© Richard A. Huston: HGI / Salty's Seafood Group

Holy Halibut, Batman!!!

EDITORS NOTE: This is the first in an ongoing series of articles by Chef Jeremy McLachlan of Salty's Waterfront Seafood Grills

By Chef Jeremy McLachlan

The Big Flounder of the Deep is finally here and at its prime. This is my favorite white lean fish. The delicate flaky meat is fantastic and good for you, too! “If you don’t believe me, just ask award-winning food blogger Kathryn Hilger-Kingen — she’s written about this very subject in her "Good for You" blog "Wild Halibut — A Brilliant and Sustainable Fish."

Whenever I dream of a dish featuring this amazing fish, I always know one thing: unlike the mid-region of my body, halibut needs fat! Because halibut is so lean, it's great pan-seared and rubbed with a compound butter or, for an even healthier kick, finish it with an avocado puree. Although halibut is a lean fish, it is still versatile and can be used in many different preparations.

At Salty's Seafood Grills, we offer our guests halibut both simply and gorgeously dressed. In May during our "Just for the Halibut" Festival, you'll find Pan-Seared Halibut, Pinot-Noir Braised Washington Coast Halibut, Washington vs. Alaskan Halibut Duo, and Rosemary-Poached Kodiak Halibut. When you click on these links, be sure to look for the recipe links at the bottom of the pages — or, better yet, come into Salty's and let us cook for you! This is a festival you won't want to miss!

I want to give you my absolute favorite way to cook halibut.

This month I want to give you my absolute favorite way to cook halibut. This recipe came to me in a nightmare where I found myself in a castle cooking for the picky Queen of England and in an aha moment of inspiration, there it was Halibut with Sweet Corn and Mushrooms! Needless to say, it saved my head! I lived to give you this recipe:

Wild Alaskan Halibut with a Sweet Corn and Mushroom Ragout

Serves 4
4 each 6-ounce pieces halibut
1 tablespoon canola oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups mushroom ragout (recipe follows)

Season halibut on both sides with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat a large oven-safe fry pan to medium heat.
Add canola oil to pan and place halibut skin side up.
Shake pan to make sure you do not have any sticking going on but DO NOT FLIP THE HALIBUT!
Place in a 350-degree F oven for 8 minutes on lower rack of oven.
Pull out and flip halibut over onto ragout.
Mushroom Ragout Ingredients
1 pound mushrooms quartered (fresh morels are great but Portobello or buttons work great)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 sweet onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth (low sodium)
2 ears corn, slice corn off the cob
3 tablespoons butter, cold
salt to taste

Mushroom Ragout

Heat large fry or sauce-pan to medium-high heat and then add oil and mushrooms.
Once mushrooms are golden brown, add onion and garlic.
Add chicken broth and cook until half the liquid remains.
Add corn kernels.
Cook until there is barely any liquid left. Turn down to low heat, add butter and swirl pan to mix.
Finish with salt to taste.

Chef Jeremy McLachlan is the Corporate Chef for Salty's Restaurants. You can read more of his writing, and recipes on the Salty's site here.

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