Saturday, July 27, 2013

Halibut With Swiss Chard, Leek And Pepper Stew

I am going to have a hard time accurately judging this recipe.  The biggest impediment to impartiality is the fact that while the stew was cooking, one child was asleep and the other playing quietly, so I poured my self a glass of wine, read my book and reacquainted myself with the pleasure a piece of baguette and real butter can bring, so I wasn't exactly starving when the meal was finished. The other thing that may skew my perception, was that I tailored this to fit some ingredients I had on hand.  Those being acorn squash over the easier to peel butternut and the tiny, albeit delicious, but infinitely harder to chop yum yum peppers I had in my Front Porch Pickings basket.  My only valid complaint was that there wasn't much in the way of liquid and I thought the stew a bit too dry for me to think of it as a stew.  I also substituted flounder for the halibut as there wasn't any at my local publix.  Even with all that against it, I still thought it was pretty good; a solid 3.5.  It certainly was healthy and if I had skipped the baguette I bought for the boys, it would have been low calorie.

Halibut With Swiss Chard, Leek And Pepper Stew
1 Tbl extra-virgin olive oil
1 large Spanish onion chopped
1 large leek white and tender green parts, halved length wise and sliced into 1/4" slices
4 large garlic cloves thinly sliced
1/2 Cup dry white wine
2 small acorn squash peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice
1/2 Lb Swiss chard stems discarded, leaves torn into large
1 red bell pepper cut into 3/4-inch dice
1 yellow bell pepper cut into 3/4-inch dice
1/2 Tsp fennel seeds
1/2 Tsp dried thyme
1/4 Tsp crushed red pepper
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Four 6-ounce skinless halibut fillets
1/2 Cup shredded basil leaves

1. Preheat the oven to 425. Heat the olive oil in a large enameled cast-
iron casserole. Add the onion, leek and garlic, cover and cook over low
heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the
wine and cook until almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add the squash,
Swiss chard, red and yellow bell peppers, fennel seeds, thyme and
crushed red pepper. Season the vegetables generously with salt and
pepper, cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the
squash is tender, about 15 minutes. 
2. Spread half of the vegetable stew in an 8-by-11-inch glass or ceramic
baking dish. Season the halibut with salt and pepper and nestle the
fillets in the stew; cover with the remaining vegetables. Bake for about
15 minutes, or until the halibut is just cooked through. Sprinkle with
the basil and serve. 

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