Yesterday lived up to the usual March weather madness we have each year in Northern California. I know, it isn't March yet. But, I'm not going to quibble over a day or two. The rain was torrential and the Emergency Weather System repeatedly warned us that flooding and 60 mile per hour winds were on the way. And I was out and about in all of this for most of the day, without an umbrella or rain coat. By the time I made it back to my wonderful, dry home, I wanted something fast and warm. To be honest, my mind kept running a loop of nachos over and over. Ahh, nachos. But, I remembered seeing a picture of poached halibut in Martha Stewart Living last year that looked interesting, healthy--and fast. And it was very fast, only taking me around ten minutes in total.
It didn't remove the image of nachos from my mind, but it was good. The broth was delicious, but I'm not a big fan of halibut. It was OK. After I finished the broth, I spooned some green salsa over it and bingo--much better. Next time, I'll use a different type of fish. It's a good recipe (especially during a storm) and goes nicely with bread and a big salad.
Poached halibut in lemon-thyme broth
3 1/2 cups homemade or store bought low sodium chicken stock
3 garlic cloves
8 sprigs fresh thyme
10 whole peppercorns
4 halibut fillets (about 6 ounces each) without skin
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove zest from 2 of the lemons and juice the zested lemons. Transfer juice and zest to a straight sided skillet or sauce pan with a tight fitting lid. Add stock, garlic, and 4 sprigs of thyme. Bring to a boil.
2. Salt both sides of the halibut and carefully place into the skillet. Cover the pan and turn off the heat. Let the fish stand in the stock for about 6 to 8 minutes until the fish is opaque white and firm to the touch. Transfer the fish to a heated platter and tent with foil to keep warm.
3. Pour the broth through a cheesecloth lined sieve, discard solids. Return the broth to the skillet and bring to a boil, then turn heat off.
4. Dived the broth between wide bowls and gently place a fillet in each. Cut remaining lemon into wedges. Garnish with a lemon wedge, sprigs of thyme and a drizzle of olive oil.