Sunny Seared Halibut
Pair with Apothic Merlot
- Two halibut filets (5 oz each)
- 1 lbs unsalted butter unsalted
- ¼ bunch dill
- 1 small shallot (minced)
- 1 tsp whole peppercorns
- ¼ cup dry vermouth
Lemon buerre blanc
- 2 medium shallots, finely minced
- 1 1/2 cups dry vermouth
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
- 2 tbsp dill
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¾ cup cornmeal (straight cornmeal, not a mix)
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 tsp cooking oil
- enough water to make a paste
Roasted cherry tomatoes
- 1 bunch cherry tomatoes
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Green pea purée
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 1 lemon – juiced
- Salt to taste
Fish poaching prep:
- Have your fishmonger prepare you two 5 oz pieces of skinned halibut.
- Prior to cooking, pat your halibut dry with paper towels.
- Melt 1 tsp of butter in a pan over medium heat, and sautée the shallots until they’re tender. Add in the whole peppercorns and allow them to briefly heat through on the pan to awaken their flavours. Deglaze the pan with the vermouth, and strain out the shallot and peppercorns.
- Melt 1 lbs of unsalted butter in a small pot with some dill, mix in your shallots and peppercorns, and bring the contents to a simmer.
- Once simmering, gently place your halibut in the melted butter and cook until the fish starts to lightly flake.
- Remove your fish from the butter and set aside in a warm area until you’re ready to serve.
Lemon buerre blanc prep:
- Peel 2 medium shallots and mince finely. In a small saucepan, combine shallots with the vermouth, and vinegar. Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the liquid is reduced to around 2 tablespoons. This will take around 10 minutes.
- When liquid has reduced, turn down the heat to the lowest possible heat setting. Then, whisk in the cold butter – one tablespoon at a time, adding a new piece as the previous one melts. Don’t allow the sauce to become too hot or the butter will split.
- Once all the butter is melted in, remove the pot from the heat. For an extra smooth sauce, strain the liquid through a fine sieve.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Prepare a bain-marie by placing a medium pot with about an inch of water at the bottom over medium heat. Wait until it reaches a soft simmer, and then place a heat-resistant bowl to rest on top of the pot – making sure that the water never touches the bottom of your bowl. Add the sauce into your heat-resistant bowl and keep the water simmering at a low heat until you’re ready to use the sauce.
- Right before serving, stir in the finely chopped dill.
Cornmeal chip prep:
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- In a bowl, mix the cornmeal and flour together. Once mixed, add the oil and mix well to combine
- Finally, add the water slowly, mixing the dough well every few spoonfuls until the dough just comes together to make a paste. Be sure to keep it on the drier side. Place the dough in a greased bowl and set aside
- Next, sprinkle some cornmeal on a cutting board and transfer the dough from the bowl to the cutting board. Roll out the dough, sprinkling it every so often with cornmeal to keep it from sticking. Roll out as thin as you like to form the thickness of the chips.
- Cut the rolled dough to the size you want and place the pieces onto a well greased baking sheet.
- Bake for about 10-15 minutes at 375°F. Keep an eye on them as thinner chips can burn much faster than thicker ones. Pull them out once they’re a light golden colour, or crispy to the touch.
Roasted cherry tomatoes prep:
- Heat the oil on a pan on medium heat.
- Add the cherry tomatoes once the oil is hot and sear the tomatoes until the skin starts to blister/splits.
- Remove them from the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Green pea purée:
- Fill a large pan with salted water and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, add the frozen peas and blanch them in the boiling water for 3 minutes.
- After 3 minutes, drain the peas and add them to a blender along with a bit of the boiling water. Blitz the peas, adding more liquid in small amounts as needed. Blend for no more than 2-3 minutes, until a fairly thick, smooth purée has been achieved
- If desired, strain through a fine sieve for a silky-smooth finish.
- Taste and season with salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
Finish & Serve
Once you have all the ingredients ready, place your poached halibut onto your serving plate, and spoon some of the pea purée on top of your fish. Lay your crispy cornmeal chips on top of this purée to create the illusion of fish scales. Finish dressing the dish by including a few cherry tomatoes, a drizzle of the lemon buerre blanc sauce, and a glass of Apothic Merlot to round out the lively flavours.