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A Saucy Take on Poached Halibut

CHEF'S SECRETS

December 13, 1990|ROSE DOSTI | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Here's a perfect buffet dish for fish lovers from Seventh Street Bistro chef Laurent Quenioux with an unexpected Mexican twist: The fish is poached in salsa made with red wine, onions and carrots--the basis of a French sauce. The salsa not only cooks the halibut to perfection but flavors it as well. When the dish is cooked, eat the fish and salsa together. It can be served cold or hot, so keep it in mind for a summer menu.

Try serving the dish with a bottle of Chardonnay and some crusty French bread; a salad and tortillas might also be an appropriate accompaniment. For dessert add a white chocolate mousse from a favorite French bakery.

SEVENTH STREET BISTRO HALIBUT IN SALSA

3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 small carrot, sliced

3 ripe tomatoes, diced

1 (5.5-ounce) can tomato juice

1 bunch cilantro, minced

3 mint leaves, minced

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

3 serrano chiles, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

Salt, pepper

Dash hot pepper sauce

4 (4- to 6-ounce) pieces halibut or any other firm-fleshed fish fillets

Heat olive oil in skillet and add onion and carrot. Saute until onion is transparent. Add tomatoes and cook 5 minutes over low heat. Add tomato juice, cilantro, mint, vinegar, chiles and garlic. Season to taste with salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce. Cook 3 minutes.

Arrange fish fillets in 11x7-inch baking dish or casserole. Pour salsa mixture over fish and bake at 350 degrees 20 minutes. If cold fish is desired, refrigerate at least 6 hours before serving. Serve hot or cold. Makes 4 servings.

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