Being creative in cooking is sometimes hard and deciding what ingredients to use that will be complimentary can be a trial and error thing. I sometimes fear that the things I make might not be that good and stress about it with myself, but after a while I surrender to the fact that if it isn’t that good there is always fast food restaurants (just kidding), if it doesn’t turn out I just won’t go that route again and try something else. So far my creative endeavors have not been that bad, people love the food. Maybe wanting to please your guests and family and showing your loving way may be the starting ingredients to a great dish.
Today’s recipe I was thinking of making something with a white wine and had thoughts of a baked chicken with herbs and wine or even an east Indian dish like a white wine lentil dahl dish. But in my mind I kept thinking and see a nice piece of fish either cod or halibut meaty succulent flaky moist marinated in wine and herbs and using potatoes in some way. I finally decided to do Pan Seared Halibut, in a Vegetable Medley Wine Sauce .
The nice slab of fresh halibut marinated in a robust flavorful white wine and extra virgin olive oil mixed with fresh herbs from our garden, along side sauteed zucchini, crimini mushrooms, and cherry San Marzano tomatoes simmered with spices, herbs and of course white wine. The great thing with the white wine and white colored proteins is that it does not taint the appearance of the fish, keeping its natural look.
We chose a nice white wine from Cono Sur wines, their organic Chardonnay. The great thing about this winery is that their grapes are grown organically and are picked old school style by hand. The workers of this farm have bicycles and ride down the rows of grapes filling baskets of beautiful ripe grapes that will become a beautiful wine. Cono Sur wines are also a farm dedicated to the environment which is probably why they use the bicycles instead of tractors, even the labels are made with recycled paper. This wine is a testament to the fact that great things can be made without hurting our land and air. I call this natural science.
I understand the labor involved in making wine. My father was a wine maker in Italy, his land of origin. They were known for great wines organically produced, and even to this day my father strongly believes in not adding anything to the wines to increase fermentation, just natural ingredients, warmth and time. My father passed this tradition on to me, and I have to say it is a peaceful thing making wine. Just yesterday I bottled the 2014 wines we made.
This dish has elevated flavors from the seared texture and moist flakiness of the marinated halibut, to the crispy starchy slice of potato, and a nice aromatic wine sauce, the caramelized flavors of the vegetables, spices from an abundance of fresh herbs, and accompanied by some steamed home grown green beans from Mom and Pop’s garden just drizzled with a nice cold pressed extra virgin olive oil. Finally, a surprise, taking this recipe to yet another level: sage fried making it crispy and light but packed with just enough flavor that it does not overpower this dish.
Here’s to the art of wine making, passing it on from generation to generation, to the respect for the land we live on, and finally to beautiful passionate people.
- 400 grams fresh halibut
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 cup zucchini, sliced
- 8 mini San Marzano tomatoes, quartered
- 1 cup Crimini mushrooms, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 1/8 cup cream
- 3 1/8 inch slices Yukon potatoes
- 2 cups long green beans
- For the marinade: Place halibut in a bowl, pour 1 tablespoon olive oil over it.
- Place in 1 small clove garlic minced.
- Sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon of chives, 1/2 tablespoon parsley, 1/2 tablespoon basil, 1/2 teaspoon rosemary, and rub into the fish.
- Pour 1/2 cup white wine over fish.
- Dust with salt and pepper and onion powder.
- Let marinate for about 1 hour in the fridge.
- Cut halibut into three equal pieces.
- For the wine sauce:
- Heat up 2 tablespoons olive oil in a sautée pan.
- Toss in zucchini, mushrooms, 1 small clove of garlic minced.
- Cook for about 10 minutes and then toss in quartered tomatoes.
- Cook for about another 2 minutes.
- Dust mixture with flour until rue forms.
- Pour in remainder of white wine.
- Sprinkle in salt and crushed black pepper.
- Pour in 1/8 cup of cream.
- Simmer for about 5 minutes on low heat.
- While sauce is cooking, bring water to boil in a small pot and boil potatoes slices for about 5 minutes.
- In another hot pan heat up olive oil and sear all sides of the halibut, about 30 seconds and set aside.
- Take potatoes and put in same pan as fish was cooked and fry till golden brown on both sides.
- Take out set aside.
- While pan is still hot fry sage leaves till crisp, set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- In an oven dish place potato, then fish on top.
- Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- While fish is cooking steam beans in boiling water. about 15 minutes, drain and toss with olive oil and salt and pepper.
- Re warm wine sauce.
- Place potato and fish on plate.
- Drizzle wine sauce mixture on one side of fish not covering all of it.
- Place beans off to one side.
- Ready to serve.
- Serving Size: 3 servings