Seared Albacore Tuna with Fennel Seeds & Caper Brown Butter
1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon capers, drained, coarsely chopped if large
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into six pieces
1/4 cup heavy cream
4 1-inch-thick tuna steaks (6 to 8 ounces each)
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, crushed
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Put the lemon juice and capers in a 1-quart heatproof measuring cup. Bring the butter and cream to a brisk simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking often. The mixture will look homogeneous at first and then will separate and begin to turn golden brown. Continue to whisk until it turns a dark rust color, about 10 minutes total. Carefully pour the brown butter mixture into the lemon juice; the butter will boil up and sputter. Whisk to combine and return to the saucepan, off the heat.
Sprinkle the tuna on both sides with the fennel seeds, salt, and pepper. Heat the oil in a 10- to 12-inch heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Sear the tuna on both sides until done to your liking, about 2 minutes per side for medium rare (still raw in the middle) or 3 minutes per side for medium (just pink in the middle). Transfer the tuna to plates. If necessary, quickly reheat the sauce. Serve the tuna drizzled with the sauce.
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