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braising, broiling
Halibut with Mustard-Nut Crust Recipe-3605

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With the addition of a rich, nutty crust and the step of finishing the fish under the broiler, braised fish becomes a simple luxury. The butter in the crust melts into the fish as it cooks, making it extra-moist. Refrigerate the fish once you’ve spread the crust mixture on top. Chilling will help the crust brown before it slides off. This dish is a star, so accompany it simply, perhaps with no more than bread and salad.

Yield: 4 Servings
Cooking time: 30 To 90 Minutes, Depending On Time Available<Br>


  • 4½ tablespoons butter, softened
  • ¼ cup grainy mustard, like moutarde de Meaux
  • ½ cup shelled, skinned, and toasted finely ground or minced hazelnuts
  • Four 6- to 8-ounce bone-in halibut or other fish steaks, or 2 larger steaks, each at least 1 inch thick
  • Salt and cayenne pepper
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 1½ cups dry white wine
  • ½ cup small black olives, such as Niçoise, with pits


Cream 3 tablespoons of the butter with the mustard and hazelnuts in a small bowl. Season the fish with salt and cayenne pepper and spread the butter mixture all over one side of each steak. Refrigerate for 1 hour if time allows.

Preheat the oven to 500°F. Spread the remaining 1½ tablespoons butter in a shallow baking pan that will hold the fish without crowding. Place the fish in the pan, then top it with a couple of thyme sprigs. Pour the wine around the fish and scatter the olives around; strip the leaves from 4 sprigs of thyme and scatter them around as well.

Bring to a boil on top of the stove, then transfer to the oven and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, undisturbed, until the fish is just about done; it should be firm and just about opaque nearly all the way through.

Turn on the broiler and place the fish about 3 inches from the heat source. Broil for a minute or two, or until the crust is bubbly and light brown. Serve.

© 2000 Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Mark Bittman

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information is based on using (4) 6oz fillets of Halibut and 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving.

517kcal (26%)
134mg (13%)
3mg (5%)
196mcg RAE (7%)
89mg (30%)
838mg (35%)
10g (50%)
30g (47%)
3mg (17%)

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