Halibut with braised fennel and ginger
Sunday 13 January 2008
3 fennel bulbs
1 inch of ginger
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
25ml/1fl oz extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 dried chilli
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
20ml/1fl oz tamari or soy sauce
180g/6oz halibut per person
30ml/1fl oz extra-virgin olive oil
Lemon to serve
Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4. Wash and pat dry the fennel. Using a sharp knife, slice through the base and remove the fibrous outer layer and slice in half lengthwise. Slice into quarters and place in a baking tray. Peel and chop the ginger finely and scatter over the fennel. Do the same with the garlic. Pour over the olive oil and scatter over the dried chilli. Season with a pinch of salt and finish with the tamari. Cover tightly with foil, place on the middle shelf of the oven and roast for 20 minutes with the foil on, then remove and cook for a further 15 minutes without the foil. The fennel should be very soft. Remove from the oven and taste, seasoning with a little more salt if necessary. I often add a drop or two of lemon juice at this point; I find it brings all the flavours together nicely. Set aside while you cook the fish.
Leave the oven on. Season the fish generously on both sides. Place a non-stick pan over a high heat on the stove. Pour in the olive oil and when a fine smoke begins to rise from the pan, add the fish skin-side down. Cook without moving until the skin removes itself from the bottom of the pan. Move the pan to the oven without turning and cook until the flesh is opaque; this takes four to five minutes. Remove from the oven and serve with the warm fennel. '
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