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Halibut steamed in corn husks

Time30 minutes
YieldsServes 4
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Peak-season corn husks are soft and pliable and have a grassy taste and smell. Unfolding them at the table is like unwrapping a very fragrant gift. The ineffable corn flavor infuses the very mild fish while keeping the meat — which can go dry so fast — almost impossibly juicy. And when fresh corn, jalapeños, cilantro and butter are tucked into the husks the payoff is even richer. The corn husks capture and concentrate all the flavors of the fish so much better than a sauce spooned on after the fact.

From the story: Wrapped up in summer

1

In a large bowl, soften the corn husks in very hot water until they are pliable, about 15 minutes.

2

Bring a large covered pot of water with a steamer basket insert to a simmer.

3

Combine the jalapenos, corn, cilantro, garlic, lime juice and butter in a bowl and blend well. Season liberally with salt and pepper.

4

Drain 4 husks and wipe them dry. Lay them out on a work surface so that they overlap. Season 1 piece of fish with salt and pepper and lay it on the center of the husks. Spread a quarter of the corn mixture over the top of the fish. Fold the husks up and over the fish to make a tidy package. Use strips of extra husks to tie them, or use string. Repeat with the remaining fish.

5

Place the packets in the pot, cover and steam 8 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Remove the fish carefully from the steamer, so as not to break the packets. Serve in the husks and garnish each plate with sliced avocado.