Dining Chicago

Halibut with bacon, pearl onions, pea tendrils and fresh English pea broth
Halibut with bacon, pearl onions, pea tendrils and fresh English pea broth
Fresh English peas (Pisum sativum) are one of the delights of spring, a seasonal vegetable that really transcends its canned and frozen forms. The green legumes have a bright, sweet flavor that just pops in your mouth. Only about 5 percent of the U.S. pea crop is sold fresh.
Prep Time

30 min
Cook Time:

40 min

Main Ingredient
  • Sweet pea broth:
  • 1 cup fish stock
  • 1 ounce fresh English peas
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • Strip of lime zest
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • Caramelized onions:
  • 2 to 3 ounces pearl onions, cleaned and peeled
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Halibut:
  • 4 6- to 8-ounce halibut fillets
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola-olive oil blend
  • Garnish:
  • 1 to 2 slices bacon, diced
  • 6 ounces fresh English peas
  • 1-1/2 ounces fresh pea tendrils (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon thyme oil (recipe follows)
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
Category: Seafood

Make the sweet pea broth:

  • Simmer the stock in a saucepan until reduced to about 3/4 cup.
  • Add the peas and continue simmering until they are just cooked.
  • Once the peas are cooked, take off the heat and add the lime zest.
  • Puree the pea liquid in the blender and slowly add the butter.
  • Blend until it is smooth and silky.
  • Strain.

Caramelize the onions:

  • In a sauce pan, heat the butter and the onions over medium heat, coating the onions in the butter.
  • Allow the butter to get to a golden brown and then add the sugar, stirring until it melts and caramelizes the onions.
  • Set aside.

Cook the halibut:

  • Prepare a medium-hot fire in a barbecue grill, or heat a ridged grill pan on the stove.
  • Season the halibut with kosher salt and white pepper and lightly brush with oil.
  • Grill the fish flesh side down to make the criss-cross marks on the fish.
  • Turn the halibut over and continue to grill until done, 7 to 10 minutes.

To finish:

  • While the fish is cooking, cook the bacon in a saute pan.
  • Discard the fat and add the fresh peas and caramelized pearl onions.
  • Once warmed, add the pea tendrils until slightly wilted;
  • remove from the pan and divide among 4 bowls and place a piece of fish on top of each.
  • Add 3 tablespoons of sweet pea broth around each plate and drizzle the lemon thyme oil over the fish as well as a few drops in the broth.
  • Garnish with fresh thyme.

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