I have made this gorgeous dish many times when entertaining, and it has never, ever disappointed. In fact, I have to attest that every time I have made this dish, I always get asked for the recipe. This is definitely a special occasion recipe (both because of the decadence of the dish with the butter and heavy cream, but also because of the high cost of halibut!). If you are on a budget, on a diet, (or both) do not fret! You can replace the halibut with tilapia (less than half the cost), you can cut down the butter and replace with margarine or part oil, part butter, and you can replace the heavy cream with fat free half and half! The taste won’t be the same, but it will still be a delight. 🙂
Please let me know if you try this out (take pictures please!!!) and I would love to hear your thoughts.
1/4 cup dry white wine
2.5 tablespoons cider vinegar (you can subsitute with apple cider vinegar if needed, although it has a stronger flavor)
1/4 cup minced shallots
1 tablespoon thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup unsalted butter – chilled, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
4 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
4 (6 ounce) fillets of halibut
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 teaspoons unsalted butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine wine, vinegar, shallots, thyme and bay leaf. Boil until liquid has evaporated. Stir in the heavy cream, and boil until liquid is reduced by half. Decrease the heat to the lowest setting.
Whisk in the butter, 1 cube at a time, melting each one before adding another. Do not allow sauce to simmer (or it may separate). Once all of the butter has been melted in, strain the sauce into a glass bowl. Add in salt, pepper, chives and lemon juice. Keep this sauce warm by placing the bowl inside another glass bowl with hot water in it. This way the heat from the water will indirectly eep the beurre blanc warm.
Rinse the fish fillets, pat them dry, and season them with Kosher salt and pepper.
Heat oil and 1.5 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Do not let the butter burn! Cook the halibut fillets approximately 3 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned, and just cooked through (you don’t want to cook them all the way through). Transfer the filets to a baking sheet, and let them cool for approximately 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the panko bread crumbs, almonds and 2 tablespoons of the melted butter. Brush the tops of fillets with egg, and spread with the almond mixture.
Broil the fillets 1 to 2 minutes, or until browned (watch closely because the difference between a perfectly cooked halibut and a burned halibut can be just a few, mere moments).
Place fillets on individual plates, and spoon beurre blanc (and lots of it!) on top of the fish and around it. Serve immediately (and enjoy immensely!).