Sunday, 23 March 2014

flatfish or here's mud in your eye

We experimented with a nice recipe calling for halibut served on a bed of fennel slaw with mustard sauce. The fish's scientific name is hippoglossus from the Greek for horse-tongue, referring to the shape of the fish's body and not to its more distinctive, I think, feature of having one of its eyes migrate over to the other side of its head as it flounders its adult life on the sea floor. The common name, halibut, means holy-flatfish, as it is very popular for feast days of obligation during Lent.

For two to three portions, one will need:

  • 500 – 600 grams of Halibut (fresh or fully thawed)
  • 100 ml of cream
  • 2 stalks of leek 
  • 1 good sized fennel root
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 large carrot 
  • Four to six small potatoes
  • 1 glass of dry white wine
  • Aluminum foil, Salt, butter, and one tablespoon of Dijon Mustard
First, divide the fish into serving sizes and briefly fry them, just browning the surface but not cooked thoroughly as it will be steamed later, in a pan with butter and then set aside. Pulse the leeks, fennel and carrot in a food-processor into a fine and thin slaw. Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to about 180°C and make little pouches out of the foil, one for each portion of the Halibut and divide the slaw among them. Douse each pouch with the white wine and fold and pouch so they don't leak. Place the pouches back in the oven and allow to steam for around fifteen minutes (depending on the type of potato), while boiling the potatoes, peeled and in lightly salted water. Cube the onion and introduce it to a pan with some butter. Remove the foil pouches from the oven and carefully empty the liquid, fond (stock) into the frying pan and stir in the cream and mustard, with a little sauce to taste. Allow the fond to thicken a bit, only frying it for a minute or so, to use as a zesty sauce for the fish and bed of slaw.