Cotija-Crusted Halibut with Green Chile Sauce

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Green chile sauce:
1 jalapeño pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1/4 cup chopped green onions
4 tomatillos, husked and diced
1-1/2 cups chicken stock
2 New Mexico green chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp. lime juice
Salt freshly ground pepper to taste

1/2 cup flour
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp. water
1-1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
3/4 cup grated Cotija cheese
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
8 halibut or other firm white fish fillets (about 4-6 ounces each), skin removed
3 Tbsp. olive oil

Green Chile Sauce:  In a medium saucepan, place the jalapeño, garlic, green onions, tomatillos, and chicken stock.  Bring to a boil over moderately high heat; reduce heat and simmer until liquid is reduced to about 1 cup, about 15-20 minutes.  Pour chicken stock mixture into a blender or food processor. Add New Mexico chiles, cilantro, and lime juice.  Purée until smooth.  Taste for seasoning. Keep warm.

Fish: Set up three shallow bowls.  Place the flour in the first bowl.  In the second, beat the eggs and water.  In the third, combine panko, Cotija and lemon zest.  Dredge the flesh side of the fillets in the flour first, shaking off the excess.  Next, dip the flesh side in the egg.  Third, dredge the flesh side in the panko mixture to coat and then pat gently to press mixture into the egg.  Preheat oven to 400°F.  Heat the oil in a nonstick baking pan over medium high heat.  Arrange fish crust side down in the oil.  Sear until the crust is golden brown, about 4 minutes.  Turn the fish over and put the pan into the oven until the centers are pearly white and opaque, about 3 to 5 minutes.  To serve, place about 3 Tbsp. of the sauce

 Serves 8