Sunday, 27 October 2013

Pan seared Halibut with Sweet Pea Puree and walnut brown butter

Pan seared Halibut with Sweet Pea Puree and walnut brown butter
Why this recipe works: here, we dress up a seared fish fillet with a slightly sweet pea puree and a quick walnut brown butter. The result is simple enough for a weeknight supper but elegant enough for a dinner party. We developed the puree with frozen peas, but you can use fresh peas if they’re available; just up the cooking time to 5 to 7 minutes. Once the fish is cooked, the pan is super hot so the butter browns very quickly – be sure to have the shallots and nuts ready to go.

Pan Seared Halibut with Sweet pea Puree and Walnut brown Butter
Ingredients: serve 4
4 shallots, minced (about ½ cup)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
2 cups frozen peas
½ cup low sodium chicken both salt and pepper
4 skinless halibut fillets (6 to 8 ounces each), about 1 inch thick
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon lemon juice

  1. Set aside 1 tablespoon of shallots. Heat 2 tablespoons butter in large saucepan over medium heat. And remaining shallots and cook until shallots are soft but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add peas and broth; bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium low and cook, covered, until peas are tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Puree pea mixture in blender until smooth, adding a little water if needed. Season with salt and pepper. Return puree to saucepan, cover, and set aside on stovetop to keep warm.
  2. Pat fish dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium – high heat until just smoking. Cook fish until golden brown and just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer fish to platter and tent with foil.
  3. add remaining butter to empty skillet, swirling pan constantly, until butter turns dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 30 to 60 seconds. Add walnuts and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove pan from heat and stir in parsley, thyme, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Pour walnut butter over fish. Serve with pea puree.

Smart shopping salted vs. unsalted butter
Common sense says that you can cook with salted butter instead of unsalted butter if you reduce the total amount of salt in a recipe unfortunately, it’s not that simple. First, the amount of salt in salted butter varies for brand to brand, making it impossible to offer conversion amounts that will work with all brands. Second, because salt masks some of the flavor nuances found in butter, salted butter tastes different from unsalted butter. Finally, salted butter almost always contains more water than unsalted butter. In baking especially, butter with a low water content is preferred, since excess water can interfere with the development of gluten.

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