Chef John Besh's heart-healthy recipes
Wild Alaska Halibut with Mushrooms and Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes
- 4 oz. olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 sprig basil
- 1/4 cup parsley leaves
- Salt, to taste
- 12 oz. fingerling potatoes, quartered lengthwise
- 2 (6 to 8 oz. each) wild Alaska halibut portions
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 8 oz. favorite mushrooms, thick-sliced
- 1 sprig rosemary, leaves only
- 2 sprigs tarragon, leaves only
- 1 sprig thyme, leaves only
- 2 lemon wedges
In a food processor, place 3 ounces of the olive oil, half of the garlic, basil and parsley. Pulse until almost smooth; set aside.
Place a large (10-inch) pan over medium-high heat. Add remaining olive oil; swirl to coat pan bottom. Stir in potatoes. While potatoes are browning, season the halibut with salt and red pepper flakes. Once the potatoes are a light golden brown, stir in the shallot and remaining garlic. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until lightly browned. Stir in mushrooms; season lightly with salt. Place the fish on top of the potato mixture; sprinkle on the rosemary, tarragon and thyme leaves. Reduce heat to medium, add one tablespoon of water, immediately cover the pan and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until the fish begins to flake.*
To serve, divide the potatoes and mushrooms between 2 warm plates, place the fish pieces on top and drizzle liberally with the herbed oil. Squeeze a wedge of lemon over each plate before serving.
Makes 2 servings.
*Or, using an oven-proof pan and lid, place covered pan directly into a 450oF oven and cook for 8 to 10 minutes until fish begins to flake.
Blackened Wild Alaska Cod with Fennel and Orange Salad
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes
- Lemon Vinaigrette:
- 1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon zest
- 1 Tbsp. minced shallot
- Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- 1 fennel bulb
- 4 oranges
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Pinch sugar
- Salt and Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 6 (6 oz. each) wild Alaska cod fillets
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- Blackened seasoning or Creole spice blend, to taste
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped chives
- Small sprigs from 1 fresh dill branch
Place all vinaigrette ingredients into a bowl, whisk together until well mixed; set aside.
For the salad, slice the fennel crosswise as thinly as possible, then place into a medium bowl. Cut off the top and bottom of each orange. Stand the oranges on one end; slice off the peel and white pith from top to bottom, cutting around the entire orange. Working over the fennel bowl to catch the juices, cut out each fleshy fruit segment from between the membranes on each side. Squeeze any remaining juice left from the orange pulp into the bowl; discard the pulp. Add the vinaigrette, cayenne pepper, and sugar to the fennel and orange segments. Toss gently, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
Season cod with blackened seasoning to taste. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fish and cook 3 to 5 minutes on each side until bronze in color and opaque throughout. On each of 6 plates, place a piece of cod. Top fish with one-sixth of the salad mixture. Garnish with chives and dill.
Makes 6 servings.
Grilled Wild Alaska Cod Soft Tacos
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes
- 1 jalapeno pepper
- Salt, to taste
- 2 large avocados, seeded and sliced
- 6 sprigs fresh cilantro
- 3 limes
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped red onion, to taste
- 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 lb. Wild Alaska cod fillets
- 1 to 2 Tbsp. Creole seasoning, to taste
- 6 flour tortillas (8-inch size)
- 1 oz. olive oil, divided
Preheat grill or heavy pan to medium heat. Rub or brush the jalapeno with 1 teaspoon olive oil, sprinkle on salt and place on the grill or in pan. Rotate the jalapeno until it is roasted and tender on all sides. Cool slightly. Using gloves to protect from burning, peel the pepper, slice lengthwise and remove the seeds. In a food processor, add half or all of the jalapeno (if spicier is preferred), avocado, half of the cilantro and the juice of half a lime. Pulse the mixture to the desired texture (less for chunkier or more for creamy) and season with salt, to taste. Place in a bowl, cover and reserve. Clean the food processor, then add the red onion, bell pepper, green onions, canned tomato, remaining cilantro and juice of two limes. Pulse the mixture until your desired texture for salsa. Season with salt to taste.
Slice the cod fillets crosswise into 1-inch wide strips; then place in a bowl. Sprinkle on Creole seasoning, add remaining olive oil and toss to coat. Grill or pan-fry until fish is opaque throughout; remove from heat.
Microwave the tortillas until warm, about 1 minute. Onto each tortilla spread 2 to 3 tablespoons avocado puree, followed by cod pieces, then top with 1/4 cup fresh salsa. Roll up or fold over the tortillas to eat.
Makes 6 tacos.
Lacquered Wild Alaska Salmon in Butter Lettuce Cups with Vietnamese Dipping Sauce
Prep time: 40 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes
- 4 oz. rice noodles, uncooked
- 2 cups soy sauce
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 lb. 8 oz. wild Alaska salmon fillets (skin removed), cut in 4 oz. pieces
- 2 cups seasoned rice wine vinegar
- 3 cloves, minced
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sambal olek chili sauce
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 2 heads butter (or bibb) lettuce
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 medium English cucumber, cut matchstick-size
- 3/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 12 sprigs Thai basil leaves
- 12 fresh mint leaves
In a stock pot, heat 1 gallon of water to a boil. Season with salt; cook noodles until tender. Pour noodles into a colander and run under cold water. Toss the cooled pasta with a small amount of oil (sesame or olive) to keep from sticking. Set aside.
In a sauce pot over medium heat, combine soy sauce and 2 cups of the sugar. Simmer until the sugar dissolves completely. Remove from heat; cool marinade completely. Place the salmon in a large non-reactive bowl, pour the cooled marinade over the fish and marinate for 20 minutes. While salmon is marinating, blend the rice wine vinegar, remaining one cup of sugar, minced garlic and sambal chili sauce in a medium pot. Heat mixture until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; add the shredded carrot. Cool sauce.
Rinse the lettuce leaves in cold water and let dry on paper towel. Stack the leaves together, 2 or 3 high, until a sturdy cup is formed. Repeat process to form 12 cups.
Remove the salmon from the marinade and pat dry with a paper towel. Add olive oil to a large heavy pan, making sure to coat the bottom evenly; heat to medium-high. Carefully place the salmon into the pan. Cook until the bottom sides reach a dark caramel color; turn fish over and continue cooking until both sides are caramelized. Remove the fish from the pan. Cool fish slightly; break up into large flakes. Layer each lettuce cup with some rice noodles, flaked fish, cucumber sticks and a spoonful of pickled carrot. Top each cup with 1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, basil leaf and mint leaf. Serve with carrot sauce for dipping.
Makes 12 lettuce cups.