Grilled Halibut Escabeche
Escabeche originated in Spain as a way of preserving fish. The marinade serves as a sort of pickling solution. Also popular in Provence, Mexico, and Jamaica, escabeche can be served cold, warm, or at room temperature. We give this escabeche a Mexican slant by grilling a mild white halibut fillet and marinating it in a searing blend of chiles and citrus juice. Halibut has snow-white flesh with extra-large satiny smooth flakes that maintain their meatiness even after days of soaking in the marinade.
- Makes 4 servings
- 4 pieces halibut fillet, about 6 oz (185 g) each
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/3 cups (11 fl oz/340 ml) Spicy Citrus Marinade (see below)
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
1.Heat the grill for medium-high direct heat (425° - 450°F/220° - 230°C).
2.Pat the fish dry and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Let rest at room temperature for 10 - 15 minutes.
3.Brush the grill grate and coat with oil. Coat the fish on both sides with the oil. Put the fish on the grate, cover the grill, and cook, turning once, until the fish is just slightly filmy and moist in the center, about 2 minutes per side. If your grill has a temperature gauge, it should stay around 450°F (230°C).
4.Transfer the fillets to a wide, shallow baking dish. In a saucepan, heat the marinade over high heat until boiling. Stir in the vinegar and pour over the fish. Let cool to room temperature. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil over the fish before serving.
5.Serve the fish at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. Serve chilled or bring to room temperature before serving.
Spicy Citrus Marinade
- Makes about 1 1/3 cups (11 fl oz/340 ml)
- 1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 - 2 serrano chiles, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) blanco tequila
- Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
- Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1. In a frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and chiles and sauté until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tequila, bring to a boil, and boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in all of the citrus zests and juices, the basil, and the salt. Let cool to room temperature.
2. Use immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Wine Suggestion: Stone Cellar Gewurtztraminer or your favorite Galen Glen white wine
The largest flatfish in the sea, some halibuts have been known to live for more than four decades and weigh upward of 700 pounds (350 kg). Fishermen call the biggest specimens "barn doors," which halibut resemble as their huge flat bodies rest on the ocean floor waiting to close in on small fish, squid, and octopuses. This fish is so big it can be cut into not only steaks and fillets but also roasts and loins.
To lend this escabeche a Spanish accent, add 1 tablespoon tomato paste and 1/4 cup (1 oz/30 g) sliced green olives to the marinade.
Recipe from Williams Sonoma Grill School
100+ Recipes & Essential Lessons for Cooking on Fire
by Andrew Schloss & David Joachim
Recipe posted with permission.