This was awesome! It was fun to make, beautifully asthetic, and absolutely delicious. It's the recipe for Potato Crusted Halibut from Anne Burrell's show: Secrets of a Restaurant Chef. I really can't express how lovely this recipe is. It has a mildly accented flavor from the infused oil. I did not take the time (or missed/blocked) out the part of the recipe that says "in a nonstick saute pan", (which I will make certain to do the next time) I used my heavy stainless pan. To accompany the fish I sauteed spinach in a little cooked bacon with green onions, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of fresh grated nutmeg.
I was so entranced with this recipe, that I never took any other photos of the ingredients;
oil, potatoes, or the fish. If you've never tried this I encourage you to do so soon. You
won't be disappointed.
Potato Crusted Halibut
Courtesy of Anne Burrell and FoodNetwork
1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil6 garlic cloves, smashed
1 thyme bundle
2 bay leaves
1 lemon, zest removed from the lemon with a vegetable peeler in wide strips
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
3 Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed
4 (6-ounce) Pacific halibut fillets
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the olive oil, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, lemon zest, crushed red pepper flakes and fennel seeds. Bring to a boil then turn the heat off and let it sit for at least 1 hour. (*Big tip: This can be done ahead and used for LOTS of different things.)
Cook's Note: In this case it is important to work quickly and to slice the potatoes for 1 halibut fillet at a time. We are NOT going to soak the potatoes in water, this will help them maintain their starch so they will stick to each other and to the fish, but could cause them to turn brown.
Using a mandoline, slice 1 potato extremely thin, (paper thin), in elongated rounds. Lay a piece of parchment paper on a clean, dry work surface. Arrange 3 potato slices in an overlapping vertical line pressing them together as you put them on the parchment. Repeat this process until you have a 4 by 6-inch overlapping potato rectangle that replicates fish scales. Brush the potato "scales" with the infused oil and sprinkle with salt. Season the halibut with salt. Lay the halibut fillet closer to 1 end of the potato rectangle than the other and then roll the fish up in the potato slices, using the parchment to help facilitate the rolling. Press to compact and really adhere the potatoes to the fish. Brush the outside of the potatoes with the infused oil to seal the potatoes and to prevent the potatoes from turning brown, this will also help make a nice tight "fish package". Reserve the fish in the refrigerator while preparing the remaining fillets. Refrigerate the fillets for at least 1 hour before cooking.
To cook the fish:
Add the infused olive oil to a large nonstick saute pan until the bottom is generously covered and bring the pan to a medium-high heat. Season the fish with salt and add to the pan. Cook the fish on both sides for 3 to 4 minutes frequently spooning the excess oil over the fish to "baste" it. The potatoes should be crispy golden brown and very well flavored and the fish will be succulent inside its crispy "scales". Transfer to serving plates and serve.
Makes 4 Servings
I do hope you'll give this a try. It's not as complicated as it seems. You really do need a mandoline though, in order to slice the potatoes paper thin. I know I'll be making this again and again, maybe switching up the flavor profiles just for fun.
Carla and Michael