Valentine halibut


Valentine’s day: will I be forgotten or cherished? It’s annoying – an artificial date designed to heighten expectation and thus commerce if not convention. Yet Valentine gets me in his grip each time.

When single, a mystery Valentine card would keep me in romantic reverie for weeks. In a relationship, a special meal is called for.

Do not eat out.  It’s courting gastronomic-folly to dine in a restaurant on one of its busiest nights of the year.

Save your money and eat like a king at home.

I bought a special fish, halibut.  The thick cutlet cost nearly £15. That was for two of us. Yes, expensive, but you’d be lucky to get one serving of its firm-white flesh for that price if eating out.

I am lucky, near both a farmer’s market and an organic supermarket from whence I bought the beautiful ingredients in pic above: all-organic spinach, mushroom, red onion, olive oil and Desiree potatoes from Better Food organic supermarket; and line-caught halibut from David Felce Daughters & Son at Bristol farmers’ market in Corn Street.

We ate our Valentine meal last night because the fish was fresh. Why wait for a good thing?

Under instruction from Mike, I grilled the thick halibut cutlet for about 20 minutes. According to his method, there is no need to preheat the grill. Eco-friendly, I like.

I ground black-pepper thickly on the cutlet as it lay in the grill-pan on a film of olive oil to stop it sticking.

Impetuously, I added a big fat mushroom to the same oiled pan, and adding a teaspoon extra of olive oil on its upturned gills to keep it moist. As Mike does not like garlic, I covered it instead with onion. The red onion looked good.

I slid the grill-pan under the (un-preheated) grill and set the grill to max.

Meanwhile the potatoes were doing their thing in boiling water going from impenetrable to soft as potatoes do.

I steamed the spinach leaves over the potatoes in my triple-steamer – another eco-saving in fuel. I secretly snipped the spinach with scissors to devoid them of too much chew-action.

The red onion softened magnificently while the halibut, an oily fish, was succulent-crispy from its time under the grill.

Afterwards we had hard organic ewe’s cheese (apparently hard cheeses have very little lactose in them and sheep is easier on the gut than cow’s), served with membrillo, or quince jelly, as in Spain. You can buy membrillo in Taste’s new deli in Corn Street – another Bristol supplier to be grateful for.

Then Mike wanted to go out so I had to eat lots of vegan dark chocolate with ginger to wake me up. The music and joyous dance-vibe at the Leftbank bar late last night also helped.

And tonight, it’s Valentine day-proper and Saturday night-to-boot so Bristol is bursting with balls and dances and venues with live music for both couples and the footloose-and-fancy-free. Let’s celebrate love!

How was your Valentine?

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7 responses to “Valentine halibut

  1. My valentine day was great, in no small part due to the fact that I was privileged to share this delicious meal with Elisabeth.

    I have a strange negative connotation with halibut, something to do with halibut oil, which I don’t know the origination of because this fish was simply perfect.

    The flesh which is pure white had a sweet taste with a firm but not chewy texture, a real delight. The spinach and Desiree potatoes a beautiful compliment.


  2. Hah! I couldn’t agree with you more. Valentine’s Day is basically to make single people feel miserable and couples lose all reason temporarily. We too feasted indoors. Except we went for a semi healthy M&S meal. Hope you had a lovely weekend.


  3. Oh dear. If you look closely at the pic, you can see a fairly yukky old blue sponge.

    Romantic or what?


  4. Hi E
    Like you, Geraldine and I went down the route of spending what we normally have spent on a middle priced meal but doing it ourselves. We ended up with a bottle of Veuve Clicqot with oysters, a delicious starter of pan-fried scallops, Thai style, really good oven baked salmon with spinach and potatoes followed by home-made tarte au citron. We had a very good rioja red too. I have to say that I didn’t have as much to do with it, your sister was on top form. A very nice evening. Satisfying too.


  5. yum and super wake up to go out tip too!


  6. What a recipe ! A joy to the palate and a delight to read. You always make your recipes sound so tempting and adding the warm human picture of home cooking gives added spice and appeal.
    Even though I don’t live in Bristol I appreciate the information about where to buy the ingredients. An extremely useful touch.
    The wake-me-up chocolate sound like the perfect finishing taste to a delicious and eco-friendly meal, too.
    Not even Rick Stein provided a decent halibut suggestion in the cookbook I own of his so.. an all round ‘thank you’ to the Fabulous Ms Winkler.


  7. Pingback: Baked Halibut With Tomatoes & Spices Recipe | mySteakRecipes

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