Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Almond Crusted Halibut and Lemon Rice Pilaf

This was Warren's birthday dinner and I do have to was delicious! There are quite a few steps to the sauce, but boy is it worth it! Of course, after having made it, it was hard to completely enjoy guilt-free, as there is so much butter in the sauce! It won't be a frequent meal at our house, but I DEFINITELY will save it for special occasions. I recommend you double the sauce because it is THAT good! Warren recommends you triple!

The Rice Pilaf is a basic recipe that I use all the time and I just adapt it for whatever flavor I'm craving at the moment. I've made it spicy, lemony, garlicy, etc. Tonight's flavor of choice....lemon.

1/3 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/3 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
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
2/3 cup minced blanched almonds
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten

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 butter, 1 piece at a time, adding each new piece before previous one has melted completely. Do not allow sauce to simmer, or it may separate.
Strain sauce through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl. Stir in chives, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Keep warm by setting bowl in a larger container of hot water.

Preheat oven on broiler setting. Pat fillets dry, and season with salt and pepper.
Heat oil and 1 tablespoon 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.
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.

2 cups white rice (preferably long grain) (or brown, if your family will eat it)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion - green onion (or yellow onion)
1/2 cup chopped celery
4 cups chicken broth (I use bouillon and water). You can also use vegetable broth as an option
2 tsp. seasoning (this is where I change the recipe) I used the tequila lime seasoning from Cabela's - makes for a yummy lemon rice pilaf!
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne or more depending upon your family
Garlic, optional

Brown the rice, onions and celery in the olive oil. Add the four cups broth and seasoning and bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes until rice is done. Fluff with a fork.

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