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Fish Story : Chef Deniaud's Halibut Dish Lets You Bring Home a Bit of The Bistro

January 15, 1989|ROSE DOSTI | Dosti is a Times staff writer.

JUST LOOK AT THE recipe for Steamed Halibut with Caviar-Lime Sauce and you'll know you're in the big leagues. Its creator, Chef Lionel Deniaud, 29, a protege of France's Gaston Lenotre, now works side by side with Chef George Faustle at The Bistro. If Deniaud was doing the honors--European-fashion--at The Bistro, the fish course would precede an entree of pheasant served with honeyed figs.

However, a California-style menu prepared at home might find the halibut as a main course, preceded by consomme (any kind) or an appetizer of ravioli; the meal could end with a salad--perhaps a salad of fresh baby greens and herbs in a simple vinaigrette. A creme brulee for dessert would be a compatible ending for the meal, whatever the dining style.

STEAMED HALIBUT WITH CAVIAR-LIME SAUCE

1 cup minced onion

1 cup minced celery

1 cup minced carrot

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/4 cup chopped parsley

3 bay leaves

2 whole cloves

Salt, freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup dry white wine

6 (6-ounce) halibut steaks

1 cup fish stock

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons lime juice

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/4 cup black caviar

1 hard-cooked egg, sieved

2 tablespoons minced chives

Saute onion, celery and carrot in butter about 10 minutes until vegetables are soft. Add parsley, bay leaves and cloves. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook, covered, over low heat 15 minutes. Add white wine and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes. Remove bay leaves, and puree mixture in food processor.

Sprinkle halibut with salt and pepper, and steam halibut steaks in fish stock in skillet until tender. Carefully remove steaks to platter. Add pureed vegetables and whipping cream to sauce.

Simmer, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Add juices. Remove from heat and add 2 tablespoons caviar. Pour sauce over fish, and top each steak with 1 teaspoon caviar. Sprinkle with sieved egg and minced chives. Makes 6 servings.

Food styled by Norman Stewart; prop styling by Robin Tucker; props courtesy of The Pavilion at Tanner Market, Pasadena.

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