Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Halibut with Tomatoes & Olives

All Gone
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
As you can see from the photo, dinner was quite good tonight. Fresh halibut was on sale. I didn't have my safe fish guide (it tells which fish not to eat because of over fishing...etc.) so I bought it. I can't find the guide so I don't know if I should have bought it or not. Alas, too late.

Anyway, this is an excellent and easy recipe I modifed from a recipe off Epicurious.com. The recipe calls for 4 6-7 halibut fillets. I used 4 four ounce fillets and found that the amount of sauce was just enough. If you are serving four people, double the sauce.

Halibut filets
All purpose flour
4 T. Olive Oil, Divided
2 large shallots, chopped (I used a combination of scallions and shallots)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata or Nicoise Olives
1 -2 tsp dried basil (It would be better with fresh but I didn't have any. 1/2 cup fresh would be right)
1/3 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup dry white wine

Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour. Heat 2 T olive oil in heavy large non-stick or seasoned skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add fish and saute until lightly browned and just opaque in center, about 4 minutes each side, depending on fillet thickness. If they are really thick, you could finish them in a 400 degree oven while you make the sauce. Or, transfer fish to a plate.

Heat remaining 2 T olive oil in same skillet. Add shallots and saute 1 minute. Mix in tomatoes, olives, basil. Add broth and wine. Bring to a boil and cook for about 4 minutes until sauce thickens a bit. Serve on or with fish.


Mark Peacock said...

The great thing about being Catholic during Lent is it give one a bit of a prod to try different ways of cooking fish. After the first couple of Fridays doing Irish (fish 'n' chips) and sashimi, you realize that you'll need a few other preparations to get you through the penitential season.

Last night, Irene picked up some Walleye fillets from Whole Foods -- a nice-tasting member of the perch family that I used to catch in my younger days while spending summers at my grandparents' cabin in northern Minnesota. It's a light fish, so you don't want to do too much to it. I had some coarse-ground corn meal in the pantry (would change that adjective to "stone-ground" if I was writing a menu entry) which I mixed with some kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper -- tried to get the particle sizes of all the ingredients to be somewhat close so that the mixture had a chance to be a bit homogeneous. I passed the fillets through an egg/milk wash, coated both sides with the corn meal mixture and cooked in butter in my cast-iron skillet. The hint of sweetness from the corn meal and the butter contrasted with the bite of the salt and pepper, but neither overwhelmed the fish. The coarse texture of the corn meal was also a nice contrast to the give of the fish.

Irene tossed some green beans in salt, pepper, and olive oil and then roasted them in the oven at 450F, sprinkling them with minced garlic with 10 minutes to go. They were still a bit al dente when I pulled them out. I dressed them with a bit more extra virgin olive oil and some pink Himalayan finishing salt and served with a Tuscan red wine -- Villa Antinori -- because it was what we had open.

Looking back at this post, seems like a lot of words for a simple dinner. It was easy, tasty, and a quick clean-up.

BloomingtonChef said...

Only you would have pink Himalayan finishing salt. Can I call you back? I am reducing a sauce.
This preparation sounds great. Could be our dinner tonight...