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Almond-Crusted Halibut

Prep time: 20 minutes.
Cook time: 25 minutes.
Serves 6 guests.

  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter - chilled, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 (6 ounce) fillets halibut
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 2/3 cup minced blanched almonds
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Step One: Make beurre blanc: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine wine, vinegar, shallots, thyme and bay leaf. Boil until liquid has evaporated. Stir in cream, and boil until liquid is reduced by half; decrease heat to low. Whisk in butter, 1 piece at a time, adding each new piece before previous one has melted completely. Do not allow sauce to simmer, or it may separate.

Step Two: Strain sauce through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl. Stir in chives, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Keep warm by setting bowl in a larger container of hot water.

Step Three: Preheat oven on broiler setting. Pat fillets dry, and season with salt and pepper.

Step Four: Heat oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute halibut fillets for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned, and just cooked through. Transfer to a baking sheet, and cool 5 minutes. In a small bowl, stir together bread crumbs, almonds and 1 tablespoon melted butter. Brush tops of fillets with egg, and spread with almond mixture.

Step Five: Broil fillets 1 to 2 minutes, or until browned (watch closely - every broiler has its own personality!). Place fillets on individual plates, and spoon beurre blanc around it.

Pairs well with Livingston Cellars Chardonnay.

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