Poached Halibut, Creamy Celery Sauce & Tomato Relish

"This is healthy change from baked or fried fish. Fresh halibut is a wonderful firm, mild fish and poaching just highlights that. Now if you can't find Halibut, Cod will also work, and if you can't find fresh fish, frozen will be ok. Obviously not as good, but today there is some very good frozen fish on the market. Serve with a quinoa salad and maybe some micro or spring greens for an extremely healthy meal."
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Ready In:
4 Individual Servings




  • Celery Sauce -- In a small sauce pan, add the celery and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat, cover, and cook until the celery is tender. The celery will be pureed, so you want it tender, but NOT "mushy." It should take about 10-12 minutes.
  • Fish and Broth -- As the celery cooks, prepare your fish and the broth. Remove the fish from the refrigerator so it comes to room temperature. For the broth, In a medium size sauce pan (enough to add the 4 fillets and you want the broth to cover the fish), add the lemons, garlic cloves (give them a light smash with the back of your knife or with the palm of your hand), ginger, wine, broth, thyme sprigs, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil and then immediately turn off the heat and cover. The broth will be ready in just a couple of minutes.
  • Celery Sauce: Drain the celery and reserve just a teaspoon or two of the water. Transfer the celery to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth, you can use a little of the water if necessary. Just let it sit for a few minutes as you make the cream sauce.
  • In that same pan you cooked the celery in, add the butter and shallots and cook a minute on medium heat. Then add in the flour and cook another minute to get rid of the flour taste. Slowly add in the milk and heavy cream and whisk until well blended and the sauce begins to thicken. Add in the celery, fresh thyme, salt and pepper to taste. The sauce is done. Just reduce to low and set on the back burner.
  • Fish -- Bring your broth back up to medium heat, you don't want it boiling, just a medium simmer. Add the fish, reduce to medium low and cover. Halibut will take about 8 minutes per 1" of fish. The cooking time will depend on the size of your fish fillets.
  • Tomato Relish -- As the fish cooks, make the tomato relish. Add the chopped tomatoes, capers, basil, olive oil, and pepper to a small bowl and mix until well combined.
  • Serve -- This is how I love to serve this dish. A small bed of micro greens or spring greens, then the fish topped with the celery sauce and then the tomato relish. But you can omit the greens if you want. I have also served the sauce on the bottom of the plate with the tomato relish on top and the micro greens on the side. Either way -- ENJOY!

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<p>Growing up in Michigan, I spent my summers at my cottage in the Northern part up by Traverscity. On a lake, big garden which had all the vegetables you could imagine. My mom taught school, so summers were our vacation time. Gramps and I fished all the time so fresh fish was always on the menu, perch, blue gill, walleye and small and large mouth bass. At age 5 I learned how to clean my own fish and by 10 I was making dinner, canning vegetables and fruits, making pies and fresh breads. Apples fresh picked every fall, strawberries in June and July, Cherries at the Cherry Festival in Traverscity. So fresh foods always were a big part. Mom worked as a teacher during the year so dinner was more traditional with pot roasts, meatloaf, etc, but it seemed we always had fresh fruits and vegetables as part of the meal. Mom also didn't use as many spices as I do, but times were different back then. <br /> <br />So ... My motto is ... There is NO Right and NO Wrong with cooking. So many people thing they have to follow a recipe. But NO ... a recipe is a method and directions to help and teach someone. Cooking is about personal tastes and flavors. I love garlic ... and another person may not. I like heat ... but you may not. Recipes are building blocks, NOT text ground in stone. Use them to make and build on. Even my recipes I don't follow most times --They are a base. That is what cooking is to me. A base of layer upon layer of flavors. <br /> <br />I still dislike using canned soups or packaged gravies/seasoning ... but I admit, I do use them. I have a few recipes that use them. But I try to strive to teach people to use fresh ingredients, they are first ... so much healthier for you ... and second, in the end less expensive. But we all have our moments including me. <br /> <br />So, lets see ... In the past, I have worked as a hostess, bartender, waitress, then a short order cook, salad girl in the kitchen, sort of assistant chef, head chef, co owner of a restaurant ... now a consultant to a catering company/restaurant, I cater myself and I'm a personal chef for a elderly lady. I work doing data entry during the day, and now and then try to have fun which is not very often due to my job(s). <br /> <br />I have a 21 year old who at times is going on 12, aren't they all. Was married and now single and just trying to enjoy life one day at a time. I'm writing a cookbook ... name is still in the works but it is dedicated to those people who never learned, to cook. Single Moms, Dads, or Just Busy Parents. Those individuals that think you can't make a great dinner for not a lot of money. You can entertain on a budget and I want people to know that gourmet tasting food doesn't have to be from a can of soup or a box, and healthy food doesn't come from a drive through. There are some really good meals that people can make which are healthy and will save money but taste amazing. So I guess that is my current goal. We all take short cuts and I have no problem with that - I do it too. I volunteer and make food for the homeless every couple of months, donating my time and money. I usually make soup for them and many times get donations from a local grocery stores, Sams Club, Walmart etc, with broth, and vegetables. It makes my cost very little and well worth every minute I spend. Like anyone, life is always trying to figure things out and do the best we can and have fun some how along the way.</p>
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