Pan Seared Halibut, Sweet 100 Tomatoes, Clam Chowder, & Garlic Toast
SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED BY CHEF SCOTT NISHIYAMA TO PAIR WITH VĪVŌ CHARDONNAY
“While I always implore people to eat local whenever possible (the results are usually so much better), in this case, I would strongly recommend using the fattier Alaskan halibut than the leaner version found on the California coast. The fat in the Alaskan fish will help keep the fish moist, and therefore cooking will be more forgiving if you don’t feel totally comfortable pan frying fish.”
ACTIVE TIME: 1 HOUR
TOTAL TIME: 1 HOUR
- 4 5-6 oz Alaskan halibut filets
- 1 pt Sweet 100 tomatoes or other cherry tomatoes
- 2 lbs Little Neck clams, washed
- 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 4 strips Applewood smoked bacon
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 slices white bread (Wonder bread)
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- Extra Virgin olive oil
Removing Tomato Skins
Bring a pot of water to boil. Have a bowl of ice water next to the pot. Add in tomatoes. After 5 seconds, remove the tomatoes and place in ice water. Allow the tomatoes to cool completely. Remove from the ice bath. Using a paring knife, remove the skin from the tomatoes. They should come off fairly easily. Reserve the tomatoes.
In a heavy bottomed pot, add a few tablespoons of olive oil and sweat the onions and the garlic clove on medium heat until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the thyme and bay leaf and cleaned clams. Stir the clams and add the white wine. Cover the pot with a lid and allow the clams to steam for a few seconds. Open the lid and stir the clams. Cover again, and allow the clams to steam for a minute. Open the lid and check for any clams that have opened. Remove any open clams and reserve. Return the lid and allow the remaining clams to continue to steam. Keep checking after a minute to remove any open clams and continuing to cook any clams that are still closed. When all the clams have opened, remove the pot from the heat and strain any clam juice that has been left in the pan. Reserve the juice. Carefully remove the clams from their shells and reserve, discarding the shells.
Cooking Bacon & Making Sauce
Slice the bacon into ¼ inch strips. In a heavy bottomed pot, add a tablespoon of olive oil and cook the bacon until it is light brown. Remove some of the oil from the pan, then add the clam juice to the pan, being careful of the resulting steam. Allow the juice to reduce by half. Add the cream and bring to a simmer. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
Making Garlic Toast
In a small saucepan, add the olive oil and thinly sliced garlic cloves and heat very slowly. Allow the garlic to steep in the oil for about 10 minutes so the oil takes on the garlic flavor. Meanwhile, remove the crust from the Wonder bread or a similar sliced soft bread. Using a rolling pin, roll each slice until it is about 1/8 inch thick. If you prefer, cut the rolled bread into whatever size you prefer. Transfer the slices to a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Carefully brush the garlic infused olive oil over the top of the bread slices. Place the tray of bread slices into a 325ºF oven and toast until the bread is golden brown. Reserve.
Cooking the Halibut
Place a sauté pan on medium high heat. Season the halibut filets with salt and pepper on all sides. When the pan is hot, add vegetable oil until the bottom is covered, and carefully place the bone side of the halibut in the pan first. Tilt the pan so the oil doesn’t splash when the fish is placed into the pan. Allow the fish to cook without touching it for 3-4 minutes, or when you notice the fish turning brown. Carefully flip the fish over and depending on how thick it is, finish on the stove or
place the pan in a 350ºF oven. The fish is done when it is translucent all the way through, but not dry looking. Remove the fish from the pan, and rest for 1-2 minutes.
To serve, place each cooked fish filet into a medium bowl. Spoon the warmed clam “chowder” into the bowl and garnish each bowl with 5-6 of the tomatoes. Finish with placing a piece of garlic toast propped against the fish. Serve immediately