Saturday, May 2, 2009
The Diva here with another fab guest blog for Piccante Dolce! To celebrate spring, I wanted to do cook a recipe with clean, crisp flavors. Halibut, one of my favorite fish, has just come into season. Usually, I grill or saute it, but I decided to do something different this time around. I opted to make a homemade vegetable stock with a fennel and apple base. Then, I poached the halibut in the stock and served the warmed broth with the fish. Poaching is a great way to cook fish - and also very healthy. I added whole wheat noodles and delicately poached cremini mushrooms to the recipe to give it an earthy touch. I topped the fish with fresh drizzled olive oil and julienned granny smith apple. The resulting dish felt like the very epitome of spring! Light, fresh, clean, delicious!
Domestic Diva's Fennel & Apple Poached Halibut (inspired by Charlie Trotter)
2 4oz halibut fillets (salmon also works great)
3 cups homemade vegetable stock (see ingredients and recipe below)
1/4 cup crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 granny smith apple, julienned
1 small fennel bulb, julienned with tops preserved
2 tbsp good olive oil
2 cups whole wheat spaghetti, cooked al dente
salt and pepper
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 granny smith apple, chopped
1 small fennel bulb, chopped
1 tbsp peppercorns
To make the vegetable stock, simmer all of the ingredients in filtered water for at least an hour. Strain and return to stovetop.
Bring the vegetable stock to a simmer. Add the julienned fennel and mushrooms, cooking them in the broth for 1 or 2 minutes. Remove and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Next, add the fish to the broth and poach for a few minutes until cooked through. Remove from the broth and season with salt and pepper.
Finally, season the broth with salt and pepper, keeping it warm.
To plate, place the noodles in the bottom of a wide bottomed bowl. Place some of the mushrooms and julienned fennel around the bowl. Add the fish and then ladle some of the warm poaching liquid around the bowl. Top with the julienned apple and drizzle with good olive oil. Sprinkle some fennel tops around the bowl. Enjoy!
Wine Tasting Notes: Sea Smoke 2005 Southing Pinot Noir
To go with the clean, crisp flavors in this dish, we decided to pair a nice pinor noir from Sea Smoke, one of our favorite California producers. The 2005 pinots have been drinking great these last few months, and this was no exception. This wine, made from grapes grown in the Santa Rita Hills, one of my favorite places to find great pinot noir, had great cherry fruit on the front end, good tannins and nice acidity. I recommend checking out Sea Smoke and getting on their mailing list. Suggested Retail Price: $50