Growing up in Seattle made me aware that Pacific Northwest fresh Halibut comes into season and is available at the Pikes Place Market just in time for Passover. My Nona and mom always made a light lemony, creamy looking Egg Lemon Sauce for Passover fish. Since we ate a fish course for dinner and fish with dairy for lunch my mom made several kinds of fish over several days. Huevo Limon was an alternative to the usual Salmon with tomato sauce or Pescado con Tomat served traditionally by Sephardic Jews from Rhodos and Turkey
To make 8 appetizer size 2 ounce servings you will need:
1 pound of fresh halibut filet (you can also use other white fishes such as cod or Petrale sole)
½ cup matzo cake flour (for dredging)
2 eggs beaten
Vegetable oil for frying fish
1 cup cold water
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon matzo cake flour
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
Using a sharp knife divide the halibut into 8 portions. I cut them long on the diagonal for halibut, so that the pieces are about ½ inch thick and even. Season the cake flour with salt. Lightly dredge each slice of halibut. Set the slices of fish aside on a large piece of aluminum foil. Next, beat the first two eggs until well blended in a shallow bowl. Preheat a sauté pan; add vegetable oil until about ¼ inch deep. Dip each slice of halibut in the beaten egg and place in the medium hot sauté pan. Continue to fry the fish, turning only once until golden on both sides. Remove fish carefully from the oil and place on paper towel to drain any excess oil.
To make the Huevo Limon sauce, heat the water to a boil in a small saucepan. While the water is heating, crack the 2 eggs and 1 yolk in a small bowl. Beat with a whisk until well blended. Add the lemon juice (about 1 and ½ lemons depending on juiciness) and then add the tablespoon of cake flour and salt to taste. Whisk to blend again.
When the water in the sauce pan comes to a boil, whisk two tablespoons of the hot water into the eggs. This is called tempering the eggs. Next, pour the tempered eggs back into the sauce pan whisking constantly. Turn the heat down and continue to whisk. The sauce will continue to thicken as it gets hot. Do not let the sauce boil as it will curdle. Just let it simmer until thick. Adjust the seasoning, salt and garnish with fresh chopped parsley. Serve the sauce along side of the fish. I made 3 versions of this recipe and I learned the hard way that this sauce really will curdle. Also just putting the sauce on plain baked fish was very monotone for me, so I fried the pieces and then it tasted and looked better.
I know some readers are perhaps thinking of a sauce baked in the oven with the fish. That sauce will have to thicken by reduction not by addition of eggs and cake flour. Another dish with Egg lemon sauce is called Agristada. That is egg lemon sauce with little parsley and ground beef meat balls. That recipe will have to wait until tomorrow morning since I am so tired.
Today in my ‘hechos de pesach’ I fried 50 Kufte de Prassa, roasted two briskets for Passover, one French roast with prunes, boiled a huge pot of chicken soup, made two batches of Passover biscotti, and baked two batches of almond Marunchinos. Tomorrow I have another long list to get through, but hey, if I don’t do all this then who will make Pesach? Who will carry on the tradition, and who will fulfill the duty of inviting those with no Seder to go to?