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Macadamia Nut-Crusted Halibut with Red Onion, Tomato and Balsamic Salsa

4 ounces macadamia nuts
2 cups flour
2 pounds halibut fillet
salt and pepper -- to taste
1 egg -- slightly beaten
olive oil -- as needed
Red Onion, Tomato and Balsamic Salsa -- recipe follows
herb sprigs -- as needed for garnish

Place the nuts on a half sheet pan and toast them lightly in the oven. Combine the toasted nuts with 1 cup (240 milliliters) of flour in a food processor. Process until the nuts are chopped finely, but not pulverized.

Cut the halibut into four portions.

Season the fillets with salt and pepper and then bread them using the standard breading procedure described in Chapter 9, Mise en Place. The nut-flour mixture is the final coating.

Heat a sautoir and add a thin film of olive oil. Place the breaded fillets in the oil, leaving some space between each fillet so that they will cook properly. Sauté the fillets until they are a deep golden brown and crusty, then turn them over and cook until the fish is medium rare to medium. Remove the fillets from the pan. Residual heat will complete the cooking.

Spoon some of the salsa onto a serving platter and place the fillets on top of the salsa. Spoon a small dollop of salsa on each fillet and place a small herb sprig next to it. Serve the remaining salsa on the side.

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