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Pan-Fried Halibut
honey mussels, saffron cream, new potatoes, and basil mayonnaise

Serves 6-8
eight 6-oz (175 g) premium halibut fillets (centre cut) 
3 Tbsp (45 mL) olive oil 
2 Tbsp (30 mL) butter 
juice from 1 freshly squeezed lemon 
salt and pepper to taste 

Pre-heat oven to 350 °F (180 °C). Divide the olive oil between two medium-sized, oven-proof sauté pans over medium heat. Heat oil until it begins to smoke. Generously season the halibut fillets with salt and pepper. Add the fillets to the pan, place the most presentable side of the fillet down first. Sear the fish for approximately 3 minutes on one side, or until a golden-brown colour has developed. Place the pans into the preheated oven for about 4 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and add the butter. Using a spoon, baste the fish with the foaming butter. Squeeze with fresh lemon and serve. 

Honey Mussels 
1 lb (500 g) honey mussels, cleaned (approximately 24 mussels) 3 Tbsp (45 mL) Pernod 
1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp (105 mL) Noilly Prat 

Combine all ingredients in a very hot sauté pan. Cover with a lid and steam until the shells have opened. Discard any unopened mussels. Remove the cooked mussels from the liqueur and place them in a bowl set over ice water. Remove the meat from the mussels as they cool. Set aside 3 Tbsp (45 mL) of the liqueur and strain the rest over the cleaned mussels. 

Saffron Cream 
3 Tbsp (45 mL) Pernod 
3 Tbsp (45 mL) Noilly Prat 
3 Tbsp (45 mL) Mussel Liqueur 
1/4 tsp (1 mL) saffron (approximately 6 threads) 
1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp (105 mL) lobster bisque (freshly made lobster bisque from a quality vendor is ideal) 
1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp (105 mL) whipping cream (35%) 
1/2 cup (125 mL) butter, chilled and cubed 
juice from 1 freshly squeezed lemon 
salt and pepper to taste 
2 Tbsp (30 mL) chives, chopped finely (for garnish) 

Combine the Pernod, Noilly Prat, mussel liqueur and saffron in a medium-sized sauce pot over medium heat. Simmer until the volume is reduced by half. Add the lobster bisque and whipping cream and bring to a boil. Remove the sauce from the heat and immediately add the butter swirling into the sauce. Finish with lemon and salt and pepper. Garnish with chives. 

Basil Purée 
3 cups (750 mL) basil leaves 
1/3 cup (75 mL) olive oil 

Drop the basil leaves into a pot of boiling water for about 10 seconds. Remove and immediately drop the cooked basil into ice water. Allow to cool for several seconds, then remove and pat dry with paper towel. Place blanched basil into a blender, add oil and blend until smooth. 

Basil Mayonnaise 
2 egg yolks, from large brown eggs 
2 Tbsp (30 mL) Dijon mustard 
4 cloves garlic, minced 
1 Tbsp (15 mL) Xeres vinegar 
juice from 1 freshly squeezed lemon 
pinch cayenne pepper 
1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp (105 mL) olive oil 
1 2/3 cups (400 mL) vegetable oil 
2 Tbsp (30 mL) Basil purée 
salt and pepper to taste 

Combine the egg yolks, Dijon mustard, garlic, vinegar, cayenne pepper and lemon juice in a deep narrow bowl. Using a stick blender slowly add both oils in a thin stream while pulsing the blender. The mixture should emulsify and become the consistency of mayonnaise. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until uniform. 

4 cups (1 L) baby spinach, washed and dried 
1/2 cup (125 mL) butter 
2 tsp (10 mL) chopped garlic 
a pinch of fresh grated nutmeg 
salt and pepper to taste 

In large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook briefly. Add spinach, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Cook until spinach has wilted. Remove from the heat, drain and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Reheat in microwave when ready to serve. 

Tomato Concassé 
5 medium-sized Roma tomatoes (slightly underripe), blanched, peeled, and seeded 
1/3 cup (75 mL) olive oil 
1 tsp (5 mL) balsamic reduction 
5 basil leaves 
Australian flake salt and pepper to taste 

Dice the tomato fillets and place them into a small mixing bowl. Add the olive oil and balsamic reduction. Slice the basil leaves thinly and combine with the tomato mixture, season with salt and pepper as desired. 

Baby Carrots and New Potatoes 
16 organic baby carrots (mixed colours, if available) 
8 new potatoes (white) 

Use good quality, fresh, organic vegetables. Bring the white new potatoes to a simmer in a medium sized sauce pot of cold, salted water. When the potatoes are tender, allow them to cool slightly in the cooking liquid, then remove, and gently peel away the skins with a small knife. Peel the carrots with a vegetable peeler then simmer until tender. 

To Serve 
Divide the spinach and carrots between the plates. Toss the warm potatoes in basil mayonnaise and rest on the spinach. Warm the honey mussels through in the saffron sauce and finish with chopped chives. Place a piece of halibut onto each plate and then spoon sauce over the fish. Finish by spooning the tomato concasse over the top of the fish.