Pan seared halibut with lemon dill sauce is a simple dish that can be prepared with a few flavorful ingredients. This fish has a mild flavor which allows it to be paired with a wide variety of herbs, seasoning and sauces. So, for today's recipe, I decided to use a classic, rich and aromatic sauce prepared with shallots, wine and butter and infused with lemon and dill. Serve the halibut fish fillets over a bed of blanched asparagus and drizzle with warm sauce. This dish can be easily served as weeknight dinner or as an entrée for an elegant dinner party.
Halibut is a firm, lean, white fish that has a unique and fresh taste. When seared, it develops a beautiful golden crust while the ivory flesh remains moist and tender. It's a very good source of high quality protein. Halibut is rich in various nutrients such as Vitamin B12, B6, niacin, selenium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous and omega-3 fatty acids. Thus, it lowers the risk of cardiovascular disorders, prevents arthritis and promotes brain health. Try to incorporate this healthy fish in your diet so you can take full advantage of its nutritional benefits.
The lemon dill sauce is prepared using the buerre blanc technique in which white wine is reduced and concentrated and then transformed into a luscious sauce by gradually incorporating pieces of butter until a beautiful emulsion develops. It has a smooth texture, a little bit thicker than heavy cream. Adding fresh herbs and lemons makes the sauce memorable and balances the richness of the butter.
Yield: 2 servings Time: 30 minutes
- 2 halibut fillets
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 200 g (1/2 pound) asparagus, trimmed and peeled
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 small shallot (1/3 cup), minced
- 120 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 1 cm (1/2-inch) cubes, cold
- 3 tablespoons dill, chopped
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Remove the fish from the refrigerator and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and place asparagus into the boiling water and cook until tender, for 4 minutes. Drain and immediately transfer it to a ice-cold water bath until cool. Drain.
- In a small saucepan, heat the wine and shallots, over medium heat until reduced to 2 tablespoon, for 10-15 minutes.
- Turn of the heat and gradually incorporate the each butter cube, whisking until melted and the sauce is creamy.
- Add the chopped dill, lemon zest and lemon juice and whisk to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil. Once hot, add the fillets and cook, undisturbed until the edges begin to turn opaque, for about 3 minutes. Using a flat spatula, carefully flip the fillets and cook until firm, for 3 to 5 minutes more.
- Transfer the fish to a plate covered with paper towels to remove the excess oil.
- Reheat the sauce if needed.
- Place half of the blanched asparagus on each plate. Add the fish fillets and drizzle each one with 1/4 cup of sauce. Serve immediately.
Tips and Tricks:
- When preparing the lemon dill sauce, the most important thing to remember is not to overheat it. Above 57°C (136°F) the sauce separates and it cannot be used.
- The key to keeping the sauce emulsified is to always use cold butter and whisk a little bit at the time.