Friday, November 4, 2011

Shitake Crusted Halibut with Lemon Beurre Blanc

Shitake Crusted Halibut - serves 4
It was another football Sunday and my good friend, Joy, and fellow Cavalier dog lover, was joining us. My husband had put in a request several days before for Barbeque Ribs.  Sounds easy, right?  But Joy and her husband do not eat red meat. So I had to come up with a protein dish for them that would be super easy to pull together while still watching the game! (The ribs can be done well in advance and reheated on the grill at halftime)  If the shallots are cut in advance – this amazing little dish can be prepared during half time! The Beurre Blanc (white butter sauce) is also easy – not exactly dietetic but really compliments the earthy flavor of the shitake crust on the fish.

To serve 4: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Melt 2 Tb butter over medium heat.  Add ½ C finely chopped shallots and cook until softened but not browned. (about 2 min), Add ¼ C white wine and cook on medium- high heat until most of the liquid evaporates, about 3 min, being careful to not burn the butter.  Add ½ C heavy whipping cream and simmer gently until sauce thickens, whisking occasionally, about 4-5 min. Cover and set aside off heat.
Making beurre blanc
Place 1 ½ oz. dried shitake mushrooms (remove all stems) in a spice grinder (I use a dedicated coffee grinder for all spices and savory) or blender and grind to a fine powder. Transfer this powder to a plate. Rinse 4 6 oz halibut fillets in about 1-2 Tb of white vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then press the fillet into the mushroom powder to coat it on all sides. Melt 4 Tb butter in ovenproof skillet over medium heat.  Add fillets and cook until golden brown on bottom – about 3 minutes. Turn over carefully and transfer to the oven and bake until opaque, about 7 minutes.
Rolling fillets in shitake mushroom powder
Cooking fillets until golden brown
While fish is baking, finish the sauce. Add 4 Tb butter, cut into small cubes, to the sauce, one at a time, whisking until incorporated before adding more. Heat on low if needed to melt butter and warm sauce. Do not let it boil. Whisk in 3 tsp. lemon juice and season with salt & pepper.  Drizzle fish with sauce and serve immediately.  Pass extra sauce at the table.  Bon Appetit!

P.S. If pressed for time or wanting to avoid the calories – a sprinkle of lemon juice works as a substitute for the sauce. If Halibut is unavailable, you could use cod, salmon or Tilapia  (cook tilapia on stove-top).


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