Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Almond Crusted Halibut and Lemon Rice Pilaf

Have you noticed there always seems to be a story centered around food. It's almost as if a nice meal at the end of the day just completes the day with everyone sitting around the table, talking and enjoying the yummy food. Okay, so Warren, Cambri and I were the only ones really raving about the Halibut as the other kids are suddenly claiming they "don't like fish!" The REAL reason they were complaining was because it was something new! You would think they would be used to all the new recipes around our house, but for whatever reason, they still would rather have boxed macaroni and cheese! What is wrong with my kids?

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 though 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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