This past weekend I got to know the oven in our new place a bit better. My initial observation is that the thing is teeny, tiny, but the temperature seems to be sound. Well, at least I think so. My husband stole my oven thermometer to test his grill and then thought that he would be helpful by giving it a quick clean in the dishwasher. So, who knows really, but it seemed to have no problem with last week’s Gateau Basque and this week’s
Tuna Cod Confit.
It seems a little naughty to start with the dessert, but that’s the order they went in and so that’s what we are going to do. I was huddled up in bed with fever and chills last week so cake simply wasn’t on the menu plan. Happily, I was feeling much better by the weekend and was able to catch up with the Gateau Basque. I’ll be honest, this didn’t look like much of a cake to me and I went in with low expectations. Maybe I shouldn’t have listened to the NPR podcast in which the cake was described as a Pop Tart! In the end, the cake exceeded my expectations and my husband polished off 3 slices in a row before declaring that it wasn’t Dorie’s best:-)
As for the Tuna Confit, I haven’t been keeping track or anything, but this recipe may well have resulted in my longest shopping list yet. I was more than a little intimidated, both by the long list and by the fact that the star of the dish is fresh tuna. I tend to have issues with fresh tuna and so was very happy that Dorie pointed out that cod and halibut are also commonly confited (can we use confit as an adjective?) and used cod for my dish.
The instructions called for us to first make the marinade, let everything sit, then cook the still completely submerged fish in the marinade while whipping up a tomato salad. I have to say that I was pretty darn skeptical while this thing was in the oven. The oven temp was so low that there none of the usual sensory indicators that any actual cooking was going on. I like to be able to see, hear, or smell that something is actually happening. I don’t think that I would do very well with sous vide, though I hear that it’s delicious. In this case, I had no choice but to simply follow Dorie’s instructions exactly because I had no idea what I was doing and because I had no other indicators to point me along the way.
After exactly one hour I removed the dish from the oven and served it up on a bed of mushy peas with the tomato salad and olive tapenade. But really, the sides were superfluous. The fish was infused with the flavors of the marinade and absolutely delicious with the marinade itself as a topping. I was really wowed by how good this was and admit that it was well worth the long shopping list.