Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Yam-Wrapped Halibut

Serves 4
Recipe Inspired by this recipe from Anne Burrell


1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, smashed
1 thyme bundle
1 lemon, zest removed from the lemon with a vegetable peeler in wide strips
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 Yam*, scrubbed
4 (6-ounce) Pacific halibut fillets
Sea salt
Black Pepper


    1. In a saute pan over medium heat, combine the olive oil, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, lemon zest, crushed red pepper flakes and fennel seeds. 
    2. Using a mandoline (or a vegetable peeler, or a really sharp knife and the keenest of slicing skills), slice the yam 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. 
    3. 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". 
    4. 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:
    1. Remove the herbs, garlic, and lemon zest from the the infused olive oil and bring the pan to a medium-high heat. Season the wrapped fish with salt and add to the pan. Cook the fish on both (I used tongs and browned all four sides) sides for 3 to 4 minutes frequently brushing the fish with the infused oil. 
    2. 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.
    Peeled (or thinly sliced) Yam:
    Thyme and Garlic Infused Oil:
    Searing the Wrapped Halibut:

    This is a tasty little package of goodness! I love the mixture of the fish with the sea salt and sweet yams. You can get really great fresh halibut right now, but it can be a little expensive...so, feel free to substitute another white fish in this recipe. But, if you can find it for a reasonable price, use it! 

    This meal took me about 15 minutes, from start to finish. You can also infuse the oil (set aside to cool) and wrap the fish to make dinner preparation just a matter of heating the oil and cooking the fish. 

    *Yams aren't recommended on a "normal" Paleo diet, but we eat them on occasion, as they are a good source of post-WOD (think met-cons and "chippers"...you know, those workouts that leave you feeling like you've got nothing left 'in the tank') fuel. Read "Paleo for Athletes" for more reading on that topic.


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