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Author Notes: This was one of my favorite dishes served at my restaurant many years ago. I was inspired by Wylie Dufresne’s Black Cod with Edamame & Rye. I wanted something that really represented Philadelphia. Philadelphia street corners are rife with soft Pretzels. At the New Year’s Day Mummers parade enterprising street vendors often push a shopping cart full of soft fresh baked pretzels & hot coals to keep them warm
I always found that my hometown (NYC) Street Pretzel, tasted too much of lye, and was never much of a fan. Though NYC pretzels are prettier, Philly Pretzels are shaped like a figure 8, less glossy, lighter, and softer and when dipped in a combo of Spicy Deli Mustard and Butter they make a terrific breakfast.
This is my homage to Philly: meaty Halibut (cod makes a fabulous substitute) brushed with Dijon mustard, crusted with a buttery mix of toasted soft pretzel croutons and crushed hard pretzels, laying on a bed of sautéed mustard greens with a healthy splosh of Grainy Mustard Buerre Blanc. You really HAVE to have mashed potatoes with this dish….
As far as Mustards go I like Maille, actually I LOVE Maille, in this recipe. I tried it with the Pretzel aka Deli mustard and it did not work as well as it did with good French mustards. Also I use Mustard oil which has packs a punch but also has what would pretentiously call a haunting quality... a extra not immediately identifiable something special.
Also there is ALOT of Butter going on here... if you really want to you could sub some for Olive Oil but Mustard & Butter do wonderful things to each other, so just maybe plan an extra hour on the Elliptical machine or something?? —Aliwaks
Pretzel Crusted Halibut
- 4 6 ounce Halibut Steaks (or cod, or scrod or turbot)
- 2 Large Stale Soft Pretzels (IF you cannot find a decent soft pretzel and you don't feel like making them, you can use a salt bagel, if can’t find one of those, sourdough bread will work. (You want to end up with about a cup and a half of small croutons)
- 1 cup Crushed Hard “Dutch” Pretzel… crushed these with a rolling pin in a baggie, not food processor, you want texture, chunks the size of a tic tac
- 1/2 cup Butter
- 2 tablespoons Mustard oil
- 1 medium shallot minced
- 6 cups Raw Mustard Greens, washed not dried
- Salt & Pepper
- Using a very sharp knife, cut the soft pretzel into a small dice…little cubes no bigger than ¼”. This is why you need a stale pretzel easier to cut precisely. You can also sort of crumbled & tear them up for a more relaxed presentation… but you want them small, and ultimately toasty and full of butter.
- Heat all but 1 tablespoon of the butter until frothy in a sauté pan, sauté soft pretzel cubes until they are lightly browned and well-buttered. Stir in the hard pretzels and stir to combine, set aside.
- Season Halibut on Both Sides with Salt & Pepper
- Heat a sauté pan over high heat, and ½ Tablespoon mustard oil
- Repeat with next two filets
- Drizzle any remaking oil over the fish, Brush each piece of fish with Dijon Mustard and Top with Pretzel Croutons
- Roast @ 450 for 10 minutes
- While Fish is roasting Add remaining butter to a LARGE hot pan
- Sauté shallots until translucent
- Add Mustard Greens Stir to coat
- Cover and allow to wilt
- To Serve: Lay Fish on top of Sautéed Mustard Greens, Drizzle Sauce over top… of get fancy and pour sauce on plate then lay mustard greens on that and fish over top … Drizzle with remaining mustard oil. if you want to be super fancy garnish with crispy fried mustard greens. Timing --- Do the Croutons ahead of time, up to an hour or more, then you do step 1-5 of Buerre Blanc Before Searing the fish and let it sit, Once the fish goes in the oven and the Mustard Greens are in the pan finish steps 6 - of the sauce. Turn the heat off the greens, take the fish out of the oven and complete your sauce. IF you want to you can sear off the fish & top with croutons ahead of time, not far ahead but if you are not confident about making the sauce you can do that first then put the fish in the oven
Mustards Beurre Blanc
- 1 stick of butter, cut into 8 cubes
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
- 1 teaspoon Powdered Mustard
- 2/3 cup Tarragon Vinegar
- 1 cup Dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1/4 cup Finely Minced Chives
- Salt & Pepper
- Set a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat
- Melt 1 Tablespoon of butter until it froths, add shallots and season with Salt & Pepper
- Lower the heat and cook the shallots until translucent.
- Whisk together the mustards, mustard Powder , Champagne vinegar, wine & lemon juice.
- Add the liquids to the shallots, bring the heat back up to medium and cook until reduced by three-fourths.
- Lower the heat again and add the butter SLOWLY 1 cube at a time whisking each cube in fully before adding the next more. Set aside 1 cube of butter to adjust at the end if necessary.
- Blend with an immersion blender or regular blender until frothy and fully emulsified.
- Season with salt and pepper, stir in chives right before serving (you don’t want them to turn brown)
- Note: The Sauce HAS to stay warm, since it is an emulsion it’s really temperamental. If it gets too hot or too cold it will separate. If you have a gas oven keep it over a pilot light in a covered pot if you need to, whisking in the reserved butter cube constantly right before using.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Mustard