Friday, May 4, 2012

Lemonless Halibut

We grabbed some halibut last night from our co-op to throw together a quick dinner, but forgot about lemon entirely until it was too late.

Usually, you see, there are lemons in the fruit drawer. But last night, when we opened the fruit drawer, and looked inside all full of hope and expectation, there were not. There was parsley in the garden (though only just, because it keeps attempting to bolt), but absolutely no lemons in the fridge. Not even when we closed the fruit drawer in confusion, shut the door of the fridge, paused, opened it, and checked again. Still no lemons. None at all.

Here is what we decided to do about it. You could garnish this dish with lemon wedges...I'm sure they would only make it better...but you don't (as we stated proudly last night in a burst of sophisticated articulation) need no stinkin lemons to make it good.

1 cup black forbidden rice, simmered with a bit of chopped shallot for 25 minutes in 1 1/4 cups water (or sub brown rice)
0.6 lbs fresh wild halibut
1/4 cup stone ground whole wheat flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium clove garlic, pressed
6 Castelvetrano olives, pitted, halved lengthwise, and sliced (or sub another kind of unpickled green olive)
1 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
Slosh white wine

Liberally sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper, then dredge in the flour. Heat a glug of olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat, then add the fish skin-side down and pan fry until golden on the bottom.

In a small pan, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and turn the heat down to medium low. Simmer for 20-30 seconds until it softens, then add the olives and parsley. Stir a few times, then add a slosh or two of wine and a pinch of salt. Simmer until the liquid is reduced by about half (3 minutes or so), then turn off the heat.

Meanwhile, flip the fish and continue cooking until golden brown on both sides (or all sides, if it's thick enough to cook on four sides) and until it's almost but not quite cooked through. Serve immediately over a bed of rice (it will finish cooking as it sits), and spoon the sauce over the fish and a little over the rice as well.

Serves 2, with a couple of side vegetables (like a big bunch of roasted Red Russian kale and a salad).

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