Halibut, Marinated Fennel, Avocado, Arugula and Crab Salad with Vermouth Cream

Alaskan Halibut is out of season for 2010, while we wait for next year you can substitute another white flaky fish, perhaps Black Cod or just make the salad and serve with chicken or shrimp.    It is a year around light seafood course or appetizer. 

Alaskan Halibut, Marinated Fennel, Avocado, Arugula and Crab Salad with Vermouth Cream

4 portions
Four 6 ounce fillet of Alaskan Halibut, block cut
4 ounce whole butter
2 olive oil blend to sear fish
fresh thyme sprig
fresh rosemary sprig
Sear in hot cast iron pan until golden brown form on one side.  Turn fish over, add fresh herbs and butter, turn down heat to low, tilt pan and poele with butter 4 minutes until medium.  Let rest 5 minutes before serving.  Arrange salad on plate or platter and finish with vermouth sauce.

Fennel Salad
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
one fresh lemon, juiced
1 pint teardrop tomatoes, cut in half
½ cup shaved fresh shallots
1 ounce haricot verts, trimmed and blanched
1 ounce yellow wax beans, trimmed and blanched
1 ounce piquillo pepper, cut into strips or julienne
1 avocado, parisienne
1 ounce arugula
salt and pepper
1 bulb shaved fennel, medium size and fronds
1/2 pound lump crab

Marinate fennel, shallots and tomatoes with oil, lemon, salt and pepper, shallots 10 minutes prior to service.  Add piquillo pepper, beans, avocado, and arugula, garnish with crabmeat, adjust seasoning.

Vermouth Cream
½ cup nouilly prat vermouth
½ cup heavy cream
1 shallot
2 sprigs thyme
reduce vermouth with shallots and thyme by half
add heavy cream and reduce by half again,  strain and serve

To Serve:  Arrange salad on plate or platter and finish with vermouth sauce.

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