Sunday, February 20, 2011

Halibut Poached In Olive Oil

I have always been a big fan of eating fish and will usually try different ways to prepare it. When I find a new way that I like, I try to utilize that technique at least once a month. Poaching halibut in olive oil has been something on my radar now for a couple of years, but just never got around to trying it. You might think it's like deep frying, but it's not at all. It's a gentle way of cooking and adding flavor to the ingredient. Poaching something in oil should only be done if the ingredient at hand is something which isn't very dense, so fish is perfect.

Halibut is a firm, white fish with many health benefits as it's full of tryptophanselenium and protein. Many other vitamins and minerals exist in it as well, so eat it at least once every 3-4 weeks, if not more. I love cooking with it because it has a sweet-like flavor to it and takes on other flavors around it nicely, and also goes well with almost anything you wish to pair it up with. Lots of flavor, easy to cook with and plays well with others, sounds like a winner to me!

I put a lot of thought into this, probably too much as I try to keep most things simple, but I wanted to impart as much flavor in the fish through the oil as I could without ruining the actual flavor of the fish. I had some ideas to what I was going to do, so I went to the spice drawer and the fridge to see if I had everything. I didn't. Ok, so plan B goes into effect as I was too lazy to run to the store. This is what I came up with:

Ingredients

- 2 skinned filets of halibut (1/4 pound/125 g each), washed and thoroughly patted dry
- 1 1/2 cups olive oil, or just enough to cover the fish
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 2 clove garlic
- small handful of Italian parsley
- freshly ground black pepper
- Fleur de sel

Directions

1. Heat the oven to 250°F (120°C). Lay the fish filets in a baking dish just large enough to hold them.
2. Grind a little fresh pepper over top.


3. Pour over enough oil to cover. Add the thyme, garlic, parsley.


4. Bake until just tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the fish from the oil.
5. Garnish with Fleur de sel. Serve with a little of the cooking oil dribbled over top. When done, the oil can be ran though a sieve and some cheesecloth to be used another time within a week.
Yield: Serves 2


The next time I make this (and it'll be soon), I will add either a couple slices of orange or lemon and possibly some fennel seeds to the oil. And I'll make sure the shopping is done properly before I start.

I served this over a steamed, pureed sweet potato. I added about 1/4 cup (59 ml) EVOO, 1/4 cup (59 ml, in case you didn't see the last one) Parmesan, 1/2 tsp fresh nutmeg, some sea salt and pepper. Sweet potatoes are a good source of beta-carotene and when you add a little fat such as EVOO, this helps your body absorb more of it. Sometimes fat has hidden values which may surprise you! They're also extremely abundant with vitamin A and C. So eat them all you want. They will make you stay strong and healthy.


I would rather steam a vegetable than boil it because steaming is a gentler way to prepare something and it won't cook all the good stuff out of the ingredient. That is why Asians have bamboo steamers which are sometimes 6 or 7 levels high. Steaming your food is a healthier, easier and more efficient way to cook. We should all try to use this method more often.

Little O's Menu

We made some chili tonight (which will be on a blog of it's own) and did it so our little ravioli could have some too. I've never made it this way before as we put in some chickpeas in case she didn't want to eat the meat. We spread it on a piece of bread and she loved it. Awesome! Glad to see her accepting more protein in her diet. She's also back eating yogurt again too, so this will add more fat, vitamins and probiotics to her diet. Along with the yogurt, we're mixing in a handful of blueberries with it so it's a nice, healthy snack.

Quote Of The Day

"It was not uncommon for fisherman to catch 300 pound halibut at the turn of the century. Now it is commercially extinct."
~ Glenn Jones - American R&B singer


Until next time, good eating everyone.

Mark

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