Most people are preoccupied and busy during the week, so weeknight dinners lean towards the quick and simple.  But,  every once in a while it’s nice to create a special meal, and Wednesday’s my favorite day to do it, because it’s right in the middle of the exhausting road to the weekend.  It’s HUMP DAY!   After reading  a  comment from Lisa, I decided to include such special dinners in a  category  called “Celebrate Wednesday.”  They will  focus on recipes  that are easy to prepare and sure to bring festivities to the table.  Today  it’s a  delicious  recipe from Anne Burrell,  that turned a cloudy, chilly Wednesday this past week into a warm, relaxing evening.

(adapted from Chef Anne Burrell, recipe available online here)

6 celery ribs
Kosher salt
1 lemon, halved, divided
1/2 pound green beans,  cut in 1/2 inch pieces
Extra-virgin olive oil
1  garlic clove
Pinch of red pepper flakes
4 (6-ounce) halibut fillets, skin removed
1/2 bunch thyme, leaves chopped
1/2  bunch chives, minced
4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, leaves finely chopped
1 cup instant mashed potato flakes
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water (egg wash)
olive oil

Using a sharp veggie peeler, shave the celery to get long, thin shavings. Put the celery shavings in ice water with half a lemon and its juice and let sit for at least 1 hour or overnight in the refrigerator. The celery will get very crunchy, and all curly. Before you start preparing the rest of the meal, drain the celery and dry it well (preferably using a salad spinner). Reserve.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil,  and set up a bowl of ice water. Toss the green beans in the boiling water and cook until they beans are tender but still firm. Remove the beans from the boiling water and plunge immediately into the ice water and let them cool. When they are cold and still vibrantly green, remove them from the ice water and reserve (can be prepared the day before).

Heat your oven to 375 F.

Season the fish fillets with salt. Combine the herbs and the potato flakes in a shallow dish. Place the egg wash in another bowl. Dip the flesh side of each fillet into the egg wash and then press them into the herb/potato flake mixture. Put on a sheet tray with the crusted side up.

Coat a large saute pan with olive oil and heat it over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the fish, crusted side down. When the crust has become golden and crispy, flip them over, then transfer the fish to a baking sheet lined with a cooling rack and put in the preheated oven for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the filet is flaky and cooked through.

Remove the oil in the saute pan and add new oil. Toss in the garlic and crushed red pepper. When the garlic becomes golden and aromatic remove it and discard. Toss in the reserved green beans, and toss them around the pan to heat them through, without overcooking.  Turn off the heat, and add the crispy celery on top. Squeeze the juice of the other half of the lemon all over the veggies, divide them between 4 serving plates and top with the fish.

ENJOY!  (I know you will…  😉 ) 

to print the recipe, click here

 I don’t normally buy instant mashed potatoes, but when Anne Burrell asked me to, I complied. It took me a while to even find them at the grocery store. They come in a box and they hang around their buddies like boxed mac and cheese,  and hamburger helpers.  Now I must find some other uses, because the box is huge! (sigh)

The celery deserves a paragraph for itself.  The ribbons, after a few hours in the icy, lemony water, turn into crispy creatures, absolutely delicious! They were a pain to shave, but that’s probably due to my poor skills with the veggie peeler. I halved the recipe (used two fish filets only), but still went through 6 celery stalks to have enough good looking ribbons. At any rate, I advise you to make more than you think you need. Add it to a salad next day, or munch on them straight from the fridge. It’s addictive stuff!

This was a superb meal, one that I would make for company anytime.  And had the desired effect on my beloved, who was expecting leftovers from the evening before for his dinner.  😉

ONE YEAR AGO: Almond Butter Cake

TWO YEARS AGO: Bonjour!  (makes me miss Paris!)

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  1. Great work with that celery… the ribbons looks so sexy. What kind of veggie peeler did you used? I have 3 types and I’m pretty good handling them, I must try them on celery.
    Everything looks great on your plate, I’m sure the combination of textures is wonderful, but you already had me when you mentioned crunchy, curly, crispy cellery creatures. Lots of “c” involved there 🙂


    • I used a pretty humble peeler, and come to think of it, the poor thing is a bit old… do I need a new one? 😉
      Mine is a Zyliss, but I went into their site and could not find the exact model anymore, I think mine is now ready to go for a museum

      yeah, maybe it was the peeler’s fault?


      • I have a red Zyliss with a serrated blade, a Bodum y shape, and a Fackelmann with regular blade. I don’t think I have enough of them, if I were you, I’d buy imediately some replacements for the old one (notice I used the plural)
        the asparagus season is coming, you might consider investing in an asparagus peeler too 😀


  2. Anne Burrell has become one of my favorites on the Food Network. Those celery ribbons are genius! I have to try that. Gorgeous crusted fish too.

    This is a great idea for a blog feature! I can’t wait to see what else appears under Celebrate Wednesday. Last Wednesday, I made some deviled eggs just because I wanted to use more miso mayo, and Kurt was delighted. It was easy enough, but it seemed kind of special for a way to start a Wednesday meal. More mid-week celebrations will follow!


    • You should jump right in with Wed Celebrations! The more the merrier, and I could very well get some inspiration… 😉

      Anne Burrell is amazing – almost every single show she does something a little unexpected, a little unusual, and I cannot WAIT to get to the kitchen and try it myself
      (well, she does have a heavy hand with oil but I adapt)

      ps – nice new profile photo, Lisa!


    • I’ve used peeled asparagus, and peels of carrots too, I bet we can find more examples around…

      (by the way, I meant to tell you “smidgen” is one of “those” words for me… beautiful, musical)


  3. Sally, Mary posted this recipe a while back on CTC and I made it recently using cod since I couldn’t find halibut. It was great and I’ll make it again. I purchase instant potato flakes from Whole Foods since they don’t have nasty additives. You can use just a bit to thicken soups and stews, and I often use them for breading since I can’t have wheat. I need a ceramic Y peeler and you do, too. The celery took forever using my old peeler, but it was really good!


    • ceramic Y peeler… noted. 🙂
      I happened to cut my finger really bad with a ceramic knife last week, so I’m a bit traumatized about ceramic stuff, but “this too shall pass”


  4. I am so glad you enjoyed it too Sally. I think it makes a stunning presentation, especially with haricot verts. I have an Oxo Y peeler with replaceable blades and I love it, would have no other. I wish I could try this with halibut, but it runs 25-45 dollars a pound here.


    • Hello there!

      I am sure you can do this with any other type of fish, as long as it is thick enough and mild enough. Not sure I would do it with salmon, but cod would work, if you can find it. Don’t tell anyone, I had to use frozen halibut, but at least it was supposed to be high quality 😉


      • Sally,
        I had made it several weeks ago, since I love her recipe for potato crusted halibut. I made it with cod and raved about it at CTC. I had used haricot verts and I am in love with this recipe. It is truly the best presentation I have ever seen. Now you must try the potato crusted one.


        • definitely, because the fish wrapped in potato slices is actually one of my culinary projects for this year!

          I took this one as a warm up fir the real thing…. 🙂


    • Anne Burrell manages to do incredibly nice meals with humble ingredients – I have my mind set on a cauliflower preparation she did a while ago. Simplicity by definition, but made me instantaneously crave for it.


  5. This is great looking, I love, love celery and this looks like a winning application! My rec for peeler is OXO’s Y peeler and replacement blades!
    And for the potato flakes I use them on Salmon–spread honey mustard over the filet and top with flakes pressing them and cooking the same way as the halibut, very easy and very tasty!


  6. I love how you make an ordinary weeknight meal into something so “fancy” and romantic. That’s just so fun! These celery ribbons look beautiful too. I’m guessing I’d go through a lot of celery trying to pull these off too – but it looks totally worth it! 🙂


  7. I love watching Ann Burelle cook and have enjoyed many of her recipes! I remember this fish too because of the instant potatoes!! Guess you’ll just have to make the fish again a few times to use up the box!! I love the idea of the celery too. Nice weeknight meal I might add as well!!


    • It is amazing what a nice, unexpected dinner can do to improve the atmosphere after a hard day in the lab.

      I get so excited about arriving home and pulling one of these meals, ESPECIALLY if I manage to hide from Phil until dinner is served. Not very easy to do, but I can be very very sneaky, you know… 😉


  8. Wow, Sally, this looks great and I’m loving all the St-Paddy’s day Green in this dish! I could wear those celery ribbons in my hair they’re so beautiful 😉 and your halibut looks DE.lish…


  9. This is a great recipe, Sally, and not too different than ours. Replace the potato flakes with bread crumbs and they’re very close. I bet those herbs give yours a wonderful flavor.
    I’ve grown to really like Anne’s cooking. I’ve tried a few of her dishes and never had a problem with them.


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