Halibut with Braised Fennel
See SAVEUR's recommended Medium-bodied White Wines
English chef Michael Caines inspired this dish, flavored with an infusion of lemongrass, ginger, and orange peel.
FOR THE INFUSED OIL:
Peel of 1 orange, cut into large strips
3 whole stalks lemongrass, trimmed and chopped
1 3" piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1⁄2 bulb fennel, cored and thinly sliced
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
FOR THE FISH:
2 lbs. small fennel, trimmed and thickly sliced lengthwise
4 6-oz. halibut filets, with skin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 medium tomato, seeded and finely diced
1. For the infused oil: Combine orange peel, lemongrass, ginger, chopped fennel, and oil in a small pan; bring to a near boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat, cover, and steep overnight. Strain and reserve oil.
2. For the fish: Cook sliced fennel in 2 tbsp. infused oil in a skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes per side. Lower heat, add 1/2 cup water, cover, and simmer till very tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from pan; set aside.
3. Season fish with salt and pepper. In the same skillet, heat 3 tbsp. infused oil over high heat and sear fish, 2 minutes per side. Lower heat to medium, cover, and cook until fish is firm, about 7 minutes. Serve fish over fennel, drizzled with remaining infused oil, and garnished with basil, thyme, and tomato.