Poached Halibut with Smoked Bacon-Tomato Gremolata

Wild Alaskan halibut fillets are gently poached in a court bouillon with Alsatian Pinot gris, pastured butter, fresh thyme, lemon verbena and a mirepoix of diced celery, onions and carrots.  The flaky, snow-white fish is topped with a gremolata of chopped parsley, fresh lemon, garlic, smoked bacon and heirloom tomatoes and seasoned with coarse sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper..

Poached Halibut with Smoked Bacon-Tomato Gremolata

For the Court Bouillon

1 pint filtered water
1/3 cup Pinot gris
1 tablespoon pastured butter
1/4 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup onion, diced
1/4 cup carrots, diced
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs lemon verbena
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat.  Add the celery, onions, carrots and garlic and cook without browning until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.

Add the water, wine, herbs and peppercorns and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.

To poach halibut, lower fillets into simmering water and gently poach (do not allow to boil) until just firm and opaque, about 15 minutes per inch of thickness.

For the Gremolata

1/4 cup smoked bacon cut into 1/4 inch dice
1/2 cup heirloom tomato, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 cloves garlic, peeled and slivered
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Cook the bacon in a heavy skillet over medium heat until brown and crisp. Pour off all put a teaspoon of fat, then add the garlic and sauté 1 minute.

Add tomatoes and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and add lemon juice and parsley.

To serve, place halibut in a shallow bowl and spoon a little of the poaching liquid over the top.  Dress with gremolata and season with sea salt and cracked pepper.

  • Recipe: Pan-Seared Marinated Halibut Fillets (nytimes.com)

Lobster Bisque

Maine lobster, cream, dry sherry, aromatic herbs and vegetables and shaved black truffles.  A classic..

Lobster Bisque

Lobster Bisque

Serves 2

2 shell-on Maine or Canadian lobster tails, as fresh as possible
1 1/2 cups court-bouillon or fish stock
4 oz fresh cream
1 oz brandy
2 oz dry sherry
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1/4 fresh lemon, cut into wedges
1 carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 sweet bulb onion, split and thinly-sliced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1 Roma tomato, diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
1 tablespoon half-sharp paprika
2 tablespoons tomato paste
8-10 smoked black peppercorns
1 bay leaf

Sauté celery, onions, carrots, tomatoes, herbs and lobster shells in a tablespoon of butter over medium-low heat until vegetables are tender and the shells have turned bright red in color.

Add sherry and brandy and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, then add court-bouillon, lemon, pepper and paprika, reduce heat and simmer 1 hour.

Run a wooden skewer lengthwise through each lobster tail, then lower into the liquid and gently poach for 2 minutes.  Remove lobster from pan and allow to cool enough to handle.

Pour stock through a fine strainer into a clean saucepan, pressing on and discarding the solids.  Whisk in tomato paste and simmer until reduced by about 1/3 in volume.

Heat butter in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat, and cook sweet onions until translucent.  Add chopped parsley, lobster medallions and any remaining pieces of lobster meat and gently poach until the lobster is just done.

Whisk the cream into the bisque, then finish with 2 tablespoons of the onion, butter and parsley mixture.

To serve, ladle bisque into a shallow bowl and arrange butter-drenched lobster medallions and pieces on top. Season lightly with freshly-ground black pepper and Maldon sea salt and garnish with fresh tarragon, thinly-shaved black truffles and bits of edible flowers.