Thursday, August 18, 2011

Olive Oil Poached Halibut

Let me begin with saying I generally like seafood. Typically, we get thick fish steaks and grill them with lemon and butter. Once in a while, I beer-batter and deep fry fish. After some soul-searching, I realized that to be a better cook, I needed to hone my skills using some different cooking techniques.

Sometimes you need to be different, to eat something you wouldn't normally consider.

Poaching has been one of those cooking methods that I just don't think of using. I think my past attempts were too hot so I ended up boiling and overdoing it. I decided I needed to try it again.

The secret to poaching is patience.



I really like how this dish turned out. The halibut was a special find, freshly flown in from Mexico so it wasn't previously frozen. It was so delicate and flaky! Don't forget to balance out the flavors and contrast textures with this.

Ingredients
thin halibut fillet, about 1/2 inch thick, 1.5 lbs for 6 servings
garlic salt
black pepper
paprika
dried basil
2-3 cups extra virgin olive oil
balsamic vinegar

Method
1. Clean fish, and cut into pieces a little bigger than a deck of playing cards. If the fish comes with skin-on. use a really sharp boning or fillet knife to remove the skin before portioning.

2. Season both sides of fish with garlic salt, pepper, paprika and basil. Be generous.


3. Use a frying pan big enough to fit the fish in.  Fill with enough olive oil that the fish will be covered when added.  Using a candy thermometer, bring the oil up to 150F over low heat.  Add the fish.

4. Let the fish poach undisturbed 9 minutes.  Carefully flip over and cook another 9 minutes. Your oil temperature should be maintained at about 130F for this.


5. Use a slotted turner to remove the fish from the oil and place on a serving tray to drain before you plate it.


6. I gave mine a splash of balsamic vinegar and it was great! You may like red wine vinegar if you want it a bit more acidic. This also goes well with tomato sauce and something with a hearty texture for contrast.