Copper River Salmon has hogged much of the spotlight in recent years, but halibut is still one of the Pacific Northwest’s favorite fish. Native to the north Pacific Ocean, halibut is one of the most sustainable and responsibly managed types of seafood, thanks to strict U.S. regulations prohibiting mass catch techniques. They are all hook-and-line caught, individually hauled aboard small fishing vessels, then cleaned and immediately iced or flash-frozen to preserve freshness.
The flesh is dense and firm with a mild, sweet taste, making it ideal for the grill, broiler, or deep fryer. For a fish that provides such a pleasant, straightforward culinary experience, halibut are the ugly ducklings among their kind. They start life like a regular fish — symmetrical, with eyes on both sides of their heads. But, during their larval metamorphosis, one eye migrates to the other side of the head. The top side of the fish darkens, while the bottom of the fish remains white providing a countershading camouflaging disguise from above or below. They are the world’s largest flatfish and can grow to a length of 8 feet and a width of 5 feet, weighing in at more than 600 pounds. At Anthony’s Restaurants, executive chef Pat Donahue prefers halibut in its simplicity — seared over a hot grill, topped with beurre blanc and a drizzle of chive oil. You can eat it there or make it at home.
Fresh Alaskan Halibut topped with Beurre Blanc and Chive Oil
2 pounds fresh Alaskan halibut
4 to 6 tablespoons olive oil
1 dash hickory salt or Salish Alder Smoked salt
8-10 ounces beurre blanc (see
1 tablespoon chive oil (see recipe below)
Cut the halibut into 4 to 6 pieces. Rub the fillets with olive oil, and sprinkle lightly with smoked salt. Place the fillets on a hot grill pan or grill, skin-side-down. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, and flip. Remain cooking fish until internal temperature is 140 degrees, about 6 to 7 more minutes. Remove the halibut from the grill, and immediately place the fillets on a plate. Stir sauce well, and pour approximately 1½ ounces over each fillet, and finish with chive oil. Serve with your favorite mashed potato and seasonal vegetable.
1 1/2 tablespoons finely minced shallots
¼ teaspoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1.5 ounces white wine
1 ounce heavy whipping cream
8 ounces unsalted butter
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Combine the shallots, lemon juice, and white wine in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the liquid has reduced by half — about 15 minutes. Strain the contents while saving the liquid. Return the liquid to the saucepan, and add cream. Remove from heat, and whisk in the butter in small amounts at a time to form an emulsion.
1 ounce fresh chives
½ cup olive oil
Place chives in food processor, and stream in the olive oil. Strain, and set aside.
This recipe has been adapted by Anthony’s Restaurants for home preparations.