Jeanette - Off The Cuff

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Blogger at: http://offthecuffhome.blogspot.com and http://offthecuffcooking.blogspot.com -- My name is Jeanette, and I was born in Sweden, but unlike the famous Muppet, I am not a professional Swedish Chef. I actually studied design and photography. I also was a freelance indie-rock critic for several magazines from 1998-2005, and had an in-house PR company for a while. Cooking is in my DNA--my dad's brother was a chef and their father was a pastry chef, my mom's mother was a caterer, who published a cookbook of traditional Finnish breads and pastries when she was 92. Everyone else in my family loves to cook, and we're not afraid to experiment. I have a yen for interior design and remodeling.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lemon-Dill Beurre Blanc over pan-fried mahi-mahi and brown rice

I have never made a Beurre Blanc before. I’ve eaten it, admired it, and always thought to myself that it can’t be as easy as a gravy (and I make many other kinds of gravy and sauce, among them my favorite chantarelle mushroom gravy which is WAY GOOD) but alas, I found that a beurre blanc is quite a cinch.


And since I still had mahi mahi in the freezer which I used in last week’s Thai-dish, I wanted to do something a little more traditional. Plus I had organic snap peas, and dill in the fridge, which just calls for traditional seasonings.

So online I went to find a recipe, and this Beurre Blanc video tutorial by Billy Parisi was most helpful. I would suggest you watch it, even if only for the cute Italian chef making it!  (Now, now, I’m happily married so it wasn’t like that.)

I’m no authority on sauce so he is definitely a guy to take a cue from. Now then, here is my variation on his sauce (since I didn’t have shallots, and added the dill.)

LEMON DILL BEURRE BLANC INGREDIENTS AND DIRECTIONS:

Approximately 2 tbsp finely chopped white onion
2 tbsp olive oil


Sauté the onion until caramelized, and then add in:

1/4 cup white dry wine
3 tbsp or so of lemon juice


Keep simmering that until it’s “a glace” or the liquid is almost gone. At that point, add a pinch of salt and WHITE pepper (so as not to discolor the sauce) and take it off the heat, and stir in 4 tbsp of COLD butter and 2 tbsp fresh dill. Serve immediately.

Since the timing is so critical on a beurre blanc (maybe I just like to TYPE beurre blanc, because I can pronounce it all French-y in my head at the same time, and feel cultured) I want to emphasize that I started my brown rice about forty minutes earlier so that it would finish cooking, and while I was caramelizing my onions and deglacing the pan of sauce, I was pan-frying my mahi-mahi. You could use just about any mild, non-oily fish. I suspect it would be great with Sole, or trout, too. The sauce is so buttery, you just would be better off with a non-rich fish.

FRYING THE FISH—I just heated my trusty cast-iron skillet to quite hot, and seared each side until browned, and then turned the heat down a little to finish cooking the fish throughout.  If you like your Mahi Mahi rare in the middle, don't exceed 2 minutes per side.

I also served it with steamed snap-peas, which was a good match, although now in hindsight, I think asparagus would have been a better pairing.

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