Sautéed Summer Halibut

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We returned home to Boston today to an absolutely beautiful summer day. Having this be one of the true first summer days in our new Seaport neighborhood, I’m just starting to discover the summer happenings in our new hood. And being that this is a rather new neighborhood itself, new stores and activities are constantly popping up. Today’s new spotting was not only one, but two great places. First, there is now a summer green market literally below our apartment window. I raced down to find several tents filled with friendly vendors with their summer finest. The fish monger, Red’s Best, had been at the Boston pier early this morning, and had selected fish that had been swimming earlier today. The farmers from Stillmans Farm had brought their latest pickings from the fields, which were so fragrant and colorful. I selected a beautiful filet of Halibut, as well as fresh basil, yellow tomatoes, red skin potatoes, green beans, and corn. (I also purchased a delicious loaf of Blueberry & Raspberry with Lemonade Bread from a place called When Pigs Fly and Spinach & Feta Chicken Sausage from Chestnut Farms, but that’s another story). The second best news is that an institution from Harvard Square, Cardullo’s Gourmet Shoppe,  just opened a second location down the street from us. I was there twice today; and was kindly called-out on it 😉 The cheese monger came over to introduce himself, recognizing me from my earlier lunch order. In all fairness, I did warn him that I would probably be back for dinner! And as promised, after all my green market finds, I needed a secret ingredient for my inspired dinner creation. Clam Juice. Since I would be making this farm fresh sauce just prior to serving it, I wanted to have a depth behind the delicate flavors that enhanced without overpowering. Clam juice is not only also a local, natural flavor, but also a tangy, saltiness that adds a hidden punch behind the earthiness of the farm-stand ingredients. My husband immediately picked up on there being a flavor that was not visibly obvious, but really added to the dish. I highly recommend not skipping on this vibrant addition to this flavorful summer-fresh recipe. Also, you can make the sauce a day in advance. While I can’t eat corn, I did cook the corn and cut it off the cob for my husband to add to his fish, which I was told was a tasty addition.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Fresh Halibut
  • 1 pint Yellow Cherry Tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 3 tbsp Garlic Expressions, or a similar garlic-infused olive oil vinaigrette
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 tbsp Clam Sauce, such as Bar Harbor Clam Juice
  • 3 tbsp + Fresh Basil, chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 3 large Red Skin Potatoes, chopped
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Marinate the fish in the Garlic Expressions covered in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

In  a large sauce pan over medium heat, sauté the cherry tomatoes, 1 tbsp olive oil, Garlic Expressions, basil, clam sauce (don’t skip this key ingredient!), salt & pepper until the tomatoes start to break down. Turn off the heat and set aside.

In a separate bowl, clean and cut the potatoes into large chunks and then boil until they just start to turn soft. Note that they will cook slightly more when you add them to the sauce. Drain, season with salt & pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Set aside.

In a large flat sauté pan, heat up olive oil on medium-high heat until the olive oil starts to sizzle. Add the fish and let cook for three minutes, or until the fish flesh starts to release from the pan. Note: if you still have skin on the fish, sear the the non-skin side first. When the flesh starts to sear and pull-away from the pan, flip the fish and continue to cook for around 3 minutes. Add the tomato mixture and the potatoes, mixing the sauce carefully around the fish. Turn down the heat to low and add the white wine. Note: if you do have skin on the fish, peel it off now with tongs – it should release easily from the flesh. Let the mixture continue to simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes, allowing the fish to cook all the way through and for the flavors to blend. Season with salt & pepper and more fresh chopped basil. Serve hot.

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