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Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Crisped Halibut with Its Stock Reduced, On Roast Garlic & Courgette Puree

Crisped halibut steak on courgette /roast garlic potato puree and halibut stock reduction.

You could do this with big sea bass fillets too, but they d cook a little quicker. You need some bones for the sauce / stock though.
2- halibut fillets, skin on, with the big middle bone left on. (see below)
3 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
1 courgette
3 potatoes
olive oil
1 lemon
red pepper flakes
coarse salt (will be ok ish with ground too)
fennel leaves

Dead simple;

-Bone the halibut steaks, cutting it through around the bone, with scizzors or a sharp knife. Or have your fishmonger do this for you.
Keep the bones. cut the fillets so that they only have one skin-on side. you ll end up with thin quarters, like half a fillet .

Pad dry the halibut steaks after rinsing them under the tap.
Score them, cutting through the skin - but not the flesh- in thin strips, every 1 cm or so, as you d score a duck breast. Salt it with coarse salt and let it sit for an hour.

*Meanwhile ; boil the potatoes and fry some courgettes sliced thinly, in some oil & red pepper flakes. Preheat the oven at 200. Stick in the garlic for a few minutes, unpeeled, in a little water and oil.

When the courgettes are nicely browned take off the heat. Once the potatoes are soft, drain and mash with a fork or through a passatutto / food mill what have you. Mix in the courgettes and once the garlic is roasted mash that with a mortar or a fork, and stir in.
Season well, you can serve these now, or reheat / crisping them in the oven formed in little balls.

- The stock;
Once you ve remoned the bones, put in 2 cups water in a small saucepan, with 1 bay leaf, oregano, fresh parsley, a lemon wedge and 1/2 cup white wine, pepper and salt and a clove of garlic, and 1 shallot sliced in half. Let this simmer slowly, part covered, it will thicken into a lovely stock. Keep adding water when its too dry, you dont want it to scortch..
You ll thicken this sauce with some flour dilluted in a little water, right at the end.

When everything is almost done, rub the salt off the fish, and fry skin down, on a littlel olive oil, on high heat, turning down to mid-low as soon as you put them in the pan.
You ll see the flesh getting opaque, a couple of minutes depending on the thickness of the steaks, once the middle / sides are opaque and the top looks about to get there too, take off the heat and drain on paper towels. Residual heat will finish them off.
* Just before you finish the fish, you add some bunches of fennel leaves, just the whispy green ends, roughly chopped - fry a couple of seconds next to the fish.

Sit the fish on the potato cake, drizzle the stock around the cake, not on the crusty fish, and add the fried fennel leaves on top.

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