Pan Fried Halibut in Vanilla Spiced Butter with Blistered Beans

by Sarah Main Course, RecipesComments: 11

pan fried halibut

Back by popular demand. Chef Emily Duff of New York City shares another one of her amazing recipes.

This time, pan fried halibut is on the menu that is sure to please and entice your entire family.Fish is one of the easiest meats to cook, yet I find that some folks are afraid to take the plunge in their own kitchens even when they would gladly order it in a restaurant and savor every single bite!

Perhaps this pan fried halibut recipe from Chef Emily will change that if you are a restaurant only fish lover!

Pan Fried Halibut with Blistered Beans

Bathing halibut in butter requires a low, slow flame and constant attention. The final product is a tasty piece of heaven that is well worth the effort:  perfect, silky, buttery, fragrant fish to delight the senses.

This pan fried halibut recipe is gratifying in that the spice blend works with the butter to enhance the flavor profile of the fish even further, imparting a perfume that allows you to “taste” the dish before you even have it in your mouth. The combination of the butter and fresh vanilla is love at first bite. The lemon and coriander finish with a zing to bring it all together.

I like Alaskan halibut for its clean flavor and “meatiness” but it can be pricey so feel free to substitute other fish that would better suit your budget such as cod, monk, scrod, flounder, striped bass, grouper, snapper, salmon, etc.

Note:  If you are using halibut with the skin on, please make sure you score the skin and press the fillet, skin side down, when you put it in the pan to prevent the fillet from curling up.

Enjoy with an unwooded chardonnay to bring out the butter and vanilla or a reliable new zealand sauvignon blanc to enhance the lemon and coriander.  Either way, the key word is enjoy!

To Prepare the Spice Blend
(this can be done well ahead of time and stored as it is a dried blend)
– toast 2 TBS of coriander seeds in a pan to bloom flavor and then grind.
– zest 2 washed lemons with a microplane zester (I like this one).
– scrape the pods from 2 tahitian vanilla beans (where to find).
– combine all ingredients with fingers and leave out on paper towel to air dry all day.

Pan Fried Halibut
bring halibut to room temp and season liberally with sea salt & cracked white pepper.
– on a low to medium flame, warm a saute pan.
– add 4 TBS. butter to pan and melt.
– when butter stops foaming, add fish (scored skin side down and press if it has skin) to pan.
– after a few minutes, tilt pan toward you to collect butter and, using a large spoon, bathe the fish with the butter.
– continue bathing till fish turns translucent.
– add 3 TBS butter to pan and a 2 tsp. of spice blend and continue bathing fish till fish is cooked through.
– remove fish and continue to brown the butter to achieve a nutty flavor.
– spoon butter over pan fried halibut and serve with blistered green beans.

To Prepare the Beans
– heat a saute pan over moderate to high heat
– add fat to pan (butter, olive oil, coconut oil, lard, etc)
– add washed and cut beans and allow to cook until them “jump.” they will jump because they blister.
– saute beans till they are blistered on all sides, add sea salt and cracked pepper and serve.

Spice/Herb Blend Variations for Pan Fried Halibut
coriander seed, ginger and turmeric
fennel seed, orange zest and fresh tarragon leaves
cardamom, garam masala & dill

Key to Success
low & slow.

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