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Arctic Char with Leeks, Tomato and Basil Cream

Provided by Mel & Sheryl London

Farmed off the pristine waters of the coast of Galway, this beautiful, peach colored fish rivals its lovely, unique taste. Here it is enhanced with an aromatic reduction of wine, cream, leeks & basil

Arctic Char with Leeks, Tomato and Basil Cream


  • 2 thin leeks, white part and one inch pale green (about ½ pound after cleaning & trimming)
  • 2 tablespoons soft butter
  • 1 cup of dry white wine
  • 1 or 2 large shallots, finely minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 ½ pounds Irish Sea Trout fillets with skin, cut into 4 portions (SUBSTITUTE: Arctic Char or Salmon)
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 thick slice lemon, peeled, seeded & white pitch removed, and pulp cut into tiny bits grape tomatoes, cut into quarters (about ½ cup)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 to 8 basil leaves, cut into fine chiffonade


Chop the leeks finely in a food processor. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a small skillet over medium heat and sauté, stirring occasionally for 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1/3 cup of the wine, raise the heat and bring to a boil. Then, cover the skillet, lower the heat to medium, cook 5 minutes and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large 12 inch skillet, melt the remaining butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and stir to coat. Then place the fish over the shallots, pour the remaining 2/3 cup of wine over the fish, bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover the pan and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, testing the thickest part of fish with the point of a knife. When the fish is cooked, transfer to warm serving plates and cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Cook the remaining liquid and shallots in the same pan until reduced by half. Add the reserved leeks and then cream, and cook, stirring over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes until reduced a bit. Then stir in the lemon bits, tomatoes, salt and pepper and basil. Spoon some of the sauce around to showcase the color of the fish.

Serves 4


MEL & SHERYL LONDON are the authors of eleven cookbooks, including “A Seafood Celebration” and “The Fish Lovers” Cookbook.” They are winners of the James Beard Award and the Tastemaker Award and were finalists for the IACP Cookbook Award for “The Gourmet Garage Cookbook.” They have been loyal and loving customers of The Lobster Place since the company first opened its doors in Chelsea Market.