Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pan Seared Halibut with Huckleberry Reduction and Hazelnut Brown Butter Sauce

Pan Seared Halibut with Huckleberry Reduction and Hazelnut Brown Butter Sauce
As shared from the kitchen of Once Upon a Plate by Mari

With fresh halibut season coming to a close (the season runs from March through November), we wanted to enjoy it one more time until it becomes available again next March.

I happened to have some fresh, slightly tart huckleberries on hand, and I always keep Oregon Hazelnuts in the freezer, so I devised this recipe (actually a non-recipe), which we thoroughly enjoyed.

My apologies in advance... for those who know me or follow my blog, you know as many times as not, I'll just line up my ingredients and begin cooking without a recipe, just an idea in my head. That TRULY is the pleasure of cooking for me ~ the creative aspect of using what I have on hand, and not being tied to a recipe. 

That is the case with this dish... I can describe how I made it, but there are no exact measurements ~ have fun and prepare it to taste, and in the proportions to fit your family.Feel free to substitute another kind of berry, or other nuts for the Hazelnuts.

Here is how I arrived at this dish ( a serving for two):

Step 1. Make the Huckleberry -or other berry- reduction.
A generous 1/4 cup of fresh huckleberries with a couple of tablespoons of water and a little agave syrup (or sugar), to ease some the the tartness of the berries ~ not to make the sauce sweet. Bring ingredients to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low to reduce amount by nearly half. Stir occasionally. Keep warm.

Step 2. Rinse halibut, blot excess moisture off ~ salt and pepper, and dust with all-purpose flour. Tap off excess flour. Heat equal amounts of oil and butter in a frying pan over medium - high heat until melted and almost sizzling. Add halibut to the pan (don't crowd), allow to cook on one side for a few minutes (about 3 to 5 minutes, depending upon the thickness of fish.) Turn once and cook other side until fish is just firm when you press down upon it. (Again about 3 to 5 minutes.) Remove fish to warm serving plates or a platter. Cover loosely with foil and keep warm.

Step 3. Add another tablespoon or two of butter to the same pan, allowing it to melt, stirring to scrape up any bits from interior bottom of pan. Add chopped hazelnuts (or walnuts, almonds, pecans, etc.)and allow to cook, stirring frequently to avoid scorching either the nuts or the butter. When butter is golden in color but not burned, remove pan from heat and keep warm.

Step 4. Drizzle the warm berry reduction on warm plates, arrange seared halibut on top. Spoon the warm hazelnut brown butter over all, garnish with additional fresh berries, and serve right away.

I hope you enjoy!

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