Brown Butter Halibut Orzo and Mushroom Broth
Simple Elegant Brown Butter Seared Halibut with Orzo and Earthy Mushroom Broth.
When the kids were toddlers, I had to get out of the house.
As a stay-at-home mom, I was doing exactly what I wanted to do, yet it was making me a little delirious.
I loved raising my babies and experiencing all their momentous occasions first-hand, but I desperately needed adult interaction.
Sweet Lt. Dan would plan a date night each week, so I would have a reason to get out of my spit-crusted yoga pants and make conversation that required full sentences.
He’s good like that.
Now that the kids are a little older, date night is no longer a necessity. Instead, we have dates for the sheer enjoyment of spending time together.
Honestly, sometimes I’d rather have a date-night in!
We recently went out to dinner, and I ordered a dish with a rich mushroom broth poured over the top. I was struck by the simplicity of the dish, yet with dark complex flavors.
Days after our grownup night out, I couldn’t stop thinking about that earthy mushroom broth poured over simple clean ingredients.
I had to try this concept at home.
I made my own mushroom broth, using fresh button mushrooms, dried woodear mushrooms, and dried shiitake mushrooms. (Note: Dried woodear mushrooms often smell like feet, but provide a robust mushroom flavor. You won’t notice the aroma once the mushroom broth is strained.)
Then I decided to make a classic seared halibut. Pan-frying halibut in brown butter creates a rich golden-brown crust on this light flaky fish.
I served the seared halibut and sherry sauteed criminis on a bed of DeLallo Organic Orzo, to provide texture and soak up the mushroom broth.
Then I gingerly poured the steaming-hot mushroom broth over the brown butter halibut and orzo.
This dish is somewhere between a pasta dish and a soup.
No matter how you categorize it, it’s sheer rustic elegance.
Perfect for a Date-Night IN.
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Mushroom Broth over Brown Butter Seared Halibut
For the Mushroom Broth:
- 1 Tb. butter
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 14 cups water
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 lb. fresh button mushrooms
- 1 cup dried woodear mushrooms
- 1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
For the Brown Butter Seared Halibut with Orzo and Mushrooms:
- 4 Tb. unsalted butter
- 4 halibut fillets
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 8 oz. crimini mushrooms, sliced thin
- 1-2 Tb. dry sherry
- 1 lb. DeLallo Organic Orzo
- Salt and Pepper
- For the Mushroom Broth: Place a large pot over medium-high heat. Saute the onions to soften, 3-5 minutes, then add the garlic. Saute another minute, then the water, salt, and all mushrooms. (If all the water won't fit in you pot, add as much as possible, and add the remaining water after the broth has simmered down a bit.) Cover, turn the heat down a little, and simmer for 1 hour.
- Once the mushroom broth has simmered for an hour, strain out all the veggies and keep warm until time to serve.
- Meanwhile, heat a large skillet of medium-high, and bring a large pot of water to a boil. Thoroughly dry the halibut fillets with paper towels, then salt and pepper both sides.
- Cook the DeLallo Organic Orzo according to package instructions. Strain and set aside.
- Place the butter in the skillet. Allow it to melt and brown for 2-3 minutes, then place the halibut fillets in the skillet. Sear for 1--3 minutes per side, depending on thickness. DO NOT overcook the halibut. It should be just barely cooked through, to keep its moist flaky texture. Once the halibut it perfectly seared, Place it on a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
- Then add the mushrooms and garlic to the skillet. Saute for 5-10 minutes to soften and brown. Salt and Pepper to taste, then add the sherry. Continue to cook the mushrooms, until the sherry has absorbed.
- To plate: Place a mound of orzo in 4 shallow bowls. Top the orzo with mushrooms and seared halibut fillets. Pour the mushroom broth in a serving bowl. At the table, allow each guest to pour mushroom broth over their bowl and serve immediately.
More Date Night In Ideas:
Portobello Mushrooms with Kale Pesto ~Bev Cooks
Seared Scallops Fettuccine ~ A Thought For Food
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