Dish Deconstructed: Baked Halibut

This delicate fish is so simple, even the most inexperienced cooks can make it. Start with inch-thick fillets of the fleshy white fish -- fresh is best, though even the frozen packages available at Publix are of decent quality. Just be sure to defrost properly by placing the fillets in their plastic packaging in a bowl of cool water.

Halibut: Slice into one-inch-thick fillets. Rinse and pat dry.

Season lightly with salt and pepper. Alternatively, you can prepare a

simple rub with crushed red pepper, salt, paprika, cumin, and black

pepper, and lightly dust the fish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake

fish uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes, until the flesh feels slightly

firm to the touch.

Potatoes: Halibut is a meaty fish and pairs excellently with

potatoes or bold starches. Cut sweet and Idaho potatoes into inch-thick

cubes. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika, and coat with some extra

virgin olive oil. Roast in a 450-degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

Sauce: If you prefer some sauce to go with your fish, try a

beurre blanc sweetened with fruit like mango, which will cut through

the halibut's fat content. Start with two tablespoons of diced shallot,

4 ounces of dry white wine, the juice from half a lemon, and about a

quarter of one mango, diced. Place ingredients in a shallow saucepan

and simmer on medium high heat until the liquid is reduced by half and

the mango has dissolved. Pour in two tablespoons of cream and reduce

for another two to four minutes. Turn heat low and whisk in half a

stick of butter, cubed. Strain sauce and serve with fish and potatoes.

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