Charmoula Ahi Tartar on Homemade Potato Chips

This recipe is a Moroccan take on a traditional Ahi tuna tartar.

I came up with this version of Ahi Tuna Tartar for Ryan’s Middle Eastern bridal shower menu.  We wanted to do an Ahi tartar with an Moroccan influence so I combined the tuna with a Joyce Goldstein’s Charmoula Vinaigrette from the Back to Square One Cookbook.  It was a winner.  You can find the post associated with this recipe by clicking here.

Makes 30

2 large russet potatoes, peeled
Peanut, grapeseed or vegetable oil for frying

1 tablespoon cumin seed
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 cup mild olive oil
1 pound sashimi grade Ahi tuna, dice in 1/4 inch cubes
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/3 cup lemon juice, or to taste (or a combination of lemon and red wine vinegar)

For the potato chips, prepare an ice water bath for the cut potatoes.  Using a French mandoline, cut the potatoes thin using the waffle blade and turning the potato a 1/4 turn each time you slice the potato.  Place the sliced potatoes into the ice bath.  Let the potatoes rest in the water bath in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes up to overnight.

In a large, heavy, deep pot, add oil to fill up to 1/3 of the pot and heat to 350 degrees.  If you fill the pot more than 1/3 full of oil, you run the risk of having the oil boil over when you initially add the potatoes.  Drain the potatoes and dry well.  Carefully add a handful of well-dried chips into the oil and once the bubbling settles down, stir the chips to separate the potato slices for even cooking.  Let cook, stirring and flipping them periodically, until completely crisp, about 4 to 7 minutes.  The chips should be evenly light brown.  Some chips may cook quicker than others so remove the chips that are done and leave the others to continue cooking.  Once you take the chips out of the oil, salt them while hot.  Continue until all chips are cooked.  Set aside until ready to use.  Can be made a day ahead, just store in an air tight container once completely cooled.

To make the vinaigrette for the tartar, take a small skillet and heat it over medium heat until hot; toast the cumin seed until lightly browned and fragrant.  Once cool, place in a spice grinder and grind to a fine powder.  In a medium jar with a tight fitting lid, place the ground cumin seed, paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic, cilantro and olive oil; shake until combined.  Place Ahi tuna in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add enough of the spiced oil to flavor the tuna to your taste, you may not need all of the oil.  This can be made ahead, just refrigerate until ready to use.  Once you are ready to serve, add the lemon juice (or lemon and red wine vinegar) to taste and adjust seasonings if needed.  The lemon will cook the tuna and turn the brilliant cubes grey, so add the lemon at the last minute.  Place a small amount of tartar on each chip and serve.  As an alternative serving technique, place the tuna in a bowl with the chips around it and let the guests serve themselves.

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