Begin by filleting, skinning, and portioning the halibut. Next roast the peppers and peel. Think about using a blow torch, if available, to burn the skin off as it does it quickly helps maintain the texture of the pepper. Once the peppers are peeled cut them into a small dice. Add the peppers to a clean mixing bowl and start with the rest of the ingredients. After rising the capers well, chop them finely and add them to the bowl. Chop the olives and do the same. Finely dice the fennel, blanch it in acidulated water, shock it in ice water, and add it to the bowl. Finely chop the garlic and the anchovy and add them to the bowl as well. Season the mixture with ground pepper; add the juice of the remaining lemon and zest as well. Add a few drops of the sherry vinegar, if desired, and add the olive oil. At this point taste the mixture and if it needs salt use the finest sea salt you can find. Set the mixture aside in a warm place while you cook the fish. Place the frying oil in a tall straight-sided pan and heat to 300 degrees. At this point add a few leaves of the green basil and fry until crisp. Season the leaves with salt and set aside for service. To begin cooking the fish add a bit of cooking oil to a saute pan and bring the oil to the smoke point. When the pan reaches the correct temperature, add the fillets of fish and begin to cook. As the fish begins to color you will see the sides begin to opaque, this is a sign that it is nearly cooked. At this point turn the fish over for about 30 seconds, remove the fish from the pan and place on absorbent paper to remove any excess oil. Before plating tear a few of the basil leaves roughly and add them to the olive mixture. Taste one final time before plating, adjust seasoning if necessary. To begin plating, place a bit of the olive mixture in the center of the warmed dinner plates, be sure to have enough olive oil on each plate so that a bit of the oil surrounds the salad. Place a fillet of halibut on top and place the fried basil leaves, opal basil on top of the fish for garnish, and sprinkle with dried fennel.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Michael Chimarusti, Water Grill, Los Angeles, CA
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