Are you like me? Always pulling, tearing, and downloading recipes out of newspapers, magazines, and the net? You know you are. I have folders and manila files filled with recipes from various sources, things I saw and thought "Man, I have to make this immediately!" Then my wandering food eye kicks in, and about five other recipes end up piled on top.
Such was the case with last night's dinner. I was looking through one of my recipes files the other day searching for a copy of the Good Eats Meatloaf I posted a couple of days ago. As I was fruitlessly searching for that recipe, this one kind of jumped out at me. I printed it off the NYT website in 2005!! I know, I know...food A.D.D. is a terrible thing! But since we're always looking for new things to do with fish, and on a cold, wet PDX evening something warm and sunny from Spain sounded perfect, this had me salivating. It was worth waiting for, and I'm kicking myself I waited 2-1/2 years to make it. Richly flavored for halibut, the warm flavors of garlic, dried chili, and olive oil with the piquant sherry vinegar soaking into the bed of potatoes were delicious! Another easy to prepare recipe that totally rewards the minimal effort. One of our highest accolades for any new recipe is "Is it dinner party worthy?" I'd throw this down for my friends any day!
Spanish Roasted Halibut on a Bed of Potatoes
adapted from "The New Spanish Table," by Anya von Bremzen
Time: 1 hour
4 skinless halibut fillets, about 2 pounds
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-1.4 pound medium-size Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
1/2 cup fragrant extra virgin olive oil
8 large garlic cloves, sliced thin
1 small dried red chili, like arbol, crumbled
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley.
1. Rub halibut with salt and pepper and set aside. Place potatoes in a saucepan, cover with salted water and simmer until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain, allow to cool briefly, then slice about 1/4-inch thick with an oiled knife.
2. Heat oven to 500 degrees. Generously coat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or oven-proof baking dish with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Arrange potatoes in a slightly overlapping layer in pan. Season with salt.
3. Place garlic and remaining olive oil in a small skillet. Heat on medium-low until garlic begins to color, about a minute. Add chili and cook for 15 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to transfer chili and garlic to a bowl. Add vinegar to skillet and cover immediately. Cook 2 minutes, or until oil stops popping.
4. Pour some of the oil mixture over potatoes, add some of the garlic and chili, then top with fish. Drizzle with remaining oil, garlic and chili. Bake about 10 minutes, until fish is done. Scatter parsley on top and serve.
Yield: 4 servings.