Stephanie Izard loves fresh herbs and uses cilantro in a tangy topping for halibut. The ground-pork-and-peanut sauce is inspired by her travels in Vietnam (she calls the sauce "my Asian ragù").
Bios and Recipes from Top Chef »
2 cups lightly packed cilantro leaves
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup salted roasted peanuts
3 tablespoons peanut oil
1 medium shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 pound ground pork
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon white miso paste
1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
Four 6-ounce skinless halibut fillets
How to Make It
In a blender, puree the cilantro, olive oil, vinegar, mustard and honey. Season with salt and pepper. In a mini processor, finely grind the peanuts. Heat 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil in a saucepan. Add the shallot and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 3 minutes. Add the pork and cook over moderately high heat, breaking up the meat, until browned, 4 minutes.
Add the sugar, miso, tamarind, ground peanuts and 1/2 cup of water to the pork. Simmer over moderately low heat until thickened, 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; stir in the lime juice and keep warm.
In a nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of peanut oil. Season the fish with salt and pepper; cook over moderately high heat until browned and just cooked through, 4 minutes per side. Spoon the pork ragù onto plates and top with the fish. Drizzle with the cilantro sauce and serve.
Izard finds that the sweet notes of an off-dry Gewürztraminer pair well with the tamarind in the sauce, "and a beautiful white wine is always nice with halibut."
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