Sautéed Halibut with Garlic and Hot Pepper

The sauce for this recipe is similar to one in Claudia Roden's book, The Food of Spain. You can leave out the butter if you'd like a pareve recipe. Also, it's great served hot, at room temperature, or cold. Be sure to only use the freshest fish and to cook it only until it flakes. Never overcook fish.


Sprinkle fish with salt and rub the flesh with paprika. Heat 3 T. olive oil in a very large frying pan. When the oil is shimmering, not smoking, add the fish, skin side up. Cook without moving the fish for 2 minutes. Then loosen it with a large spatula, and carefully turn the fish over. Continue to cook at medium-high heat for an additional 4-5 minutes, or until the fish is nearly cooked (opaque all the way through, but not dry). Remove the pan from the heat and cover loosely while preparing the sauce. If you like your fish done more, it's fine to cook it for an additional few minutes, but halibut is not good when overcooked.

Heat the remaining 1 T. olive oil in a small saucepan or frying pan. Add the garlic and dried hot chile pepper. Cook until the garlic is golden but not brown. Remove from the heat, and immediately add the vinegar and parsley and butter. Stir until the butter is melted. Put the fish on a serving platter and pour the sauce over so that the parsley and garlic are evenly distributed over the fish. You can serve the fish immediately or serve everything at room temperature, or even chilled.

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