10 Ways Tuesday: Halibut

Halibut (c)2012 LaDomestique.com

I’ve got creative recipes for cooking with Halibut during spring:


1.  Braised Halibut on the Stovetop

My favorite way to cook halibut is Eric Ripert’s Braised Halibut with Peas. It begins with sautéed bacon pieces, then onions, peas, and lettuce. Halibut is nestled into the vegetables, simmered in chicken stock for just a few minutes until cooked through. The result is a bacon-infused broth and tender, flaky, halibut fillets. I love this technique so much I simplified it to one pot and made it my inspiration for Braised Halibut and Artichokes, a recipe to be featured on the blog later this week.

2.  Ceviche

In Fiesta at Rick’s, there is a recipe for Frontera Grill’s Now-Classic Ceviche showcasing the sweet flavor and firm flesh of halibut. The sushi-grade halibut is cut into 1/2-inch cubes, then marinated in lime juice with chopped white onion in the fridge for half an hour (for medium rare) or up to 3-4 hours for “cooked” all the way through. Finely chopped hot green chiles (serranos or jalapeño), green olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and cilantro are added to the “cooked” fish, which is then seasoned with salt and a pinch of sugar. Serve the halibut ceviche with corn chips as an appetizer for happy hour on the patio with a nice cold cerveza.


Ingredient of the Week: Halibut

Halibut (c)2012 LaDomestique.com

Halibut is the ingredient of the week at la Domestique. Yes, even fish is a seasonal ingredient. This largest of the flatfish is a bottom dweller from the North Pacific Ocean. The average size is 50-100 pounds, though the biggest halibut caught on record weighed almost 500 pounds! Fresh halibut is available in the United States from March to September. According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Guide, Best Choice halibut is wild caught, from the Pacific, mostly Alaska. Look for MSC certified fish (Marine Stewardship Council), which means the fisheries are sustainable, using lines that don’t accidentally catch marine mammals or seabirds, degrade habitats, or deplete populations.

Halibut is a firm-fleshed white fish with a delicate, sweet flavor. It stands up to heat well, and so can be braised, grilled, or pan seared more easily than delicate sole or tilapia. In Ad Hoc at Home, Thomas Keller advises that when buying fish at market,


Cook in the Moment: Lemon Curd Tart

Lemon Curd Tart (c)2012 LaDomestique.com

One of my unofficial resolutions this year is to bake more fruit tarts. Year after year I find myself wishing I had baked with the strawberries of spring, the peaches of summer, and autumn’s glorious apples. Time passes so quickly, and I regret not celebrating fresh fruit at the peak of its season. It may seem silly to worry about such things, but I believe investing precious spare time in baking a fruit tart slows time down a little. Eating fresh fruit out of hand is a true pleasure, but it’s a fleeting one. Baking a tart is a ritual beginning with selecting the fruit, composing the pastry and blind-baking it, filling the tart shell and finishing it off in the oven. We plan each step then we wait as fruit bubbles and crust caramelizes under the heat of the oven, filling the kitchen with its tantalizing aroma. To me, a fruit tart embodies hospitality. If you’ve got a tart and a pot of tea, then you’ve got a party waiting to happen. For my first fruit tart of the year, I’ve baked Martha Stewart’s Rustic Meyer Lemon Tart, which is actually based on a recipe from Chez Panisse Desserts. I made the tart with Meyer lemons and then with regular lemons- both variations were delicious.


10 Ways Tuesday: Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd (c)2012 LaDomestique.com

I’ve got creative recipes for cooking with lemon curd during spring:

1.  Baked Lemon Tart

To me, sweet buttery pastry, rolled out and baked into a tart pan, filled with smooth-as-silk lemon curd and baked till caramelized is the perfect spring dessert. There is nothing more satisfying than a bright, sunny lemon tart after a beautiful spring lunch. This week I’ll be featuring a Martha Stewart recipe for Rustic Meyer Lemon Tart here on the blog. The beauty of a curd based tart is that it keeps well (3 days in the fridge and still delicious), can be made ahead of time, and travels easily. It’s perfect for picnics and potlucks.

2.  Not-Baked Lemon Meringue Tart

The not-baked lemon tart is more elegant and pristine when compared with the loveably rustic Baked Lemon Tart above. Recipes can be found everywhere for a baked tart shell filled with lemon curd, topped with berries or fluffy meringue. My favorite is the recipe for little Lemon-Almond Meringue Tarts from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking. I’m intrigued by the recipe because of the almond theme which carries through the crust (ground amaretti cookies, sliced almonds, amaretto liqueur) to the browned meringue topping (amaretto liqueur). Who knew almonds and lemons were such a winning combination?


Ingredient of the Week: Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd (c)2012 LaDomestique.com

With the arrival of spring and her warm, breezy days, I begin to crave the sunny, tart flavor of lemons. Easter weekend awakened my sweet tooth, and I’m in the mood to bake. Flowering trees hold the promise of fresh fruit, but it’s not time yet for the juicy stone fruits of summer. That’s okay, because we’ve got lemons to get us through. Here at la Domestique, we’re making lemons into bright yellow jars of buttery lemon curd destined for meringue pies, tarts, cakes, or simply slathered over toast and served with a cup of tea.

Lemon curd is a mixture of eggs, sugar, butter, and lemons (juice and zest) stirred in a pot on the stovetop over medium heat until thickened and spreadable. Kept in a clean jar, lemon curd will last for a week in the fridge, or process jars of lemon curd in a water bath and store for a month in the pantry (refrigerate once opened). In The Craft of Baking, Karen Demasco writes, “Lemon curd is most often thought of as a tart filling. Reconsider it as more of an all-purpose ingredient, however, and the possibilities for enjoying this tangy topping quickly grow.” This week at la Domestique, we’ll explore the many ways to use lemon curd in sweet spring treats.