The Literate Chef

A Serendipitous Halibut Dinner

In General Articles on March 25, 2012 at 3:25 PM

With the recent spate of Spring weather that we have been experiencing, since even before the official start of the season, and with the grill having been fired up last week for the shell steaks that accompanied Aunt Emma’s Sauteéd Mushrooms, I thought that grilled striped bass would be in order for last night’s dinner. However, upon visiting the local fishmonger, alas, there was no bass! But he did have a beautiful piece of halibut fillet and it was of a good thickness, slightly more than one inch throughout.

Having found in the past that grilling a halibut fillet doesn’t seem to work, because the flesh, while dense, seems to fall apart on the grill, I now had to figure out what to do with it. For inspiration I stopped by the supermarket, and in trolling the aisles my eyes lit upon Chouriço. I had not cooked fish with sausage before, but the combination works very well in Paella and in Shrimp Jambalaya, and having read pasta recipes that combined clams with smoked sausage, I thought… why not?

I began to envision the dish taking shape. First, it would need some form of a sauce and should be served in a bowl as a one dish meal, as is done in many restaurants. Accordingly, I picked up a bag of spinach which would serve as the ‘bed’ for the halibut. Next, maybe some mushrooms to add to the chouriço to create the sauce. In the mushroom section I found a package of dried Porcini mushrooms, which, with their big flavor, would be a perfect counterpoint to the rather bland halibut. Then, a couple of San Marzano tomatoes to give the sauce a base, and maybe a Cherry Pepper to give it some heat and white wine for the liquid. Those three ingredients presented no problem, as they were all at home. Finally, I grabbed a package of fresh chives to add color and a bit more flavor.

The end result, Roasted Halibut with Chouriço and Mushrooms, was even better than I had imagined. And this morning, I used up the remaining chouriço for a quick Omelet.                                                                      

Roasted Halibut with Chouriço and Porcini Mushrooms

Chouriço Omelet

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