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Halibut Veracruzana

Halibut Veracruzana

Sustainable Seafood Recipe

"I love the simplicity of this dish," says chef Mary Sue Milliken. "It's so easy to make and these few ingredients make such a statement! No ingredient cooks for long and it comes together in about 12 minutes. The colors of the dish are great, too—red tomatoes and good-quality black olives—and the fish has a great, golden brown sear."

Most Pacific halibut is caught in Alaska or off the west coast of Canada. In Alaska, fishing for Pacific halibut is strictly limited to bottom longlining, which causes little habitat damage or bycatch and makes it a "Best Choice."

  • (Serves 4)
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless halibut, cut into 4 portions
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 to 3 jalapeños, stemmed and sliced into 1/4-inch disks
  • 1 lime, cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 tomato, cored and seeded, cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup Spanish green olives (picholines), sliced
  • 1/2 bunch fresh oregano leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3/4 cup fish stock or clam juice

Heat one very large or two medium sauté pans over medium high heat for a minute then add olive oil. When hot, add fish filets seasoned with salt and pepper and turn the heat to very high. Sear the filets until golden brown and flip to sear on the other side. Remove filets from pan and place on a rack over a plate to catch juices.

Return the pan (or pans) to the heat, add onions and cook over high heat, stirring often, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic, jalapeño slices, lime wedges, tomatoes, oregano, and olives and sauté briskly for 1 minute more.

Add white wine and reduce liquid by half.

Add fish stock and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and return fish filets along with the juices to pan. Finish cooking, covered, about 1 to 3 minutes depending upon the thickness of filets.

Taste broth and adjust seasoning, then serve immediately in soup plates with a generous puddle of broth and garnish of vegetables.

Copyright © 2009, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger

Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger
Seafood Watch Partners Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger are owner-operators of Border Grill restaurants in Santa Monica, Las Vegas, and downtown Los Angeles, California; as well as the Border Grill Truck in Los Angeles. Stars of the Food Network's popular "Too Hot Tamales" series, they've written five cookbooks.

Best Choice Alaska Halibut

Alaska Halibut

The Alaska halibut fishery is strictly limited to the bottom longlining method, which causes little habitat damage or bycatch.
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