Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Halibut with Pecan-Chile Sauce

halibut pecan chili sauce recipe

If you have lived in Los Angeles for a certain amount of time, you certainly remember the Authentic Cafe.  It was not far from the studio I was working at and it was a favorite lunch destination. Amazing dishes with Mexican and South American influences were served. Sadly, this institution shut its doors but we are gladly left with this glorious cookbook.


The recipe I made here features a chipotle - nut sauce, which is a nod to the sauces found in the Oaxaca region of Mexico. I like to serve it with halibut and quinoa, but it works equally with other mild, firm white fish or chicken, alternatively paired with other grains or mashed cauliflower. Or as a condiment for homemade soft tacos.

Halibut with Pecan-Chile Sauce

4 halibut fillets, 5 ounces each
2 T olive oil
1/4 c minced onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 T tomato sauce
4 c vegetable broth
2 c shelled pecans
1.5 T pureed chipotle peppers and adobo sauce (this is not an overtly spicy recipe, so add more if you like heat)
1 t fresh ground pepper
1/2 t kosher salt

Prepare the pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place nuts on baking sheet and bake, stirring once, until they give off an aroma, about 10 minutes.  Cool slightly and then pulse in a food processor or grinder until ground. Do not over-process as the nuts can become pasty.

Prepare the fish, en papillote
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place 4 large squares of parchment paper on 1 large shallow baking dish or 2 medium sized baking dishes. Place each fillet in the center of each piece of paper and season lightly with fresh black pepper. Bring the ends of the parchment paper lengthwise together over the fish forming a "teepee". Roll away and down and secure with staples. Roll each open end of parchment paper together toward the center and secure with staples, forming an airtight seal. Bake the fish until just cooked through, about 15 - 20 minutes.
While the fish is cooking, prepare the sauce
In a saucepan, heat 2T olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the stock, pecans, chili and black pepper. Simmer low, uncovered until the sauce reduces to a thick consistency, 15-20 minutes. Taste the sauce and add salt if necessary.
To serve, remove fish from parchment paper, place one fillet on each plate and add a few spoonfuls of the sauce.
You will have sauce leftover.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Serves 4.

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Source:  The Authentic Cafe

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