Sunday, July 22, 2007

Seared Halibut with Confit Garlic, Parsley and Kalamata Olives

Under the High Chair Travels: Queen Charlotte Islands

My brother’s Pathfinder reeks of fish, and I mean reeks. I would not trust myself in there for five kilometers with out a barf bag. However, I figure it is a small price to pay as they now have fifty pounds of fresh halibut in their deep freeze. Nice!

My brother Josh, his wife Laura and their one-year-old, Ava, just returned from 10 days of camping with friends on the Queen Charlotte Islands off British Columbia’s coast. There they spent their time crabbing, digging from razor clams, fishing for halibut, and then feasting late into the night on their catches.

These islands seem to have a particular draw for my family as my sister honeymooned there years ago, this is my brother’s second visit in five years, and my parents go back when ever they can to pick mushrooms or roam the beaches.

It’s been many years since I last visited the Charlottes, but Josh’s photo brought back many fond memories, (including when I met a black bear face-to-face-another story-) and reminded me of the stunning, rugged scenery. It’s has to be one of Canada’s most beautiful places and is still refreshingly wild and unsettled.

Josh and Ava enjoying an early morning hunt for razor clams on Rose Spit

Although I would have given almost anything to have gone on this ocean adventure, I am delighted that I can at least taste some of the fresh halibut that they hauled back in their car, and appreciate that they put up with the fishy smell for so long.

Seared Halibut with Concassé of Tomatoes, Confit Garlic, Italian Parsley, and Kalamata Olives.
  • 1 lb halibut fillet, portioned into four pieces
  • salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tomato, seeds removed and diced
  • 2 tablespoons pitted black olives, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chiffonade

Preheat oven to 350F. Peel garlic and slice thinly. Place in a small oven-proof pan and cover with a few tablespoons of the olive oil. Place in the oven and cook slowly until garlic is soft and starts to be translucent. Cool and reserve.

Melt butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy pan and medium-high heat. Season fish with salt and pepper, when butter is bubbling, place fish into pan and sear. Let a good crust form before you try to turn it. Cook only a few minutes on the second side, then remove from heat and let rest for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, place 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small, heavy sauce pan and heat. Add tomatoes and stir gently for about three minutes. Add olives and reserved confit garlic and heat thoroughly. Just before serving, add parsley and season to taste.

Place fish on a bed of rice, wilted beet greens or desired accompaniment. Top with concassé and drizzle with garlic oil. Enjoy!!


Sandy said...

That fish looks so amazing I think I can almost smell it too! How was it? I'm enjoying following you along on your adventures. Glad you are having such a great time.

Patricia Scarpin said...

This fish looks so good, Aimée!

Anonymous said...

That is a lot of fish! The coast pictures are beautiful. God certainly did not scrimp when he made BC!

Nora B. said...

Lovely post, Aimée. And your halibut looks utterly elegant and delicious.
p/s: what an amazingly BIg fish! How long did it take to go through that whole fish?

Anonymous said...

Halibut is just about our favorite fish--and what a beautiful use of it! About how long does it take the garlic to soften and be done in the oven?

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

What a beautiful place. This is jumping on my list of places I must visit. The halibut looks reall great too! Thanks for sharing Aimee.

Anonymous said...

That is one gargantuan fish! Lucky you to enjoy the halibut, it sounds particularly tasty with the confit garlic. Yum!

Mandy said...

Not a fan of fish but I have to say that this photo (the one at the top, not the 'whole' fish) makes me salivate just a little. :) We just ate fresh beet greens from our garden and they were delicious!

Belinda said...

Gosh! That fish looks big enough to feed two armies! I love your preparation for the halibut...its looks so amazing, and sounds so healthy too. :-)

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

This dish looks simple but elegant. A great way to relish the fresh halibut off the coast. I have yet to go to the Queen Charlotte Islands. It is on my list!!

Aimée said...

Hi Sandy! Oh, the halibut was so fresh tasting and nice and firm. Thanks for reading about my country adventures!

Hi Patricia! Looks like you enjoy a good piece of fish, too! That Tilapia for your anniversary looks lovely.

Hi Lynn! I agree, they don't call it Beautiful British Columbia for nothing.

Hi Nora! Thanks! They froze a lot of the fish, I chose some nice fillets to work with, though!

Hi Terry! Thanks so much. The garlic takes about 2o minutes.

Hi Amanda! You must you like to fish?

Hi Veronica- Welcome to UtHC! Halibut can get even bigger, too. I was 13 when I caught a 43 pounder in Alaska. Now that was big!

Hi Mandy! Thanks! You should make next year the year to try new stuff...starting with fish and seafood. YUM!

Hi Belinda! Thanks so much! It IS healthy and fairly quick to prep as well. Do you get halibut down there in Georgia?

Hi Valli! Welcome to UtHC! Thanks for stopping by. Hope you make it to the QCI sometime, you won't regret it!


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