Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Halibut with Avocado Mash and Green (Red) Papaya Slaw

I have realized that I've been on blogger autopilot lately. My posts have consisted of, "This was the best dinner ever, you should eat it! Yay!" or some variation. And who wants to read day after day of that? I bore myself! :)

So, my pledge is to actually be personable. (Or try!) I just get very nervous knowing there are actual people out there reading my blog, many of whom I have great respect for as chefs/cooks/food bloggers, and... and... I turned into Robot Katie! Noooo! Heh. I just need to relax, take a deep breath, and pretend you're all naked. Or something.

Tonight, we had this for dinner, but you've already seen it. So I'll tell you about last night's dinner! Halibut with Avocado Mash and Red Papaya. It called for green papaya, but as I'd never actually purchased a papaya before, I wasn't really paying attention. Whoops. In fact, I was pretty dense about it. I got it home, cut it up, seeded it, got to grating it.... and I looked at the picture in the magazine, and the papaya topping in that picture looked almost colorless... so I thought, "Maybe the vinegar does that to it...?" and carried on. It wasn't until later that the light bulb appeared... Oooooh, GREEN papaya! Right. O well.

I rather enjoyed dinner the way it was, and I felt like I'd just eaten a fabulously healthy dinner, but it didn't so much match the picture, or the promise of crunchiness in the magazine blurb. The husband seems to think that this dinner has the potential to make it into his Top Five, if only I were to make it correctly. So now I am on the hunt for a sturdy and safe mandoline. Any recommendations?

Halibut with Avocado Mash and Green Papaya Slaw
Adapted from Food & Wine Magazine, July 2007

8 cups water
4 shallots, thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, halved
12 thyme sprigs
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, halved
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
Crushed red pepper
1 pound green papaya—peeled seeded and julienned (2 cups)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 large Hass avocado, mashed
Four 6-ounce skinless halibut fillets
In a large saucepan, combine the water, shallots, garlic, thyme, peppercorns, kosher salt and oil. Squeeze the lemon over the saucepan and add to the pan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a microwave-safe bowl, mix the sugar and vinegar and microwave at high power for 1 minute; stir to dissolve the sugar. Add a pinch of crushed red pepper and the green papaya. Season with sea salt and black pepper and toss to coat.

In a small bowl, mash the lime juice into the avocado and season with sea salt and crushed red pepper.

Place the halibut in a deep, medium skillet, leaving some space between the fillets. Strain enough of the aromatic poaching liquid over the fish to just cover it. Simmer the halibut gently over very low heat just until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 10 minutes.

Spoon the mashed avocado onto 4 plates and top with the halibut. Using a slotted spoon, mound the papaya slaw on the fish and serve right away.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 310 cal, 11 gm fat, 1.5 gm sat fat, 17 gm carbs, 4.3 gm fiber.


Janet said...

That looks really great and very healthy. Unfortunately I think I'm allergic to Papaya :(

Deborah said...

I don't think I've ever even seen a papaya in any store around me - but it wouldn't surprise me because it seems like I have a hard time finding many ingredients!!

I don't know why I don't make halibut very often. It is one of my favorite fishes - and this recipe looks wonderful. Do you think it would still be good without the papaya slaw portion?