Halibut with Porcini Mushrooms and Cabernet Vinegar


4 – 8 oz halibut filet

2 oz dried porcini mushrooms

2 T vegetable oil (grape seed, peanut or canola)

2 shallots, peeled and finely diced

1/2 c Cabernet wine

1/2 c Sparrow Lane Cabernet Vinegar

1/2 lb unsalted butter

1 lb red or heirloom potatoes (small and mixed varieties)

4 garlic cloves

1 stick of butter, room temperature, cut into pieces

Salt and (lots) Fresh ground pepper to crust the filet


Spread dried porcini mushrooms on a cookie sheet and dry further in a 250-degree oven for about 15 minutes or until brittle. Allow to cool and pulverize to a fine powder in a blender. Set aside.
In a non-reactive saucepan, combine shallots and red wine, along with a good pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and reduce until about 2 tablespoons remain. Add Cabernet vinegar and reduce again until almost dry (about 1-2 tablespoons). Remove from heat for a moment. Return pan to very low heat and begin adding butter one tablespoon at a time, whisking continuously. Adjust seasoning and set aside.
Cook peeled potatoes and garlic in large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain well. Return potatoes and garlic to pot.
Using handheld electric mixer, beat potato mixture at low speed until smooth. Add butter; beat until melted and smooth. Increase speed and whip potatoes just until light and fluffy. Add 1/5 cup of milk if you wish for a puree like consistency.
Press halibut filets in porcini powder along with freshly ground pepper and salt mixture. Sear filet in oil in a hot heavy sauté pan. Put pan in the oven and finish, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Remove fish from oven and plate over potatoes and sauce. Seasonal steamed vegetables such as Swiss chard, peas, spinach or asparagus are recommended as an accompaniment.