French Laundry's Halibut With Spring Beans
Halibut With a Cassoulet of Spring Beans and Tomato Confit
Chef Thomas Keller, the owner of The French Laundry restaurant in Yountville, Calif., shared his recipe for "Halibut With a Cassoulet of Spring Beans and Tomato Confit" with Good Morning America during our tour of the Golden State.
Note: Brunoise is used often as a garnish at The French Laundry. Rather than making a small quantity, make a large batch and freeze it.
To cook the dried beans: Remove and discard any beans that have risen to the top of the water. Drain and rinse the beans and place them in a saucepan. Add cold water to cover by 2 inches and bring to a boil. Remove and discard any beans that come to the surface. Drain the beans and run under cold water to cool.
Return the beans to the pot and cover with 1/2 cup of chicken stock and enough water to cover the beans by 1 inch. Add the leek, carrot and onion and bring to a simmer. Simmer the beans for about 1 hour or until they are tender. They can be cooked up to a day ahead and refrigerated in their cooking liquid.
Place the remaining 2 cups of chicken stock in a saucepan and reduce to 1 cup. Set aside.
Drain the cooked beans and combine them with 1/2 cup of the reduced chicken stock. Reduce the remaining 1/2 cup chicken stock to a glaze.
Bring the beans to a simmer and warm for about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the butter, the fresh beans, tomato diamonds, brunoise and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile: Season the halibut with salt and pepper. Lightly coat the skin side with flour, patting off any excess. Heat 1/8 inch canola oil in a large skillet. Place the fish skin side down in the hot oil and cook for 2 minutes or until a crisp, golden-brown crust forms. Turn the fish and cook for another minute. Let the fish rest a couple of minutes, then drain the fillets on a paper towel to absorb excess butter.
To serve: place a portion of the warm beans on each plate. Place a piece of halibut over the beans and top with a roasted tomato piece (recipe below) Drizzle with the chicken stock glaze. Scatter a few thyme leaves around the beans and sprinkle with a few drops of thyme oil (recipe below).
Thyme Oil (about 1/3 cups)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Place the thyme leaves in a strainer and lower in the water to blanch for 30 seconds. Add the parsley sprigs and blanch for another 10 seconds.
Remove the herbs and plunge into an ice-water bath to chill.Drain the herbs and squeeze dry. Place half the herbs in a blender with enough oil to cover. Turn the blender on to medium speed and blend, adding more oil if necessary to allow the blade to spin. Blend for 2 minutes.
Add 1/2 the remaining herbs and blend another 2 minutes. Add the remaining herbs and blend a final 2 minutes. Remove the puree to a container and refrigerate for a day or up to 1 week.
Drain the oil through a piece of cheesecloth and store the oil in the refrigerator. Put the oil in a small plastic squeeze bottle for garnishing dishes. Store the oil in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or freeze for longer storage.
Oven Roasted Roma Tomatoes (Fleur de Sel)
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Blanch and peel 2 Roma tomatoes. Quarter them lengthwise into 4 "triangles".
Place them flesh side down on a rack on a sheet tray so that the seed part is pointing up. Season with a little fleur de sel. Place in the oven for about 2-3 hours until the tomatoes have dried slightly, shrunk a little, and deepened in color.
Cut the vegetables into 1/6-inch julienne strips and cut across to make 1/16-inch dices.
Blanch each vegetable separately in lightly salted boiling water to set the color and soften the vegetables. When all the vegetables are blanched and drained, mix them together in a covered container and refrigerate for up to a day or store in the freezer in a well-sealed plastic bag. You can use the brunoise directly from the freezer ? just warm it before serving.
Recipe courtesy of Thomas Keller, The French Laundry.