Prep time 1 Hour
Active prep time 30 minutes
Special equipment needed – None
Special skills needed – Sautéing
Halibut is one of the best fish available. It has outstanding table qualities, like meaty and pleasing texture, bright white meat, outstanding flavor, and tons of omega 3’s. Plus, these big fish yield some monster slabs of meat, so you can cook perfect portions of any size. Buyer beware, though. The cost can vary widely, anywhere from about $10 per pound up to more than $30 and quality drops off dramatically if not cared for properly. Look for extremely fresh, never frozen halibut with bright white flesh and no dark spots. If you can smell it, don’t buy it. Once you’ve got a good piece of halibut, you have a lot of options. Since halibut is so outstanding, I like to treat it simply. Generally, I just sauté it in olive oil or butter with salt and then top it with a sauce. Romesco is one of my favorites. It is flavorful, easy to make, and goes with any type of fish. It also keeps for about a week in the fridge so you can use it several times from a single batch.
4 Cloves Garlic
1 Medium Tomato
1 Bell pepper – Red, Yellow, Orange. Traditionally, it would be red
2 Pieces Wheat bread
2 Tablespoons Red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Paprika
½ teaspoon Cayenne
½ Cup dry roasted almonds
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of Sugar (optional)
¼ cup Olive oil plus 2 Tablespoons to cook the fish
4 portions of Halibut – I like to make them 4 to 6 ounces each
2 Tablespoons white wine
Preheat an oven to 300 degrees. Place 4 cloves of unpeeled garlic on a sheet pan and roast for 20 minutes. Remove garlic, and set oven to hi broil with the rack as high as it can go. Brush the tomato and bell pepper with olive oil. Roast the tomato and bell pepper until the skin blisters and starts to turn black.
Immediately plunge these into cold water and peel off the skin. Remove the stems and seeds. Cut the crust off of the bread and soak the bread in the vinegar. The bread is a thickener, but you don’t want the crust to add any unexpected texture to the sauce. Peel the garlic.
In a blender, on a medium setting, blend the tomato, pepper, and garlic for about 15 seconds. Add the soaked bread, paprika, cayenne, almonds, and salt. Add half of the olive oil and then start the blender.
Slowly add the rest of the olive oil while blending. Try to get this done quickly so you don’t blend away all the texture. Taste and add more salt or sugar to taste. Set this aside and keep warm or reheat before you put it on the fish.
Salt the halibut portions on both sides. In a pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When it starts to shimmer, add the fish. Halibut will start to form a crust which will peel off when you try to flip it. This will happen on almost any surface. If you put a tablespoon of white wine in the pan and then gently nudge it around a bit, you can usually get it to break loose. Lower heat helps, but you may have to cook it longer. Cook it 3 minutes add a little wine and then flip. Cook 3 more minutes, basting occasionally with the pan juices. Add a little wine and then once that mostly cooks off, remove the halibut to a plate. Top with the sauce and some parsley, and serve immediately.