Halibut with Cherry Tomato-Habanero Salsa and Cucumber-Cilantro Sauce
Halibut is my favorite white fish: It is simple to prepare and the perfect canvas for vibrant flavors. The habaneros, used here in moderation, add just enough heat to make this interesting. The cucumber-cilantro sauce adds a fresh finish to this colorful dish.
• 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
• 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
• 1 to 2 habanero chiles, to taste, halved, seeded, and thinly sliced
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
• 4 tablespoons olive oil
• Kosher salt
• Four 6-ounce skinless halibut fillets
• Cucumber-Cilantro Sauce (recipe follows)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, chiles, and mint. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss gently to combine.
Lightly season the fillets on both sides with salt. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Place the halibut fillets in the hot pan. Brown for about 2 minutes on each side, then transfer to the oven and bake until opaque throughout, 8 to 10 minutes.
Put the halibut fillets on plates and top with a scoop of the tomato salsa. Spoon some of the Cucumber-Cilantro Sauce around the fish. Serve the remaining sauce on the side.
Makes about 2 cups
• 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
• 1 cup diced, peeled cucumber
• 1/2 cup lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Puree the cilantro, cucumber, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt in a food processor or blender until almost smooth with just a bit of texture. Cover and refrigerate until serving, or for up to 2 days.
Excerpted from Isabel's Cantina by Isabel Cruz. Copyright © 2007 by Isabel Cruz. Excerpted by permission of Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.