02.03.20

Israeli Couscous Milanese with Seared Halibut

Love is in the air! Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and it’s time to celebrate with someone you love. Whether it be your partner, spouse, or friend– Valentine’s Day is a fun day to enjoy a fancy meal with someone you care about. I always tell Clayton, I don’t want anything I just want a GOOD DINNER. 

For me personally, I hate going out to eat on Valentine’s Day anymore. Why? Because all the nice restaurants do that damn pre-fixed menu business and I *really* hate pre-fixed menus. I want to be able to enjoy the restaurant normally, and be able to explore and experience the entire menu. 

This is exactly why I have taken Valentine’s Day into my own kitchen. Making a fancy, delicious meal is fun. Shake things up and open a beautiful bottle of wine, make a dish you’ve never made before, and light a few candles! It’ll be just as, if not more special, than going out to eat. 🙂

Here is a simple, yet absolutely delicious date-night dinner for you to try. I’ve taken one of my favorite risotto recipes and turned it into an easy-to-make Israeli couscous version because 1. Israeli couscous is one of my favorite things on the planet. It’s so pillowy and soft and soaks up all the flavors of whatever you are cooking with AND 2. Risotto can be challenging and intimidating to make in your own kitchen. You have to sit and stir for quite some time to make the magic happen and it’s really one of those things you just have to know when it’s ready and done. For me, I love that style of cooking and risotto is one of my favorite things to make; however, I understand it’s not for everyone and it’s a bit scary to take on.

This is why I’ve taken my favorite Risotto Milanese and made it into this simple, one pot Israeli couscous Milanese instead. With onion, saffron, + white wine to infuse the couscous–the essence of the classic risotto recipe is captured with minimal work in the kitchen. Topped with a pan-seared flakey and buttery halibut filet, you just won’t be able to get enough of this simple, sophisticated dish! 

Israeli Couscous Milanese with Seared Halibut

Serves: 2 people
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Ingredients

For the Isreali Couscous Milanese:

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • pinch saffron threads about 20 threads
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1.5 cups Israeli Couscous, uncooked
  • 2.5 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice or 1/2 lemon

For the Halibut:

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 [6-8 ounce] Halibut Filets
  • kosher salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • freshly chopped parsley, for serving

Instructions

Make the Isreali Couscous Milanese:

  • In a small bowl, combine the white wine and the saffron threads. Stir to combine and set aside.
  • Heat a saucepan or small pot over medium heat with the olive oil. When hot, add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until the onions are just tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Add in the uncooked isreali couscous and toss to combine. Pour in the saffron/white wine mixture and stir until well combined. Let cook until the wine has reduced by half, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook, stirring often and uncovered, until the liquid has absorbed and couscous is tender, about 10 minutes. 
  • Remove from heat and stir in the parmesan and lemon juice. Cover to keep warm until ready to serve.

Cook the Halibut:

  • Meanwhile, while the couscous is simmering. Pat dry the fish filets. Season generously with salt and pepper on the flesh side.
  • Heat oil in a separate skillet over medium high heat. When it is hot (but not yet smoking) add the fish filets and cook until a golden brown crust forms and it is cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side (depending on how many ounces your filets are). Fish should flake easily with a fork.
  • Serve halibut over the isreali couscous milanese and garnish with parsley and a little extra grated parmesan. Enjoy!

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