Friday, October 26, 2012

Halibut with Lemon Sauce and Borscht

I went to the store a bit late looking for fish or pork.  I found two pieces of Halibut packaged yesterday and marked down to less than half price to clear. We're having Halibut! Lemons were on for .99 so a bought a couple extra and I already had cauliflower. Potatoes, fish and cauliflower is going to make a pretty bleak looking meal.  Cauliflower on beat greens and borscht on the side? Sounds good, I bought some beets and sour cream.

Using the recipe in Joy of Cooking as a model, I started the soup first.  I peeled and diced a small onion, a carrot and 3 beets.  I sweated the onion and carrot first then added the beets and covered the lot with beef stock. Add a bay leaf and simmer for 20 minutes then add 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon vinegar, a cup of shredded cabbage and salt to taste. Simmer 15 minutes more then serve with a dollop of sour cream on top.

I put potatoes on to cook for mashed and got the cauliflower prepped and in the steamer.  I wanted a light seasoning for the fish so I put a tsp of onion powder, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp turmeric (optional) and 1 tsp salt in the mortar and broke all the lumps up.  I seasoned both sides of the fish and put it in a hot frying pan.  I watch the color of the meat change from translucent to white as it cooks.  When it is about half way up I turn the fish over.  The second side takes less time to cook.

The lemon sauce was straight forward.  A tablespoon of flour and one or two of oil.  Make a slurry and cook off the flour taste.  Remove the pan from heat and whisk in chicken stock till it is a thin sauce.  Add the juice of half a lemon, a pinch of salt and put the sauce pan back on the stove.  Add more stock as the sauce cooks and thickens.

The beet greens I decided to use the stems and leaves so I just chopped up the lot and put it in the steamer. The stems didn't cook through and were bitter so next time I'll discard them. When they were steamed I drained them and put them in the pot with a little butter, salt and extra virgin olive oil.

I plated the greens then the cauliflower on top and the fish and potatoes on the side. Lemon sauce over the fish and cauliflower. Fern thought the fish was delicious, I thought it was good but not quite delicious. It might have been better without the turmeric. For vegetables I would use beet greens and carrots next time. The borscht was very good but a bit too much food.

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