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Alaskan Halibut with Leeks, Peppers and Olives
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Today’s recipe comes to us from Jerry Traunfeld, Executive Chef of Seattle’s Poppy restaurant.
Jerry’s inspiration comes from the common Indian style of meal called “thali” … a platter that holds a variety of small dishes, not unlike Spanish tapas.
Poppy’s menu borrows the idea of the thali to present Jerry’s own style of Northwest cooking, highlighting seasonal ingredients, fresh herbs, and spices … a tasting menu served all at once.
Alaskan Halibut with Leeks, Peppers and Olives
Prep time 45 minutes; cook time 35 minutes
Serves 8 
6 cups sliced leeks (about 4 large), white and light green part only
8 ounces pequillo peppers (1-1/4 cups), cut in ½” strips (or other type of roasted, seeded, and skinned red pepper)
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
3 Tablespoons butter
4 cups chicken broth or stock
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup chopped pitted green olives in brine
8 (6 oz each) wild Alaskan Halibut portions
  • Put the leeks, peppers, saffron, and butter in a very large sauté pan or deep pot. Pour in the chicken broth. Cook over medium-high heat until the leeks are very soft and the broth boils down to about one third of the amount you started with, about 12 to 15 minutes. 
  • Stir in the lemon juice, olives, and a good grinding of black pepper. Taste and add salt as needed, depending on the saltiness of the broth. (The recipe can be made ahead up to this point.)

Preheat the oven to 300°F. 

  • Reheat the leek mixture until it simmers. Pour two thirds of the leeks into a 9-inch X 13-inch baking dish. 
  • Season the Alaska Halibut portions with kosher salt. Arrange the halibut over the leeks and spoon the remaining leeks over the fish. Bake just until the halibut flakes apart slightly when nudged with a finger, and the interior is no longer translucent; about 35 minutes.
Nutrients per serving: 319 calories, 12g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 34% calories from fat, 66mg cholesterol, 38g protein, 13.5g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 1255mg sodium, 137mg calcium, and 900mg omega-3 fatty acids.
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