May 22, 2009
by Gareth Mark
The grocery bag that appeared at dinner time included halibut fillet, plum tomatoes, and a red bell pepper. Add some garlic, crimini mushrooms, and prosciutto and you have a meal with Mediterranean flair.
This dish requires some prep work. The mushrooms need to be sliced, some bell pepper needs to be diced, and the tomatoes should be peeled, seeded, and diced. You'll also need some diced onion and about six cloves of garlic confit or 1-2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced.
If you've never peeled a tomato, it's pretty easy. First, cut an X across the stem, then put the tomatoes--clean of course--into boiling water for about 30 seconds. Remove and plunge into ice water. The skin will slide right off with just a bit of pressure.
Heat a fry pan with some butter and olive oil; skip the butter if you have dairy restrictions. When the pan is heated add the onion and mushrooms. Stir for a couple of minutes until the onion begins to soften, then add garlic and bell pepper. Stir now and then.
Meanwhile, heat a second fry pan with some vegetable or canola oil for the halibut. Be sure to wash and dry the fish. There shouldn't be any bones in a halibut fillet, but run your fingers over it to check. When it's ready, place it skin-side down in the pan.
Back to the first pan. When everything is mostly done, add the diced tomatoes and a splash of whatever wine you're drinking, and reduce the heat to medium-low. You don't need to add a lot of wine, but tomatoes need a bit of alcohol to release all the lycopene. Remember to stir every so often.
When the halibut is ready to turn, carefully lift it out of the pan with the skin. Lay a slice or two of prosciutto into the pan. Turn the fish skin-side up and place it on the prosciutto, then remove the skin and carefully wrap the halibut with the ham. When the fish is done, turn it over for a few seconds to finish cooking the prosciutto. The skin makes a nice treat for the cat.
To serve, place the halibut steak on a plate. Taste the sauce you've made and add salt and pepper as needed, then spoon the sauce liberally over the fish. Add your favorite starch and a few flash-fried veggies drizzled with balsamic vinegar to complete the meal.