This recipe assumes you have a flash-frozen albacore loin handy — flash-frozen is actually fresher than fresh if you know what you’re buying. Most loins will be big enough to cut them into “medallions” or pieces of about 3 inches diameter and at least 1 inch thick — 2 inches is better.
The loin that I used for this recipe was some smaller, so the cut pieces are laid flat rather than turned up on the cut side like medallions. Whatever you’ve got, though, you should pull it from the freezer about a half hour (hour at most) before cooking. Slice it while it’s frozen or semi-frozen, and slap it into the marinade. DO NOT let it get completely thawed before broiling — medium-well or well-done will kill albacore — it should be at the very most medium-rare and rare is better. All you need to do with albacore is broil/toast the outside; if it’s rare in the middle then you’re in business; overcooking will ruin it.
- 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar
- black pepper
- 1 Pacific Albacore loin
- 1 large red grapefruit
- another spoonful of brown sugar
- 2 tsp. sesame seeds
Mix the vinegar, soy sauce, and brown sugar together in a shallow dish (I used an 8-inch glass pie plate). Dust this generously with fresh-ground black pepper. Cut the albacore into 1-inch or 2-inch pieces, and lay them into the marinade. (Check the clock; you don’t want to let the albacore get totally thawed and mushy when you’re ready to broil it. This should hit the broiler within an hour after you slice up the frozen loin.)
Cut the ends (about an inch) from the grapefruit and squeeze them over the tops of the albacore. (Save the rest of the grapefruit because you’re going to broil it later with the albacore.) Turn the albacore pieces over a couple times in the marinade so they soak it up, and dust them again with fresh-ground black pepper.
About 10 or 15 minutes before serving time, slice the grapefruit into thick slabs, about an inch thick. Oil a glass baking pan VERY lightly with canola or olive oil, turn the albacore pieces over one more time in the marinade, and slide them into the baking pan with the sliced grapefruit. Drizzle the leftover marinade onto the albacore, then sprinkle sesame seeds over the top. Turn your broiler to high with the oven rack set under it. Sprinkle the grapefruit very lightly with a bit more brown sugar, then set the pan with the albacore and grapefruit under the broiler. Don’t be distracted by anything — this takes a very few minutes!
When the albacore is dark bronzed and the sugared grapefruit is bubbly and nearly blackened, pull the pan and shut off the broiler. Dish this up on top of basmati rice or alongside baked spuds and gingered mixed vegetables and you’re in business.
Recipe courtesy Kelly Andersson RecipeOnRequest.com