Serving Size: 4-6
Poaching fish is quite possibly the easiest way to get the most tender and flavorful fish you can with the least amount of effort. This recipe featuring a wine-lemon broth flavored with shallots, leeks, and fresh herbs imparts delicious flavor paired with spring asparagus.
2 pounds halibut, skin on
5 T butter, divided
4 T olive oil, divided
3 T water
2 T fresh parsley, finely diced
1 pound asparagus
1 large shallot
1/4 C pine nuts
1 C white wine, divided
Trim the fish into four fillets (if not already portioned). Generously sprinkle salt, pepper and a bit of smoked paprika on white parts of the fillet. Heat a large fry pan on medium-high heat and, when hot, add 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Use a fish spatula to mix the two fats together, and then place the halibut meat side down into the pan. Gently press the halibut fillets with the spatula to get an even sear on the surface area of each fillet. Cook the halibut, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Then, gently release each fillet from the pan and flip so each fillet is skin-side down. Add another tablespoon of butter into the pan, 3 tablespoons water, 2 tablespoons diced parsley, and 1/2 cup of white wine. Reduce heat to medium, cover and allow the halibut to cook for 8-10 minutes on medium heat, or until desired doneness. Discard the poaching liquid.
While the halibut is cooking, make the asparagus mixture. Peel and clean the shallot and leek and thinly slice. Heat another large fry pan on medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Use a spatula to mix the fats together, add the sliced shallot, leek and pine nuts and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes (or until shallots are softened and pine nuts are toasted). Remove the shallot sauté from the pan. Add another tablespoon of olive oil and lay the asparagus into the pan. Turn each stalk through the oil to coat and then cook asparagus, undisturbed, for 2-3 minutes, or until charring starts to occur. Add a bit more oil, turn the stalks, and then cover the pan and allow to cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until asparagus is al dente. Remove the asparagus from the pan and immediately add 1/2 of white wine, the juice of a lemon,1 tablespoon of butter, and a bit of salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a simmer and allow the mixture to cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spatula to deglaze the pan. Return the shallot mixture and the asparagus into the sauce and evenly coat the vegetables with the sauce.
Evenly distribute the asparagus stalks and the shallot mixture onto each plate with sauce, and then lay a cooked halibut fillet to the side. Spoon a bit of the deglazing sauce over each fillet. Serve with pan-fried lemon rounds and fresh dill fronds.