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Almond-Crusted Halibut Crystal Symphony



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Fishing Boats Docked at a Harbor, Provincetown, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA
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Almond-Crusted Halibut
Crystal Symphony

Chef Toni Neumeister
Gourmet August 1995

For beurre blanc:
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons finely
chopped shallot
1 thyme sprig
1 bay leaf
1/3 cup crème fraîche
1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) cold
unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Fresh lemon juice to taste

Six 6-ounce halibut fillets (each about
3/4 to 1 inch thick)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup fine fresh breadcrumbs
2/3 cup finely chopped blanched almonds
1 large egg, beaten lightly

Make beurre blanc: In a small heavy saucepan boil wine, vinegar, shallot, thyme, bay leaf and pepper to taste until liquid is evaporated. Add crème fraîche and boil until reduced by half. Reduce heat to low and whisk in butter, 1 piece at a time, lifting pan off heat occasionally to cool mixture
and adding each new piece before previous one has melted completely.
(Do not allow sauce to simmer; it should not get hot enough to separate.) Strain sauce through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl and add chives,
lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Keep beurre blanc warm by
setting bowl in a larger pan of very warm water.
Preheat broiler. Pat halibut fillets dry and season with salt and pepper. In
a large non-stick skillet heat oil and 1 tablespoon butter over moderately
high heat until foam subsides and sauté fillets in 2 batches 2 to 3 minutes
on each side, or until golden and just cooked through. Transfer fillets as
cooked with a slotted spatula to a baking sheet and cool 5 minutes. In a
small bowl with a fork stir together breadcrumbs, almonds and remaining
tablespoon butter. Brush tops of fillets with egg and spread with almond
mixture. Broil fillets about 3 inches from heat 1 to 2 minutes, or until
browned. Arrange a fillet on each of 6 plates and spoon beurre blanc
around it. Serves 6.

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