Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Grilled Halibut with Fennel Puree

During our recent trip to Seattle Brady and I ate at the excellent restaurant Tilth. Chef Maria Hines, a winner of the prestigious James Beard Award, menu focuses on organic sustainable foods. We had the Chefs Tasting Menu and everything that we ate was absolutely delicious.  One of my favorite dishes was grilled halibut served over a fennel puree. I have been wanting to recreate this dish ever since we had it back in September, we finally made the dish on Sunday night and it turned out great!

If you haven't checked out the William-Sonoma site they have a huge collection of recipes. I recently came across a halibut dish on their website and thought that it would be similar to what we had at Tilth. The William-Sonoma recipe included a recipe for fennel puree but I already had a Giada DeLaurentis recipe that  I had been meaning to try.  I mixed the two recipes and while it wasn't quite the same caliber as Maria Hines dish it was definitely a success.

Grilled Halibut with Fennel Puree
** Adapted from Williams-Sonoma and Food Network
print recipe

Serves 2
Prep/Cook Time: 30 minutes

Grilled Halibut
2 skinless halibut fillets, each about 6 oz. and 1 inch thick
1 T. olive oil
1 T. chopped fresh chervil, plus more for garnish (or parsley if you can't find chervil)
1 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed
Grated zest of 1/2 orange
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Fennel Puree
2 large fennel bulbs
1 medium potato
2 garlic cloves
2 cups chicken broth
1 cups milk
2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese (you could substitute light cream cheese)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Brush the halibut fillets with the olive oil. In a small bowl, stir together the chervil, fennel seeds, orange zest, salt and pepper. Sprinkle the mixture over the halibut fillets, distributing it evenly so that all sides are seasoned. Set aside while you prepare the fennel puree.

Trim the fennel bulbs of their stalks and bottom root. Halve the fennel and slice each half into 1/4-inch thick slices. Peel the potato, halve, and thinly slice. Place the fennel, potatoes, garlic, chicken broth, and milk in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer and continue cooking until the fennel and potatoes are soft, about 20 to 30 minutes.

When the fennel is about cooked heat a grill pan and lightly coat with olive oil. Grill the halibut fillets, turning once, until opaque throughout, about 4 minutes per side.

Once fennel is soft, drain the liquid. Place the fennel mixture in a food processor or use an immersion blender and puree.  Add the mascarpone cheese, salt, and pepper. Mix to combine. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish the fish with chervil and serve immediately with the fennel puree alongside.

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