Saturday, May 15, 2010

Halibut with indian spices, served over braising greens

Begin by peeling and coarsely chopping an inch or so each of fresh ginger root and fresh turmeric root. Peel also a few cloves garlic. Combine the spices with a little salt and olive oil and process in the cuisinart.

Apply a thin coat of olive oil to the bottom of a broiling pan, and place on it two half-pound fillets of halibut skin-side-down. Spread between half and two-thirds of the spice mixture on top of the fish. Heat the broiler and cook ten minutes.

Meanwhile, melt a small nub of butter at the bottom of a medium saucepan and add the last third-to-half of the spices. Wash half a pound of braising mix (mixed baby cooking greens: kales, chards, amaranth, etc.) and add to the saucepan while some of the washing water is still clinging to the greens. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and let the greens steam and reduce. They should only take ten minutes if they are tender. Stir the wilted greens into the spice mixture and then taste and adjust the salt.

If you are instead using older greens, or something thicker like collard greens or mustard greens, cook the greens for longer, and only begin cooking the fish when the greens are almost ready.

Plate in the kitchen. First cover each plate with a thick bed of the cooked greens. Then, using a metal spatula, remove the fish from the broiling pan all in one piece, leaving the skin behind. Serve with a strong, dark purple-red wine to complement the bitter greens and spices, and also to complement the vibrant green and orange colors.

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