Prep Time: 5 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours, 20 minutes
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 1 T granulated sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 T cracked white pepper
- A healthy pinch of saffron, crushed
- 1 qt. water
- 1 lb halibut steaks
- 1 T good-quality mustard
- 2 T tiny capers
- 2 finely chopped green onions
- 1 cup finely chopped parsley
- Juice from 2 lemons
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Top-quality extra-virgin olive oil, at least 1/2 cup
- 2 T lower-quality olive oil for sauteeing the fish
Make the Brine. Mix the 1/4 cup of salt, quart of water, sugar, cracked white pepper and the bay leaves in a pot and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the crushed saffron. Mix well and cover. Let this stand for 30 minutes.
Once the brine has cooled somewhat, put it into a container and pop it in the fridge for 2 hours.
After the 2 hours are up, put the halibut steaks in. Brine them for 2 and a half hours. Do not let them brine for more than 4 hours under any circumstances -- they will become too salty.
Make the Salsa Verde. In a bowl, mix the mustard, capers, green onion, a little salt, parsley and lemon juice well. Start adding the good olive oil a little at a time, mixing vigorously all the way. Keep addit the oil until you have a sauce at the consistency you like: I like it somewhere beyond a paste but not so thin as a salad dressing.
Cook the Halibut. Get a saute pan hot and add the lesser olive oil. Take the halibut steaks out of the brine and pat dry. Let the oil get hot for a minute or two, then place the halibut down in the pan, well spaced so they get a good crust. Turn the heat down to medium.
Halibut steaks tend to be thick, so let them cook for a good 5 minutes per side at least; you may need more. Turn them only once.
To serve, spoon some of the salsa verde on the plate and top with the halibut. I like to serve this with those pretty little purple potatoes that are rapidly becoming available -- it makes for a very colorful plate. Serve with a round white wine like an oaky chardonnay or an off-dry Riesling.