Pumpkin-Seed-Crusted Halibut

Prego, Houston

Beurre Blanc

20 rock shrimp, shelled and deveined (or more if they are very small; they are primarily for garnish)
kernels from 2 ears roasted corn
1 leek, diced (white part only)
1/4 cup diced shallots
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, plus 4 or more sprigs for garnish
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, sauté shrimp, corn, leek, and shallots in olive oil until shrimp are just done, about 2 minutes. Add chopped thyme. Deglaze pan with white wine and bring to a low simmer. Stir in the lemon juice, then the cream, and finally the butter, mixing each in thoroughly. Reduce volume slightly and season to taste. If you wish, you can stir in an additional teaspoon of butter just before serving.

Fish

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or grana padano (a Parmesan-like cheese)
1 teaspoon crushed fresh garlic
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 teaspoon ground cayenne, plus some for sprinkling directly on fish
1 teaspoon sea salt, or more, to taste, plus some for sprinkling directly on fish
1/2 cup flour
4 six-ounce halibut filets
egg wash (2 eggs beaten in 1/2 cup milk)2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

To make crust, mix pumpkin seeds, cheese, garlic, oregano, cayenne, salt, and flour together and sprinkle mixture on a large plate. Season each halibut filet with a bit of additional salt and cayenne. Dip into egg wash and then into pumpkin seed mixture.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Sauté fish filets in olive oil in an oven-proof pan over medium-high heat until lightly browned, approximately 2 minutes per side. Remove pan from stove and place in oven for about 6 minutes to finish cooking. Remove filets from pan as soon as they come out of the oven so they will not overcook.

To serve, spoon equal amounts of beurre blanc onto each plate and place a halibut filet on top. Garnish with thyme sprigs. Serves 4.

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