Monday, June 22, 2015

Alaska Halibut with Caper and Basil Sauce

Halibut, Alaska's other white meat, takes center stage in this quick and easy weeknight dinner. Halibut lends itself to so many good things - it's healthy, non-fishy and so mild that it can be used in tons of recipes that even a fish hater will love. I went with a classic Mediterranean flavor by using capers, olives, tomatoes and basil. I paired with easy-to-roast "smashed potatoes" and rainbow carrots. By boiling the potatoes ahead of time I had this amazing dinner finished in just over half an hour! ~Patti 
4 halibut fillets (6 ounces each)
AP flour for dredging
4 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon capers (drained)
1 large shallot, diced small
4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped small
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes 
1/3 cup clam juice (bottled or canned)
1/4 cup dry white wine
Salt and pepper to taste

Serves: 4

First, chop all your veggies and herbs for the sauce. Set aside half of your basil to add at the end.

Next, clean and pat dry your halibut pieces. Dredge through the flour. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in pan, add halibut and fry until done (fish is done when the internal temp is 145 degrees).  This takes about 4-5 minutes per side depending on thickness. They should be a nice golden color outside and opaque in the center. There is carryover cooking, so be careful not to overcook them!

When halibut is done, remove to a plate and cover with a towel to keep warm. Then, heat remaining tablespoon of oil in same skillet. Add shallots and sauté about a minute. Add tomatoes, olives, red pepper flakes, capers and half the basil. Stir in wine and clam juice. Bring to a gentle boil and let it go for about 5 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly. Salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat off and mix in the remaining basil.

Spoon sauce over halibut when ready to serve and enjoy!
Kind of like halibut bruscetta!

Smashed Potatoes: 

6 potatoes, small and preferably round
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

After boiling potatoes until fork tender, place them on foil lined sheet pan. Gently mash each one with a potato masher, turn 90 degrees, and gently mash again. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper (and any other herbs you want). Bake in preheated 450 degree oven for about 25 minutes until golden brown. 

If you're roasting the carrots, simply place carrots on a foil lined sheet pan, drizzle the olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in a 450 degree oven for about 15 minutes (turn once during roasting time).

 Prince William Sound is prime halibut area, it's a favorite of ours. Resurrection Bay is also a hot spot for these ocean delicacies.  We usually launch out of Whittier and head toward Montague Island - of course, all exact locations are secret :) 

Off the bow headed toward Prince William Sound out of Whittier - halibut territory!

Pulling the jig from the catch. A jig is a lead weight with a rubber skirt (this is instead of using bait). The gaffe is used to lift the fish on board. If it was a huge fish, a harpoon would be in order.

Patti with a small, but tasty, halibut! It is not unusual to catch these babies upward of 200-250 pounds on a rod and reel!

fine della strada...

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