My previous post about the fantastically rich and creamy Vanilla Mashed Sweet Potatoes could only be made more decadent by being paired with Macadamia Nut Crusted Halibut with Vanilla Bean Butter Sauce.
But sadly, we have to start here:
How to reduce that fishy smell?
Answer: you shouldn’t have to (but you can give it a soak in milk for a half hour or so if you really want to get rid of any fishy taste – this won’t work with fish that is already going bad though. Trust me, I tried it).
So I picked up a piece of halibut at Whole Foods. On a Sunday. Big mistake. So when was the delivery? How long has this fish been sitting out? God only knows, but I knew in my mind I shouldn’t have risked buying that fish. However, Sundays are my big cooking days and I had no choice. The halibut looked the best of the bunch (ok, the Chilean Sea Bass looked best but I thought we weren’t supposed to be eating that??). I got the fish home, unwrapped the package and took a whif. Oy… Ammonia. Should I have taken it back? Probably. Especially considering how much I spent on it (A LOT!). It wasn’t REALLY bad, but it wasn’t good either.
NOTE TO ALL: And this is something I will do from now on, no matter what – ask to smell the fish before they wrap it up. If they give you any hassle, eff them. Then they obviously aren’t selling fresh fish. I spent $18 on a piece of bad fish (that I, um, ate anyway and lived to tell about it. Oh my poor dear husband will freak out when he reads this)!
Gosh, I am drifting off topic, aren’t I? This was supposed to be a happy post about one of my favorite dishes.
Ok, back to fun things! The lovely vanilla infused butter sauce. On Sunday it was drizzled over halibut. Later in the week I tossed it with grilled shrimp. Smashing either way!
Vanilla Bean Butter Sauce
2 shallots, minced
1 Tahitian vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 cups dry white wine
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
4 ounces cold butter (8 tablespoons, or 1 cube)
salt and pepper to taste
1. Place the shallots in a saucepan with the vanilla bean, wine and vinegar. Bring to a boil and reduce mixture until 1/4 cup of liquid is left.
2. Add heavy cream and bring mixture back to a boil.
3. Add the butter, cut into pieces, and mix with a whisk until mixture thickens. Remove from heat.
4. Remove vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm till ready to use. NOTE: If you need to reheat, do so gently as it can separate.
Macadamia Nut Crusted Fish
1 10 oz fish fillet (an ocean white fish works well – I used Halibut)
1/3 cup panko
1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts (or other nuts)
pinch of salt
pepper to taste
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Combine panko, macadamia nuts and salt in small bowl. Mix in 2 tablespoons butter. Season with a few grinds of pepper.
3. Pour remaining 2 tablespoons butter into shallow baking dish. Place fish in baking dish, turning to coat with butter.
4. Spoon panko mixture atop fish, dividing evenly. Press topping gently to adhere.
5. Bake until fish is cooked through, about 20 minutes or so (depending on thickness of fish). Pop under the broiler for an additional minute or two to brown the topping. Transfer to plates and serve.
I served atop a ladle of the Vanilla Bean Butter Sauce and accompanied by a side of Vanilla Mashed Sweet Potatoes.
Ms. Pantry Raid