Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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Jan 8, 2014

Poached Halibut with Tomato & Saffron

Libations used: 1/4 cup white wine...
Libations left over:  Pretty much the whole bottle, so serve with dinner...
I haven't been doing any cooking since I got back to LA after the holiday and it's been a bit of a whirlwind this past week.  I'm beyond excited for 2014 and it's already gotten off to a terrific start!  I've been rather MIA on posting as much as I used to on this blog, so I'm really eager to get back into my old, happy cooking/cocktail shaking rhythm again.

I was looking for a quick fish dish to make using some of the halibut I had in my freezer (new year, so time to clear that freezer and fridge out!), and found a recipe for Poached Cod with Tomato & Saffron in the January issue of Bon Appetit.  You can sub in any other light, white fish.  Also, I went heavy on the tomatoes and just pulled them out of the saucy jar, plopping them in the skillet without draining them.  This is a great, easy and fast dish to make on a weeknight, and for those who are scared of overcooking fish, you really can't go wrong with poaching.

Poached Halibut with Tomato & Saffron - serves 4
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes or 1 tsp Aleppo pepper
  • One 14.5 oz can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (I used Toasted Head Chardonnay)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • Four 5 oz skinless halibut or cod fillets
- Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.
- Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring often, until fragrant - don't let the garlic brown up.
- Add tomatoes, crushing them with your hands as you add them (that part was fun!), the wine, bay leaves, saffron and the water.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 5-7 minutes.
- Season the fish with salt and pepper on both sides and then place in the skillet.
- Cover and cook at a bare simmer until the fish is opaque and getting flaky.
- Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Serve the fish with the poaching liquid (and tomatoes, if you like) spooned over.