brought the wine and updated me on her love life while I cooked a simple French meal before heading off to see Les Misérables.

We started with Soupe à l'Oignon and a few glasses of chardonnay, then moved on to our main course, Salade Niçoise.

Emeril's Classic Tuna Niçoise Salad 

{slightly modified for two portions}


1/4 pound red potatoes, scrubbed and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices
1/4 green beans, ends trimmed
2, 1/4 pound pieces of yellowfin tuna loin
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 rosemary sprigs
1 large head romaine or Bibb lettuce, rinsed and patted dry
Anchovy Dressing, recipe follows
1/4 pound Roma plum tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/8 cup halved and seeded kalamata olives
1/8 cup halved and seeded green brine-cured olives
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and sliced

Bring pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes to pot and blanch until tender, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the green beans to the pot and blanch until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Then boil the eggs 10 to 12 minutes and blanch.

Season the tuna steaks liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the rosemary sprigs and tuna steaks and sear, about 30 seconds per side for medium-rare. Remove from the pan and place in the refrigerator to cool.

Toss the potatoes and green beans in the Anchovy Dressing. Peel and slice the eggs then add to mixture along with olives, chopped tomato and sliced red onion. Arrange a bed of lettuce on each plates (or 1 serving platter) then spoon the vegetable mixture atop the lettuce. Garnish with additional herbs if desired and serve immediately.

Anchovy Dressing: 

{Note: There will be extra dressing as I did not modify this portion of the recipe}

1 anchovy fillet, drained
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 large egg*
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons capers, drained and chopped
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

In a medium bowl, mash the anchovy, salt, pepper, and garlic into a paste with the back of a fork. Add the egg and whisk well to blend. Add the lemon juice and mustard, and whisk well. Add the oils in a steady stream, whisking constantly to form a thick emulsion. Add the shallots, capers and Worcestershire, whisk well, and adjust the seasoning, to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.


We skipped dessert entirely, opting to open a second bottle of wine instead.

P.S. Have you seen Les Mis? Jean Valjean has my heart.


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