Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Alaska Halibut & Spot Shrimp with Fennel & Quinoa

This is a compilation of trying to use the seafood I had on hand, as well as the veggies I have a lot of right now, namely zucchini. Fennel can seem overpowering sometimes, but it goes so nicely with seafood and when it's cooked, it has a nice sweetness. I based the broth on the fumet I learned to make in culinary school and this seems to be our year for spot shrimp - we have caught tons of it! This recipe is a bit time-consuming, so I would start with the stock or fumet, then get all your other ingredients ready to make things easier. Best to be organized so you can focus on not overcooking the seafood - that way your dish will be perfect! ~Patti
Shrimp Stock/Fumet
1/2 onion, chopped
6 parsley stems
2 cloves garlic, quartered 
shells from spot shrimp being used
olive oil
4 sprigs fresh thyme
handful of mushroom trimmings
6 lemon slices
1oz lemon juice
cold water
1/4 cup wine

4 (6oz) halibut fillets
1/2 pound Spot shrimp, cleaned, shells reserved for fumet
1 zucchini, sliced thin (julienne)
3 small potatoes, sliced thin, then halved or quartered
1 small fennel bulb, sliced thin (julienne) fronds reserved
1/2 onion, slice thin (julienne)
olive oil for sauté
2 cups cooked quinoa

Serves: 4

Shrimp Fumet: Coat a large pot with olive oil. Add onion, then parsley and shells. Salt lightly. Cover with parchment circle and sweat until onions are soft. Remove parchment, sprinkle with wine and lemon juice and toss in mushrooms and thyme. Add cold water (enough to cover everything) and bring to a boil and then simmer. Let it simmer for at least half an hour - taste periodically to make sure it's yummy. The aroma should be wonderful, not 'shrimpy', just heavenly. 
Once the fumet tastes like you want, strain out all the solids and discard. Reserve the broth. 

In a clean pan, sauté onion and fennel slices in a bit of olive oil. Add the broth and let it simmer on low - you'll need it pretty soon.

Next, rinse and pat the halibut dry. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Coat a pan with olive oil and and when it is nice and really hot, add the fish and cook till a bit crisp and golden on each side. Cook it till it's about 3/4 done, so maybe 2-4 minutes per side depending on thickness. Set aside. In the same hot pan, toss in the shrimp and quickly sauté (these cook wicked fast, so just barely cook them so they don't dry out). Set aside.
 In the same pan again, add the potato rounds, salt and pepper, and brown them up nicely. When done set them aside with the fish and shrimp. Lastly, toss the zucchini into the pan, season with salt and pepper, and sauté quickly.
Last step - put all reserved fish, shrimp, zucchini and potatoes into the pot of broth, cover with a lid and turn off heat. This will let the fish finish cooking. Should only take 2-3 minutes.

To serve, place equal amounts of fish, shrimp and veggies in a shallow bowl on top of a serving of quinoa. Then pour broth (a little or a lot, your choice) into each bowl.
Garnish with the fennel fronds.
I think the quinoa rounds out this dish very nicely - soaks up the broth and the veggies can lay across it - looks pretty.

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