We ran a dish for brunch a few months back: halibut cheeks, sauce maltaise and broccoli. When we tasted this year’s Silhouette du Coeur, our minds naturally went back to that. Sauce maltaise is in the hollandaise family tree; you take that base and work in blood orange zest and juice. Classically, it’s paired with asparagus but works well with other green vegetables and seafood. We’re going to take those flavors and adapt them to braising fish fillets.
WHAT TO DRINK
Our Silhouette du Coeur has a rare combination of roundness on the palate and high acidity on the finish. It’s a delight to serve a glass alongside dishes with a rich seafood base and its (very very slight) sweetness plays nicely with the blood orange and ginger flavors in the sauce.
RECIPE FOR THE HOME COOK FOLLOWS
- 1 lb. mild fresh white fish fillets, shrimp or scallops
- 1x sliced shallot (or 1/4x sliced onion)
- 1x garlic clove, lightly smashed
- 1x tiny piece of ginger, lightly smashed
- 1x blood orange split into: a few strips of zest, half juiced and half cut into segments
- 2t olive oil
- 1 cup white wine
- 1⁄4 cup quality light chicken/vegetable stock or clam juice
- 4t butter
- 1 head broccoli, including stem peeled and cut into wedges
- a couple drops of fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350F. Seafood benefits from being seasoned 20 minutes to an hour in advance to help release some of the glutamates (meatiness/umami). Salting in advance will also firm up the flesh a bit.
In an ovenproof pan, heat olive oil. Carefully place seasoned seafood in pan and lightly color both sides (about 30 seconds per side). Add garlic, ginger, wine, zest and water/stock. Bring to a simmer and then transfer pan to oven. Finish in oven until fish is cooked through to desired doneness. (1” thick fish will be cooked through in about 10 minutes — use this as your guide).
While your fish is finishing, fill a pot (that has a lid) with water to cover the bottom. Season water with salt and steam broccoli to desired doneness. When finished, remove broccoli from pot and reserve.
When ready, remove fish fillets from the oven and reserve. Place pan on stovetop at medium heat. Check for seasoning of your broth, perhaps adding pinch of salt at this point. Add butter and orange juice and reduce until saucy consistency (about 1 – 2 min). Add in orange segments and fish fillets, tossing to coat. Check seasoning. Plate and serve with the steamed broccoli.
A NOTE FROM THE CHEF
This recipe is a basic pan sauce structure. Protein of your choice + aromatics + deglazing the pan with liquid (wine, water or stock). This type of cooking produces a meat/fish and sauce relatively quickly and can be endlessly adapted. You can use stock/juice to add more depth, finish the sauce with some butter/cream/olive oil or add last-minute flavorings (mustard, herbs, capers, citrus are a few that come to mind). It also works great with chicken thighs, pork cutlets, minute steaks….. choose your own adventure.
To achieve more of a “hollandaise” consistency and flavor, separate 1x egg yolk and reserve. Once fish comes out of oven and is reserved from pan, place yolk in a coffee mug or other small vessel. Spoon in a couple ounces of hot sauce and beat with a whisk/fork to acclimatize the yolk without cooking it. Once homogenous, pour back into rest of sauce, stir to mix and finish like above — keeping heat at a simmer and stirring continuously. Here, we’re using the yolk to thicken the sauce versus reduction (above).