Tonight’s Challenge: Pan Roasted Halibut with herbed lentils and breadcrumbs

Pan Roasted Halibut with herbed lentils and breadcrumbs

Huh? “Game on?” Really? I didn’t realize she was so competitive! Last week I simply suggested to a good friend and coworker that we both try the same fish recipe I had saved from SippitySup and each blog about it. I had previously gone to her for some fish prep advice so I know she was aware that I’m not much of a “fish chef”. My spouse doesn’t even like fish! I have never, ever, pan-roasted fish. (Isn’t that what we more commonly called ‘frying’?) So how this friendly exchange became “Top Chef: Blogger Edition” (complete with judging categories) I can’t tell you but I don’t like to shirk from a challenge! (But how convenient for her to deem that our spouses are the judges in this competition! Did I mention that mine doesn’t even like fish?) I think someone has been watching too much cable TV, don’t you? But seriously, she got her photo and post listed at Foodgawker which is pretty darn fantastic so congrats Leslie (and Hunter, her husband slash photographer!) She is a great cook and I have learned a lot in the short time she has been sharing with us on her blog. I even learned enough to knock the butter out of tonight’s recipe. Be sure to check out her blog!

So for my part tonight I had to pretty much kick it in gear to get something up on these pages for you and my “judge” spouse. (Or is that for Padme, Tom, and Gail?) I didn’t want to anger the judge or have him disqualify me for being late with my entre now did I? To beat the buzzer tonight I had to to work in a few shortcuts as I had no time to get to the market after work. I’m a big lover of those already prepared fresh lentils at Trader Joe’s so using those saved me a good 15 minutes of cooking time. Not quite as elegant as doing the green lentils (which I love too) but tonight I had to make do. I hope Greg forgives me. Also saving me a trip to the supermarket tonight was the container of prepared mirepoix that I had bought (also at Trader Joe’s) last night thinking I would make a quick chicken soup tonight for a dear sick friend. He won’t mind, I’m sure, since this is a competition and I’m sure just knowing that I’m cooking fabulous halibut for a competition will make him feel better.
So here it goes:

Pan Roasted Halibut with herbed lentils and breadcrumbs


Tonight’s Challenge: "Pan Roasted" Halibut with herbed lentils and breadcrumbs

(truly inspired by SippitySup‘s Greg Henry)

This is what you will need:

  • 1 package Trader Joe’s prepared lentils, OR 2 c french green lentils, picked over & rinsed, boiled in salted water for 20 minutes and drained.
  • 1 1?2 t minced garlic
  • 1 cup mirepoix
  • 3/4 c chicken stock
  • 1/2 t chicken demi-glace (I only had canned stock and was using only a little — see above re: lentils)
  • 2 t flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 t fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 t fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 c coarsley chopped fresh breadcrumbs (2 pieces of bread taken from the lunch room worked here.)
  • 1?2 c loosely packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 T lemon zest
  • lemon vinaigrette (see 3 T olive oil, juice of one lemon, 1 T minced shallot, 1/2 t lemon zest, salt and pepper. I’m not a dill fan and I didn’t want to mess up the sage taste.)
  • 1 1?2 pounds halibut fillets, cut into 4 portions
  • kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

This is how you make it:

  1. Heat 2 TBS olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add garlic, stirring rapidly until fragrant (about 1 minute.)
  2. Add the mirepoixe (mixture of carrots, celery and onions) and cook, stirring for another 2 minutes.
  3. Add the lentils, chicken stock, and chopped herbs and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the butter, stirring until emulsified, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Keep warm
  6. Make the breadcrumb mixture by:
  7. heating 3 TBS olive oil over medium high-high heat in a saute pan and then adding the breadcrumbs and pan-fry until golden and crunchy.
  8. Season with salt and pepper, remove from pan and let cool. In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, parsley leaves and lemon zest.
  9. Toss this with a little lemon vinaigrette right before serving. (Save the remainder for the great halibut salad you will have with the leftovers!)
  10. Pan-roast the halibut, using a large saute pan over high heat.
  11. Add to the pan the remaining 2 TBS olive oil and heat until nearly smoking.
  12. Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper and sear until golden brown on one side, 4-5 minutes.
  13. Flip and finsih cooking 2-3 more minutes.
  14. Remove pan from heat.
  15. To serve:
  16. Ladle the lentils onto a plate and place the fish in the center and top it with some of the dressed breadcrumb and parsley mixture.
  17. Lemon garnish

Pan Roasted Halibut with herbed lentils and breadcrumbs

Enjoy and await the decision of the judges in your house! My judge ate it all and actually asked me to make this for his finicky uncle. So regardless, I’m a winner. Thanks Leslie for the fun! Lets do this again! Greg, is it beginning to feel a bit like “Tuesdays with SippitySup” around here? (Don’t tempt me! )


About Trevor Kensey

To be truthful, I don't know what “Sis. Boom. [blog!]" means either. The name implies something explosive just happened I suppose I would like it if each post would make made a small 'boom' in your day or at least a fizzle. Even though a recipe is included with every post I have a hard time calling this a "food blog" or even myself a "food blogger".

Previous Post:
Next Post:

  1. T – you kill me! I’m honestly laughing out loud. This is a great post – and an amazing photo. I may have made it on Food Gawker, but your picture tops mine for sure (have you submitted it yet?). And convincing Sina that fish is well worth eating… now that’s a winner!

  2. Ha! That might be going a bit too far since he didn’t really request it for himself! This was a lot of fun and pushed me to make something I otherwise wouldn’t have. My household judge wants us to do it again!

  3. Wow. I am honored first off that you made this and said so many nice things. But, honestly it looks fabulous. I love the crunchy breadcrumbs and the fact that you left the parsley leaves whole are key to getting the diversity needed to accompany the lush mouth of the buttery halibut! I buy and use those Trader Joe lentils all the time too. So no worries from me. Congrats on a perfect presentation. GREG

  4. Look what I found on TasteSpotting! You… GREG