A couple nights ago we made the drive to go to Villach, Austria, so we could really get full advantage of this grocery shopping trip. On the way there it was decided that that evening I would prepare some sort of fish. Now I wanted to visit my friend at the fish market in town to obtain the ultimate fish for the evening, but alas my Italian fishman was not in Pontebba that morning. I had to settle with whatever looked enticing in Austria. Once we reached the fish part of the grocery store I got my regular order of skewers of shrimp from Malaysia. Now who knows exactly how these shrimp got to the country of Austria, but I will give it to them the fact that they are delicious. I then took a look around at the selection of fish for the day. We had decided earlier that I would prepare a white fish; it was now just a matter of what white fish I would choose! I luckily speak pretty good German, however my vocabulary for fish is quite lacking, as I did not know 80% of the fish sitting in front of me. Finally after some serious deliberation I chose the halibut. Now I am especially spoiled since I was born and raised in the paradise of halibut, but I figured this one from the Atlantic Ocean would do. As I bought this fillet, my brain quickly flashed back to one of my best friend's magnet on her refrigerator door. This magnet has all the fish listed that are in the green area, the yellow area, and yes the red area. I tried to see that chart in my mind and thought OH NO! I think the Atlantic halibut is definitely in the red zone! So I vowed to myself at that moment that I would value that magnet and not eat this fish again for at least 3 months. I also informed my boyfriend of the dangers of mercury and that next time if we are going to eat halibut it can only be from my homeland! I then walked around the store pondering what to do with this mercury saturated fillet. Finally after serious contemplation I designed the recipe listed below. It is by far one of my better creations, although I highly recommend using fresh Alaskan halibut instead. However, if that is not possible use another white fish, such as tilapia or cod. Next time for this recipe, I will be only buying fresh Sole from my Italian fishman and supporting the local Pontebba economy.
Almond Encrusted Halibut with White Wine Sauce and Roasted Potatoes
~3 8 oz. fillets of white fish
~Bag of ground almonds
~Bag of bread crumbs GF ( I use finally ground bread crumbs)
~1/4-1/2 cup cornstarch
Wash fillets and pat dry. Fill a plate with the cornstarch. Then fill another plate with half bread crumbs and half ground almonds, mix together. If either cornstarch or almond/crumb mixture get low, just simply add more. Then beat egg in a bowl. Dip fillets into cornstarch, coating with an even layer. Then brush fillets with egg, after coated dip into bread crumb almond mixture coating evening. Repeat this with each fillet. Heat about 2 tablespoons oil in frying pan and fry fish 2-3 minutes on each side. Then remove from skillet and place in baking pan and bake another 2-4 minutes, or until down. Just place the fillets in with the potatoes as they are finishing.
-For this recipe you can make more or less depending on your family size. I made enough for the two of us that night.
~8 small yukon gold potatoes
~2 cloves minced garlic
~2 Tablespoons olive oil or enough to coat potatoes
~1 tsp. fresh rosemary
~1 tsp. fresh thyme
~1 tsp. dried oregano
Cut potatoes into chunks. Place in bowl. Add olive oil, minced garlic, minced rosemary, thyme, and salt and pepper. Toss together and then place in glass baking dish. Sprinkle dried oregano over the top of potatoes. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 230 degrees Celsius, or until completely soft inside and slightly brown on the outside.
White Wine Sauce
~2 tbs. butter
~1-2tbs. olive oil
~3 tbs. cornstarch
~1 cup GF veggie broth (you can also use chicken)
~1/2 dry white wine
~1/4 cup parsley chopped
~7 fresh basil leave shredded
Sauté shallots for 3-4 minutes in the butter and oil. Add cornstarch little by little making sure it is not clumping. Then whisk in chicken broth until smooth. Add the wine, herbs, salt, and pepper. Simmer over a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you feel sauce gets to thick, which I did, add more broth. Then pour sauce over cooked fish and serve with roasted potatoes.