Cooking Our Favorite Restaurant Dishes at Home
If Gothamist had a restaurant, we’d change the menu as frequently as we could. There’s something satisfying and intriguing about a simple, rotating menu based on the freshest ingredients.
That’s what we love about Barbuto. Chef Jonathan Waxman couldn’t make the fancier Washington Square Park fly, but his simple and ever-changing menu creates a neighborhood restaurant worthy of a commute. The menu is refined and can be creative, but it's seemingly rustic and simple at the same time.
A perfect example is a whopping bone-in pork chop. It had been brined and grilled, seasoned simply with salt and pepper. The grill flavor and the juicy chop was enhanced with a peach chutney that was off the charts. The chutney was thick, concentrated and featured a pleasant blast of mint.
We were in the mood for a lighter dish on this blazing summer night. But hey, maybe a few chilis in that cool, mint peach chutney wouldn’t be a bad thing.
Mint, Chili Peach Chutney
Seared Pepper Tuna Steaks
There are two keys to this dish. The first is pursuing the best sushi grade tuna and juicy, ripe peaches. The second is to strain the chutney, making a peachy syrup-like sauce for the tuna.
Ingredient Shopping List
Recipe serves two people with leftover chutney. The chutney is fantastic for lots of other purposes, like salads.
1 lb – 1.25 lb fresh sushi grade tuna cut into two fillets (Gothamist fav: Citarella)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 large peaches (fyi, white peaches used for this recipe)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 jalapeno or hot red pepper
2 handfuls arugula
Estimated cost of ingredients: $25 at Fairway
Prep the Chutney
Take 3 of your peaches and chop them into large bite size chunks. Take your chili and dice it into small pieces, about 1 tablespoon. If you like it spicy, keep the white veins and seeds into the dish. If not, de-vein and deseed.
Make the Chutney
Take a medium pot and add two heaping tablespoons sugar and about 1/8 cup of cold water. Turn heat to high. After water begins to barely boil, add all of your chopped peaches and chili to the liquid. Give it a pinch of salt and pepper. Turn to medium heat and simmer for about 3-5 minutes, or until the peaches are soft yet still maintain their integrity. Add a squeeze of lemon juice.
Add this mixture to a food processor and gently pulse, about twice. You don’t want it to be a fine paste, but still chunky. The best part of this chutney is that if you strain this mixture with a small fine mesh strainer, you’ll get a chutney but also a sweet peach reduction sauce.
After straining, set aside the peach sauce. Rough chop your fourth whole fresh peach into bite size pieces and add it to the cooked peach chutney. This adds texture and a fresh peach taste to go with the concentrated peaches. Rough chop fresh mint, about 1 heaping tablespoon and add to chutney. Mix and taste. Season as needed, lemon juice is good addition. Refrigerate both items until needed for next step.
Sear the Tuna
Take the tuna and brush a teaspoon of the peach sauce until just covering both sides of tuna. This will help with caramelization. Season both sides with salt and lots of ground pepper. Add a lot of pepper to each side of the tuna, as this will help form a crust and adds a nice counterpoint to the peaches. For the pepper, a rough grind is better.
Get a frying pan on high heat. Add olive or grape seed oil to the pan to barely coat the bottom. Wait until just smoking. Add the tuna at this point. Do not flip the fish for about 2-3 minutes. You should have a brown sear on this side and if you look at the side of the fish, it should be cooked about ¼ the way up the side. Your fish may have a different thickness than this recipe, so note this technique for measuring doneness rather than times indicated above. Flip the fish to barely cook for about 1-2 minutes on the other side for medium rare.
Place the fish on a cutting board. Drizzle with fresh lemon juice and a touch more salt. Slice each fillet into two pieces for each person.
Finish the Dish
Take 1 tablespoon of peach sauce and add to bowl. Add one glug olive oil, salt, pepper to bowl. Add one squeeze lemon juice. Add one large handful of arugula to bowl and mix with your hands until coated.
Place both pieces of tuna stacked on the plate. Add one tablespoon of peach sauce on the side. Add one or two large tablespoons of the peach chutney on top of tuna. Place some of the arugula on the side as garnish and serve.