Halibut with Braised Romaine and Cumin Brown Butter
© William Brinson

Halibut with Braised Romaine and Cumin Brown Butter


Giving Top Chef Masters winner Chris Cosentino random animal parts, like hearts and brains, isn’t a challenge—that’s what the chef of San Francisco’s Incanto is known for. So F&W gave him a bigger test: halibut. To keep the fish moist (he finds it dry), Cosentino sears it in cumin-spiked brown butter.


  1. 1 pound new potatoes
  2. 2 serrano chiles, one halved lengthwise, one seeded and thinly sliced
  3. 3 mint sprigs—leaves chopped, stems reserved
  4. Kosher salt
  5. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  6. 12 large radishes, quartered lengthwise
  7. Freshly ground pepper
  8. 2 small romaine hearts—large inner leaves halved lengthwise and small leaves left whole
  9. 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  10. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  11. Four 6-ounce skinless halibut fillets
  12. 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  13. 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  14. 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  1. In a medium saucepan, cover the potatoes with water. Add the halved serrano, the mint stems and a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cook over moderate heat until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let cool slightly; discard the chile and mint stems. Cut the potatoes in half.
  2. In a very large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the radishes and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until just softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Fold in all of the romaine and the sliced serrano. Add the broth and cook over moderate heat, tossing, until the lettuce is just wilted and the radishes are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in the potatoes and the chopped mint and season with salt and pepper; transfer to a bowl and keep warm.
  3. Wipe out the skillet and melt the butter in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Season the halibut with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat until the butter is golden and the fish is browned on the bottom, 3 minutes. Turn the fish. Add the cumin to the butter and cook, spooning the butter over the fish until just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to plates; spoon the vegetables alongside. Add the lemon zest and juice to the skillet; season with salt and pepper. Spoon the brown butter over the fish and vegetables and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Dry, full-bodied Riesling.