Pan-Roasted Halibut With An Iberian Chickpea-Chorizo Stew
- SEAFOOD SEASONING:
- 2 tablespoons ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
- IBERIAN STEW:
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 ounces Spanish-style chorizo sausage bias cut 1/4" slices (preferably Goya or Quixote brand)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1/2 cup finely-diced peeled carrot
- 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 cup shredded cabbage
- 1 large can chickpeas - (19 oz) drained, rinsed
- 1 cup chicken stock
- Salt to taste
- Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro (leaves and stems)
- 4 halibut fillets - (abt 6 oz ea)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup julienned scallions green and white parts
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
To prepare the seasoning, combine the coriander, Old Bay seasoning, salt, and pepper in a bowl and set aside (if not using immediately, transfer to an airtight container and store in a cool, dry space).
To prepare the stew, pour 2 tablespoons of the olive oil into a sauté pan and set over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until it begins to brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a mixing bowl. Using a fine-mesh strainer, strain and reserve the colored and well-flavored oil for finishing the dish.
Pour the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a saucepan and set over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until golden brown; the garlic should be caramelized but not burned. Add the onion, carrot, and oregano, and continue to cook for about 3 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Turn down the heat to low and add the cabbage. Cook for 3 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.
Add the chickpeas and chicken broth, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook over low heat, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes, so that some of the broth evaporates and the flavors come together. Add the cooked chorizo and the cilantro and keep warm.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the halibut fillets on a large plate and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, brushing the oil to completely cover the fish. Evenly coat each fillet with about 1 tablespoon of the reserved seafood seasoning. Pour the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil into an oven-proof sauté pan or skillet and set over medium-high heat. Carefully place the fillets in the pan and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, letting the fillets brown and form a crust on the first side. Turn the fillets over with a spatula and transfer the pan to the oven. Roast for about 10 minutes, until the fillets are firm and flake easily when gently pierced with a fork. Meanwhile, gently warm the reserved chorizo oil in a small saucepan or skillet.
To serve, spoon equal amounts of the stew into the middle of warm pasta bowls or serving plates. Arrange a halibut fillet on top and garnish with the scallions and cilantro. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of the flavored chorizo oil around each fillet.
This recipe yields 4 servings.
Chef's Note: Spanish chorizo is available at good grocery stores or specialty food markets. The beautiful red coloring it gives to the oil in which it is cooked comes from its large quantity of paprika. This stew also makes a great appetizer or an accompaniment for grilled shrimp. You can substitute sea bass or grouper for the halibut.
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