Sunday, April 15, 2012

Halibut with Brown Butter, Crushed Chickpeas and Carrots

I turned to fish for our dinner tonight and I love it when halibut is on sale at one of the markets I like. I had tried this recipe quite a while ago and decided I needed to refresh my memory by making it again. This is without a doubt, one of the best fish recipes I have on file. I rounded out our meal with a decadent dessert of Key Lime Pie Bars which were fabulous and I will post that recipe soon.

Some halibut fillets are simply seasoned with salt and pepper and seared in olive oil in a skillet on both sides until done. The fillets are plated on a bed of partially crushed chickpeas flavored with garlic, lemon zest and juice, parsley and green olives. The fillets were then drizzled with some browned butter that was flavored with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. The crowning touch to this dish was oven roasted carrots that were seasoned with crushed cumin seeds in addition to the usual salt and pepper. All the components to this dish work together to tantalize your taste buds. I'm glad I chose this recipe for tonight and I know it will be making more frequent appearances on my menus.

Halibut with Brown Butter, Crushed Chickpeas with Olives and Roasted Cumin Carrots (Serves 4)

For the chickpeas:
1 cup or 14-ounces dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 onion quartered
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup pitted green olives
Handful chopped fresh parsley leaves
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

For the carrots:
8 slender carrots, with tops
Olive oil, for drizzling
2 teaspoons cumin seed, lightly crushed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the halibut:
1/2 cup or 1 stick unsalted butter
1 lemon halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 (4-ounce) halibut fillets
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the chickpeas:
Soak the chickpeas in a bowl of cold water overnight. Drain and rinse, then put in a pot with the onion and bay leaf. Cover the beans just with water. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, until very tender, about 45 minutes. Drain the beans, discarding the onion and bay leaf

Heat the oil in a saute pan, and gently fry the garlic, 30 seconds. Add the chickpeas, salt and pepper to taste and heat through. Crush a bit here and there with a potato masher, leaving some chickpeas whole. Remove from the heat and stir in the olives, parsley, and lemon zest. Add lemon juice, to taste. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, and serve as a base for the fish.

For the carrots:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Slice the carrots lengthwise, leaving a bit of green top attached for looks. Toss on a baking sheet with the olive oil, crushed cumin seed, and salt and pepper to taste. Roast until tender and golden edged, about 30 minutes, depending on their size. They should be slightly crinkly and golden-edged.

For the halibut:
Melt the butter in a saucepan, and cook until lightly brown and foaming. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and set aside.

Heat the oil in a frying pan. season the fish with salt and pepper on both sides, place the fish in the hot pan, and fry 4 minutes. Flip and cover to finish 4 to 6 minutes. Serve the fish with some brown butter drizzled over.

For plating:
Spoon a small pile of the crushed chickpeas and olives on the plate. Top with the fish and drizzle with the brown butter. Top with the roasted carrots.

Adapted from Laura Calder's French Food at Home

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