Monday, March 7, 2016

Halibut á la Nage with Yukon Golds and Lemon Relish

This is a wonderful way to use halibut. The finished dish more rustic than refined, despite the fancy name. Nage is a term used for flavored liquid used to poach delicate foods - usually seafood. The lemon relish is a perfect compliment to the richness of the fish and potatoes. I used Alaskan halibut (I am still cleaning out my freezer!), local Yukon Gold potatoes, fresh grown herbs and of course Alaskan-grown zucchini for a side. I loved how many of the ingredients could be locally sourced. This is an adapted version of a recipe by Chef Inaki Aizpitarte ~Patti
6 garlic cloves
1/2 medium onion, halved and peeled
4 thyme sprigs
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
4 cups milk (whole or low-fat)
4 large Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1-1/4 pounds)
Kosher salt
1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 pounds halibut filet, cut into 2" cubes

Preserved Lemon Relish:
Mix 1/2 cup finely chopped preserved lemon (see directions at end of post), 1 bunch finely chopped chives, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons smoked paprika, and 3 tablespoons olive oil in a small bowl. Set aside for serving.

A nice tasty catch in Prince William Sound, Alaska.

Bring milk, onion, thyme, and peppercorns to a boil in a large pot. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Then, strain the infused milk into a medium saucepan, discarding the solids.

Meanwhile, cook potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water, about 25 minutes, until tender. Drain, peel and coarsely mash potatoes in a bowl with about 1/3 cup olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Bring infused milk just to a boil. Add cubed halibut and cook until it starts to flake, about 5 minutes. Remove fish from saucepan with slotted spoon and set aside. Use the remaining infused milk, about 1/4 to 1/2 cup and mix it into the potatoes.  

Put potatoes on plate, place halibut pieces on top and finish with a drizzle of lemon relish. Make it pretty! 

Zucchini is a nice side dish. Just quickly sautéed in a touch of olive oil and seasoned with salt & pepper.

Directions for Quick Preserved Lemons:

Preserving lemons takes about 30 days to make from scratch or can be purchased from specialty stores. I was unable to find it locally, and I was wanting to make this recipe right now, so I made a quick version. In my opinion, it was great, and our dinner guests raved. Preserved lemon has a powerful lemon taste, a little goes a long way! 

1 cup water
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 lemons, washed and quartered. Meyer lemons are great, a bit sweeter, but regular is fine.

Combine water and salt in small saucepan; bring to a boil. Add lemons and cook about 30 minutes, until liquid is reduced by half and the rinds are tender. Remove from heat and cool at room temperature - rinse well. Chop the lemon rind very fine to use for this recipe.  
Any unused lemon for this recipe can be used in something else, such as salads, dressings, dips, pasta dishes,etc. Anywhere you would add a squeeze of lemon or lemon zest. 

Store unused lemons in their cooking juices in the fridge. 

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