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.
- • Two 6 oz filets Halibut or other mild white fish
- • 2 medium shallots, peeled and cut into eighths, lengthwise
- • 1/2 bulb fennel, cut into quarters, core cut away, cut into 1/4" slices
- • 1/2 small zucchini, cut into pieces 2" x 1/4"
- • 2 plum tomatoes, cored and cut into eighths, or 1 c grape tomatoes, halved
- • 1 lemon, quartered
- • 1/4 c white wine
- • 1/2 c chicken stock, preferably homemade
- • several strands of saffron, crushed
- • kosher salt and fresh pepper
- • fresh thyme
- • olive oil
- • 16 Kalamata olives
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Serve immediately. If you're using the two individual pans, you can serve right in the pans. Enjoy!