David Scott AllenFish & SeafoodMain CourseProvencal RecipesTaste: Food & Drink

Easy Poached Arctic Char in Butter Sauce

Sometimes you need a bit of inspiration for cooking; in this case, it happened to be a friend’s trip to Scandinavia.

This easy recipe for poached Arctic Char embellishes a classic french beurre blanc sauce. What could be better than butter, white wine with an exotic twist of pear and vanilla? Generally found in northern waters in Canada and several Nordic countries, Arctic Char is a cold-water fish that spawns in freshwater. The species shares similarities with salmon and trout, both of which are found easily at most fish counters in Provence.

Easy Poached Arctic Char

Poached Arctic Char with Pear-Vanilla Beurre Blanc

This meal is quick to prepare in 30 minutes or less. I used Arctic Char but salmon or trout work equally well, although the cooking time will vary a little. Enjoy with a crisp white wine from Châteauneuf-du-Pape. We did!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine French
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 3 1/2 cups White Wine divided
  • 20 Baby carrots for the side
  • juice of a Meyer Lemon
  • 1 shallot peeled and cut in half
  • large pinch of Salt
  • 1 Pear
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • pinch of Sugar
  • 4 X 6 oz Arctic Char fillets skin removed, or salmon
  • 4 tbsp Butter
  • microgreens for garnish (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Bring 3 cups wine to a boil in a skillet in which the fish will easily fit without being crowded.
  • Add the carrots and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until carrots are crisp-tender, then remove the carrots to a plate, cover, and keep warm.
  • Place the remaining 1/2 cup white wine, Meyer lemon juice, and halved shallot in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Add salt and boil until liquid is reduced to a couple of tablespoons.
  • Remove from heat and discard the shallot.
  • Place a double layer of cheesecloth on the counter and, using the large holes on a box grater, grate the pear (skin and all) onto the cheesecloth. Gather up the cloth and, over a bowl, squeeze out all the juice. You should have about 1/3 cup.
  • Add the pear juice, vanilla, and a pinch of sugar to the wine-lemon reduction and return to the heat to reduce, once more, to a couple of tablespoons. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Bring wine in skillet back to a simmer, just about to boil. Please see note below.
  • Place the fillets, skinned side up, in the wine and simmer briskly for 2 minutes. Carefully turn the fillets and simmer an additional two minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and set aside, keeping fish warm in the wine. (If using salmon, you will need to cook longer, as salmon fillets are much thicker than char.)
  • Bring the sauce reduction to a boil again; whisk in the cold butter one tablespoon at a time until the beurre blanc is emulsified and ready to serve.
  • Place the fillets on 4 plates, and gently spoon sauce over, allowing to pool on the side. Place cooked carrots to the side, and add a few microgreens atop the fish for garnish, if you like.

Notes

Do not bring to a full boil; if the poaching liquid is boiling, it will tear apart the tender fish.
Keyword Butter, Fish, Pears
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen is the author, photographer, and cook behind Cocoa & Lavender, a weekly food blog based in Tucson, Arizona. Passionate about travel, he especially enjoys eating traditional foods and learning local customs, whether in the United States or around the globe.

David's first trip to France took place when he was 14, and he returned as often as possible thereafter. However, it wasn't until his 50th birthday that he finally made it south to Provence. The beauty, history, charm, warmth, cuisine, and - of course - the rosé wines captured his heart. He shares his Provençal recipes here on Perfectly Provence, and his food and wine pairings monthly on the Provence WineZine.

David is a firm believer that sharing a meal with friends around the table is one of life's greatest pleasures. And if it happens to be in Provence, all the better!

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