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From: America's Test Kitchen Live!
by Cook's Illustrated

This recipe calls for a heavy ovenproof ,skillet. If you plan to serve the fish with the flavored butters that follows, prepare it before cooking the fish. Even well dried fish can cause the hot oil in the pan to splatter. You can minimize splattering by laying the halibut steaks in the pan gently and putting the edge closest to you in the pan first so that the far edge falls away from you.
Serves 4 to 6



• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 (full) halibut steaks about 1¼ inches thick and 10 to 12 inches long (about 2½ pounds total), gently rinsed, dried well with paper towels, and trimmed of cartilage at both ends
• Salt and ground black pepper
• Flavored butter (recipes follow)



1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees. When the oven reaches 425 degrees, heat the oil in a 12-inch heavy-bottomed ovenproof skillet over high heat until the oil just begins to smoke.

2. Meanwhile, sprinkle both sides of both halibut steaks generously with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-high and swirl the oil in the pan to distribute; carefully lay the steaks in the pan and sear, without moving them, until spotty brown, about 4 minutes. (If the steaks are thinner than 1¼ inches, check browning at 3½ minutes; thicker steaks of 1½ inches may require extra time, so check at 4½ minutes.) Off the heat, flip the steaks over in the pan using two thinbladed metal spatulas.

3. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the steaks reads 140 degrees and the fish flakes loosen and the flesh is opaque when checked with the tip of a paring knife, about 9 minutes (thicker steaks may take up to 10 minutes). Remove the skillet from the oven and, separate the skin and bones from the fish with a spatula.
Transfer the fish to a warm platter and serve immediately with a flavored butter or sauce.

Makes about 1/4 cup

• 4 tablespoons (1/2 sack) unsalted butter, softened
• 1 medium chipotle chile in adobo sauce, seeded and minced, plus 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
• 2 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
• 1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
• 1 teaspoon honey
• 1 teaspoon grated zest from 1 lime
• 1/2 teaspoon salt

Beat the butter with a fork until light and fluffy. Stir in the remaining ingredients until thoroughly combined. Dollop a portion of the butter over the pieces of hot cooked fish and allow the butter to melt. Serve immediately.


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