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Halibut Cheeks in Mushroom Cream Sauce

Posted by Kira DeRito on

This recipe is one I’ve been contemplating for a long time after reading through a preparation published by Eric Akis where he poached halibut cheeks in a cream sauce. I’ve switched up a few of the flavors and ingredients to suit my own preferences, but the basis premise remains the same and I’ve got to say this is my new favorite halibut cheek recipe of all time. The sauce is ridiculously delicious and the cheeks cooked up super tender in the pan. It’s a very rich dish, so serve it with a generous helping of green vegetables to counteract the heavy cream sauce. Adding a small portion of rice or polenta to each plate will stretch this out if you’ve got a crowd to feed. As Eric eloquently said, it’s “sumptuous fish swimming in a luxurious cream sauce” - so good!!

~serves 2 for dinner~

  • 12 oz. halibut cheeks
  • salt, pepper
  • 1 T olive oil 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cup finely chopped crimini mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup sherry (or white wine)
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 T whole grain mustard

Open up your halibut cheeks package and season the fish with salt and pepper. The sauce is going to come together fairly quickly, so do have most of the other ingredients prepped and ready near the pan. Mince the garlic, chop the mushrooms and place everything else within easy reach.

Turn your burner on medium-high and get out a large fry pan. Pour in the olive oil and place your cheeks in the hot pan. Cook for about one minute on each side, then remove from the pan with a pair of tongs and set on a small plate while you make the sauce.

Add the garlic and mushrooms to the remaining olive oil in the pan and stir-fry for about 2 minutes. Add the sherry and let that cook down until mostly evaporated - about a minute and a half. Turn the heat down to medium and stir in the cream. Let the cream simmer for a minute, then stir in the mustard and season with salt and pepper.

Return the halibut cheeks to the pan and fold the sauce over the top of the fish so it’s nestled in there, then let the sauce and fish simmer for about two more minutes. Place a lid on top of the pan, turn off the heat and let everything sit for another two or three minutes to finish cooking.

Serve with a green vegetable and a refreshing beverage (a cold Pinot gris or Sauvignon blanc would be recommended!) and enjoy!

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