adapted from "The Basque Kitchen: Tempting Food from the Pyrenees," by Gerald Hirigoyen with Cameron Hirigoyen. Gerald Hirigoyen runs two terrific restaurants in San Francisco -- Fringale and Pastis.
*Swordfish could be used instead of tuna.
To make the onion marmalade, warm 1/4 cup olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute until they turn golden brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in the vinegars, water, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, sugar and piment d'Espelette. Bring to a slow boil and cook until the liquid is completely evaporated, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a separate medium-large saucepan, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle both sides of the tuna steaks with salt and pepper. Sear them until medium rare, about 2 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the tuna.
For each serving, spoon the green lentils (see below) onto the center of the plate. Place a tuna steak on top and cover with onion marmalade.
GREEN LENTILS WITH BACON
Put the bacon in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a simmer over moderately high heat; drain, rinse and drain again.
Warm the duck fat or butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the bacon to the pan and saute for 1 minute. Add the onion and garlic and saute for about 3 minutes longer. Add the lentils, the bouquet garni, water and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium and cook until much of the liquid has evaporated, and the lentils are tender and moist, 25 to 30 minutes.
Just before serving, add the butter, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and reheat. Stir together well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
The glories of Getaria
Pilgrim or not, if you are traveling along the north coast of Spain, the town of Getaria is worth a stop. Just down the road from the new Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, it's famous as the hometown of Juan Sebastian Elcano, the navigator on Magellan's voyage around the world.
Most popular literature has Magellan as the first person to sail around the planet, but this is not true -- Magellan died midway, in the Philippines. It was Elcano who completed the voyage home and who should be given credit. The noble statue of him in Getaria's town square is a thoughtful gesture, but it's really not enough. The man needed a better agent.
Getaria is also the center for the production of a local wine called txakoli, which is made from the grapes grown on the nearby hills. Young, sparkling and fruity, it is poured from a bottle held a few feet above the glass, on the theory that this little journey aerates the wine and increases its sparkle.
Getaria has a number of good restaurants that specialize in the outdoor grilling of fish that come from the town's port. The grills are set up outside, near the entrance to the restaurants, and your selection is cooked to order.
Now that we're on the subject of great Basque food, here is a local recipe adapted for the American home kitchen by Gerald Hirigoyen, who runs two terrific restaurants in San Francisco -- Fringale and Pastis -- that specialize in Basque cooking. He is also the author of "The Basque Kitchen," a definitive work on the subject published in 1999 by HarperCollins.
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|Serving Size: 1 Serving (7260g)|
|Recipe Makes: 4|
|Calories from Fat: 49490 (100%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 5527.8g||7370 %|
|Saturated Fat 3147.7g||15739 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 1765.1g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 257g|
|Cholesterol 12771.5mg||3930 %|
|Sodium 34530.1mg||1191 %|
|Potassium 3047mg||80 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 117.4g||35 %|
|Dietary Fiber 45.1g||180 %|
|Sugars, other 72.3g|
|Protein 93g||133 %|
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Calories per serving: 49490
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