Remembering to do what I love

Okay, so I survived Thanksgiving…but, as you may have noticed from the silence that has pervaded this blog, not quite the way I would have liked. And then, without nary a day of rest, I went into the gauntlet that is December. I wish that I were a tougher, stronger, more organized, and more type-A person because then I would have been ready for the Christmas onslaught. In fact, if I were that person, I would have been ready for Christmas in October. But no, I am still struggling to kill my inner “take one thing at a time” girl and her evil twin “give everything their season.” Well, no more. This year ends all that. I am driving a stake into their hearts. I can no longer wait until December to think about Christmas…it is just too hard. I am marking the calendar in red in 2011 for the preparations to begin in June….truly.

But, in the meantime, I have to tell you, I cooked a fabu dinner the other night with weird, but tasty ingredients. Sadly, it has taken me two days to write it all down…there has been much happening at this house and we have been eating a lot of take-out. It is December after all. Oh, to have a Martha Stewart sized staff….

Anyway, the night of the fabu dinner, we had another couple join us and they were both dieting. So, I did what I could with the task put before me- fast (that was for me), fish (that was for them), seasonal (again for me, and just good cooking), and creative (again, me). Hey, if you are going to have to make a dinner, you ought to get something out of the deal!

Anyway, I started by thinking about citrus and fish. It is a perfect time of the year for citrus. And, dieters always love fish! I went through my old recipes and found something I had been meaning to try. I could tell it needed tweaking, but I was up to the task! I needed good white fish (halibut or cod would do nicely) and good grapefruit too. First stop, my beloved green grocer. Michael raved about the grapefruit and the fish-monger next door had beautiful halibut steaks. My spirits soared when the shiitake mushrooms (another ingredient) at the green grocers were spectacular… this would be an experiment. I was pretty clear that I could make a passable meal…I just wasn’t sure it was something that I would want to repeat.

But, in the end, it was great, relatively easy, good for you, and surprising to the palate! Most importantly, making this dinner served to remind me that I have to carve out time to do what I love. I loved making that dinner. I am pretty sure that I don’t love feeling panicked about getting out Christmas cards, decorating or buying presents under the gun. So I guess at 45, I am still getting to know myself!

Halibut with Grapefruit, Shiitakes and a little Beurre Blanc
Adapted from Gourmet
Serves 4

5 grapefuit
½ c grape seed or canola oil
¼ c good quality dry white wine
2 shallots, minced
2 T Champagne vinegar
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1 T pieces
sea salt/pepper

2 lbs halibut steaks
3 T canola (or other neutral oil) oil
1 lb shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps thinly sliced
3 Belgian endives, trimmed and cut into 1 inch thick slices

Early in the day, make the marinade:

Squeeze 2 grapefruits to make 1 cup of juice. Place ½ c in a nonreactive bowl and set the other ½ c of juice aside for later use. Add to the juice in the bowl, ½ c of grapeseed/canola oil, and 1 minced shallot. Season with sea salt and pepper. Mix to combine. Place the fish in a Ziploc bag and cover with the marinade. Store in the refrigerator for several hours and up to one day.

Make the Beurre Blanc:

Meanwhile, cut the pith from the remaining 3 grapefruit with a sharp knife and cut the segments free from the membranes. Chop enough grapefruit segments to measure ½ cup. Set aside. Preserve the rest of the remaining whole grapefruit segments.

Place the ½ c remaining grapefruit juice, the remaining shallots, wine, and vinegar in a small heavy saucepan until reduced to 1/3 cup. Lower the heat to warm. Whisk in butter 1 T at a time and stir until completely combined. Be careful, sauce must not get too hot or it will separate. Stir in the chopped grapefruit and season with salt and pepper. Keep sauce warm in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of warm/hot water.

Cook fish and vegetables:

Prepare a grill. Grill the fish for 4 minutes a side, or until done to your liking.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 3 T of canola oil over moderately high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté with salt and pepper, stirring, until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Add the endives and sauté, stirring, for another 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the reserved whole grapefruit segments and remove from heat.

Serve fish over mushrooms, topped with buerre blanc.

One Comment

  1. rose einstein
    Posted December 13, 2010 at 10:28 am | Permalink | Reply

    Thank you for this elegand yet simple recipe. I cannot wait so I will prepare tonight!!


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