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Fish and Shellfish, Mains

Pan-roasted halibut with grits, morels and spring onions

Pan-roasted halibut with grits, morels and spring onions
Los Angeles Times

This time of year, a chef in a farmers market is like a kid in a candy store. Among all the stands overflowing with gorgeous produce, chefs' eyes -- and often their arms -- grow as wide as their imaginations. ... Read more

Total time: About 2 hours | Serves 4


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coarse grind grits

Step 1Bring the cream, water and garlic just to a boil. Turn off heat and infuse for 20 minutes. Strain out the garlic, rinse out the pan and add the cream mixture back to the pan.

Step 2Add the salt and bring to a boil. Slowly stir in the grits, reduce the heat and simmer until the grits are tender and cooked through, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Add up to 1 cup water when grits get too thick. Cooking time will depend on the type of grits used.


  • 1 cup parsley leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Step 1Finely chop the parsley, garlic and lemon zest together. Place in a small bowl, stir in the olive oil, cover and set aside.

Halibut and assembly

  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • 4 spring onions, root trimmed and the 3 to 4 inches of the white and pale green part cut into quarters lengthwise
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable stock, divided
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, divided
  • 3/4 pound fresh morels, stems trimmed, cut in half if large
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • 1 1/4 pounds 3/4 to 1-inch thick halibut fillet, cut into equal portions
  • Grits
  • Gremolata

Step 1Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat a small oven-proof saute pan with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add the onions to the hot pan and toss with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat until the onions are just starting to caramelize, 2 to 3 minutes. Add three-fourths cup vegetable stock and 1 tablespoon butter, stir to combine. Cover the pan and roast in the oven 30 minutes until the stock has reduced. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Step 2Rinse the morels in a bowl of cold water, drain and gently pat dry. Heat a large saute pan over high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms have released their liquid and the pan is dry, about 6 to 7 minutes.

Step 3Deglaze the pan with the sherry and cook until the pan is dry. Add one-half cup vegetable stock and reduce by half. Stir in 1 tablespoon butter and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the reserved spring onions. Set the pan aside and keep warm.

Step 4Remove the halibut from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. Sprinkle the fillets with salt and pepper. Heat a large non-stick pan with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the fillets and cook for 4 minutes, until the fish has good caramelization. Turn over and cook 1 to 2 minutes until cooked through. Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the fish. Remove from the pan and keep warm.

Step 5Divide the grits among 4 serving plates. Place the halibut on top of the grits. Spoon one-fourth of the mushrooms-onion mixture over each piece of fish, followed by a spoonful of gremolata, and serve.

Note: From David Lentz of the Hungry Cat in Hollywood.


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