The eater’s Mom was in town this weekend for Mother’s day, a quick visit, and a business trip. She played the role of gracious house guest, taking us out to eat several times over the weekend. Monday night I thought I would give her a taste of what I’ve been cooking lately.
I decided on an unadulterated, simple, seared halibut. I was aiming to keep the dish to an Asian theme using blanched mizuna and a Thai red curry sauce. I wanted to keep the dish simple but elegant and I think I managed to pull it off in the end.
The halibut was the one of the best looking fish I could find at Whole Foods; while they aren’t known for their affordable prices, they do have a quality fish monger. I’m always impressed by the quality of the fish and the attention to detail on the fish’s origins; it’s also nice to know that this wasn’t caught using some of the more sinister fishing methods. After talking a bit with the fish monger, I decided on an oversized, two pound, monstrosity of a fillet.
The dish required just a little bit of prep: chopping onions, cilantro, and sweet peppers, washing and trimming the greens, and skinning and portioning the fish. The end result, I was told, was a restaurant quality dish.
Seared Halibut with Asian Greens and Red Curry Sweet Potatoes
4 six ounce fillets of Alaskan Halibut
1 medium bunch of mizuna
5 sweet potatoes
1/2 cup diced onion
1 tablespoon red curry paste
1 can coconut milk
1/2 cup sake
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Salt, white pepper, oil
fresh lime juice
preheat oven to 350F
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and quickly blanch the mizuna. Shock them in a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and reserve.
Place sweet potatoes in a large pot of cold water and cook over med-high heat until fork tender.
While potatoes are cooking, saute the onions in oil and add the curry paste. Add the sake and most of the coconut milk reserving a little to adjust the consistency of the sauce. Add cooked sweet potatoes and cilantro and keep warm.
Rub both sides of the halibut with oil and season with salt and white pepper. Heat a large stainless or cast iron frying pan until very hot. Do not add any
oil. Add the oiled fish, presentation side down, to the frying pan and sear
on one side until a nice crust forms. Remove from skillet and place on a baking sheet with the seared side up. Finish cooking in oven for 7-12 minutes.
Warm up mizuna and place on a heated serving plate. Add potatoes and top with halibut. Artfully drizzle sauce around the plate and top off with a squeeze of lime juice.