Capered Halibut in Tomato Sauce
Halibut is a flat fish whose name reportedly grew out of Catholic holy days, when the consumption of meat (other than fish) is forbidden as part of the Lenten season (“Haly” for holy and “butt” for flat). It’s a fish that I haven’t been familiar with growing up in the Philippines . My first encounter with halibut was at a seafood restaurant in San Francisco. I remember it being steamed and wrapped in parchment paper. My first impression of halibut continues to this day: firm meat, sweet flavor and few bones. Oh, and did I already mention nutritional content?
For this recipe, I thought of partnering halibut with capers and a side of onion and green peas tomato sauce. This dish can be served with steamed or fried rice, or your bread of choice. The decision is yours!
2 medium-sized halibut steaks
3 tbsps caper, rinsed, drained and patted dry with paper towel
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup white wine or champagne
1/2 cup cocktail onions, rinsed to temper the vinegar flavor, then drained
1 cup frozen green peas
3 tbsps Olive oil
One 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh cilantro for garnish
Season halibut steaks with salt, pepper and dried parsley. Heat 2 tbsps Olive oil in a large frying pan (medium heat). Fry halibut steaks until slightly brown. Remove from heat and place on a plate lined with paper towel to drain excess oil. In the same pan, pour wine or champagne. Use a spatula to scrape browned halibut bits from the bottom of the pan, mixing them with the wine. Let the wine reduce to almost nothing before adding 2 cloves garlic and butter. Stir and continue to cook for about a minute. Stir in capers and cook for another minute. Add salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat and simmer for one minute before turning off heat. In a small sauce pan, heat the remaining Olive oil in medium-high heat. Add the remaining garlic until golden brown. Add in the cocktail onions and stir. Add the tomato sauce and bring to a quick boil. Reduce heat and add green peas. Add brown sugar and let simmer for about two minutes. To serve, place halibut steak on a plate and top with the caper mixture. Scoop in the desired amount of the tomato-based sauce on the side of the halibut steak.