19 January 2011

Halibut in Lemon Butter Sauce with Pan Fried Potatoes and Cucumber Salad

While I never say "no" to a good steak, I do love me some fish and seafood as well. One particular craving for a delicacy of the seas set in the other day, and I decided to make some halibut.

Halibut in Lemon Butter Sauce with Pan Fried Potatoes and Cucumber Salad

1 lb halibut fillet (or other firm-fleshed white fish)
1 lemon
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 shallots
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cucumber
1 lime
extra virgin olive oil
1 lb firm potatoes
peanut oil (or other vegetable oil)
paprika powder

Turn the oven to 400 degrees F. Next, start preparing the potatoes. Wash them and dice them into half-inch cubes. Add a few tablespoons of peanut oil to a large cast iron pan and place over medium high heat. Add the potatoes, sprinkle with salt and paprika, and fry, stirring frequently at first (to prevent sticking), until golden brown and delectable. Add freshly ground black pepper when finished.

While the potatoes are cooking, wash the fish and dry with paper towels. Place in a large, oven-proof skillet. Peel and chop the shallots. Remove about a teaspoon of zest from the lemon, then cut it in half. Top the fish with the shallots and dot it with the butter. Squeeze the lemon over the fish, pour the wine into the pan (to the side of the fish, to prevent washing away the "toppings"), and sprinkle with the red pepper flakes. Place over high heat until the liquid is boiling, then place in the center of the oven for about 10 minutes or until cooked through. If you use a particularly thick cut of fish (like halibut), you may have to cook it for 15 minutes instead.

While the fish is cooking and the potatoes are finishing, prepare the cucumber salad. Slice the cucumbers fairly thinly, then cut them into very small squares. Chop the chives finely (I used about 8 pieces). Place the cucumber in a bowl, and add a tablespoon of olive oil, the juice of the lime, the chives, and a little bit of salt. Stir to combine and keep chilled in the fridge until ready to serve.

Once the fish is finished, remove it from the pan and place it on a plate. Place the pan back over high heat and cook the sauce for a minute or so until it thickens a bit. If most of the liquid has evaporated in the oven, add a little more wine. Slice the fish into portions, then pour the sauce over it. Serve with the potatoes and cucumber salad.

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