We’re Cooking: Halibut with Fresh Corn and Shitakes

We had winemaker Brian Talley over for dinner the other night who brought an amazing and delicious assortment of his Talley Vineyards Chardonnay dating back to the early 1990’s (somewhat unheard of for California Chardonnay that is usually consumed within a year or two of bottling.)  Always the host, my goal was to prepare an ideal pairing dinner for each flight of his vibrant and aromatic wines.  We started with cold melon soup, followed by a grilled stone fruit salad, then roasted halibut with fresh white corn and shitake mushrooms.  A simple yet gorgeous presentation of the fish wrapped in parchment; but you could wrap everything in an aluminum foil packet (which may be slightly easier.)


Halibut with Fresh Corn and Shitake Mushrooms
3 servings –
1 1/4  pounds of fresh halibut, skin removed and cut into 6 – 8 ounce portions
1 ear of fresh white corn, husk and silks removed
1/3 pound of fresh shitake mushrooms, stems removed and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 stems fresh thyme + 1/2 tablespoon
6 stems fresh dill + 1 teaspoon
1 green onion, dark green parts only, sliced very thin
1/2 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon, chopped
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or 1/2 sliced jalapeno pepper, stem removed
2 lemons
3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup red or white wine vinegar
1/2 cup white wine
Salt and pepper
1 egg

Rinse the halibut very well, season each side with salt and pepper (about 1/2 teaspoon of each for each piece) and set aside.  Clean the corn and cut it from the ear into a mixing bowl.  Chop the shitakes and add to the corn.  Add the chopped parsley, mint, basil, green onion, garlic, tarragon, 1 tablespoon of thyme and 2 teaspoons of dill, along with the sliced pepper.  Add in vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/4 cup white wine.  Season with salt and pepper to your taste and stir together.   Lay 3 square sheets of parchment out on your counter, cut about 1 inch larger on either side than your fish.  Crack the egg into a dish with a tablespoon of water and whisk together to make an egg wash.  Generously mound the corn and mushroom mixture on the top half of each piece of the parchment paper.  Lay 1 piece of fish over each of the corn mixtures.  Drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of white wine.  Cover each piece with several stems of both thyme and dill.  Slice 1 lemon into very thin slices and top each piece with 2 slices.  Cut the other lemon in half and squeeze 1/2 over the entire packet, fish and corn mixture (reserve the other half to serve with the fish.)   Carefully brush the parchment with the egg wash and begin folding the paper together into a packet.  If the parchment isn’t adhering to itself you can tie it with kitchen string.  Place on a baking dish and into the refrigerator until ready to roast.  When ready to bake pre-heat the oven to 400 and then bake for 20-25 minutes until the fish is cooked through.)  Serve each packet to your guests and let them open it.  You can serve with a simple sauce of lemon, herbs and olive oil if you like. (recipe follows)

Lemon, Herb and Olive Oil Sauce
Inspired by the emulsified lemon and olive oil sauce I had in Greece, this one adds a plethora of fresh herbs from the garden. Use whatever herbs you have handy, the key is using very fresh and aromatic olive oil
1/2 cup high quality extra virgin olive oil
Juice and zest of 1 1/2 lemons
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons assorted chopped herbs, we used purple basil, tarragon, dill, thyme, chives, mint and oregano
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper

Add all ingredients to a food processor and set to high until all the ingredients are chopped together and the sauce is nicely emulsified.  Pour into a gravy boat and serve beside the fish.


  1. The perfect pairing…the Halibut on the corn was beautiful and perfect.
    I know, I was there.


  2. I would agree with Gary–I was there too! Thanks Hayley for your generous hospitality during my visit to Dallas. I enjoyed the opportunity to share my wines with you and Gary and to enjoy a sumptuous home cooked meal.


  3. We loved having you with us Brian, and tasting your incredible wine was truly a treat….I am still thinking about how vibrant, fresh and deicious the 1994 Talley’s Chardonnay was! Thank you!


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