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Poppy-Seed-Coated Halibut with Potatoes,
Black Olives and Three Sauces



SeaBear Smokehouse
Hook and line caught Alaskan Halibut at

"Fish, to taste right, must swim three times -
in water, in butter, and in wine."
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Absolute Beautiful I
Absolute Beautiful I
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Rosenboom, Jettie
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Poppy-Seed-Coated Halibut with Potatoes,
Black Olives and Three Sauces

Don Yamauchi,
The Bistro in Highwood,
Highwood, IL
America’s Best Chefs

Food & Wine Books, Editorial Director: Judith Hill,
1995, American Express Publishing Corp.


“Poppy seeds give moist halibut a crisp, flavorful crust. Served on a bed
of sliced potatoes with three different sauces, this fish looks impressive.
The basil, balsamic and fennel sauces are exceptionally simple and quick
to make, but if you’re really short on time, just make one or two of them.
And don’t hesitate to substitute another lean fish, such as snapper, for
the halibut.”

Chef’s Wine Suggestion:
 I recommend a moderately priced, medium-bodied Pinot Noir
from California, which will complement the different sauces
but not overwhelm the flavor of the fish.

Serves 6

3 tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled,
cut in half crosswise and seeded
1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh-ground black pepper
1/4 cup lightly packed basil leaves,
plus 6 sprigs (optional) for garnish
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons minced onion
2 1/2 tablespoons fennel seeds
2 cups veal or beef stock, or
canned low-sodium beef broth
1 pound small new potatoes, peeled
1/4 cup poppy seeds
3 pounds skinless halibut fillet,
cut into 6 pieces
24 black olives, such as Niçoise or
Kalamata, pitted

1. In a medium bowl, gently toss the tomatoes with 1/2 cup of the oil, one
fifth of the garlic, 1/8 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Leave to
marinate at least 1 hour. In a medium frying pan over moderately low
heat, cook the tomatoes with the marinade until softened but not falling
apart, about 8 minutes. Remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon
and set aside.
2. For the basil sauce, purée the basil leaves and a quarter of the remaining garlic in a blender with 1/2 cup of the oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 tea-
spoon pepper until smooth. Set aside.
3. For the balsamic sauce, combine the vinegar and sugar in a small stainless-steel saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Continue boiling until the mixture is syrupy and reduced to about 1/2 cup. Set aside.
4. For the fennel sauce, heat the 1 tablespoon oil in a small saucepan over moderately low heat. Add the onion and the remaining garlic and cook,
stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the fennel
seeds and cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the stock and 1/8 teaspoon salt
and bring to a boil. Continue boiling until the liquid is reduced to about
1/4 cup, about 10 minutes. Strain and add a pinch of pepper. Set aside.
5. Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan of salted water. Bring to a boil
and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain. When the potatoes
are cool enough to handle, cut into thin slices.
6. Put the poppy seeds on a plate. Season the fish with 1/2 teaspoon salt
and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Press one side of each piece of fish into
the poppy seeds so that it is completely coated.
7. In a large nonstick frying pan, heat the remaining 1/4 cup oil over moderately high heat. Add the fish to the pan and cook just until
done, about 2 1/2 minutes per side.
8. If necessary, reheat the fennel sauce. Arrange potato slices, overlapping,
in a row down the center of each plate. Top the potatoes with the fish,
poppy-seed-side up. Drizzle the three sauces around and over the fish.
Top each piece of fish with a stewed tomato and a basil sprig, if you
like. Garnish each plate with 4 olives.

Featured Archive Recipes:
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Tomatoes and Broccoli Rabe

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