When Better Half and I returned from Spain I went through a Spanish phase. I lived for a while in a Spanish-speaking country and could, then, pass for a native, but alas my language skills have atrophied but once in Spain it all came flooding back. Unlike “Hilaria” Baldwin I did not change my name, adopt a “Spanish” accent, and say things like “How you say, uh, cucumber?” But for about a year I did learn how to make a number of dishes from the Iberian peninsula and this is one of them. I still make them sometimes but not with the frequency I did in the pre-pandemic times.
I’m going to cheat and basically reprint this recipe from Saveur. The magazine/site doesn’t tell you this but this easily feeds four, especially if accompanied by hearty bread and preceded and accompanied by pintxos, which are the Basque versions of tapas.
1 lb. raw tuna, cut into ½-inch cubes [You have to get the highest-quality, most trustworthy tuna you can find. You’ll see.]
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 lb. yellow potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp. pimentón (smoked paprika)
Coarsely chopped Italian parsley leaves, for garnish
- In a medium bowl, season the tuna lightly with salt and toss to coat. Set aside.
- To a large pot set over medium heat, add the oil; when the oil is hot, add the bell pepper and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and translucent, 8–10 minutes. Add the potatoes and garlic, season with salt, and continue cooking until vegetables are softened but not colored, 3–5 minutes. Add the pimentón and 3 cups water [you would think this doesn’t seem like enough but the pepper, onion, and potatoes will release a lot of liquid and you don’t want the soup to be watery] and bring to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are tender, 13–15 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the tuna, and immediately cover the pan. Set aside until the fish is just barely cooked through, 3–5 minutes. [This is why you need the high-grade tuna.]
And that’s it! On egin! (As they say in Euskara, the language of the Basques. This means, “Bon appétit!”)