Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Healthy Dinner...Baked Halibut With Tomato Caper Sauce

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I am horrified at the amount of dessert recipes I've been posting lately...aren't you?  Why didn't somebody tell me?!  By this time of the year I am usually in bathing suit mode and all pies, cakes and bread disappear from my radar.  With this strange weather- one day cold, one day hot, three days raining-  my system is a little confused;  but before I know it, it will be time to don that (ugh) bathing suit and all hell to pay.  I love to swim and nothing is keeping me out of the water, even if it is fresh water whose bottom I can't see!

Cutting back  and eating healthy is not that bad if you really put your mind to it (yeah, right).  All it takes is a little adjusting... no more drinks during the week,  lighter meals at night, more salads for lunch and absolutely NO desserts.  Oh, but life would be so dull...  don't worry I can always resort to old recipes and post a dessert here and there...but not three in a row!

Luckily halibut season is upon us. It starts in March and ends sometime in late Fall.  Fish is the best thing to have for dinner when you want to cut back, even better than chicken.   Unfortunately, where I live now, I have to resort to buying fish at Costco and Trader Joe's as there isn't a  fish market for miles.  If you can't get fresh fish, flash frozen is the way to go.    Its ironic that I live within spitting distance of a lake and can't get fresh fish, even occasionally.  But these lake fish are smart.  Did you hear someone caught a bass yesterday on our dock but it got away?   Jumped right out of the bucket back into the lake..never heard that one before.

Eating healthy doesn't have to be dull or complicated as you will see from the recipe below

Yield: Serves 6

For the tomato caper sauce:

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/2 medium onion, finely chopped

4 plump garlic cloves, minced or mashed in a mortar and pestle

1/4 cup capers, drained, rinsed and finely chopped or mashed with the garlic in a mortar and pestle

2 pounds tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped, or 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice

Salt, preferably kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste

Pinch of sugar

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

1 tablespoon slivered fresh basil leaves


1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat, and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, three to five minutes, and add the garlic and the capers. Cook, stirring, for three to five minutes, until the onion has softened thoroughly and the mixture is fragrant. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, for 15 to 20 minutes, until the sauce is thick and fragrant. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve hot or cold.

Yield: 2 1/2 cups


For the baked halibut:

1 recipe tomato-caper sauce, above

6 6-ounce halibut fillets

Salt, preferably kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

6 lemon slices


1. Make the sauce as directed and keep warm.

2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Oil a baking dish large enough for the fish to lie flat. Season the fish with salt and pepper, and arrange in the baking dish. Drizzle the olive oil over the fillets, and place a round of lemon on each one. Cover the dish tightly with foil, and place in the oven. Bake 15 minutes. Check the fish; if you can cut into it with a fork, it is done. If it doesn’t yield, (halibut fillets tend to be thick can take time to cook), cover and return to the oven for five minutes. Remove from the oven, and check again. Remove the lemon slices from the fish.

3. Place a spoonful of sauce on each plate, and place a piece of fish partially on top. Spoon some of the liquid from the baking dish over the fish. If you wish, top the fish with another spoonful of sauce, garnish with basil leaves and serve.

Advance preparation: The sauce will keep for about five days in the refrigerator.

By M. Shulman for NYT
Published: May 12, 2009

1 comment:

  1. This looks really good -- we love fish and alas, we don't have a fish market either -- about the only fresh fish available on theprairie is catfish!


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