"The people who give you their food give you their heart" - Cesar Chavez

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lemon Seared Halibut + Bluegrass on the Beach

Of some of my favorite things in life, live music, seafood, beaches rank in the top 10. I recently had the pleasure of all three on a Sunday in San Francisco with a good friend. The picture above is of a lemony seared halibut with a caper onion sauce, roasted Romanesco and red quinoa on the side. Recipes below
A couple Sundays ago there was a mini version of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass on Ocean Beach in honor of Warren Hellman, our beacon of the bay. There was a lovely montage of pictures and quotes from his life lining the beach. 
The quote above reads “money is like manure, it stinks if you hold on to it, but if you spread it around good things grow.” This from a man who created a trust so that Bay Area music lovers can enjoy Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in Golden Gate for another 20 years! Along with creating a free health clinic in San Francisco and keeping the SF Ballet afloat, these philanthropic efforts are just the tip of the iceberg. He’s an inspiration and I’m grateful to enjoy the fruits of his legacy in San Francisco. Here is the line up:

 For a late lunch – we had the famous Lobster Roll from Sam’s Chowder Mobile – the official truck of Half Moon Bay’s Sam’s Chowder House. The lobster roll lived up to its expectation of being sufficiently meaty, buttery, & delicious. I was happy they didn’t serve it with chips and coleslaw as last time – that just lowered the bar on the over all Lobster Roll experience.
 As the sun set and in true San Francisco style, clouds rolled in and temperature dropped a solid 15 degrees we packed up and went home.
We stopped to pick up some line caught Halibut, a tomato and some apple juice – AKA brain juice.  After a long day outside, I can’t think of many other things I’d rather do than cook up a feast. Cooking, and being in the kitchen, is relaxing and affords a safe environment for creative experimentation. In the world of fish I’m most familiar cooking salmon and tilapia. Halibut is still a little new for me, but I'm excited to learn it's ways...The menu was inspired by the contents of my refrigerator which included cilantro, capers, Meyer lemons, and romanseco. Pronounced Ro-Ma-Ne-sCO, the name sounds like a tall dark and handsome Italian….but it's the tastier cousin of the cauliflower.
K, enough jibber jabber - time for dinner!
Lemony Seared Halibut with Caper Sauce

Olive oil
2 halibut fillets
Salt and Pepper
1/3 white onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 cup white wine (plus more to drink while cooking)
1/2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons capers
1 Meyer lemon (zest & juice)

1. Get your music going and a glass of wine. I recommend the German composer Tya, Akwaba
2. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium high heat
3. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the halibut fillets
4. Sear the halibut on each side until lightly golden brown on each side. About 4 minutes per side.
5. Set the halibut aside and cover with foil to retain heat
6. Add some more olive oil
7. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute
8. Add the white wine and deglaze the pan. Bring to a simmer to reduce the sauce
9. Turn off the heat and add in the butter, capers, lemon zest and juice
10. Serve the sauce over the halibut fillets

Ideas for serving:
  • roasted vegetables
  • quinoa or couscous
  • grilled asparagus
  • a slab of thick country bread
  • dessert: green tea or ginger ice cream
Warren in the Army

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