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Pan-roasted halibut with grits, morels and spring onions

Time 2 hours
Yields Serves 4
Pan-roasted halibut with grits, morels and spring onions

Grits

1

Bring the cream, water and garlic just to a boil. Turn off heat and infuse for 20 minutes. Strain out the garlic, rinse out the pan and add the cream mixture back to the pan.

2

Add the salt and bring to a boil. Slowly stir in the grits, reduce the heat and simmer until the grits are tender and cooked through, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Add up to 1 cup water when grits get too thick. Cooking time will depend on the type of grits used.

Gremolata

1

Finely chop the parsley, garlic and lemon zest together. Place in a small bowl, stir in the olive oil, cover and set aside.

Halibut and assembly

1

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat a small oven-proof saute pan with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add the onions to the hot pan and toss with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat until the onions are just starting to caramelize, 2 to 3 minutes. Add three-fourths cup vegetable stock and 1 tablespoon butter, stir to combine. Cover the pan and roast in the oven 30 minutes until the stock has reduced. Remove from the oven and set aside.

2

Rinse the morels in a bowl of cold water, drain and gently pat dry. Heat a large saute pan over high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms have released their liquid and the pan is dry, about 6 to 7 minutes.

3

Deglaze the pan with the sherry and cook until the pan is dry. Add one-half cup vegetable stock and reduce by half. Stir in 1 tablespoon butter and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the reserved spring onions. Set the pan aside and keep warm.

4

Remove the halibut from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. Sprinkle the fillets with salt and pepper. Heat a large non-stick pan with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the fillets and cook for 4 minutes, until the fish has good caramelization. Turn over and cook 1 to 2 minutes until cooked through. Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the fish. Remove from the pan and keep warm.

5

Divide the grits among 4 serving plates. Place the halibut on top of the grits. Spoon one-fourth of the mushrooms-onion mixture over each piece of fish, followed by a spoonful of gremolata, and serve.

From David Lentz of the Hungry Cat in Hollywood.

Amy Scattergood is a staff writer for the Food section of the Los Angeles Times.
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