Pine Nut Crusted Halibut with Saffron Carrot Puree
Courtesy of chef M. Mataio Gillis -- Co-Owner Ciao Thyme Bellingham, Washington -- www.ciaothyme.com
2 portions of halibut, 4 oz each
¼ cup + more for brushing Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ cup Casina Rossa Pinoli (pine nuts) lightly roasted
1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced
1 cup carrot juice
2 Tbsp Le Ferre Saffron Oil
1 Tbsp Casina Rossa Saffron & Acacia Honey
1 Tsp Casina Rosa Saffron & Salt
1 pinch Michele Ferrante hand-ground Controne Hot Pepper
Set the oven to 350° F. Begin by placing the sliced carrots in a sauce pan and cover them with carrot juice - allow them to simmer until they are fork tender and can smash easily in their liquid.
While the carrots cook, lightly toast the pine nuts and allow them to cool. Chop them up with a knife or gently pulse them in a food processor.
Prepare the Halibut by brushing it liberally with EVOO on all sides. Spread the minced pine nuts on a plate in a thin layer - place the halibut on the pine nuts and allow them to adhere to the piece of fish. Coat the fish on all sides.
When the carrots are finished cooking, strain the carrots and reserve the liquid. Place the carrots in a food processor and puree, using a touch of the cooking liquid, 1 Tbsp of the Saffron Oil, and 1 Tbsp honey and 1 Tsp of the Saffron & Salt. Continue to puree until smooth. Adjust the consistency with the cooking liquid. Season to taste. Cover this mixture and keep warm until the fish is ready.
Return the cooking liquid to the pan and reduce this liquid by bringing it to a rapid simmer, allow it to reduce to ¼ cup, taste the liquid and whisk in a 1 Tsp of honey, 1 Tbsp of oil and season to taste with Saffron & Salt.
Place ¼ cup of olive oil in a sauté pan set to medium high. Allow the oil to just shimmer but not smoke. Place the pieces of pine nut crusted Halibut into the oil presentation side down. Allow to sear in the oil until the pine nuts are golden brown - approximately 2 minutes. Gently flip the fish away from you with a perforated spatula. Allow to cook on the second side. Transfer the fish to a sheet tray or rack and finish in the oven for approx 5 to 7 minutes or until the fish is 135° F in the center.
Season the nicer of the two sides immediately with salt and controne pepper. Place a smear of carrot puree on the plate, place the fish over this, finish the plate with the carrot sauce and garnish with a parsley leaf, and some pine nuts.