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Ai Fiori's Stuffed Morels and Halibut

Ai Fiori's Stuffed Morels and Halibut

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Maryse Chevriere

Stuffed Morels

"It's the little touches that separate you from other places," says executive chef Chris Jaeckle, referring to the extra effort and thought put into the dishes that he serves at Ai Fiori. While at home, we are not able to create meals with such precision and technical know-how, chef Jaeckle has generously adapted the recipe for Ippoglosso — halibut, morels, asparagus, hollandaise, and foie gras — for us to replicate his masterpiece at home (well, at least the best we can).

We were able to visit chef in the kitchen to watch him compose the dish from start to finish. If you want to see how it's done, check out the slideshow below for extra tips and advice.

How did this intricate and lovely spring dish come about? In two ways really. First, executive chef Chris Jaeckle and chef/owner Michael White were brainstorming one day about how to use the Hold-O-Mat machine that they have and playing around with the idea of doing more with fish. Chef Jaeckle explains that compared to White’s other restaurants, Ai Fiori is more feminine in its approach to food whereas his other restaurants are more masculine with a focus on searing and meats. Ai Fiori has more of a Provencal influence that focuses on the region's cuisine and fish is a better fit for that type of food. As the restaurant is based in the Northeast, halibut, asparagus, and morels are in season during the spring, so it seemed natural that this dish would come together with all of these components and with the method used. —Yasmin Fahr

Click here to see the D.I.Y. Restaurant Recipes: Ai Fiori's Stuffed Morels and Halibut Slideshow.


For the halibut:

  • Twelve 2-ounce portions of halibut
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Zest of 1 lemon

For the pea purée:

  • 1 cup peas
  • 2 ounces water
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

For the asparagus:

  • 1 bunch of green asparagus

For the halibut and foie gras mousse:

  • 4 ounces halibut trim
  • 2 ounces room temperature foie gras
  • 1 egg

For the morels:

  • 16 pieces morels

For the ginger hollandaise:

  • 1 bottle dry white wine
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Two 1-inch pieces of fresh peeled ginger
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ½ cup clarified butter
  • Chervil, for garnish


For the halibut:

Steep the lemon zest in the olive oil over night. Brush the halibut fillets with the olive oil, place in a warm oven at 150 degrees. Place the fish in the oven for approximately 45 minutes until warm in the center.

For the pea purée:

Blanch the peas in salted water until tender. Take ¾ of the peas and place in a blender, adding the water and olive oil. Blend until smooth, and pass through a fine mesh sieve. Reserve the leftover peas for the plate.

For the asparagus:

Cut the tops of the asparagus off 2 inches from the tip, and then repeatedly peel the stems creating strips. Blanch both cuts until tender.

For the halibut and foie gras mousse:

In a food processer blend the foie gras and halibut until smooth. Add the egg and continue to mix for 1 minute. Remove from the processer and place in a piping bag.

For the morels:

Cut the bottoms off of the morels and slice 7 of them thinly. Take the other 9 and stuff with the halibut and foie gras mousse.

For the ginger hollandaise:

Place everything but the eggs and butter in a pan and reduce to 4 tablespoons and strain. In a double boiler whisk the egg yolks until they thicken, and then slowly drizzle in the butter. Once incorporated, add the wine reduction and season.

To serve, warm all of the vegetables in a bit of butter and water. Heat the purée in a small pot, adding water if needed. Remove the fish from the oven, and place on the plate, wiping off the protein coagulates so it looks clean. Arrange the vegetables around the fish, spoon the purée in dollops* around a circular plate and the hollandaise on to the plate. Garnish with picked chervil.

Food comas

Ai Fiori Chef: Michael White Cuisine: Italian Neighborhood: Midtown Price: Appetizers $20-25, Entrées $30-50 Phone: 212-613-8660 Address: 400 Fifth Avenue, NY, NY 10018 Hours: Breakfast Mon-Fri 7am-10:30am, Sat-Sun 8am-10:30am Lunch Mon-Sun 11:45am-2:30pm Dinner Mon-Thurs 5:30pm-10:30pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-11pm, Sun 5pm-9:30pm It’s been a while since I’ve been to a Michael White restaurant. I had tried Marea &hellip Continue reading &rarr

Pan-Roasted Halibut

Posted by jdubs on April 19, 2011 · 2 Comments

Halibut is a fairly dense fish with a firm texture, which allows it to stand up well to the heat. Thus, halibut is an ideal fish for pan-roasting, grilling, broiling, or deep frying. This white fish has a very clean taste and requires very little seasoning. Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home recipe for Pan-Roasted Halibut &hellip Continue reading &rarr

Nobu, NYC

Posted by gooseva on March 22, 2011 · 1 Comment

Nobu Chef: Nobu Matsuhisa Cuisine: Japanese, Fusion Neighborhood: Tribeca Price: $100 per person would include appetizers, dessert and plenty of beverages Phone: (212) 219-0500 Address: 105 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013 Nobu New York, a joint venture between Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, The Myriad Restaurant Group (also responsible for other Tribeca hotspots Corton, Centrico, Tribeca &hellip Continue reading &rarr

Lemon-Dill Halibut

Posted by jdubs on October 5, 2010 · Leave a Comment

It was a Sunday evening and Natalya and I were embarking on another complex series of recipes from Kei (Harissa Salsa with Housemade Ricotta bruschetta and preparing the brine for Roasted Chicken). We knew it was probably going to take hours for those recipes and we would still need a main dish for dinner. I &hellip Continue reading &rarr

14 Authentic Spanish Tapas Fit for a Fiesta

Authentic Spanish tapas are served as complimentary small plates with each beverage ordered in Spain. As you enjoy happy hour, your taste buds are sated and bellies warmed with the savory (and sometimes spicy) bites. Toasted baguette slices are often served with Manchego cheese and heavenly thin, melt-in-your mouth slices of Jamón Ibérico, a cured ham produced in Spain and Portugal and hailed as the finest ham in the world. And nearly every Spanish table celebrates the region's legendary olive, whether the bright green marinated fruits are served as an appetizer. Other common dishes celebrate Spain's culinary traditions like seafood paella, a colorful rice dish with saffron and a medley of fresh clams, mussels, shrimp, and chorizo tortilla Espanola, a signature dish of Spain made of potato-filled omelet and ajo blanco, garlic and Marcona almonds' incredibly creamy answer to gazpacho. Tapas are perfect for laid-back gatherings. Many of these mouthwatering morsels and delectable dishes can be made ahead and served in flights throughout the evening. Whip up a few sangrias to enjoy with your favorite tapas at your own Spanish-inspired soiree. Salud!

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Mussels steam in the same saucepan as chili-and-fennel-spiced tomato sauce in this effortless supper.

Risotto only sounds intimidating—if you can stir, you can make it. Poaching the eggs ahead of time should quell any lingering performance anxiety.

Since 1995, Epicurious has been the ultimate food resource for the home cook, with daily kitchen tips, fun cooking videos, and, oh yeah, over 33,000 recipes.

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Halibut has a reputation for drying-out quickly if it’s cooked for too long, so most traditional methods require the fish to be briefly fried, grilled or roasted. If you want to embrace a slower method then turn to techniques like smoking or curing. Try pre-smoked halibut for recipes like Frances Aitkens’ Picnic on a Plate.

Halibut can also be cooked in the acidity of fruit juice or vinegar. For inspiration, see William Drabble’s recipe for Alaska halibut marinated in lemon vinegar with asparagus and chervil salad or Dave Watts’ Alaska halibut ceviche with shellfish and spring onion dressing, which marinade slivers of the fish for 20-30 minutes.

The most classic way of cooking halibut is pan-frying a fillet and serving it on a bed of greens with a simple sauce. To pan-fry, heat a generous amount of butter in a pan, and when it starts to foam then put the fillets in skin-down cooking until it is crispy. Cook briefly on the other side, but be careful not to over-do. For inspiration see Dominic Chapman’s pan-fried halibut with wild mushrooms and gnocchi or Adam Gray’s pan-fried halibut with smoked bacon and girolles.

When roasted or grilled, halibut steaks or fillets should still be cooked for a short amount of time – see Adam Gray’s recipe for roasted Alaska halibut, which cooks the fish for just 2 minutes in a frying pan and then 4 minutes in the oven at 180°C.

Best Wines for Grilled Chicken

Grilling chars the meat and adds a certain smoky flavor to it. For such chicken preparations, mild white wines will seem very bland. You need something stronger and acidic to match their flavor.


Oaked Chardonnay is perfect for grilled chicken, because its strong oak flavor cuts down the bitterness from the charred, smoked meat.

Pinot Noir

This mild red wine goes well with grilled chicken as well. Since this wine is not very mild or very strong, it complements the smoked flavor of grilled chicken, without overwhelming the flavors of the dish. It also goes well with herb-coated grilled chicken. However, if the grilled chicken is spiced, it’s best not to use this wine.


This fruity red wine is also a great option for grilled chicken, because its spicy, acidic character balances the smokey flavors well. High in alcohol content, this wine also goes well with barbecued chicken.

Sauvignon Blanc

This high acid wine pairs well with chicken grilled in a fresh, herb sauce. Its herbaceous character helps complement sauces and marinades with herbs. Sauvignon Blanc goes well with lemon and thyme grilled chicken.

Braised Morels Stuffed with Chorizo and Leeks

Chef Bill Jones of Magnetic North Cuisine shared this recipe with students at his recent Wild About Mushrooms class.

Chef’s note: I use an extra large morel that is graded for its huge size. If you have smaller morels, around the size of your thumb, use two or three morels per serving. Soak the morels in hot water for at least 20 minutes. They should swell up and be pliable when they are ready to use. The morels will cook again in wine or cider (or vegetable stock). You can skip the dressing and just finish the cooking juices with a little butter or olive oil.

4-8 dried morel mushrooms

1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil

1 Tbsp (15 mL) butter

1 leek, washed, trimmed and thinly sliced

1 Tbsp (15 mL) garlic, finely minced

1/4 cup (65 mL) olives, pitted and finely diced

1/4 cup (65 mL) chorizo, finely diced

Salt and pepper to taste

White wine (or apple cider) for cooking

1 tsp (5 mL) sweet paprika

2 Tbsp (30 mL) sherry vinegar

1 tsp (5 mL) garlic, finely minced

3 Tbsp (45 mL) flat leaf parsley

2 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil

Place the mushrooms in a heat-proof bowl, cover with boiling water and set aside. Meanwhile, heat a sauté pan over medium high heat. Place the olive oil, butter, leek, garlic, olives and chorizo in the pan and sauté the vegetables without browning. Remove from heat, cool slightly and season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cool to handling temperature.

Remove the mushrooms from the soaking liquid and gently squeeze dry. Place the mushrooms on a place lined with paper towel. Take each mushroom and, using a small spoon (or clean fingers), fill the mushroom with the chorizo mixture. Set aside and continue with the remaining stuffing and mushrooms.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the paprika, sherry vinegar, garlic, parsley and olive oil. Whisk until smooth, season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Place the stuffed morels in a sauté pan and add a little white wine (or apple cider). Gently simmer to warm through, about 5 minutes. Turn about halfway through the cooking time. Transfer to a serving plate and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Garnish with a few parsley sprigs and serve immediately.

Turbot fillet recipes

Turbot is available all year round, but its scarcity combined with its unique, meaty texture and flavour makes it the pinnacle of fish cookery for many chefs. Turbot has been highly sought after for centuries notable French gastronomes like Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin and Marie-Antoine Carême singled it out for special praise, with the latter calling turbot 'the prince of the seas'.

Turbot has a flavour similar to something like a Dover sole, but the texture is much firmer, more like halibut. As a result, it really is a chef's dream to cook with, and it stands up to flavours that might drown out more delicate fish.

The classic preparation would be to steam or poach turbot and accompany with a light sauce, such as parsley or hollandaise. Check out Robert Thompson's pan-roasted Turbot with fennel and Pernod velouté for something really classic. Nathan Outlaw's Turbot with tartare sauce is a British classic from a master of fish cookery, or try Luke Holder's Turbot with summer mushroom salad and apricot dressing if you want to cook something a little more exotic! Scroll down to take a look at our full collection of turbot recipes.

I am not a sentimental person, but I am a person who likes lists. And after two years of blogging, perhaps I should make a list of the favorite things I've eaten since I started. These will be specific things. So dinners at Babbo don't count it's a specific dish that stands out in my memory. These will include things I've cooked and things I've eaten at restaurants. I'll do this by scanning my archives instead of finishing the 9 pages I need to finish writing for tomorrow. That's how much I love you people. I'm making you a list at the expense of my education. Ready? Here we go.

The Best Things The Amateur Gourmet Has Eaten Since Starting His Blog [in chronological order]

Apple Cobbler from Saveur Magazine [1/2004]

Fried Chicken at Watershed in Atlanta [1/2004]

Tomato Sauce from the Babbo cookbook [3/2004]

Crab fritter at Bacchanalia in Atlanta [4/2004]

Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream from the ice cream maker cookbook [4/2004]

"Peach Melba"/Molard Duck "Foie Gras Au Torchon" Frog Hollow Farms Peach Jelly, Pickled White Peaches, Marinated Raw Onion, "Melba Toast" and Crispy Carolina Rice at Per Se [5/2004]

Turtle Ice Cream from The Barefoot Contessa [5/2004]

Pasta, Pesto & Peas from The Barefoot Contessa [6/2004]

Biscuits at The Silver Skillet in Atlanta [6/2004]

Biscuits from Cook's Illustrated [6/2004]

Biscuits at The Flying Biscuit [with apple butter, of course] in Atlanta [8/2004]

The turkey sandwich at 'Wichcraft in New York [8/2004]

Thai Jewels at Spice Market in New York [9/2004] [note: from here on we make the presumption that we're in New York, unless indicated otherwise]

Spontaneous Ricotta Cheesecake Baked in a Coffee Mug invented by me via the Chez Panisse Cookbook [9/2004]

Vanilla Bean Loaves from "Cooking For Mr. Latte" [9/2004]

Burger at The Burger Joint [10/2004]

Butternut squash soup with homemade marshmallows and sides of pumpkin seeds, some kind of croutons and huckleberry puree at Daniel [10/2004]

Chicken soup at The 2nd Ave. Deli [10/2004] [Sidebar: I will miss you 2nd Ave. Deli! You had the best chicken soup in New York.]

Fruit-stuffed waffle with creme brulee topping at Norma's [11/2004]

Almond cake from "Cooking for Mr. Latte" [11/2004]

Latkes from Epicurious [12/2004]

Tomato Sauce from Marcella Hazan [1/2005]

Salad of beets, smoked halibut and blood orange at Palena in DC [1/2005]

Lemon Sabayon Pine-Nut Tart from The French Laundry Cookbook [1/2005]

Blueberry Apple Kuchen from The French Laundry Cookbook [1/2005]

Kadjemoula from "Cooking for Mr. Latte" [2/2005]

Meyer Lemon Bars from Hessa & Contessa [2/2005]

The Pumpkin Salad & The Gnudi at The Spotted Pig [2/2005]

Doughnuts at Doughnut Plant [3/2005]

Almond-Crusted Duck at Jean-Georges [3/2005]

The lobster roll at Pearl Oyster Bar [3/2005]

Rugelach from The Barefoot Contessa [3/2005]

Orecchiette with Pancetta and Broccoli from The River Cafe Cookbook [4/2005]

Daniele's Piadina at Daniele's Piadina [5/2005]

Kitschy Kitschy Coconut Cake from "Cooking For Mr. Latte" (retitled by me) [5/2005]

Lunch sushi platter at Tomoe Sushi [6/2005]

Sundae with schlagg at Peter Luger's [6/2005]

Seafood Risotto at Trattoria alla Madonna in Venice [7/2005]

Grilled fish at Orhan in Dubrovnik [7/2005]

Greek Salad at Archipelagos in Santorini [7/2005]

Greek Salad I made myself when I got home from Europe [7/2005]

Everything we ate at Il Terrazzino in Monaco. I know that's cheating, but this is one of the best meals I've ever had in my life. Click the link to see photographic evidence. [7/2005]

Hamachi Tartare Topped with Wasabi Tobiko Ginger-Coriander Emulsion at Le Bernardin [8/2005]

Pasta Fiori with tomato concasse, thyme & rosemary at Cafe Gray. [8/2005]

Duck Salad at Wondee Siam II [9/2005]

Corn soup with salsa from Chez Panisse Vegetables [9/2005]

Caesar salad from The Barefoot Contessa [10/2005]

Rocky Road from "The Great Book of Chocolate" [10/2005]

Bacon and egg risotto at Craft [10/2005]

Mushroom soup from The Balthazar Cookbook [12/2005]

Caramel Corn from The Craft Cookbook [12/2005]

Macaroons at Laduree in Paris [12/2005]

Steak frites at Chez Omar in Paris [12/2005]

Mister H Mogador at Pierre Herme in Paris [12/2005]

Fallafel at L'as Du Fallafel in Paris [12/2005]

French toast at Au Gourmand in Paris [12/2005]

Pot Au Feau at Chez Paul in Paris [12/2005]

And that, my friends, is what I call two years of eating well. Who knows what the future holds for our tastebuds? Keep on reading as we continue the adventure.


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