So the holidays are coming to a close. You’ve gorged yourself on copious amounts of turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes laden with pounds of butter, holiday cookies, eggnog, and enough wine to make you endure your relatives. You’re feeling the need for a wee bit of a break in the old indulgent department, if only to ensure your heart keeps ticking for 2012 (until the world ends, of course– what up, Mayans!). So I’m going to help you out with one of my favorite stand-by recipes, a tried-and-true little dish I like to enjoy on those nights when I’m feeling rather beachball-esque. It’s about as healthy as I get, really. And if you promise to give it a try, I promise not to get all wholesome on you very often. Deal?
Halibut with Caramelized Onion Tomato Relish and Pear, Brie, and Arugula Salad
Ingredients for the fish and relish:
4 6 ounce halibut fillets, skinned (not that hard to do yourself with a sharp knife, but if you bat your eyes at your fish monger, chances are he’ll do it for you)
1 large yellow onion, sliced
half a pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp anchovy paste (don’t you dare omit this)
salt and pepper
Ingredients for the salad:
1 bunch or sack of arugula (you can substitute spinach here if you want, but arugula gives it a little spicy kick)
1 bosc pear, pitted and sliced
half a round of brie cheese, rind removed and sliced
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp orange marmalade (apricot marmalade works here too)
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
What to do:
Start your salad. Whisk together the dijon, marmalade, and white wine vinegar. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Combine the arugula, pear, and brie in a large salad bowl. Don’t dress the salad yet– wait until the last minute so it doesn’t get all soggy. Cuz soggy ain’t ever a good thing.
Start the relish. Heat a sautee pan over medium low heat with a tbsp of olive oil and a tbsp of butter. Sautee the onion for 10 minutes so it gets soft. Add the sugar, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper and sautee for another 5 minutes. Raise the heat a little to medium and add the anchovy paste, letting it melt into the onions. Add the tomatoes and sautee until they start to burst, about 5 minutes. Add the honey and lower the heat back down to medium low, letting the relish mellow while you get the fish going.
Heat a large pan over medium-high heat with a tbsp of olive oil and a tbsp of butter. Season the fish with a little salt on both sides, and then sautee for 5 minutes on one side. Flip and give it another 4 minutes on the other side for medium-well. Dress the salad.
Top the fish with the caramelized onion and tomato relish and serve alongside the salad. Now go eat a cookie.