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Olive-Oil-Poached Albacore Tuna, Remoulade and Cheddar Cheese Sandwich

From Nancy Silverton's Sandwich Book: The Best Sandwiches Ever — From Thursday Nights at Campanile

1 (3-inch) branch fresh rosemary
2 bay leaves
1/2 lemon, cut into 4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices
12 ounces fresh albacore tuna, sliced into 3/4-inch-thick fillets
2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons (preferably kosher) salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 recipe remoulade made with olive oil from the poached tuna (recipe follows)
Salt (kosher or regular), to taste
Pepper, to taste
Fresh lemon juice, to taste
4 slices white or whole-wheat sourdough bread
Butter (softened), to taste, for grilling
1 garlic clove, peeled
4 ounces (preferably white) Cheddar
1 bunch fresh chives, minced
Yields 4 servings.

Place the rosemary, bay leaves and lemon slices on the bottom of a medium saucepan. Arrange the albacore on top and pour over the oil to cover completely. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook over low heat for about 8 to 10 minutes, until the first bubble appears in the oil. (Do not cook longer than that; it should still be fairly cool.)

 

Immediately remove the pan from the heat, flip over each piece of fish and cover the pan with a lid. Allow the tuna to sit in the warm oil for about 5 to 10 minutes, until it's cooked all the way through. Remove the tuna and refrigerate. Strain the oil and chill to room temperature to use in the remoulade (recipe follows). Prepare the remoulade with the cooled poaching oil according to the following recipe.

Place the tuna in a medium bowl and, using your fingers, flake it into large chunks. Add 3/4 cup of the remoulade and mix to combine. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. If desired, add the remaining remoulade.

Adjust the oven rack to the upper position and preheat the broiler. Spread a thin layer of softened butter on both sides of the bread. Grill the bread.
To assemble open-faced sandwiches: Rub one side of each slice of bread with the garlic clove; place on a baking sheet, garlic side up. Pile the tuna unevenly over the bread. Crumble the cheese and scatter unevenly over the center, leaving a 1-inch border of tuna around the edge. Heat under the broiler for about 30 seconds, until the cheese is melted. Squeeze a few drops of lemon juice, to taste, over open-faced sandwiches and sprinkle them with chives.

REMOULADE

1 extra-large egg yolk, from a hard-cooked (hard-boiled) egg
1/4 teaspoon (preferably kosher) salt
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup oil reserved from preceding recipe (see note)
1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 to 3 teaspoons warm water
1 tablespoon red onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 teaspoons capers, preferably salt-packed, rinsed well and finely chopped
2 teaspoons finely chopped cornichons or gherkins
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves
2 teaspoons finely chopped Italian parsley leaves
Yields 4 servings.

Finely crush the yolk of the hard-cooked egg. In the bowl of an electric mixer or in a medium stainless-steel bowl, whisk the finely crushed hard-cooked egg yolk, salt and mustard by hand. Slowly drizzle in the oil, drop by drop, whisking constantly. As the mixture begins to thicken, add a teaspoon each of the lemon juice and the water.

Once you've added almost half of the oil, place the bowl in the mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and mix on medium speed. Or continue to whisk in the oil by hand. Pour the oil in a slow, steady trickle, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. As the mixture thickens, add a little more of the lemon juice and water and continue whisking until the remaining oil is completely incorporated and the sauce is thickened.

Stir in the red onion, capers, cornichons, tarragon and parsley. Season with lemon juice and salt (regular or kosher), to taste.

Note: If you are making remoulade for another use, and not as part of the recipe preceding it, substitute 1 cup vegetable oil.

(Updated: 09/20/10 SG)


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