Cold Poached Sous Vide Alaskan Halibut
- 1/2 peeled and coarsely chopped cucumber
- 1/2 cup chopped basil
- 3 cups cooked and chilled Israeli couscous
- 3/4 cup finely chopped yellow teardrop tomato
- 3/4 cup finely chopped red teardrop tomato
- 4 3 ½ ounce pieces of Alaskan halibut, skin removed (Ask your fish monger to cut from the thickest part of the side)
- 1 cup salted olive oil chilled
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
- 1 cup nut brown butter vinaigrette
Put the salted olive oil and fresh thyme leaves together in a squirt bottle.
Place the four pieces of halibut into a Criovac bag and squirt the olive oil mixture into the bag while keeping it flat. Carefully seal the bag until it starts to squeeze the fish and stop it short of a full cycle of the Criovac. Chill for 1 hour.
Using a very large volume container so that the fish package lays flat in the water, carefully place into a preheated Sous Vide bath for 45 minutes at 130 degrees Remove as much of the water as you can then gently pour 3 lbs. ice to shock-chill the fish for 20 minutes.
Remove the Criovac package of halibut very carefully with a sheet pan as to not smash the very soft fish Place on the flat shelve of your refrigerator overnight.
Mix the couscous, basil, and tomatoes together in a bowl and set aside ½ cup for garnish. Put ½ cup of the room temp vinaigrette and mix a second time.
Place ¼ of the mixed couscous onto the center of your favorite serving plate, then move the halibut from the Criovac package and place the cold halibut on top of the couscous and top with the vinaigrette. Garnish with the remaining tomato mixture and some fresh basil tops.
Wine Note from Chef Brian Overhauser
A lot of you were surprised by this pairing when served during our Barbera vineyard tour. As you found out, the assertive and boldly flavored 2011 J&S Reserve Barbera was a thrilling match for the cold halibut in part because of the richness of the nutty brown butter vinaigrette which balanced the structure and spice of the wine. What a treat on such a hot July day!