Try this Pompano duarte

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 19, 2015

It is time to get my Christmas dinner organized. My daughter is coming to visit and that is a treat since she has not been around for many years for Christmas. She is a good cook and promises to cook some good Chinese or Thai food for me,

I will be doing the Christmas day dinner and decided to prepare the meal I had at Arnaud’s a few weeks ago. So many people go out for Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve meals these days especially in New Orleans where there are so many good restaurants. My meal at Arnaud’s began with a Sazerac, then some pommes soufflé. Next came the Oysters Arnaud, which is a selection of 5 different toppings over oysters and all delicious. The main course was Pompano Duarte which was pompano sautéed with garlic, tomatoes and shrimp. Delicious! I got out my Arnaud’s cookbook and found the recipe and decided that would be my main course for Christmas. I am just not doing ham or turkey this year but something more elegant. This recipe is easy to do and your family will be truly delighted if you make this your main for Christmas dinner.

I could not find pompano this time of year but used wild caught black drum and it was fabulous. Any white mild fish would be fine.

Taken from Arnaud’s Restaurant Cookbook

Pompano Duarte

Serves 6

¼ cup clarified butter (you can buy this or make your own)

6 small, skinless pompano or other white fish fillet, about 6 ounces each

¾ cup Garlic butter (recipe follows)

1 pound tiny shrimp, 31/30 count, peeled and deveined

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh basil

Pinch of red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon coarsely cracked black pepper

½ cup canned peeled and diced tomatoes, drained

1 cup Beurre Blanc Sauce, warm (recipe follows)

Garlic Butter

Yield: 1-1/2 cups

1-1/2 cups (12 ounces, 3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

¼ cup Herbsaint liqueur or Pernod

1 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Kosher sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Beurre Blanc Sauce

Yield: About 1 cup

1/3 cup dry white wine

1/3 cup heavy cream

1 large shallot, very finely chopped

¾ cup (6 ounces, 1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into ½ -inch cubes and softened

½ teaspoon Kosher or sea salt

1/8 teaspoon white pepper, preferably freshly ground

2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives

Preheat the oven to low heat and place six dinner plates inside to warm. Assemble the Garlic Butter, herbs and spices, tomatoes and Beurre Blanc near the stove.

Place a very large skillet (or cook in batches) over high heat and add the clarified butter. Season the fillets with salt and pepper, and sauté, without crowding, 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until golden (total cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fillets).

Transfer the fish to a platter and keep warm in the oven, loosely covered with aluminum foil, while you make the sauce. Add the Garlic Butter to the same pan used for cooking the fish and place over medium heat. Add the shrimp and cook until they turn pink, about 2 minutes. Spoon off the excess butter from the pan and add the chopped herbs, red pepper flakes, black pepper and tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, and stir in the Beurre Blanc Sauce. Spoon the sauce and shrimp over the fish and serve immediately, providing the hot plates at the table.

Garlic Butter

In a food processor or an electric mixer, mix the butter until smooth. Add the chopped garlic and process until smooth, then add the Herbsaint, chopped parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix until completely smooth and all the liqueur has been absorbed; this may take 3 to 5 minutes in a stand mixer, but will take less time in a food processor. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

Beurre Blanc Sauce

In a small saucepan, combine the wine, cream and shallot and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer gently until reduced to about 2 tablespoons, watching carefully, about 10 minutes. Set aside for up to one hour before finishing the sauce, if desired, or finish immediately.

Place the pan over low heat to warm through, if necessary. As soon as it is steaming, add all the butter at once and swirl the pan or whisk the sauce continuously until the butter has been thoroughly absorbed and the sauce is smooth. Remove from the heat immediately, and stir in the pepper and chives. Use within 10 minutes or keep warm, covered, in the top of a double boiler over hot but not simmering water for up to one hour, stirring occasionally.