Friday, September 25, 2009

Halibut in Corn Crêpes with Tomato Coulis

Some of our favorite cookbooks are ones we have purchased when traveling, particularly in the Napa valley, which grows nearly as many great chefs as it does grapes!

Savoring the Wine Country is a compilation of recipes from some of the best (and most famous) restaurants in the region. The recipes are divine and could fairly be called haute cuisine. Some recipes are challenging, but this one is relatively easy and a delicious dish for a light dinner or a luncheon. The book is out of print, but you can buy used versions that are in good condition. If you have a foody friend who has everything, this book would make a perfect gift.

I noticed lemon cucumbers in the grocery store and mentioned them to Jeff who suggested this recipe, which we hadn’t made in several years. As fate would have it though when I went back to the store to shop, the lemon cucumbers were gone. Lemon cucumbers are small and round with a light yellow skin and have an incredibly short season, about one week, so the moral of this story is, if you see them, buy them. Fortunately, the option to use a cucumber with lemon zest works just fine. Don’t be intimidated by the crêpes they're no harder to make than pancakes.

Halibut in Corn Crêpes with Tomato Coulis
Serves 4
2 ears corn, husked
1 cup less 2 tbls. flour
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. white pepper
5 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup cream
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

3 cups water
1 cup white wine
2 bay leaves
¾ lb. halibut
2 radishes, diced
1 lemon cucumber, diced (or one quarter of a peeled, diced cucumber plus 1 tsp. lemon zest)
1 shallot, diced
2 sprigs thyme, chopped
3 tbls. mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste

Tomato Coulis
1 tbls unsalted butter
½ small yellow onion, diced
1 small serrano chile, diced
3 ripe tomatoes, quartered
Salt and white pepper to taste
Pinch of sugar

Grill the corn until kernels are golden brown on all sides. Cut the kernels off the cob and set aside. (Tip: Cut the kernels off in a large bowl, that way they don’t go flying onto the floor.)

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, salt and pepper. Make a well in the flour, add the eggs, whisk in the cream and then the butter. Add 1 cup of the corn, reserving the rest for the garnish. Set the batter aside for 30 minutes.

To cook the crêpes, pour /14 cup batter into a lightly buttered 8-inch nonstick skillet. Cook only one side and then stack the crêpes on a plate, separated by sheets of wax paper.

In a 12-inch skillet over a medium-high heat, bring the water, wine and bay leaves to a near boil and poach the halibut fillet until the fish is opaque, approximately 7 minutes. Remove the halibut from the pan and set aside to cool. When it is cool, flake the halibut into a bowl and toss with the radishes, cucumber, shallot, thyme and mayonnaise; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Tomato Coulis
Melt the butter in a nonreactive pan over low heat and add the onions. When the onion is soft, not browned, add the chile. Add the tomatoes, and when they release their juices turn heat to high and stir constantly. 

When the tomatoes have collapsed, remove from the heat and press the mixture through a food mill or pulse in a food processor and push through a sieve. Season with salt and pepper. If too acidic, add a pinch of sugar. Keep the coulis warm.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
To assemble the dish, place each crêpe cooked side down on a work surfaceand top with some of the halibut mixture. Roll the crêpe up, place on a backing sheet and bake in the over for 10 minutes, removing the crêpes when the edges are crisp.

To serve, put the tomato coulis on the plate and place a crêpe in the center and garnish with the remaining corn. Enjoy!
Halibut in Corn Crêpes with Tomato Coulis

Tips and Tidbits
These crêpes don’t reheat well. If you’re only serving two, make all the crepes and the fish mixture, but don’t assemble each one. Make what you plan to eat and then assemble and bake the remaining crepes and fish when you’re ready to have leftovers. You will need to make another batch of coulis for the leftovers.

No comments:

Post a Comment