Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Halibut Poached in Olive Oil with Broccoli Rabe Pesto

This was my first cooking attempt since being back from China.  It took me almost two weeks before my energy level started to return to normal, which consisted of Mike handling dinner every night.  He looked at me lovingly this past Sunday when I offered to "make something special."

A few notes on fish:
I find that Sunday is the worst time to make fish, because (at least for our super markets) fish arrives on Monday.  So Sunday is typically understocked.  For anything special we go to a local fish market: Captain Kidd's.

This recipe in particular -  from Giada De Laurentiis - is for swordfish.  We went to four stores, including Captain Kidd's and all had sold out of swordfish, so instead I chose halibut (according to Giada this cooking method works for just about any mild white fish).

Poaching in oil was a little extra work and more clean up then I expected, but well worth it!

Broccoli Rabe Pesto Ingredients:
8 ounce broccoli rabe (about 1/2 bunch), thick stems removed
2 garlic cloves
1 cup toasted walnuts (see toasting note below(
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Olive Oil-Poached Swordfish Ingredients:
4 cups olive oil
2 cups vegetable oil
4 (6-ounce) skinless swordfish steaks, each 1" thick
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions to Make the Pesto:
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add the broccoli rabe and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.  Transfer the cooked broccoli rabe to a large bowl of ice water and let cool, about 3 minutes.  Shake off the excess water and transfer to a food processor.  Add the garlic, walnuts, honey, salt and pepper and process until very smooth.  With the machine running, gradually pour in the extra-virgin olive oil.  Transfer pesto to a small bowl and stir in the Parmesan.  Cover and set aside.

I over-blended the Pesto, so the consistancy was more fluffy and creamy then a true Pesto texture.

Directions to Poach the Fish:
Combine the olive oil and vegetable oil in a Dutch oven or large, deep saucepan big enough to hold the fish in a single layer.  Using a deep-fry thermometer, heat the oil to 200 degrees F over medium-low heat.  Reduce the heat to low to sustain the 200 degrees F temperature.  Season teh fish with salt and pepper.  Genlty place the fish in the oli, making sure it is submerged.  Poach the fish until just cooked through, 6 to 7 minutes.

Place about 1/2 cup of broccoli rabe pesto on each serving plate and gently smooth it out to make a bed for the fish.  Using a slotted fish spatula, gently transfer th cooked fish from the poaching oil to the serving plate, placing the fish on top of the bed of pesto.  Serve immediately.

To toast the nuts, heat them in a small, dry heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat ntil they ar fragrant and lightly toasted, 8 to 10 minutes.  Spread the nuts on a baking sheet to cool completely before using.

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