Halibut with Grapefruit Beurre Blanc Sauce

With mushroom and endive.

From epicurious.com, the web site for Gourmet and Bon Appetit. First published February 2002 in Gourmet magazine.

The whole trick is to do the sauce carefully. I did not bother putting in the butter one tablespoon at a time, but rather, one chunk at a time. I used less butter than they called for. I did not put the finished sauce into a bowl over hot water to keep it warm, but simply left it in the saucepan on low. I did reduce the sauce, before adding butter, but not down to one tablespoon. It all depends how "French" you want to be :-)

I used ONE large grapefruit. I used the juice from one half, and then cut up the other half into small pieces. I think that is plenty. I bought about .8 pounds of halibut for 3 people, which was also plenty. It came in one piece and I cut it into 3 pieces for easy sauteing.

I did not bother using any grapefruit zest. You can safely leave that out.

I did not saute mushrooms and use them for this recipe. You can safely substitute your favorite veggies if you don't like, or can't find, the mushrooms or endive.

Be sure not to overcook the halibut - 5 minutes total is right.

Active time: 1 1/4 hr Start to finish: 1 1/4 hr

Serves 4.

*For beurre blanc*

*For fish and vegetables*

*Make beurre blanc: *

  1. Finely grate 1 teaspoon zest from a grapefruit. Squeeze 1/2 cup juice from a white grapefruit.
  2. Cut peel, including all white pith, from remaining fruit with a sharp paring knife and cut segments free from membranes. Chop enough grapefruit segments (use all colors) to measure 1/2 cup. Reserve 1 cup of remaining whole segments.
  3. Boil juice, wine, shallot, and vinegar in a small heavy saucepan until reduced to about 1 tablespoon. Reduce heat to low and whisk in butter 1 piece at a time, lifting pan from heat occasionally to cool sauce and adding each new piece of butter before previous one has melted completely (sauce must not get hot enough to separate).
  4. Stir in chopped grapefruit and season with salt and pepper. Keep beurre blanc warm in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of hot water.

*Cook fish and vegetables: *

  1. Preheat oven to 250∞F. Pat halibut dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sautÈ fish, in batches if necessary, turning over once, until golden brown and just cooked through, about 5 minutes total. Transfer fish to a shallow baking pan and keep warm in oven.
  2. Wipe skillet clean and heat remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sautÈ mushrooms with salt and pepper to taste, stirring, until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add endives and saute, stirring, until leaves are slightly wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in reserved whole grapefruit segments and remove from heat.
  3. Serve fish over mushrooms, topped with beurre blanc and zest.

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Marianne Mueller
Last modified: December 23, 2005