Confession time. Halibut is (well, should I say was) never my favorite fish. In fact, I believe this is the first time I have ever prepared it myself. That all changes. Especially now that I created this recipe for Pan Seared Halibut in a Spicy Tomato Broth. This recipe will definitely be on repeat. In fact, feel free to substitute halibut with any flaky white fish. Not only that, I could imagine this broth with clams and/or even shrimp. It’s that spectacular! In fact, the broth I make for my Clams with Sausage, is quite similar (minus the sausage, of course).
Halibut, in my opinion, is a cross between Chilean sea bass and cod. That’s just me. Halibut has the richness of the sea bass and the flakiness of cod. The taste is somewhat sweet with a beautiful mouth feel. Given the above, I would suggest about a six-ounce filet per person.
If you are local to Charlotte, head over to The Carolina Meat & Fish Co. for the fresh halibut, or your favorite substitute. Not local? They can ship to you! Skin-on or skinless, totally your preference. Personally, I prefer skinless for this recipe.
HOW TO PAN SEAR THE HALIBUT
I would suggest that you prep the ingredients in advance. Once the halibut has been seared and placed in the oven, the sauce will come together rather quickly. Regrettably, I kind of screwed this up from the beginning. Honestly, I thought I did everything right to get the perfect sear, but realized that using a cast iron pan may not have been my best choice. The pan was oiled well and heated up perfectly. I even let the halibut rest as it was searing on the one side. To no avail, the fish kind of stuck to the bottom of the pan. So, I hurriedly switched things up. Got out my trusty non-stick pan and forged ahead.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Season the halibut filets with kosher salt and black pepper. Place the halibut in the pan and allow to sear nicely on one side without touching. Flip and repeat. Place pan in oven to finish. The finishing time in the oven will greatly depend on the thickness of the fish. For about an inch or so thickness, plan on about seven to eight minutes in the oven.
HOW TO CREATE THE SPICY TOMATO BROTH
If you are super handy in the kitchen, you may be able to sear the halibut and create the sauce simultaneously. If not, have all of the ingredients for the sauce prepped and ready once you place the fish in the oven. In a pan, sauté the shallots and garlic for a minute or so. Add in the halved cherry tomatoes. Allow them to cook down for a few minutes. Season with kosher salt and black pepper. Pour in the white wine and a cup of the chicken broth. Sprinkle on the crushed red pepper. Squeeze in the orange and lemon juice. Cover and simmer for at least eight to ten minutes. Break down the tomatoes with a spoon as the mixture is simmering.
You may find, especially after you incorporate the beans, that you may need additional chicken broth. So, feel free to add more.
Add in the cannellini beans and fresh chopped parsley. Simmer for just a few additional minutes to heat them through.
TO FINISH AND SERVE THE PAN SEARED HALIBUT IN A SPICY TOMATO BROTH
As the halibut and spicy tomato broth are doing their thing, steam the spinach (I do this by just sautéing for a few minutes in a pan) and make the toast points. Do do this, cut a few slices of ciabatta, or whatever you have on hand, drizzle both sides with olive oil. Once fish is removed from the oven, heat to 450 degrees. Place bread slices on a pan and allow to brown on both sides. This will only take a few minutes.
To serve the Pan Seared Halibut in a Spicy Tomato Broth, ladle the broth into bowls. Yes, I got really lucky and found this amazing bowls at my local HomeGoods. Garnish one side of the bowl with the steamed spinach and toast. Place the seared halibut on top of the broth. Sprinkle everything with more fresh chopped parsley. I hope you enjoy this recipe for Pan Seared Halibut in a Spicy Tomato Broth! Definitely one of my new favs! If you love this recipe, you will also love my recipe for Baked Corvina with Tomatoes. Somewhat similar, but not the same!
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