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Dining Tip: Seared Halibut With Porcini Sauce

An Italian take on fish plays it up with indulgent mushroom cream sauce and fresh fava beans

Lizzie Munro
Posted: April 28, 2014

Note: This recipe originally appeared in the April 30, 2014 issue of Wine Spectator, "A Taste of Italy."

Halibut with Porcini Crema, Morels and Fava Beans

• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
• 1/2 pound porcini mushrooms, cut into 1-inch pieces
• 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
• 1/2 medium white onion, sliced
• 1 clove garlic, sliced
• 1 cup Madeira
• 1 fresh bay leaf
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1 medium shallot, minced
• 1 sprig fresh thyme, finely chopped
• 32 small fresh morel mushrooms (about 1/2 pound), rinsed and dried
• 7 ounces fresh fava beans, removed from their pods, blanched, shocked and peeled
• 4 8-ounce halibut fillets

1. In a wide sauté pan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over high heat until it just starts to smoke. Add the porcini in a single layer, working in batches if necessary, until the mushrooms are nicely roasted. Remove them and drain excess oil.

2. In a wide saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat until it foams. Add the onion and garlic, and sweat them until soft and translucent. Deglaze the pan with Madeira and reduce by one-third. Add the bay leaf and the roasted mushrooms and stir to combine.

3. Heat the heavy cream in another saucepan until warm, and add it to the mushrooms. Simmer until the flavors are blended and the cream is reduced by half. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a wide sauté pan, and add the shallots and thyme. Cook until the shallots are softened and translucent. Add the morel mushrooms and toss to coat with the shallots. Cook until the morels are slightly wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Toss in the fava beans and warm through.

5. Season the fish on all sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a grill or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. When the grill is hot, brush with oil, and place the fish presentation-side down. Cook, turning once, 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until the fillets are cooked through.

6. Spoon the warmed porcini crema among 4 plates, then top with a halibut fillet. Spoon the morels and fava beans over the fish. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and serve. Serves 4.


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