À la mode…
It doesn’t really mean “with ice cream,” it actually translates to “in the style of” and is, truthfully, a fantastic way to cook.
Tuna Provençal is a dish prepared à la mode de Provençal, and the long name describes the key accompaniments to the tuna: in this case olive oil, tomato, and garlic. À la Bourguignonne, on the other hand, is “in the style of Burgundy” and includes red wine, small mushrooms and white onion. There’s numerous other “styles,” so named for the regions from which they emerged, and they all include their specific set of ingredients. Take your Provençal dish and add some black olives and anchovies, and you’ve got a dish à la Nicoise.
Now, how is this exactly a fantastic way to cook? Well, imagine you have some surprise guests coming over for dinner, and you have no clue as to what to make. An easy way to toss together something delicious and that’s sure as hell gonna impress them, is to proudly proclaim that you will be preparing “chicken à la Bourguignonne.”
What will you have to do? Well, sauté some chicken in a pan, deglaze with red wine, toss in some mushrooms and onions, and you’ve got it. Not difficult at all, and your guests will think you a culinary genius, all because you knew the key ingredients for a style of cooking.
These styles are highly flexible, which means you can really substitute most any protein you’d like, and as long as you have a relatively balanced amount of the ingredients (i.e. not handfuls and handfuls of garlic and only half a tomato) you don’t need a specific recipe. Just use some basic techniques, keep the key ingredients in mind, and you’ll be good to go!
6-6 oz. tuna steaks
Salt, fresh cracked black pepper
¼-cup olive oil
4 cloves of garlic fine chopped
1-cup diced onion
1-cup diced yellow bell pepper
2-cup diced fresh tomato
1-cup chopped calamata olives
1-cup chopped green olives
1-cup basil chiffonade
2 cup white wine
3/4 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
Fresh basil sprigs
Season the tuna. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Start to sauté the garlic and onions for 3 minutes. Add the bell pepper and sauté for a 3 more minutes. Add the tomatoes and the olives and sauté for an additional 5 minutes. Add the wine and allow to reduce by half. Add the romano and the basil, toss. Sear the tuna in the olive oil very quickly and remove. The Tuna will be rare. Place a little Provencal mixture on a plate and place tuna on top. Place more Provencal on top of tuna. Garnish with romano shavings and fresh basil sprigs.
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