F E S T I V A L  2003

february 28 - march 3, 2003
south beach recipes

Halibut and Black Trumpets
with Champagne and Watercress Broth
Laurent Gras, Fifth Floor-San Francisco, CA
Adapted by StarChefs

Yield: 1 serving


  • 5 ounces Halibut filet
  • ½ ounce browned butter
  • 2 ounces champagne
  • 4 ounces chicken stock
  • ¼ ounce cornstarch, diluted in cold water
  • Fleur de sel (sea salt) and white peppercorn, freshly ground, to taste

Black trumpets:

  • 2 ounces black trumpets
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Fresh butter
  • ¼ ounce champagne
  • Fleur de sel and pepper to taste

Watercress broth:

Yield: 20 servings

  • 3 bunches watercress
  • 12 ounces spinach, trimmed
  • Rock salt
  • 3 ounces vegetable stock
  • 1 ounce cornstarch
  • 2 ounces green bean purée
  • 3 ounces starch
  • 1 ounce butter
  • Fleur de sel and pepper to taste

Champagne sauce:

Yield: 10 servings

  • 5 ounces chicken legs
  • 5 ounces champignon mushrooms
  • 1 ounce celery branch
  • 10 ounces halibut bones and meat trimmings
  • 20 ounces champagne
  • 10 ounces meat stock
  • Rock salt
  • Duck fat
  • 5 ounces champagne
  • 2 ounces browned butter
  • 3 ounces chicken stock
  • 1 ounce cornstarch

To prepare halibut: Remove the filet off of the bone, and trim the edges perfectly. Cut each filet into 5-ounce pieces. Clean the bone and reserve the meat trimmings for the sauce.

Boil the chicken stock. Dilute the cornstarch in cold water, and add to the chicken stock. Keep the stock warm. Meanwhile, pour the champagne into a sauté pan. Melt the butter and thicken the reduction with the cornstarch stock mixture. Place the halibut in the pan. Braise slowly to keep the meat perfectly white. Reduce the liquids and glaze the filets.

To prepare black trumpets: Cut off the bottoms of the feet, wash several times, and let drain. Dry in a cheesecloth. Steam the trumpets for five minutes. Sauté the trumpets quickly in butter; season at the very end with champagne, fleur de sel, and freshly ground pepper.

To prepare watercress broth: Pick up the leaves from the stem. Poach in salty water; when the leaves become tender, shock in iced water. Drain and dry the leaves. Blend to a very thin purée, and strain using a fine Japanese sieve.

Boil the vegetable stock. Dilute the cornstarch in cold water, and add to the chicken stock. Keep the stock warm. Meanwhile, in a pot brown the 1 ounce butter by cooking it until it turns dark, but not black in color. Add the watercress purée, and cook quickly to blend the flavors and the color. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Strain the mixture - the consistency of the broth must be thick but very smooth.

To prepare champagne sauce: Cut the chicken bones and halibut bones into pieces; wash under running water. Peel the champignon mushrooms and celery; dice finely. Simmer the chicken with duck fat, add the mushrooms and celery and return to a simmer. Combine the meat stock with 20 ounces of champagne; slowly bring to boil.

Skim the surface of both broths. Add the halibut trimmings to the meat broth and boil for 40 minutes. Strain both broths in a fine chinois lined with a cheesecloth. Pour the meat broth into a saucepan and reduce (to taste) with the browned butter and 5 ounces of champagne.

Boil 3 ounces of chicken stock. Dilute the cornstarch in cold water, and add to the chicken stock. Keep the stock warm. Thicken the reduction with the cornstarch; let boil for 15 more minutes. Season and strain.

To serve: Pour the watercress broth on a plate. Place the halibut filet on top of the broth, and sprinkle the black trumpets on top and around the filet. Pour the jus on the dish.

Robert Mondavi Winery, Oakville, Napa Valley, CA