With school coming to an end for the Summer, I have more time to create super delicious (and some super disastrous) culinary masterpieces…. Yes, even the duds are masterpieces. Masterpieces of crap. The following was one of the more delicious ones…. But be warned: halibut, even though it’s in season, is very expensive right now. This could be because fish stocks are down….? Maybe we ought to be laying off the big guys for a while and focus more on the little ones. In that case, you could easily substitute any other firm, white fish for this recipe or diver scallops (scallops hand harvested by individual divers, rather than by large bottom trawling nets that obliterate entire ecosystems of diverse Ocean life).
PS. You can use this ragout recipe as a delicious pasta sauce as well! YUM! I paired it with the leftovers from my Basic Polenta Recipe – it was tasty!
Panko Crusted Halibut with Leek & Onion Ragout
Yield 4 servings
- 4 4-oz Pieces of Fresh, Line-Caught Halibut.
- 1 1/2 C Panko Crumbs.
- 2 Eggs, lightly beaten.
- 1 C All Purpose White Flour.
- 2 Lemons, for juice and zest.
- 1 Onion, sliced.
- 2 Leeks, thinly sliced.
- 1 Medium Zucchini, thinly sliced into "ribbons" with a mandolin.
- 4 Slices Thick Cut Smoked Bacon.
- Handful of Fresh Parsley, roughly chopped (+ a tablespoon of finely chopped stuff).
- 1/4 - 1/2 C Heavy Cream.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
- Lil Butter, unsalted.
- Kosher Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.
- In 3 separate bowls, put the flour, eggs, and panko crumbs. Mix the juice of one lemon into the eggs and the zest into the panko crumbs with the finely chopped parsley - season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the bacon and cook until crispy, flipping half way through. Set aside on paper towels to drain but keep the fat in the pan. Once cool, roughly chop and set aside.
- As your bacon cooks, trim the skin off your fish (if it came with any). If I wasn't crusting it, I'd leave it on for delicious flavor. But because I am, away with the skin! Simply lay the fish flat on the cutting board, skin side down, and lay your hand on top to hold the fish in place. Now, with a very sharp knife parallel with the skin, gently and carefully saw straight across. You can see from the photo below how nicely it can shave off.
- Next, season your fish with salt and pepper and dredge each piece in the flour, then the eggs/lemon juice, and then the panko/zest/parsley mixture. Set on a plate and put aside for a few minutes.
- By now your bacon should be cooked and set aside. In the "bacon pan", over medium heat, toss in the onions, and leeks. After 2-3 minutes, add the zucchini and turn up the heat to medium-high. Cook a further 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the water from the zucchini has cooked out. Squeeze the juice from a lemon in and stir well.
- When your veggies are about half way cooked, heat a non-stick (as always, I prefer cast-iron) pan over low-medium heat with a couple tablespoons of peanut, canola or veggie oil (olive oil will burn too quickly), and a knob of butter. Once the butter starts to sizzle, carefully add the fish to the pan.
- Cook 4 minutes and until golden brown and then flip. Cook a further 3 to 4 minutes and pull from the heat.
- As your fish relaxes, turn the heat down on your veggies to medium-low.
- Add the cream to the leek and onion mixture, stirring constantly to ensure it doesn't burn or curdle for about 3 minutes. At the last minute, fold in the parsley and the bacon and remove from the heat.
- Serve with the Halibut and Basic Polenta .