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Halibut Steaks with Citrus, Watercress and Black Olives

Halibut Steaks with Citrus, Watercress and Black Olives
Marinating is a way of adding flavor to and, in some cases, tenderizing food. A marinade commonly includes flavorful additions such as ginger, garlic, and herbs or spices. It usually contains some acid as well, such as lemon juice, wine (used here) or vinegar. Tough cuts of meat are sometimes soaked in a marinade for hours to improve their texture. Fish, however, is naturally tender and should not be marinated for more than 20 minutes in an acidic marinade. Otherwise, the fish will "cook" in the acid.

Ingredients:

  • 3⁄4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 Tbs. light molasses
  • 2 Tbs. peeled and finely grated fresh ginger
  • 4 halibut steaks, each 6 to 8 oz.
  • 2 Tbs. canola oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 orange, cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges
  • 1 bunch watercress, stemmed
  • 1⁄2 cup Kalamata olives

Directions:

Prepare a fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill.

In a bowl, whisk together the wine, molasses and ginger. Pour into a shallow casserole or baking dish. Lay the halibut steaks in the marinade, turn to coat and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes (but no longer).

Drain the halibut, letting the marinade drip back into the dish; reserve the marinade. Pat the fish dry, brush with the oil, and season with salt and pepper. Grill the fish until browned on one side, 3 to 5 minutes, depending on thickness. Using a wide metal spatula, turn the fish and grill until browned on the other side and opaque throughout, 3 to 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the orange and lemon wedges directly on the grill and cook, turning once, until lightly browned on both sides, about 2 minutes total. Transfer the fish and orange and lemon wedges to individual plates or a platter.

In a small saucepan, boil the reserved marinade for 2 minutes. Pour over the halibut and garnish with the watercress and olives. Serves 4.

Note: The molasses included in the marinade helps the fish brown without overcooking it. You won?t taste the sweetness.

Variation Tips: Other fish steaks, such as striped bass, swordfish, tuna, shark and mahimahi, can be used instead of halibut. To cook on the stovetop, use a preheated grill pan over high heat.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Fish, by Shirley King (Simon & Schuster, 2002).