We’re Cooking: Halibut with Thyme and Truffle

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My featured dish for our big truffle dinner in Spain was a luscious Monk Fish, poached in olive oil and then topped with a ridiculous pile of shaved black truffle…ridiculous.  Though the fish was succulent, it was a bit rich, so I wanted to make a version of the dish, this time wrapping halibut in cured jamon serrano to keep it moist and juicy, marinated in white wine and fragrant lemon thyme, rubbed with a bit of truffle paste and roasted and topped with shavings of black truffle. The fish was the last of our decadent halibut Gary caught last summer on his fishing trip to Alaska, cleaned, packaged and flash frozen the second he got off the boat. Serve on top of truffle risotto or polenta with truffle and cream, transporting you to your own European truffle night. If you can’t find a fresh truffle you can buy a jarred one, just look for one stored in olive oil or brine…either will work, the taste won’t be quite as truffle intense, but will still have the effect and the paste will intensify the truffle flavor in the fish. Serve with an aged Rioja Reserva or an earthy Garnacha from Priorat. (Yes….red wine with fish.)

Recipe:

Halibut with Thyme and Truffle
Ingredients:
Four 4-6 ounce halibut filets, or other white fish, skin removed
Four slices jamon serrano, or if you can’t find it you can take the dish to Italy and use prosciutto (just don’t tell the Spaniards)
3/4 cup white wine
1/2 fresh lemon
one bunch fresh thyme
1 ounce truffle paste
1 ounce whole black truffle
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

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Preparation:
Rinse and pat the fish dry. Lay it out on a cutting board and season both sides with salt and pepper to your taste.  Rub 1/4 ounce of truffle paste into 1 side of each piece of fish.  Lay 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh thyme over the paste.  Squeeze 1/2 lemon over the fish.  Wrap each piece of fish with the thyme/truffle with a piece of the jamon. Pour the white wine into a baking dish. Lay each piece of fish into the baking dish. Place the dish in the refrigerator for about 1/2-1 hour.  Preheat the oven about 10 minutes before you are ready to bake the fish to 370 degrees. Remove the fish from the baking dish and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with a touch of olive oil and bake the fish for 15-17 minutes. Carefully remove the fish from the sheet and place on top of a pile of risotto.  Using a microplane grate the black truffle on top of each slice and serve.  Tell your guests not to eat the thyme…but do serve the thyme in the fish bundle because the presentation is pretty.

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