Saturday, March 22, 2008

Halibut with Roasted Pepper Sauce

It is halibut season, which is a great time of year. I love the dense flavor and texture of halibut. It works well on the grill, fried, baked in parchment and even poached. One of my favorite ways to cook it though is to sear it in a hot pan and roast it in a hot oven until cooked through.

There was a recipe in Fine Cooking magazine last spring for cooking halibut this way and serving it with a roasted red pepper sauce. Yum-yum-yum. This sauce is amazing. We made it all summer long and used it on grilled vegetables, barbecued salmon and even pork.

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
2-1/2 oz. roasted red pepper (about 1/2 large jarred roasted pepper)
1/2 oz. roasted hot cherry peppers
2 Tbs. sherry vinegar
1/2 tsp. honey
1 medium clove garlic, peeled & minced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper

Using a mini food processor or stick blender, blend together the peppers, vinegar, honey and garlic. Slowly pour in the 1/4 cup oil and continue to blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. This sauce will keep for 4-5 days.

Seared and Oven Roasted Halibut
2 6- to 7-oz. center cut, skin-on halibut fillets
Salt & pepper
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. thinly sliced fresh chives or scallions

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Rinse the fish in cold water and pat dry. Set the fish skin side down on a plate and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Put the fish skin side up in the skillet, and cook until well browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip the fish, turn off the heat, and transfer the pan to the oven. Roast until the fish is flaky, moist, and cooked through (use the tip of a paring knife to check), 5 to 7 minutes.

Transfer the fish to dinner plates, spoon the sauce onto or around each piece, sprinkle with the chives or scallions, and serve immediately.

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