Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Halibut with Cabbage, Bacon and Potatoes

My husband loves cabbage but I don't. I know it's a really healthful vegetable, so I try to find new ways to make it more appealing. This worked. It so worked. Baby potatoes brown and crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. Sweet, tender, moist fish. Cabbage braised in wine and herbs. Bacon, bacon everywhere. Serves 2-3.

1/2 to 3/4 lb halibut cut into 4 oz filets
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

1/2 small head Savoy cabbage, cored and sliced
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs thyme or about 2 tsp dried leaves
1/2 c white wine
1/2 c chicken stock

2-3 slices bacon: 2 if lean, 3 if fatty

2-ish lbs small red potatoes, larger ones cut in half
1/2 tsp thyme leaves

Optional: few sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 400*F

>>Everything is baked in the oven, in separate dishes at first and then combined in the end. Easy prep, easy clean-up.

Combine the cabbage, herbs, wine and stock in a medium-sized glass baking dish, like 11x7. Sprinkle lightly with salt & pepper. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes.

Trim all the excess fat off the bacon and put it in a toaster-oven sized broiler pan (so everything will fit in the oven). Use a rack if you have one to keep the bacon out of the rendered grease. Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes until it's quite brown and crispy. Alternatively, you can cook it on the stovetop. Either way, once it's cooked, drain on paper towels and chop into large bite-sized pieces.

Wash the potatoes, cut the larger ones in half so they all cook evenly, toss with EVOO in a shallow roasting pan and sprinkle a bit of salt and the thyme on them.

Bake for 20 minutes, use a spatula to move and turn them over, and cut all the pieces, whether they were halved or whole, in half again. Some will be quarters and some will be halves. This way the inside surface gets brown and the potatoes will start to puff up a little, and this also helps make them creamier ;-). Return to the oven for another 10 minutes.

Last step. Combine the cooked cabbage with sauce, potatoes and bacon in a larger baking dish. Lightly coat the fish with EVOO, salt & pepper. Bake for 12 minutes or until the fish is cooked all the way through but still tender and moist.

When serving, spoon the reduced wine/stock sauce over the fish so it gets a little bit of acid. You can add the bit of parsley for color but I really didn't think it needed any more flavor.

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