Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Migas-topped halibut on a bed of lentils

Adapted from "Pan-roasted halibut with toasted bread-crumb salad and green lentils" in Tom Douglas' Seattle Kitchen. Although there are several recipes in the dish, none are difficult in execution. However, it seems complicated (even if it's not) compared to, say, kale with bacon on grilled bread, which was what Stumpy and I ate Monday night.



For the migas:

about 1-1.5 cups of very coarse bread crumbs from a rustic-ish white bread (about 1/4" or slightly larger)

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3-4 slices prosciutto, cut into about 1 to 2" pieces, fat removed and chopped for the lentils

olive oil

salt



For the lentils:

1 generous cup lentils

olive oil

1/2 onion, finely chopped,

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped,

2 carrots, chopped

chopped up prosciutto fat from the migas

2-3 slices prosciutto, cut into 1 to 2" pieces, fat and all

pinch or so dried chile flakes

2 Tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup chicken stock

about 1/2 cup water

1 teaspoon each chopped fresh: sage, rosemary and oregano



For the halibut

1.5 lb halibut fillet, cut into 4 pieces

lemon vinaigrette



For the lemon vinaigrette:

juice of one lemon or so

olive oil

salt

pepper



To prepare the lentils:

1. bring a pan of salted water to a boil. Add the lentils, reduce heat to simmer and cook the lentils until tender, 12 minutes (or more, as it was for me). Drain and set aside.

2. Add a bit of olive oil to a pan and turn to medium. Add onion (I often, for soffrito-flavor-base-type preparations like this, chop the next ingredient when the first one goes into the pan). When the onion is translucent, add the garlic. Stir until fragrant, or just turning color, another minute or two, and then add the carrots and chile flakes. Allow to cook for a little while, stirring often, until pan brownings begin to form. Add the chicken stock and scrape at the bottom of the pan vigorously to get up the pan brownings. Stir in the tomato paste, and then add the lentils and herbs. Cook for a few minutes, stirring now and then. Keep it warm while you prep the other stuff, adding a little water now and then if necessary.



To prepare the migas:

1. Put the bread crumbs on a cookie sheet and pop into an oven heated to 300-325 for 10 minutes or so; until they're golden to golden-brown. Remove and set aside.

2. In a saute pan, heat olive oil. Add garlic and stir it for a minute, then add the prosciutto, and stir another minute or two. Add the bread crumbs, tossing well in the pan, and cooking until the prosciutto begins to crisp up a little. Turn heat off, adjust seasoning (I like to use Volterra fennel salt on migas, but plain old works just fine) and set aside.

Normally, for migas, I would make them in a similar way, but closer to crouton size.



To prepare the halibut:

1. make the lemon vinaigrette to taste.

2. In a saute pan, add olive oil and turn heat to high/medium high. When the oil is just about at smoking point, add halibut, skin-side up. Sear until golden brown, 4-5 minutes, and then flip and finish cooking, probably another couple of minutes.



Assembly:

put some lentils in a bowl. Top with a piece of halibut. Stab the halibut a couple of times with a fork, and then put a spoonful of the lemon dressing over it (so that the vinaigrette goes into the little holes). Top with a spatula-full of migas and serve.

4 comments:

cook eat FRET said...

you and that fennel salt
anyway, sounds wonderful

no pictures?

i want pictures...
too late i suppose

Meg said...

I know- I'm addicted to absurd gourmet salts. The migas were too appealing to stop and photograph before eating.

Elaine Cascio said...

This has become one of my go to recipes for a yummy, lovely to look at meal. I don't do the migas, but just the fish (usually whatever looks good at the fish market) on the bed of lentils is a beautiful thing.

Meg said...

Elaine- it's great, isn't it? And suddenly we're hitting the time of year when I find myself wanting the dark flavor of lentils again.