Valentine Special: Entertain Like a Gentleman with Olive Oil Poached Halibut with Mint Lemon Pesto

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]By David Harap

I have always had a passion for food and cooking and wanted to assist
people in the simple joy of making Valentines Day special for their
loved ones by simply making dinner for them at home. I wrote
“Entertain Like a Gentleman”, to be a unique cookbook that demystifies
the perfect dinner party to help men (and the women who love them)
pull off memorable meals and effortless entertainment.

In “Entertain Like a Gentleman” I have created over 75 original
recipes developed over my years of experience cooking, entertaining,
and teaching cooking classes in the Austin, Texas area. Part cookbook,
part how-to guide, “Entertain Like a Gentleman” is organized into
chapters covering all types of gatherings, including Valentines Day.
These easy-to-prepare recipes use common ingredients and are
interspersed with practical tips to help you keep the evening on

The following is one of my favorite recipes because frankly; you can
not mess it up and I assure that your Valentine will be amazed!

Olive Oil Poached Halibut with Mint Lemon Pesto

What I like about this fish preparation is that it is done in the oven
and will not leave your kitchen smelling like a fish-and-chips shop.
Halibut is a mild, lean fish that most everyone enjoys. Pacific
Halibut is an environmentally safe choice. The fish will come out
moist and flaky, but pale in color. Pairing it with a mint pesto adds
splashes of both color and bright flavor.

Shopping list

Olive oil, 4 1/2 cups

Garlic, 4 cloves

Halibut, 4 (6-ounce) pieces with

the skin and bones removed (Can

substitute red snapper or cod)

Lemons, 3

Packed fresh mint leaves,

1 bunch

Flat-leaf parsley, 1 bunch


10-inch skillet pan

Food processor

Lemon zester

mint pesto

In a food processor, combine 1/2 the bunch of mint leaves with ¼ the
bunch of parsley leaves, 2 garlic cloves, juice from 2 lemons and zest
of 1 lemon. Pulse until finely chopped. With the machine running,
drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a thin stream and process until
smooth. You can add more olive oil to get the consistency you want.
Season the pesto with salt and pepper. You can make the pesto a day


Preheat oven to 200° F.

Take the fish out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before you plan on
cooking and season it with salt and pepper. Don’t worry, the fish will
not spoil. By allowing it come to room temperature, it will help the
fish cook evenly. In a skillet that is large enough to hold the fish
in a single layer without overcrowding, heat the olive oil over medium
low heat. Slice a lemon into thin slices and roughly chop 2 garlic
cloves. The oil should begin to simmer very slightly and you will see
occasional bubbles rising to the surface. Gently place the fish in the
oil, making sure the fish is completely covered in oil. Add the lemon
slices and chopped garlic cloves and place the skillet in the oven.

Poach until a few small whitish droplets rise to the surface of the
fish and the fish maintains a trace of transparency in the middle,
25-35 minutes.

Transfer the halibut to a plate so it can drain for a few minutes.
Serve with a healthy dollop of mint pesto over the fish. It pairs
nicely with fennel and spinach strudel or polenta.

Enjoy and please let me know how your evening went at![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_facebook][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_tweetmeme][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_pinterest][/vc_column][/vc_row]