Thursday, February 24, 2011


serves four

For the halibut
4 x 5½oz halibut fillets
4½oz plain flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper
pinch paprika
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

For the spicy harissa sauce
7oz bacon lardons
7oz dates, stones removed, chopped
1 tablespoon ready-made harissa paste
2¾oz Madeira wine
3½fl oz chicken stock
20 black Kalamata olives

To serve
7oz cooked bulgar wheat or couscous
4 lemon wedges
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Sprinkle the flour onto a plate and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of paprika. Dredge the halibut fillets in the mixture until completely coated.

Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the seasoned halibut fillets and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown on both sides.

Place a knob of the butter on top of each halibut fillet and continue to cook. When the butter has melted, baste the fillets in the melted butter until completely cooked through, then squeeze over the lemon juice and set the halibut fillets aside on a warm plate.

Meanwhile, for the spicy harissa sauce, dry fry the bacon in a separate frying pan for 6-8 minutes, or until crisp and golden-brown. Add the dates and harissa paste and stir well to combine, then reduce the heat and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add the Madeira wine, stock and olives and continue to cook for a further 4-5 minutes, or until the volume of liquid has reduced and the sauce has thickened.

To serve, divide the bulgar wheat or couscous equally among four serving plates. Place one fried halibut fillet on top of each. Pour over the Moroccan-style sauce and garnish with a lemon wedge. Sprinkle over the chopped fresh parsley.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Simon Rimmer, Something for the Weekend, BBC-Food

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