Seared Halibut

Halibut

Sometimes I’m really in the mood for fish.

As it happens, I couldn’t find grouper (as per Jamie Kennedy‘s recipe). It wasn’t available at my favourite fish monger, Pisces.
I bought halibut instead.

I started off with this delicious tomato consomme:

Tomato Consomme

Consequently, a raft is not a very gorgeous image to the untrained eye.  If you have no experience with consomme, please refer to this guide.

Recipe:

Before you start, preheat the oven to 350F/175C

Tomato Consomme

1kg very ripe (Ontario) tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic, mashed
1 leek, well washed
1 small celery heart (center of celery)
12 leaves fresh basil
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (use fresh!  Buy a microplane!)
4 egg whites, beaten stiff
salt and pepper to taste

(yield is six cups/ 1.5 litres)

- Corsely chop tomatoes, leek, celery, garlic and basil.  Pulverize inside a food processor or food mill.
– Use your favourite method to whip the egg whites.  Manually or mechanically, whatever you fancy.
– Add nutmeg, egg whites, and all ingredients to the pot.  Bring quickly to a low boil.
– Do not move the ingredients after the raft has begun to solidify.
– Liquid should erupt now and then (on my glass-top range :(  …or slow and steady if you have a gas range)
– Allow to simmer for one and a half hours.  Don’t disturb the raft!
– Strain through a cheesecloth.

While the consomme is bubbling, you can get the garnish ready:

Garnish

1 medium sized sweet potato, peeled and diced (1cm)
1 leek, cleaned and diced
1 tomato, washed and diced (1cm)

- Place the sweet potatoes in an oven proof pan and bake until tender, but still firm (30 minutes)
– Put the leeks in with the potatoes for the last five minutes.
– When cool, place in a bowl with the uncooked tomatoes and reserve.

Place two ovenproof plates inside the oven to keep warm.

Seared Halibut

2x 500g halibut fillets
Canola oil
Salt and pepper

- Go ahead and heat a cast iron or stainless steel skillet to the highest heat possible.

The fish will not stick if the pan is HOT, guys.  The only uses for Teflon in the world are for airplanes, cancer and crepes.
The pan should sit on the heat for a good five to ten minutes heating up.
In a separate bowl, coat the fish with oil and season the fish with salt and pepper.  Don’t put oil in the pan.
– Sear one at a time until golden on each side.  About three minutes depending on the shape of the fillet.
– When the fish is done, it will lift up off the pan without sticking.
– Place in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes to finish cooking.

To plate:

*Don’t forget that the plates in the oven are hot.  It may seem dumb, but I’ve seen many people get burned!
Sprinkle vegetable garnish on each plate and ladle the consomme on top.  Place the fish and a garnish on top.

You can find Jamie Kennedy’s cookbook “Seasons” here.

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