We had just arrived in Old Quebec, many years ago, for our American Thanksgiving/ gustatorial anniversary holiday. As we were changing into our dinner clothes, a strong tremor hit the city and power was lost everywhere. Fortunately, down the street at the romantic Restaurant St. Amour, their kitchen was run by gas, not electricity, and the dining room was made even more romantic by candlelight! That memorable night my memorable entree was a halibut with a honey beurre blanc. This is my go at re-creating it! —LE BEC FIN
EVOO or Unsalted Butter
4 ounces chanterelles , cleaned with a toothbrush and halved or quartered, with stem
Kosher salt and Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) or 2 unsalted butter pats
2 4-6 ounce filets halibut, red snapper,or similar sweet white fish filets, skin on
1/2 Cup dry white wine
1 medium Shallot (Peeled, minced)
2 1/4 teaspoons champagne vinegar or white vinegar
4 ounces Unsalted Butter , cubed
pinch each of kosher salt and black pepper
1-2 Tablespoons mild honey
In This Recipe
1. Remove any errant pin bones from fish. Sprinkle with salt. Heat 2 Tablespoons EVOO or butter til hot and sautee chanterelles with a little salt and pepper, 5 minutes til softened. Move chanterelles to the outer edge of the pan; add 1-2 Tablespoons oil or butter, the filets , fish side down, about 4 minutes. Turn over filets onto skin side and turn off heat.(If you have a flame tamer, place it under fish pan, on lowest heat.) Finish making beurre blanc.
2. While the chanterelles are cooking, begin the Honey Beurre Blanc: Add wine, shallots, and vinegar to small saucepan . Simmer til liquids have cooked down and shallots are just wet. (Return fish skillet to medium high heat to finish cooking for 3-5 minutes while you finish the beurre blanc.) With saucepan over lowest heat, add one chunk of butter at a time to the shallots, whisking in quickly to blend, until the sauce is smooth and emulsified.(You may not need all the butter.) Whisk in 1 Tablespoon of honey and pinch of kosher salt. Taste and add 2nd Tablespoon of honey if needed. Plate fish , skin side down, and add a wide ribbon of beurre blanc over it. Sprinkle the chanterelles around and on the fish.
3. ** If done properly, then the butter will create a thick emulsion sauce. If the butter is added too quickly ,the sauce will drop in temperature and become too thick and cold. If the heat is too high, then the sauce will break and the fat will separate from the solids, making an oily and thin liquid. If done right, the butter will create a thick, smooth sauce.
I am always on the lookout for innovative recipes, which is why I am just ga-ga over my recently- discovered Food52 with its amazingly innovative and talented contributors. My particular eating passions are Japanese, Indian, Mexican; with Italian and French following close behind. Turkish/Arabic/Mediterranean cuisines are my latest culinary fascination. My desert island ABCs are actually 4 Cs: citrus, cumin, cilantro, and cardamom.
I am also finally indulging in learning about food history; it gives me no end of delight to learn how and when globe artichokes came to the U.S., and how and when Jerusalem artichokes went from North America to Europe. And that the Americas enabled other cuisines to become glorious. I mean where would those countries be without: Corn, Tomatoes, Chiles,Peanuts, Dried Beans, Pecans, Jerusalem Artichokes??!
While I am an omnivore, I am, perhaps more than anything, fascinated by the the world of carbohydrates, particularly the innovative diversity of uses for beans, lentils and grains in South Indian and other cuisines.
Baking gives me much pleasure, and of all the things I wish would change in American food, it is that we would develop an appreciation for sweet foods that are not cloyingly sweet, and that contain more multigrains. (Wouldn't it be fantastic to have a country of great bakeries instead of the drek that we have in the U.S.?!)
I am so excited by the level of sophistication that I see on Food52 and hope to contribute recipes that will inspire you like yours do me.
I would like to ask a favor of all who do try a recipe of mine > Would you plse write me and tell me truthfully how it worked for you and/or how you think it would be better? I know many times we feel that we don't want to hurt someone's feelings, but. i really do want your honest feedback because it can only help me improve the recipe.Thanks so much.