Brodo with Pacific Halibut Quenelle and Shaved Wild Mushrooms

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 25 min
  • Prep: 45 min
  • Inactive: 1 hr
  • Cook: 40 min
  • Yield: 5 appetizer servings
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3 New Mexican chiles

6 to 7 Thai bird chiles

3 ancho chiles

2 cups dried porcinis

2 whole heads garlic

3 red onions, skins on, halved

3 stalks lemongrass, bruised with a knife

2 tablespoons peppercorns

3 bay leaves

Kosher salt

1 (750-ml) bottle white wine

Reserved bones, head and tail from 1 (30 to 40-pound) pacific halibut, chopped into large chunks

Cold water, to cover 

About 1 quart scraped halibut bits, placed in a bowl over an ice bath to keep cold

2 egg whites

3 to 4 ounces heavy cream, chilled, plus more as needed


2 to 3 kaffir lime leaves

4 whole star anise

1 cinnamon stick

4 blue foot mushrooms, stems and tops thinly sliced 

2 tablespoons freshly picked chervil leaves

1 Fresno chile, thinly sliced into rounds

Zest of 1 lime


Special equipment:
food processor, blade and bowl in freezer to chill; French press; coffee filter
  1. Place a very large saucepan over medium-high heat, add the New Mexican chiles, Thai bird chiles, ancho chiles, porcini mushrooms, garlic, red onions, lemongrass, peppercorns, bay leaves, 2 big pinches salt, and the white wine. Add the bones, head and tail from the fish and cover with about 2-inches cold water over the bones. Bring to a simmer for about 30 minutes, skimming occasionally to remove any impurities that float to the top. 
  2. Place the halibut scraps into the chilled food processor bowl with a bit pinch of salt and pulse to blend to a similar size. Be careful not to over process because the food processor does create heat and the fish will get tough. Add the egg whites and pulse to combine. Add about 3 to 4 ounces heavy cream and blend to combine. Add a touch more heavy cream if needed; you are looking for a fluffy mousse or mashed potato consistency. Pour the mixture into a clean bowl and place back over an ice bath to keep chilled. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to shape into quenelles. 
  3. Remove some of the broth and add to a high sides saute pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Using 2 large metal spoons form the fish into quenelles and place onto a hotel pan or baking sheet covered in plastic wrap for easy removal. Add the fish quenelles to the gently simmering broths and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes until they are cooked through.
  4. For plating: (1 serving) 
  5. Place a coffee filter over a wire mesh strainer over a bowl and add 4 to 5 cups broth. Allow to strain through, pushing with a spoon if needed. 
  6. To a French press, add the kaffir lime leaves, star anise, cinnamon stick and pour over the strained broth. Allow the mixture to steep, about 2 minutes. Press and taste for seasoning. 
  7. Place 1 of the cooked quenelles into the middle of a serving bowl. Top each with some of the mushrooms, chervil, chiles, and lime zest. Pour the broth over the quenelle.

Cook’s Note

You can easily make this in smaller portions, just reduce the amount of ingredients used

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