On a recent trip to New York, I fell in love with the Steamed loup de mer at Benoit’s Bistro in Manhattan. It was served in a beautiful, individual cast iron braising pan with a lid.  Both the presentation and the dish itself were sublime.

In attempting to duplicate the dish, I used only one of the smaller braising pans and found it was a bit too crowded. Next time I would use two smaller pans, or one larger one. If you’re going to work with two pans, divide the ingredients roughly in half between the pans and proceed accordingly.

Braised Halibut with Fennel, Tomatoes and Zucchini
Serves 2
A richly flavourful and very healthy one pot meal.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. • Two 6 oz filets Halibut or other mild white fish
  2. • 2 medium shallots, peeled and cut into eighths, lengthwise
  3. • 1/2 bulb fennel, cut into quarters, core cut away, cut into 1/4" slices
  4. • 1/2 small zucchini, cut into pieces 2" x 1/4"
  5. • 2 plum tomatoes, cored and cut into eighths, or 1 c grape tomatoes, halved
  6. • 1 lemon, quartered
  7. • 1/4 c white wine
  8. • 1/2 c chicken stock, preferably homemade
  9. • several strands of saffron, crushed
  10. • kosher salt and fresh pepper
  11. • fresh thyme
  12. • olive oil
Optional
  1. • 16 Kalamata olives
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Wash and dry the filets and place in a shallow prep dish. Squeeze the juice of 1/4 of the lemon over them. Sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh pepper. Set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in shallow cast iron braising pan(s).  Saute the shallots, fennel and zucchini until softened and slightly caramelized, about 5 minutes.  Add the white wine and crushed saffron and reduce about two minutes. Add the chicken stock.
  4. Add the tomatoes and stir until combined. Place the filets over the vegetable mixture and spoon some of the pan juices over the fish. Push a few thyme sprigs into the vegetables around the fish. Add the olives (optional). Cover and bake in oven until the fish is opaque (8-10 minutes).
  5. Serve immediately.  If you're using the two individual pans, you can serve right in the pans. Enjoy!
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