Halibut Veracruzana

(Serves 4)
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless halibut, cut into 4 portions
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 jalapeños, stemmed and sliced into 1/4-inch disks
1 lime, cut into 8 wedges
1 tomato, cored and seeded, cut into strips
1/2 cup Spanish green olives (picholines), sliced
1/2 bunch fresh oregano leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 cup white wine
3/4 cup fish stock or clam juice

Heat one very large or two medium sauté pans over medium-high heat for 1 minute then add olive oil. When hot, add fish fillets seasoned with salt and pepper to taste, and turn the heat to very high. Sear the fillets until golden brown and flip to sear on the other side. Remove fillets from pan and place on a rack over a plate to catch juices.

Return the pan (or pans) to the heat, add onions and cook over high heat, stirring often, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic, jalapeño slices, lime wedges, tomatoes, oregano and olives and sauté briskly for 1 minute more.

Add white wine and reduce liquid by half.

Add fish stock and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and return fish fillets along with the juices to pan. Finish cooking, covered, about 1 to 3 minutes depending upon the thickness of fillets.

Taste broth and adjust seasoning, then serve immediately in soup plates with a generous puddle of broth and garnish of vegetables.

Recipe by: Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger
Authors of five cookbooks, television personalities on Food Network’s “Too Hot Tamales,” and co-chefs/owners of Border Grill Restaurants in Santa Monica and Los Angeles, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada, as well as Border Grill Truck in Los Angeles.

Conservation Note:
Atlantic halibut farmed in Canada in closed, recirculating systems is a “Good Alternative.”
The term flatfish includes many bottom-dwelling fish, including flounder, sole, plaice and halibut. Flatfishes are known as hirame when prepared for sushi. Aquaculture of Atlantic halibut is a relatively new practice, particularly in Canada where exploratory research did not commence until the mid-1990s.

These types of land-based farms are “closed” from the surrounding environment, and therefore limit the impact the farming operation can have on local ecosystems. Risk of disease spreading, or escape of fish from the farm is minimized. Water and effluent can be treated, and with minimum use of chemicals, and water that is recirculated, the outputs from the farm can be minimized.

Atlantic halibut is a carnivorous fish, and there is a high level of fishmeal and fish oil included in the farmed diet. In fact, the net result is that more fish by weight is fed to the farmed fish than is produced by the farm. This factor limits this rating to a “Good Alternative.”
Recipe courtesy of Seafood Watch ® a registered service mark of the Monterrey Bay Aquarium Foundation.

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