A thick, juicy halibut steak, coated with a flavorful porcini mushroom crust and topped with a rich, tangy balsamic-butter sauce – sounds complicated, right? With a little planning, some basic know-how and a few key ingredients, you can fit home-cooked meals into the busiest schedule.
Two of our go-to pantry staples are dried mushrooms and Earthy Delights Crema di Balsamico. Balsamic cream, as it’s also known, is a syrupy blend of balsamic vinegar and a thick reduction of unfermented grape juice – the same juice used in the production of the vinegar. This unique combination of vinegar and juice gives balsamic cream that familiar “balsamic-y” flavor, with some smooth, fruity sweetness that makes it equally suited to dishes both savory and sweet.
We consider dried mushrooms, especially dried porcini, to be must-have ingredients in the well-stocked pantry. Dried mushrooms are a great value, don’t require special storage and can be ready to use at a moment’s notice. Lastly (and perhaps most importantly), dried mushrooms are an easy way to add intense, umami-rich flavor to any dish.
If you really want to save time, make the mushroom powder a day or two in advance. And that tangy balsamic-butter sauce that tastes like it took forever to make? With only three ingredients, it can be whipped up in seconds.
Remember, you don’t always have to buy the most expensive ingredients to get great results. Just buy the best you can afford. You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve with a few basics and a little imagination.
Porcini-Crusted Halibut with Balsamic Butter Glaze
This recipe starts with dried porcini mushrooms, lightly toasted to crispness in the oven, then pulsed into a coarse powder in a blender or food processor. Make the mushroom powder ahead of time and make plenty of it. Once prepped, it will keep in a tightly sealed jar in the pantry for many months. It’s fantastic with halibut and other firm-fleshed fish, but it also works wonders on pork chops or chicken.
- 4 – 8 oz halibut steaks (substitute other firm fish if you don’t have halibut)
- 1 oz dried porcini mushrooms
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup Earthy Delights Crema di Balsamico (balsamic cream)
- 1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper, or to taste
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Spread the dried porcini on a baking sheet and slip into a preheated 250-degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until completely dry and crisp. Cool slightly and place into a blender or food processor. Pulse to crush into a coarse powder and set aside.
In a non-reactive saucepan, bring the balsamic cream and 1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper to a low simmer. Add the butter a piece or two at a time, whisking continuously, until the butter is completely incorporated and the sauce is smooth and glossy. Set aside, uncovered.
Spread the porcini powder on a large plate or pan. Press the halibut steaks in porcini powder, turning to coat both sides. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Heat the olive oil in a heavy saute pan with a heat-proof handle over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, sear the halibut for 2 minutes and turn to sear the other side for another minute or two. Put the pan into the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, to finish.
Remove the pan from the oven (don’t burn your hand!) and place each piece of fish atop a mound of mashed potatoes or black lentils (see recipe). Spoon the sauce over and around each piece of fish.
Many of the ingredients used in this recipe, and other recipes on the Earthy Delights Blog, can be purchased online at our retail website, Earthy.com. We welcome you to visit the Earthy.com website to view our extensive selection of hard-to-find ingredients and our complete Recipe Collection of over 500 tested recipes.
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