Seared Halibut with Warm Fennel and Yellow Finn Potato Salad
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I don't usually try to simplify Blue Ginger dishes for home cooks, feeling they tend to lose something in the translation. But this all-in-one crowd pleaser is an exception. It was originally prepared with artichokes; I then realized that the warm fennel and potato salad without the artichokes were sufficient accompaniments. In fact, I like it better now that's it's pared down and more approachable.
Canola oil for cooking, plus 2 tablespoons
4 large unpeeled Yellow Finn potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice and well dried
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 halibut fillets, 6 to 8 ounces each, skin removed
2 fennel bulbs, halved, cored, sliced 1 1/6 inch thick, and tossed with the juice of 1 lemon to prevent browning
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
5 tablespoons Three-Vinegar Syrup
- Preheat the oven to 200°F. Line a large ovenproof plate with paper towels and set aside.
- Heat a large nonstick sauté pan over high heat. Add enough oil to fill the pan by 1/4 inch and heat. Add the potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Shake the pan to ensure that no potatoes are sticking, cover, and sauté until the potatoes have softened and colored on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the potatoes and continue to sauté until evenly colored, 3 to 4 minutes more. Transfer the potatoes with their cooking oil to the reserved plate and put them in the oven to keep hot.
- Wipe the pan. Season the halibut with salt and pepper. Reheat the pan over high heat. Add the 2 tablespoons of oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the halibut and sauté, turning once, until brown and just cooked through, 6 to 10 minutes total, depending on the fish's thickness.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the fennel and the potatoes with their oil, the chives, and 3 tablespoons of the Three-Vinegar Syrup. Season with salt and pepper and toss gently to combine.
- Garnish 4 serving plates with some of the remaining syrup. Mound the potato mixture on each and drizzle the remaining syrup over the portions. Top with the halibut and serve