Charbroiled Aku Provençale Serves 4 as an appetizer
Traditional Polynesian ingredients come together with the flavors of the Mediterranean in this creation of George Mavrothalassitis, senior executive chef of the Four Seasons Resort, Wailea, Maui. Aku is an intensely flavored, dense tropical tuna. Like many types of tuna,, akuis often served rare. If you prefer a more well-done fish, cook it 3 to 4 minutes on each side. You can substitute any sweet onion, such as a Walla Walla, and use your favorite type of red chile if you can’t find these ingredients.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Marinating Time: 12 hours
Cooking Time: 1 to 8 minutes
1 small Maui onion, finely diced
2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely diced
12 whole basil leaves
6 cloves garlic, peeled
4 anchovy fillets, chopped
1/2 cup capers, rinsed and chopped
1/2 cup cured black olives, chopped
1/4 teaspoon chopped Hawaiian chile finger (tiny, very hot, 13-inch-long red chile pepper)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 1-ounce aku medallions, 13-inch-thick
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1. Combine onion, tomatoes, basil and garlic. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 12 hours. Before serving, remove basil and garlic from tomato mixture. Add anchovies, capers, olives and chile. Season with salt and pepper; mix thoroughly.
2. Brush each aku medallion with olive oil. Charbroil only one side for about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Charbroiled side up, top each medallion with the tomato relish and serve at room temperature.