Thursday, February 24, 2011

Macadamia Crusted Halibut, Coconut rice and Braised Endive

Apparently it has become tradition on the days I have Dr. appointments to eat lunch at Old School Bagel Cafe (yes, I had another fabulous cookies and cream cookie today) and then wander aimlessly around Whole Foods trying to find new foods to experiment with. What can I say, we love food. Even though Whole Foods tends to be more expensive for groceries, it is still cheaper than eating out.  

So, for tonight's experiment, I made Macadamia Crusted Halibut, Coconut rice and Braised Endive.  

Well, technically, Kent made the endive.   Endive is a vegetable that belongs to the daisy family and is normally served raw in salads and tends to have a bitter flavor.  However, with this recipe, the endive almost had the consistency of pasta and was not bitter at all.  

Kent started the braised endive first, it took the longest to cook.  The recipe is as follows:
2Tbsp. butter
10 to 12Belgian endives
1Tbsp. lemon juice
¼tsp. salt
cup water
Melt butter over medium low heat in a large, heavy frying pan, saute pan, or pot with a tight fitting lid.
Meanwhile, trim and discard any browned bit son the ends of the endives. When butter is melted, lay endives in a single layer in the pan. Sprinkle with lemon juice and salt. Pour water down along the side of the pan. Cover and reduce heat to low. Let cook, undisturbed, until endives are very tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
When endives are very tender, set lid ajar and cook until endives start to brown. Turn endives over and cook until they are browned on both sides.
I started the Coconut Rice next.  I could not find a recipe I wanted, so I combined a few...  
1can coconut milk (13.5 oz)
½C water
1⅓cup rice
2Tbsp Sugar
1Tbsp. butter
sprinkle of salt

Combine water, butter, coconut milk and a sprinkle of salt in medium sauce pan. Let the mixture come to a boil, stir in rice, let boil for 1 minute (continue stirring). Turn burner to low, put lid on the pan and let cook for 15 minutes. (During this time, I had already began cooking the fish) Turn off burner, take off lid and let stand at least 5 minutes before fluffing.
This is when I added the sugar, you may leave it out if you would like, however, the sugar really brings out the coconut flavor. The rice was still hot enough to dissolve the sugar.
When Kent finished his endive dish, I had him cut up the mango.  I love mango and when I saw it at the store calling to me (Kent's name was on the label), I took it as a sign. 

If you have never cut up a mango before, it can be somewhat time consuming, I have a mango corer, but it doesn't always work with the different sizes of the mangoes.  So, I peel it using a vegetable peeler, then cut around the pit/seed.  

The large piece on the bottom left of the picture is the pit/seed, it is very hard.  

Here is the mango chopped into smaller pieces.

The recipe for the Halibut and sauce is as follows:


½mango - peeled, seeded and diced
½cup heavy cream
1teaspoon lemon juice

½cup chopped macadamia nuts
¼cup seasoned bread crumbs (I did not have any, so I used pretzels)
1teaspoon olive oil
½teaspoon black pepper
1pinch red pepper flakes
egg white of 1 egg

1pound fresh Halibut (portioned)
salt and ground black pepper to taste
2cloves minced garlic
1tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a food processor (I used a small blender), combine macadamia nuts, bread crumbs (Pretzels), 1 teaspoon olive oil, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Process until macadamia nuts and bread crumbs are smooth (I like crunch, so I left them a little bit bigger). 
Pat fish dry with a paper towel.  Season fish with salt and black pepper.

 Using a brush, spread a thin layer of the egg whites on top of the fish and then sprinkle over the chopped macadamia nut mixture. You kind of have to press it into the fish.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and crushed garlic in a large skillet over medium heat. Sear Halibut, macadamia side down, cook 3-4 minutes (if your oil is popping and going crazy, turn your heat down a bit), then turn over and sear the other side for 3 minutes. I use my handy fish spatula, that “Santa” brought me for Christmas.

Once the fish is seared, place fish in a baking dish and cook in the oven for another 10-12 minutes.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine mango, cream, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until thickened. This sauce is a little tart, but it compliments the sweet coconut rice very well.
I put the sauce into the blender to make it smooth, I think you taste more mango flavor if you blend it. However, you can leave it as is.  Now, it is not exactly the most eye-appealing dish (I need more color on the plate), but it was pretty good!

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