Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Halibut with Capers, Basil, and Tomatoes
This is one of my favorite fish recipes. After my amazing dining experience at Trio last year (in Jackson Hole), I set out to find a halibut recipe similar to the one I had at the restaurant. Although this is not exactly the same, it is very similar and the flavor is amazing. This tastes like a restaurant quality dish, and when you've made it once, you realize how easy it is to put together. I suggest serving this with mashed potatoes or some crusty bread; the sauce it too good to throw out.
I've made this recipe many times, and have used different types of fish when halibut is not available. As much as I love halibut, it's the sauce that makes this dish so great. So if halibut isn't available where you live, just use a white fish that you enjoy. I've made this with red snapper and instead of cooking off the fish in the oven (snapper fillets are much thinner than halibut), I just made everything on the stove. I've also had difficulty finding pepitas sometimes, but I never miss them all that much when I don't have them (though some people disagree with me on that topic).
I've had to eyeball the measurements for this dish, or guess when I haven't had the recipe/internet available, and it has still been delicious every time. If you claim you don't like seafood, try this one. As long as you have good quality fish, there is no "fishiness" to this dish and you'll be able to enjoy the sauce without cringing. If you love seafood, my guess is you'll love this halibut (and maybe it'll become your favorite as well).
Recipe from Cat Cora
2 tablespoons pepitas/pumpkin seeds (optional)
4 6-ounce halibut fillets
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil (extra virgin is best)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup dry white wine (or any white wine, I used a chardonnay)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons capers, drained
1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes (quartered if they're big)
1/4 cup torn fresh basil, plus a handful of small leaves for garnish if you want
Preheat your oven to 400ºF/205ºC.
If you are using pepitas, toast them in a pan over medium-low heat. Remove them from heat when they become fragrant, before they turn brown.
Sprinkle the salt and pepper on both sides of the halibut. In a medium-large skillet with an ovenproof handle, heat the oil until it is hot, but not smoking. Place the halibut in the pan, skin side up. Sear for 2 or 3 minutes, until it begins to get some color, and turn over. Add the lemon juice, wine, and butter to the pan. When the butter starts to get foamy and melts, add the capers and tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes soften a little and begin releasing their liquid, about 1 minute.
Put the pan in the oven for about 7 to 10 minutes, until the fish is cooked through. Baste the fish with some sauce and place on your serving dish. Add the pepitas and basil to the pan and mix. Keep them in the pan until the basil wilts a little. Scoop this sauce over the fish and top with fresh basil, if using.
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