Thursday, October 25, 2018

Fennel and Garlic Cream Poached Halibut

I travel a lot for work this time of year.  When I'm home it is so Dave can do my laundry, I can pet the dogs and sleep in my own bed.  I really don't have much time or energy for cooking.  Also, I am coming from the real world, where it is really fall, to Fairbanks where it is cold and rainy or snowy.  So far this year I haven't been home when it snowed and it has melted before I land, but I was in Iowa last week and it was 70°F and sunny only to land in Fairbanks where it was 42 and overcast, and colder at night.

I crave something warm and soup-like this time of year.  Dave doesn't think soup is dinner so I go for something with lots of sauce.  This halibut dish checks all the boxes for warm, saucy, and enough substance to count for dinner.

Poaching the fennel bulb in heavy cream until it is soft really sweetens the fennel, I'm not really a fan of raw fennel with it's anise flavor, but once it is roasted or poached it takes on a whole different flavor profile.  Then you pour the hot flavored cream over some halibut or cod and bake until it is cooked through - easy and so, so delicious.

To add a little fresh zip to it all is a fennel frond and lemon relish.  I could just eat this on it's own, or over chicken or pork.

So dinner is done, easy and delicious and I have time to supervise Dave doing my laundry for my next work trip.
Fennel and Garlic Cream Poached Halibut
adapted from Bon Appétit, October 2018

2 small fennel bulbs, fronds reserved, bulbs cut into 12" thick wedges
8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 cups heavy cream
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 lb. halibut, skin removed
1 small lemon
1/2 cup avocado or olive oil
fresh black pepper

Preheat oven to 250˚F.  Place fennel in a large saucepan, add garlic, cream and salt.  Place over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally until fennel is just tender, 12-15 minutes, do not let the cream boil.  Remove from heat. 
Place fish in an oven proof casserole dish.  Pour cream sauce over fish.  Place in oven and bake uncovered for 18-25 minutes, until fish flakes easily with a fork.

While fish is cooking, finely chop reserved fennel fronds and place in a small bowl, you want about 1/2 cup.  Cut ends off lemon; discard.  Place lemon upright on one end and cut lemon into four lobes, working around the center as you would an apple and leaving the core and seeds behind.  Finely chop lobes peel and all and transfer to bowl with fennel fronds.  You should have about 1/3 cup.  Squeeze juice from core over fennel fronds; discard core.  Drizzle in oil and toss mixture to combine.  Season fennel oil with salt and lots of pepper. 

Break fish into large pieces and divide among shallow bowls.  Divide garlic and fennel among bowls and ladle some garlic cream on top. Spoon fennel oil over.

4 years ago:   Garlic Chili Chicken and My Afternoon Date
5 years ago:   The Awful Day and Homemade Cranberry Liqueur
6 years ago:   Cowboy Cookies

October 25, 2018  Sunrise 9:16 am  Sunset 9:52 pm  Temp. H 48/ L 27°F

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