Halibut with tortilla-pi¤on crust

Yield: 4 servings

Measure Ingredient
1 Halibut steak (24 oz) OR
4 Halibut fillets (6 oz ea)
½ cup Pine nuts
Vegetable oil
12 Fresh corn tortillas *
1 tablespoon Cilantro; finely chopped
¼ teaspoon Ground cumin
¼ teaspoon Salt
½ cup Sun-dried tomatoes about 1 oz dry, not oil packed
8 ounces Wild mushrooms
¼ teaspoon Salt
4 tablespoons Extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lime about 2 tbs
2 Eggs
1 tablespoon Water
½ cup Flour
Cilantro sprigs
Lime wedges
4 Shallots peeled and halved
2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
¼ teaspoon Brown sugar
1 tablespoon Basil leaves; minced

SALSA

* substitute one 4« oz package of 12 taco shells for the fried tortillas

Prepare the Wild Mushroom and Sun-Dried Tomato Salsa and set aside.

cut the halibut steak into 4 equal pieces; remove bones and skin. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350øF. Scatter the pine nuts in a cake pan and toast in oven until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally so the nuts brown evenly. Don't overcook the nuts or they will be bitter. Set aside. Heat « inch oil in a wide skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the tortillas, 1 or 2 at a time, until crisp. Drain on a rack over paper towels and cool. Crumble the tortillas (or taco shells) into the workbowl of a food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Add the toasted pine nuts, cilantro, cumin, salt and lime juice. Pulse until well blended.

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and water. Dredge the halibut pieces in flour, then in the egg mixture. Coat completely with the tortilla mixture. Heat « inch oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the halibut and saut‚ until golden brown and cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes per side for fish 1 inch thick. Let drain briefly on paper towels, then transfer to individual plates. Spoon the salsa alongside the fish and garnish with cilantro sprigs and lime wedges.

Wild Mushroom and Sun-Dried Tomato Salsa: Put the sun-dried tomatoes in a small dish, add boiling water to cover and set aside for 25 to 30 minutes (or plump according to package directions). Drain well and chop. Heat the charcoal grill until the coals glow red with white ash around the edge.

Wash the mushrooms gently, drain them and shake off as much water as possible. While they are still damp, place in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Ad 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and toss well. Arrange the mushrooms and shallots on skewers or use a fine-mesh grill rack. Grill about 4 inches from the heat, turning frequently and brushing with remaining oil, until the mushrooms are lightly browned and slightly soft, about 8 minutes. Cool. Chop the mushrooms into « inch dice and mince the shallots. Combine in a bowl with the sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, sugar and any remaining oil. The salsa can be made in advance to this point and refrigerated in an airtight container. Add the basil just before serving. Serve at room temperature.

Makes about 2 cups.

Note: instead of grilling the mushrooms over a charcoal fire, you can cook them under the broiler in your oven.

Simply Seafood Winter 1995

Submitted By DIANE LAZARUS On 01-19-95

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