Halibut stands up to chorizo and corn sauce

By Jim Bailey
theyankeechef.blogspot.com
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I remember my first attempt at cooking at my fathers restaurant in Maine. I had just gotten home from school and went directly into his kitchen, as I did every day. He would go home and take a nap for a couple of hours during the slow afternoon. A party of four came in and I was so excited because I felt as though I was king of the castle. Well, all four patrons ordered grilled halibut and this would be the first time I cooked this firm, white fish. I am glad to relate that the customers enjoyed it and my head still hasn’t recovered from the β€œswelling” from that day.

There aren’t many fish that can hold up to a sausage that is as powerful tasting as chorizo but halibut is one of those very few. The mingling of smoked sausage with the bounty of the sea that is halibut not only is great together, but with the addition of corn sauce? Well, it has New England written all over it.

Haddock is a firm white fish that stands up to spicy chorizo and corn sauce.

Haddock is a firm white fish that stands up to spicy chorizo and corn sauce.

1/2 cup whole kernel corn
2 ounces chorizo, sliced and quartered
1/4 cup vegetable broth
4 tablespoons hot sauce
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic in oil
1 stick butter or margarine, divided into 5 pats
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups clam fry mix, for breading*
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
4 (6- to 8-ounce) halibut fillets
1/4 cup vegetable oil

In a large skillet, add the chorizo, corn, vegetable broth, hot sauce, lemon juice and garlic and simmer over medium heat until the liquid has reduced to half, about 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the butter, a pat at a time, gently stirring with a wooden spoon. Melt the first pat before adding another. Do not let the sauce boil. When all the butter has been added and the sauce is thick and creamy, season to taste with salt and pepper and reduce heat to the lowest setting possible. Continue to stir every few minutes while preparing the rest of the recipe.

Put the clam fry mix in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk the egg with the half-and-half. Dip the fillets into the egg wash, shaking off the excess and immediately coat with clam fry mix, shaking off the excess as well. Get two large skillets ready (or with one large skillet) by placing them over high heat with a 1/4-cup vegetable oil in each. When oil is hot, add the fillets carefully and fry them about 3-4 minutes per side, or until done. Carefully drain off the oil, plate the fillets and pour sauce over cooked fish, serve immediately.

*Clam fry mix is available in most supermarkets but if you can’t locate any, simply substitute flour or unseasoned, dry bread crumbs.

Yankee Chef book coverSchiffer Books of Pennsylvania has released Jim Bailey’s new book The Yankee Chef: Feel Good Food for Every Kitchen. It contains more than 550 traditional New England comfort-food recipes tweaked for today’s palates with hundreds of kitchen tips and food facts. The hardback book is 312 pages and contains 200 color images. Its ISBN is 978-0-7643-4191-5 and the cost is $34.99. The book can be ordered through Misty Valley Books, 802-875-3400.I remember all too well my first attempt at cooking at my fathers restaurant in Maine. I had just gotten home from school and went directly into his kitchen, as I did every day. He would go home and take a nap for a couple of hours during the slow afternoon. A party of four came in and I was so excited because I felt as though I was king of the castle. Well, all four patrons ordered grilled halibut and this would be the first time I cooked this firm, white fish. I am glad to relate that the customers enjoyed it and my head still hasn’t recovered from the “swelling” from that day.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at theyankeechef@aol.com.

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