Every Spring, I freeze bags and bags of rhubarb for recipes to be made through the remainder of the year. I am always looking for new ways to serve this versatile vegetable. Living on an island on the East Coast of Canada, fish is readily available. Sometimes, I like to eat the fish plain, just pan-seared or oven-baked but, other times, I like it dressed up a bit. Rhubarb and citrus make a nice combination and citrus sauces go well with seafood so my creation includes both rhubarb and citrus fruit.
It will be another couple of months before we have fresh rhubarb from our garden so I thought it was time to use up some of the remaining frozen rhubarb (or maybe I just needed to have a Spring food because our Winter is getting very tiresome with 2 major snow storms within 3 days this past week). So, today, I am going to share with you a sauce that I created especially for white fish. You can use any kind of white fish with this sauce – my choice was the halibut steak because it had enough thickness to it that it would hold together to plate well for presentation and not break into pieces.
I will tell you, though, that this sauce has a number of steps so it is probably not suitable for weeknights for most of us as it is does take some time to make. It dresses up fish so would certainly be suitable for a special weekend dinner or for company. I love the rich red-colored sauce as a contrast to the white fish. I hope you enjoy.
Blood Orange and Rhubarb Sauce for Halibut Steaks
(created by Barbara of My Island Bistro Kitchen)
1 cup rhubarb, fresh or frozen
2 tbsp sugar
¼ cup water
Juice of 2 blood oranges (about 2/3 cup juice)
1 tbsp butter
1 shallot, finely minced (about ¼ cup)
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 tbsp. Liquid Gold Pomegranate Quince balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. Pomegranate molasses
2 tsp. liquid chicken bouillon concentrate mixed in ½ cup hot water
1 1/2 tsp. blood orange zest
¼ tsp. sage
¼ tsp. ginger
1 ½ – 2 tsp. cornstarch mixed in 1 tbsp. cold water to make thickening paste
In saucepan, place the rhubarb, sugar, and ¼ cup water. Cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, until rhubarb has softened. Push the rhubarb through a sieve to release the juice. You should have about 1/3 cup of rhubarb juice. Discard rhubarb pulp. Set juice aside.
Meanwhile, grate 1 1/2 tsp zest from one blood orange. Squeeze juice from 2 medium-sized blood oranges and strain through sieve to remove any pith and stones. In small saucepan, over medium-low heat, reduce the orange juice to about half. You should have about 1/3 cup of juice after this process.
In clean saucepan, melt the butter and sauté the shallot and minced garlic for 3-4 minutes until shallot is translucent.
Add the rhubarb and orange juices, Pomegranate Quince balsamic vinegar, pomegranate molasses, chicken stock, orange zest, sage, and ginger. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat.
Remove from heat and strain through fine sieve into clean saucepan to remove any pieces of garlic and onion. This will make a clean, smooth sauce. Return mixture to low heat.
Mix cornstarch with water to make a paste. Add about 1 tbsp of the hot liquid from the sauce to temper the paste so it will not go lumpy when added to the hot mixture. Add to saucepan mixture and stir or whisk until thickened to consistency desired.
Makes enough sauce for 3-4 servings.
Pan-sear or oven-bake halibut steaks till fish flakes easily. Plate the fish and pour 1-2 tbsp sauce over each steak. Garnish with chopped pistachio nuts, if desired, and blood orange slices.
I served the fish with a medley of yellow, red, and blue herb-roasted miniature potatoes, steamed carrots and turnip, and paired this meal with Beringer’s Chardonnay (CA).
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