Earlier in the week one of our friends went to Alaska and did some fishing. He caught a buncha huuuge fish and didn't know what to do with all of it. He offered a big slap of halibut to us since we love to cook. Since it was such a big piece of fish, I decided to make it fun and do an "Iron Chef" battle against Justyn. He quickly agreed.
Justyn went with flavors from Europe and I knew that I had to go with aZn. He cooked yesterday and made a White Bean & Halibut Stew. Here's how it turned out. It was rich, smoky (from the bacon) but not too heavy for a summer night's meal. Here's what our judge (Eric) said about his dish:
"what a combo.white beans bacon and halibut. the fish was perfectly cooked as was the bacon.the marriage of flavor between the 3 main ingredients was a cacophony of flavors all working to bring me much delight.it was a hearty flavor but still felt very light and refreshing. the seasoning was perfect and not too salty. being a white fish there was no fishy smell. the meat of the fish was firm yet fell apart perfectly when i ate it.this was easily the best thing i have eaten all week.i hungrily anticipate the other half of this challenge."
So onto my portion of the challenge. I actually did a lot of searching for a recipe that touched my soul. Eventually I found a recipe by Hosea (last season's Top Chef winner). Sesame Crusted Halibut w/ Ginger Cream Sauce served with his version of Jap Chae (Recipe: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/sesame-crusted-tuna-with-ginger-cream)
It was perfect! Except... you know me. I can't go without modifying recipes. Instead of heavy cream, I used coconut milk and instead of tuna, it was halibut of course. So I needed a recipe to help me time how long the halibut needed to cook. So I used this recipe: http://www.harvesteating.com/public/800.cfm. I skipped the step of baking the fish since I didn't want to overcook it. 2 minutes on each side turned out perfect. The fish was tender and moist.
At first I wasn't even going to make Jap Chae but I figured I might need the extra boost to help me win. After cooking everything and tasting it, I'm pretty sure I'm going to win hehe..
It was a fun battle and I can't wait to see what the judge says about my dish. Cross your fingers for me! I wanna win this one bad! And who knows, even if I lose, we'll probably do future battles against each other. It's too fun not to heh.