The thinly sliced oranges layered under this halibut from chef Eli Dahlin play double duty in the recipe: They add a floral, citrusy aroma to the fish, as well as prevent it from sticking to the pan during baking.
Alexandra Guarnaschelli loves to serve raisin-studded braised fennel with a meaty white fish, like halibut, black bass or striped bass. Roasting the large fish fillet whole (rather than in portions) is a great way to serve a small crowd.
Vikram Sunderam makes his own spice blend with six ingredients, including green and black cardamom, cloves and mace. Home chefs should substitute garam masala, the Indian spice blend that includes many of the spices Sunderam uses, to season this rich, creamy, deeply flavored dish.
Rather than pairing red wine with red meat, Marcia Kiesel opts for perfectly cooked halibut steaks. Any other meaty but delicately flavored fish, like wild striped bass or snapper, would also work (stay away from oily fish like bluefish when serving red wines—they tend to make the wine's tannins taste metallic). And the bright, lemony parsley sauce balances the earthy quality of a Graves.
Halibut with Brown Butter, Lemon and Aged Fish Sauce
I take any excuse I can find to make Louisville chef Ed Lee’s frog legs in fish sauce. I had the opportunity once to stand next to him while he made the dish and I was hooked right away. One day, however, I found myself without frog legs. Shocking, but true. Turns out, the warm, toothy texture of cooked halibut is a perfect substitute in Ed’s dish, so I started playing around and came up with this take on a modern-Asian, backwoods-Kentucky frog dish. You almost never get to say that, do you? I serve this with plenty of rice and a side of grilled miso-glazed eggplant. —Andrew Zimmern
Grilled Halibut with Smashed Fingerlings and Tomato Butter
Caroline Styne, co-owner and sommelier of Los Angeles' Lucques and AOC, likes to coat delicate halibut fillets in fresh herbs and grill them until lightly charred; to make a tangy sauce, she cooks cherry tomatoes in tarragon-infused browned butter until they burst with juice.
Cooking halibut and vegetables en papillote (in paper) with a little bit of sherry preserves all the flavor of the delicate fish and the crisp-tender asparagus, sugar snaps and carrots, with only a little fat.
"You've got to love pan-roasted halibut," says Dressler's co-chef Polo Dobkin. "It's beautifully firm and it gets so nicely golden when you sear it." Although he and co-chef Cal Elliott don't usually make a lot of rich sauces, they adore this tangy lemon-butter sauce with fish: "The lemon brightens up the halibut," Dobkin says.
"Halibut is one fish that roasts up really nicely," says Melissa Perello, who cooks the firm-fleshed fish on top of vegetables in a casserole. Because this dish is so simple and ingredient-driven, be sure to make it with the very best olive oil.