Escalopes of Halibut with Dill, Carrots and Celery


These are thin slices of the fish which are cooked very quickly in a little vegetable oil, so quickly, in fact, that they are still very under-done in the middle when they’re served and therefore moist.


750 g (1 ½ lb) halibut fillet, preferably a single piece cut from a large fish
2 carrots
2 tender celery sticks
175 g (6 oz) unsalted butter
50 ml (2 fl oz) white wine
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
600 ml (1 pint) Fish Stock (see recipe here)
Juice of ¼ lemon
15 ml (1/2 fl oz) groundnut oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Cut the halibut into thin escalopes with a sharp, thin-bladed knife.  Cut the fish on the slant so that you get a few, wide pieces.  It doesn’t really matter if you don’t do it neatly, providing the pieces are no more than about 5 mm (1/4 in) thick.

Peel the carrots and cut into fine neat dice by first slicing the carrot lengthways into 3 mm (1/8 in) slices, then cutting into 3 mm (1/8 in) sticks and finally cutting into 3 mm (1/8 in) dice.  Repeat with the celery.

Melt 25 g (1 oz) of the butter in a pan and start to fry the carrot and celery over a gentle heat.  Just as they are beginning to soften add the white wine and all but a generous pinch of the dill (keep some back to garnish the dish).  Cook gently with a lid on the pan for a further 5 minutes.  Season with salt.  

In a separate pan, boil the fish stock until the volume has reduced by three-quarters then pour into the carrot and celery.  Whisk in the remaining butter and lemon juice.  

Heat the groundnut oil in a frying pan.  When the oil is hot, add only enough escalopes to cover the base of the pan.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and turn over almost immediately then remove from the pan to a warm plate after only 20 seconds of cooking.  Cook the rest of the escalopes.

Take a long, elegant serving dish and pour all the sauce onto it.  Layer the escalopes of halibut down the middle and sprinkle with the pinch of dill.  Serve with a few potatoes cut into triangular, finger-length pieces and boiled with dill. 

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