Chefs treasure the snowy, sweet flesh of B.C. halibut and over the years I’ve been lucky enough to haul in a couple. But none have been as large as those of these four utterly happy fishing guides in a scratchy photo of their trip out to the wild Pacific off the west coast of Vancouver Island.
He lightly coated it with crumbs and tucked it into a bowl of steamed vegetables garnishing it with burnt chives.
One other person who knows how to cook halibut is Ali Kendall-Morris who now lives with her husband Vince and her wee girl, Mica, near Commercial Ave. in East Vancouver but who honed her cooking skills as the queen of the kitchen in tree planting camps across the province.
This recipe speaks to both Ali’s Dutch heritage for her love of butter and her dedication to fresh coastal ingredients. It’s a simple perfect recipe. The shallots brown just a bit in the oven and the butter helps to keep the fish moist. Serve with a great BC pinot blanc or even a chardonnay…or with good fresh water from a mountain glacier.
• 2 lbs (1 kg) fresh, boneless halibut
• 3 medium shallots
• ¼ cup (60 mL) butter
• Salt and freshly ground pepper
• ½ lemon
Saute the shallots in 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the butter, Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the halibut in a lightly buttered or parchment-lined baking dish. Spread with the shallots and top with the remaining butter. Squeeze the lemon over the fish and season with a bit more salt and pepper.
Bake, uncovered, in a 375” (190’C) oven, for 20 – 25 minutes or till the fish begins to flake.
Makes 4 servings.
Excerpted from Anita Stewart’s CANADA: The Food, The Recipes, The Stories (HarperCollins Canada 2008).