July 6, 2011

Sautéed White Fish with Caramelized Lemons

Nope, it's not lemon season.  It's chard, onion and garlic season. And kind of the end of lettuce season. (Praise God for those knowledgeable farmers who have the skills to produce heat-tolerant lettuces in the valley's summer heat.)  And it's nectarine and apricot, plum and pluot season.  But not lemon season.

All loca-vores draw the line somewhere.  I am okay with buying lemons and limes, avocados and cilantro when they are out of season locally.

So Sunday night, we had Mahi-Mahi topped with Caramelized Lemon served on a bed of frijoles, sautéed spring onions and chard.  The dish is better with halibut and it's quickly becoming one of my favorite dinners.  Some people might prefer mashed potatoes in place of the beans, but there's something I really like about the combination of fish and beans.  I like that the dish is layered, because it encourages diners to try everything together, without mushing and mashing the flavors together too much.

Halibut with Caramelized Lemon
adapted from William-Sonoma's Cooking from the Farmers Market

1.  In a large skillet, sauté onions (or, the original recipe calls for fennel, but I almost never have that) in about a tablespoon each butter and olive oil.  Add chard and cook a few more minutes.  Arrange sautéed veggies on individual plates.

2. Add a little more butter and oil to the pan.  Season four halibut fillets with kosher salt and pepper. Cook over medium to medium-high heat 2-3 minutes per side, until just opaque.  Top veggies with halibut.

3.  Add just a bit more butter or oil to the pan.  Reduce heat to medium.  Sauté one lemon, cut into 1/8 inch slices, with 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 2-3 minutes, until golden brown and softened.  Arrange lemon slices on top of fish.

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