Thursday, June 26, 2008

What's for dinner-One Pot Meals

I've lapsed on my promise to post another one pot meal (sorry Jen!) so, here is my next recipe. Better late then never!

Inspired by a recipe by the great Marcella Hazan, Halibut all'Acqua Pazza (or halibut cooked in crazy water) must be one of the easiest dinners I make. It really works with any mild fish you like, just adjust the cooking time based on the thickness of the fish. My general rule is that the fish takes about 8 minutes to cook for every inch of thickness. To tell if it is done, insert a sharp pairing knife into the center of the fish. It should go in and out like soft butter, hitting no resistance at all. If it hits a hard spot towards the center it means that part of the fish is not cooked all the way. For something like salmon, which is delicious served medium or medium rare, this might be fine but, when you're cooking halibut, it's best cooked all the way through.

Halibut all'Acqua Pazza
1 28-oz can chopped Italian tomatoes (I like Pomi brand)
4 cups water
3 sliced garlic cloves
2 T. minced Italian parsley leaves
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
1/4 cup good extra virgin olive oil
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
4 4-6 ounces pieces fresh halibut, skin and bones removed

In a deep saute pan, combine the tomatoes, water, garlic, parsley, red pepper flakes, and olive oil. Stir to combine and season with a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Cover the pan and simmer for 45 minutes.

Remove the cover, increase heat to medium high and let the sauce reduce by half. The recipe can be prepared up to this point and either kept at room temperature for 1-2 hours, covered, or refrigerated.

Just before serving, bring the sauce to a simmer. Add the fish and cook 3-4 minutes. Turn the fish over and cook 3-4 minutes more, using the knife test (above) to tell if it is done.

The fish should be served in shallow bowls with a generous serving of the sauce over the top. It is delicious with angel hair pasta or just a great salad.


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