A simple, quick fish stock is used for steaming the fish and for the sauce. Ask your fishmonger for white fish bones; the flavor from darker-fleshed fish might be too strong. It's important to thoroughly rinse fish bones and remove any blood before preparing the stock.
1 1/2 pounds white fish bones
2 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups water
1/4 cup crème fraîche
2 1/4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch fresh basil leaves (about 1 ounce)
4 (6-ounce) halibut fillets, skinned
Torn fresh basil leaves (optional)
How to Make It
Combine first 4 ingredients in a large Dutch oven; add 4 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Strain mixture through a sieve into a bowl, reserving stock. Discard solids.
Pour 1/4 cup stock into a small saucepan (set remaining stock aside); bring to a boil over high heat. Boil 2 minutes or until stock is reduced to 2 tablespoons. Reduce heat to low. Combine crème fraîche, juice, and egg yolk in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Slowly pour egg mixture into reduced stock, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat; stir in butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Set aside.
Pour remaining stock into a large skillet; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
Line a vegetable steamer with 1 bunch basil leaves; arrange fillets in a single layer over basil. Place steamer in skillet; cover and steam fillets 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Carefully remove steamer from skillet. Sprinkle fillets with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; let stand 5 minutes. Serve with sauce. Garnish with basil leaves, if desired.
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I am so happy I found this recipe! I have been nervous to cook fish just because I worry about overcooking it and this recipe was so easy and perfect. I found the Kitchen Basics seafood stock so I used that instead and everything turned out great and so light I was able to serve bread pudding for dessert. I will definitely be making this again.
This sauce was lick the plate good!!! I didn't want to put forth the extra effort to make fish stock, so I just used better than bullion lobster base which worked fine. I would make this again, but probably wouldn't use halibut, at $24.99/lb the sauce overpowered it's delicate flavor.