Pan Seared BC Halibut with Morel, English Pea and Chorizo Ragout
photo – Karen Anderson
In this week where sustainable fisheries are on my mind, it’s nice to receive inspiring news that a leader in Calgary’s restaurant scene has firmly anchored his seafood restaurant in the mostly unchartered waters of promoting sustainable fish consumption. I wrote about Catch restaurant’s new buycatch seafood market here. Many thanks to chef Kyle Groves for sharing this beautiful recipe and now we know where to get the “Jet Fresh” halibut we need to make this palate pleaser.
Pan Seared BC Halibut with Morel, English Pea, and Chorizo Ragout
courtesy of Chef Kyle Groves, Catch and The Oyster Bar, Calgary, Alberta
4 X 6 oz. Pieces of Wild BC Halibut Fillet
4 oz. Morel Mushrooms – washed and patted dry
8 oz. English peas – out of the shell and blanched
8 oz. Boiled ratte or fingerling potatoes – peeled and cut into ½” thick disks
6 oz. Chorizo meat – chopped into small pieces
½ oz. Fresh thyme – leaves only
4 oz. Fresh cold butter
1 oz. shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 oz. chives, minced
3 oz. Dry white wine
Salt / Pepper / Lemon juice to taste
1. In a cast iron pan sear the halibut fillets on one side until golden brown
2. Transfer to a 400*F oven and cook until the fish reaches 135*F
3. When the fish comes out of the oven, add a few thyme leaves and cook for one minute
4. Meanwhile, in a sauté pan cook the chorizo until the fat has rendered out of it
5. Add the minced shallot and garlic and cook in the chorizo fat until softened
6. Add the Morel mushrooms and sauté until softened
7. Add the fresh thyme leaves and cook until they “pop”
8. Add a splash of dry white wine to cool the pan slightly
9. Add the cooked potato disks and the English peas
10. Bring mixture to a boil and add the cold butter cubes slowly
11. When mixture is thick, season with salt pepper and lemon juice
12. Divide onto 4 warm plates and sprinkle with fresh chopped chives
13. Top with the halibut and serve right away
Chef Kyle Groves of Catch and The Oyster Bar at the Hyatt Regency Calgary
photo – Karen Anderson
This week I’ll be talking about sustainable fisheries on CBC Radio One’s Alberta at Noon. In a related story, one of Calgary’s flashier downtown restaurants just announced an interesting new sustainable seafood program.
Catch and The Oyster Bar became the first seafood restaurant in Alberta to offer a 100% Ocean Wise™ menu last year and now they’ve added a completely Ocean Wise™ seafood market called buycatch (its a market by Catch where you buy the fish Catch carries but there’s no harmful bycatch – a term referring to birds and other species of fish inadvertently caught with unsustainable fisheries methods). The menu of offerings will change on a daily basis as their “Jet Fresh” supply arrives from the coasts of Canada. Ocean Wise™ provides consumers with the Vancouver Aquarium’s assurance of an ocean friendly sustainable seafood choice.
Here’s how the buycatch program will work.
Tojo – Itamae – master sushi chef
Tomorrow night I’m going to Calgary’s River Cafe to have a seven course beautifully sequenced Kaiseki sushi meal prepared by Canada’s (possibly North America’s) most accomplished Sushi master chef. His name is Hidekazu Tojo and he is owner of Tojo’s Restaurant in Vancouver. Here’s my colleague John Gilchrist’s description of the only other time Tojo came to Calgary. I was out of town on that visit and so when I heard Tojo was returning I immediately bought tickets.
Tojo’s flying in with his team but more importantly to me, he’s flying his fish in with him and its 100% Ocean-wise. I am thrilled to be going. It may indeed be my once in a lifetime chance to eat Tojo’s food. I had a chance to meet and eat the food of Seattle’s Shiro Kashiba at his eponymous restaurant Shiro’s a few years ago and each and every bite tasted like I was being kissed by the salty mist of an ocean breeze. I’m hoping to experience that kind of freshness again tomorrow and it’ll be inspiring and engaging to see the artistry involved in the dishes.
Is this my everyday life? No. But, that doesn’t mean my everyday life doesn’t include some fun with sushi. Tonight when we got back from skiing I hit the speed dial button to my favourite sushi restaurant and we enjoyed being able to pop by and pick up the world’s original “fast food” on our way home. Sushi is my favourite take out food. I like to pair it with my own wine and eat it in my PJ’s after a hot bath on ski days. That’s a little slice of sushi heaven for me.
The other way sushi is loads of fun is to invite friends over to make it together. You’ll need to do the prep work of doing all the shopping, and likely making the sushi rice ahead but its fun to chop the other ingredients together, assemble your maki (rolls) and then whip up a little miso soup to end or start your meal with. My friend Chigusa Gair was born and raised in Japan and is a warm and generous person. She offered to help me and a few friends with our sushi making as I had bemoaned that mine always look like a toothpaste tube that’s been squeezed in all the wrong places. We met at my place and what follows are Chigusa’s hints, tips and instructions based on our fun afternoon together. I made a few videos too. They will follow in a Sushi Making 201 post later.