Halibut with Brown Butter Sauce
Pour a tablespoon or two of olive oil into a well-made heavy skillet and set on barbecue, two burners going if possible, at medium high heat. When oil is hot, but not smoking, use a oven mitt to swirl to evenly coat the pan, then add fish (this is 3/4 of a pound to be split). Let cook – don’t touch or prod it – for 3 to 4 minutes. That side should be browned by this time. If not, don’t worry, but go ahead and flip and but turn up the temperature. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the meat flakes easily. The fish is then done.
Remove to a warm serving plate, and set on the upper shelf of the barbecue, if you’re planning to make sauce immediately.
To make the sauce, put skillet back on the grill. Quickly melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the pan, add a tablespoon each of shallot, garlic and rosemary leaves. Cook butter, stirring, until foamy and just beginning to brown, about 1 minute. Remove from the grill and stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of bread crumbs and some chopped parsley. Spoon butter sauce over fish. Serve.
Wine: white Burgundy
We served with a Chardonnay from Burgundy, bought at Arroyo Vino = paid $23 for the wine, vintage 2019, from Maison L’Envoyé.
It comes from the Mâconnais, Burgundy, and specifically from the winemakers website:
Wedged between the Côte Chalonnaise and Beaujolais, the Mâconnais district’s 21 mile stretch boasts a geology not dissimilar to the famed Côte de Beaune to its north. Mâcon’s epicenter, Mont de Pouilly, rises gently with alkaline clay covering a stark limestone base, a nirvana for the Chardonnay vines in intermittent plots that laze smugly along the river Saône. The vines are traditionally Guyot (cane) pruned and the best vineyards keep yields below three tons per acre. With favorable south east exposures and agreeable weather, the potential for generous, layered whites offering some of the best value in Burgundy, and possibly the world, is unlimited … The grapes were hand-picked in early September then pressed direct, settled overnight, and fermented with indigenous yeast in seasoned barriques. This wine is matured for 12-14 months prior to bottling. And is 14.5% alc/vol.
From two well-sited vineyards in La Roche Vineuse and Chaintre,
Look: light gold, medium body
Smell: stone fruit, pear, nutmeg, earthy to hazelnut
Taste: Silky texture but fresh. Lemon meringue, roasted almonds, minerality.