Watch out- my head might have grown a size or two because I’ve been nailing it at the halibut game, if I can be so bold. However, a little bit of well-placed confidence is welcome, because no one wants to splurge on fresh, wild caught halibut and cook it incorrectly. In that unfortunate situation, you are not only out thirty dollars, but have a disappointing filet of fish to eat (but that’s not going to happen to you)!
I realize that this preparation of halibut is reminiscent of chicken piccata, minus the breaded chicken, of course, and with a few delicious adjustments like an abundance of shallots (which become beautifully crispy and flavorful by the end of cooking). The lemon-caper sauce is a complementary pairing- a little bit zesty yet allows the halibut to rightfully take center stage. Because what is the point of buying a good filet of fish if all you taste is the breading or the toppings? With just a few minutes in the oven, this halibut transforms into melt-in-your-mouth halibut candy, and if you’re like me, your cast iron pan will smell like fish for weeks on end because it’s all you can do to curb your halibut obsession. But it’s worth it.
BAKED HALIBUT WITH SHALLOTS AND CAPERS
serves 2 as a main
2 small to medium shallots, sliced
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 tablespoons capers
2.5 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon dry white wine
1 pound fresh halibut, a nice thick cut
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Prep/chop all your ingredients beforehand, as the steps move along quickly.
In an ovenproof skillet*, sauté the shallots in butter over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and capers and sauté for one more minute. Pour in lemon juice and white wine, then give the sauce a couple stirs and remove the pan from heat. Gently lay the halibut skin-side down and salt and pepper the top. Bake at 450 degrees F for 10-12** minutes, checking at 10 minutes for flakiness and doneness. Spoon the shallots and sauce over the fish and serve!
*I strongly encourage using a cast iron pan
**The key with this recipe is not to cook the fish for longer than the 10 to 12 minutes, assuming you have close to a one pound filet. You don’t want all the sauce to evaporate during cooking, or the fish to be overcooked.