Peppercorn Brandy Cream Flambé
Albacore au Poivre is special but not complicated. A sushi-grade piece of fish, four ingredients, plus FIRE are all it takes to prepare this exceptional dish. And it comes together in about 15 minutes. Hard to believe…
Peppercorns, butter, and brandy combine in a quick showy presentation. Rich cream is swirled in at the end. Et voilà!
Seared Albacore Au Poivre Recipe
- albacore tuna loin, approx. 7 oz.
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Pat albacore loin dry with a paper towel. Season albacore with salt and pepper. Cook a cold albacore loin in a dry non-stick pan over medium-high heat. The loin is triangular, with three sides. Cook each side equally from just under one minute to a maximum of two minutes depending on your preference. Use a timer to be precise. Let the albacore loin rest while preparing the sauce. It will then be barely warm in the center but still very rare.
Note: For this dish, the fish was cooked two minutes per side to get a nice contrast of the cooked and uncooked tuna, which paired well with the French-style peppercorn brandy cream sauce. If the preference is a not-so-rare interior, start with slightly cool but not cold albacore. When preparing a Japanese-style dish (more sashimi-like), cook the tuna just less than one minute per side. More about albacore cooking here.
Peppercorn Brandy Cream Flambé:
- 2 t. whole white peppercorns, semi-crushed
- 1 1/2 T. butter
- 1/4 c. brandy (in a measuring cup, not from the bottle)
- 1/4 c. heavy cream
Heat butter in a small stainless steel sauté pan over medium heat. Add peppercorns and cook briefly to bloom. Move pan off the heat. Add brandy. Return pan over burner and tip pan towards the flame to ignite. When flame subsides, adjust heat to low, and reduce the brandy by half. Whisk in cream and cook briefly to thicken. Add salt to taste.
Safety first: Always keep a large lid right next to the stove in case the need to extinguish the flame arises. Before igniting the brandy make sure the area is safe – nothing flammable next to the stove like paper towels, and wear appropriate clothing such as no flowing sleeves, etc. Search the internet for more tips to safely flambé before attempting for the first time.
- lemon wedges
Cut the albacore with a very sharp knife in 1/2 inch slices. Fan out on a platter. Ladle sauce over and around the fish. Garnish with chopped chives. Serve with lemon wedges. (We served with pink lemons).
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