Aren't these photos pretty? Well, photos can be deceiving. Don’t get me wrong…this halibut was scrumptious and I would make it again and again. But what you don’t see is the behind-the-scenes photo set-up.
I’ve tried not to let photography equipment take over the house. Normally, the dining room is home to two huge photo lights, a tripod, a reflector, white foam boards, props, and piles of linens. Although I used to pretend that this faux studio was temporary, I’ve given up the dining room to it. It is way too much trouble to take it down and put it back up every few days. But this weekend, we were trying something different: shooting in natural light. What a concept, huh? We don’t have a lot of options for good light, so we ended up with a very precarious set-up near the sliding glass door involving the tripod perched on cardboard boxes, way too much furniture crammed into a small corner, reflectors teetering dangerously and only four hands to try to wrangle all of this.
So…you see how some of these photos are on a nice, clean, white tablecloth? That was before one of the foam boards came crashing down, knocking the nearby measuring cup of sauce over, making it rain Cara Cara orange miso cream sauce, and prompting me to scream at the top of my lungs as I ran in what felt like slow motion to try to stop the disaster from happening. This was all perfectly fine with our dog, who dutifully came to provide his services and was very pleased to find out that even his bed was splattered with sauce.
Now, I will admit to being a slight over-reactor in times of crisis. Some people (Andy) might even say I am MORE than a slight over-reactor. And apparently I shot him a very dirty look when this all happened (which I have apologized for). But what I think is funny is that when the sauce spilled, my choice of exclamation was, “GOSH DANG IT!!!” This is funny because normally I curse like a sailor, and fine, I might be a big over-reactor. And that was all I could muster?
Anyway, no real harm done and all’s well that ends well, I suppose, even if the dog might lick a hole in his bed and the hardwood floor is now dangerously slick in that area. Does that mean the other parts of the floor are just really dirty? Nah…
Halibut with Cara Cara Orange Miso Cream Sauce and Roasted Beets
Sauce: 1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup Cara Cara orange juice
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tablespoon white miso
1/4 teaspoon Cara Cara orange zest
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
4 halibut filets
Trim greens off beets. Place in a glass baking dish and toss generously with olive oil, salt and pepper. Cover tightly with foil. Roast at 425 degrees F for 45 minutes, until beets are tender. Let cool, then peel and slice. Reserve.
In a small saucepan, heat a very small drizzle of oil. Sauté garlic quickly, then add orange juice and wine. Bring to a boil, then simmer until reduced by about half. Add cream, and whisk in miso and orange zest. Let mixture reduce for a few minutes. Whisk in butter, a few cubes at a time and heat until mixture is thickened. Reserve.
Lightly oil halibut filets, then sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large stainless pan. When oil is very hot, place halibut in pan and cook for a 3-5 minutes per side, depending on thickness.
To serve, place arugula on plate and top with halibut filet. Spoon sauce on halibut, then place roasted beets on top of fish. Top with more sauce, as desired.
My advice: don’t knock your sauce over. It’s really good and has hints of orange that pair very nicely with the roasted beets. For the sake of the photos, I used it very sparingly, but with the sauce I had left, I drenched my plate.