Poached Halibut with Pistachio Gremolata & Lemon Mousseline Sauce

You will never die of boredom in New York. Last week was rich in events in the city between below-freezing temperatures, an airplane suddenly turning into a cruise-ship and a friendly visit from the world-famous Mark of No Special Effect. A last minute dinner party at Big Bossman’s unfortunately cut our meet-up a bit short, but Mark wasn’t left in bad company… that’s for sure. He’s a great guy and I hope to lure him back into the city with a Valrhona chocolate bait so i can blog about his visit next time, and about all the fine gogo dancing joints in the city.


Today, I wanted to feature a recipe calling for ground goose but i’m pretty sure most of you don’t have access to the ultimate meat-grinder, the Airbus A320. So i scratched that idea. At the same time, I realized i don’t post many fish recipes on this blog. I know… shame. I cook a lot of fish at work but i guess the Pisces in me is a little bit too much of a carnivore and forgets that our swimming friends deserve more time in the spotlight. So today we’re gonna do just that, give fish a chance.

A piece of halibut is gently poached in a flavorful court-bouillon and served over couscous with raisins and covered with a zesty, garlicky and pistachio-ey gremolata. I know, i’ve been generous on the stuff, it’s just too good. A lemon mousseline sauce adds lusciousness to both the poached fish and to the vegetable garnish that consisted of fennel, brussels sprouts and baby zuchinni.

That’s the kind of dish that should make you feel like a million bucks, you lucky goose.

Poached Halibut w/ Pistachio Gremolata & Lemon Mousseline

(Serves 4)

  • 4 pieces of halibut or turbot (5 to 6 ounces each)

for the court-bouillon:

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 celery rib, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf

For the pistachio gremolata

  • 1/2 cup pistachios, shelled and toasted
  • 1/4 cup white bread, cubed and toasted
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • salt to taste

for the lemon mousseline:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tbs lemon Juice
  • 6 tbs butter, soft
  • 3 tbs creme fraiche
  • salt & white pepper to taste

For the lemon mousseline:

  • Heat water in a medium-sized saucepan to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and place a glass or stainless steel bowl on top of the simmering water. Whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together the double boiler until thick and fluffy (about 3 minutes). In a separate bowl, cream the butter using a wooden spoon. This softens and lightens the butter. Whisk the butter into the thickened egg yolk mixture one tablespoon at a time. Whisk the butter until fully incorporated before adding the next tablespoon. Fold the creme fraiche into the warm sauce. Adjust the seasoning and add a little extra lemon juice if needed. Keep warm.

for the pistachio gremolata:

  • Place the toasted pistachios and toasted bread cubes in the bowl of a food processor and process until you obtain a fine powder. Add the chopped parsley, the lemon zest, chopped garlic and salt and process until combined, about 30 seconds more.

For the court bouillon & halibut:

  • Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 8 minutes. Strain and return the liquid to a simmer. Immerse the halibut filet in the court-bouillon and poach gently until cooked, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the pistachio gremolata over the fish and serve with the lemon mousseline sauce. Enjoy!
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  • Parker

    Really nice recipe. The pistachio gemolata must give it a nice crunch and flavor.

  • The Short (dis)Order Cook

    You will NEVER hear me complain that you don’t post enough fish recipes. If you never posted another fish recipe again, I’d still devour your blog. ;-)

    I guess I can’t really live on non-fish recipes. I always need new ideas for fish recipes for Sir Pickypants. He’s the fish eater in the family. He loves halibut, so I will grudgingly admit I’m happy you posted this recipe.

  • Kirstin

    This is gorgeous. The flavors that you’re blending pair so well for being so varied. I think I’d go with a pure blooded, straight Sancerre to sip with your creation that wouldn’t compete with the layered food textures and flavors.

  • Clumbsy Cookie

    Explain to me again, why aren’t you married yet, cooking like this???

  • Manggy

    No, I wasn’t left in bad company at all! Both of you guys! Thanks for the lovely meal and great time. Will write about it when I get to talkin bout New York and its apparently many “fine” gogo dancing joints ;)
    Give fish a chance… Very punny :D Actually I find that halibut can get pretty tasteless in the middle… Poaching it in court bouillon should remedy that! Delicious!

  • Tenina

    Stunning as usual…Do you know how easy that Mousseline would be with a Thermomix…no really!

  • Chicken And Waffles

    I just love being poached. We all should be at some point in our lives.

  • Chicken And Waffles

    Or is that pickled?

  • StickyGooeyCreamyChewy

    What a lovely recipe! I’m always looking for light, flavorful ways to prepare fish. This looks like a great dish!

  • Colloquial Cook

    What is the ideal food pairing for a gogo dancing evening? Not choucroute I guess :-)

  • Mochachocolata Rita

    I thoughtttt I sensed something (delightfully) fishy somewhere. It’s here!

    Lemme do a fish too for my next post haha. Oppps! That fish bone I spat out kinda hit u in the face? Ehm, that was intentional. LOL

  • Elra

    Both you and Mark are lucky, could meet each other though it was a short one.

    Delightful recipe as always!
    Cheers,
    Elra

  • pigpigscorner

    Wow what a wonderful recipes. Looks really delicious and full of flavours. Love the colours.

  • John of Caput Mundi Cibus

    Beautiful halibut!
    What does it mean to be a private chef like that? You work for a company/family? Do you often get bored working by yourself?
    I´m working in a small kitchen with 5 guys now, and even THAT feels too small at times.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Peter M

    Stephane, the dish is all you hyped it up to be. However, there are stories of floating in-flight menus floating in the Hudson from the downed US Air flight.

    It read of "poached halibut with Pistachio Gremolata & Lemon Mousseline Sauce"!

    You're getting inspiration from far & wide! lol

    PS. the beans arrived, merci!

  • Chocolate Shavings

    That dish looks delicious – and the colors are beautiful!

  • Sandy Smith

    I love every element of this recipe. Nice use of the pistachios, and yay for going with Brussels sprouts in this! Yum.

  • Cathy – wheresmydamnanswer

    This looks incredible and I have a ton of Halibut in the freezer from a summer fishing trip Hubby took to Alaska!!

  • Marc @ NoRecipes

    Looks delicious! I love how you plated it with brussel sprout leaves.

  • Nicole

    Perfect. I wish I had this tonight. I feel I have been overdoing the bad carbs and this would be light but I would be actually MORE satisfied than anything. I need you to come and be my personal chef! Would you work for sunshine? My state provides a lot!

  • Manger La Ville

    Wow, what a great flavor profile. Just sounds lovely. Plus I love the brussel leaves, they are soo good. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Emily

    You make pretty food.

  • Kristin

    Thanks for checking out De Nacho :) I loooove making sea bass with a pistachio-panko crust, but I bet pistachio gremolata would be even better.

  • Giff

    excellent dish Zen. I don’t make fish nearly as much as I should. I see it is even bringing out the proposals!

    airbus 320… you got a solid laugh out of me with that line. clever zen

  • Indonesia-Eats

    great recipe with nice pics!

  • Cynthia

    I’ve just been catching up on all I’ve missed on your blog.

    I know that it’s work but I do love the places and toys you get to play with – talking about New Year’s eve. :)

  • we are never full

    you are absolved from not posting too many fish recipes w/ this one. pistachio gremolata? anything w/ pistachio will make me drool. this looks beautiful.

  • Rasa Malaysia

    Chef, how are you doing? THis looks absolutely delicious. When can I see you on Top Chef? ;)

  • foodhuntress79

    You like baby food always. Baby zukes, baby cabbage.. :) I think that dish goes well with rice.

  • Kate

    Everything about this dish looks so perfect, the colours, the textures, the flavours , theres only one thing that need to be done – EATEN – BY ME !!!

  • acey

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! sure sounds like great stuff!

  • Kevin

    What an amazing meal!

  • Big Boys Oven

    Just spot on!