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Halibut Steaks au Poivre

Halibut Steaks au Poivre
For the best flavor, always grind or crush pepper just before using it. For this dish, crush whole black peppercorns in a mortar with a pestle. To give the steaks a colorful look and an interesting change in flavor, use a blend of black, green and white—or even pink—peppercorns. Black peppercorns are the hottest of the four. Green peppercorns are immature black peppercorns that have been brined to preserve them, and white peppercorns are black ones with the outer layer removed. Pink peppercorns are actually the berry of a type of rose plant.

Ingredients:

  • 6 halibut steaks, each about 3/4 inch thick
  • 2 to 3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. black peppercorns, crushed, or to taste
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 400°F. Butter a roasting pan just large enough to hold the fish comfortably.

Rinse the halibut steaks under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Brush the fish with enough of the melted butter to coat well. Sprinkle with the pepper and press gently so it adheres to the fish. Put the tomatoes and basil leaves in the prepared pan and arrange the fish on top of the tomatoes.

Roast until the halibut flakes easily when gently prodded with a fork, 8 to 10 minutes.

Using a spatula, transfer the halibut steaks and tomatoes to warmed individual plates and serve hot. Serves 6.

Serving Tip: Serve with buttered spinach fettuccine or whole wheat fettuccine.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Roasting, by Barbara Grunes (Simon & Schuster, 2002).