Wednesday, October 24, 2012

...white wine simmering = my favorite smell

I’ve been meaning to cook this meal and blog about it for awhile now, but it’s been a crazy couple of weeks. I really should be cooking MORE when I’m busy or down in the dumps, because it absolutely boosts my happiness level, and it’s a great distraction.  Anyway! I finally have made this recipe that I’ve been waiting to make for a long time! Another thing I did recently that I’ve wanted to do for a long time, was invest in a few herb plants. I would recommend doing this if you’re into cooking at all – such a time/money saver (plus it smells great)! I just want to throw out there that this is NOT a low fat meal at all…

Almond Crusted Halibut
It says this serves six people, but you can easily cook 4-5 pieces of fish. I don’t think the minced almonds would cover 6 full pieces (I’ve edited this recipe to the way I will continue to make it, but I got the original one off of allrecipes).

-2/3 cup dry white wine (I used a cheapo sauv blanc)
-3 tablespoons cider vinegar
-2 tablespoons minced shallots (I always use green onions instead shallots)
-1 sprig fresh thyme
-1 bay leaf
-2/3 cup heavy cream
-10 tablespoons unsalted butter - chilled, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
-3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
-2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
-Salt and pepper to taste
-6 (6 ounce) fillets halibut
-1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
-2/3 cup minced blanched almonds (I couldn't find minced, so I just minced them myself in the blender)
-1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
-1 egg, lightly beaten

1. Make beurre blanc: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine wine, vinegar, shallots, thyme and bay leaf. Boil until liquid has evaporated. Stir in cream, and boil until liquid is reduced by half; decrease heat to low. Whisk in the 10 tablespoons of butter. Do not allow sauce to simmer, or it may separate.

2. Strain sauce through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl. Stir in chives, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Keep warm by setting bowl in sink with hot water.

3. Preheat oven on broiler setting. Pat fillets dry, and season with salt and pepper.

4. Heat oil and two tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute halibut fillets for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned, and just cooked through. Transfer to a baking sheet, and cool 5 minutes. In a small bowl, stir together bread crumbs, almonds and 1 tablespoon melted butter. Brush tops of fillets with egg, and spread with almond mixture.

5. Broil fillets 1 to 2 minutes, or until browned (watch closely - every broiler has its own personality!). Place fillets on individual plates, and spoon beurre blanc around it.

I served this on brown rice and we had simple little salads with it. And it was absolutely delicious. I definitely should have let the wine and cream cook longer, because the sauce didn't thicken the way I liked it – but I honestly don’t think you can go wrong with white sauce…unless you try to make it lower fat or something. Bump that. If you’re going to try to eat healthy, make something out of a health food magazine. However, in my opinion, when you make meals like this every once in awhile – just go all out.

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