JUST FOR THE HALIBUT - AN ODE TO STEVE HATT
Steve Hatt is without a shadow of a doubt the best fishmonger in London. The displays of fish are breathtaking and the quality of the fish, stupendous. I consider it one of the few fortunes of my life that I walk past there just about everyday.
The staff are fantastic too and always happy to offer up suggestions of what to do with the fish. I suspect they are taking the piss with me though, as I am pretty certain that anal insertion of a sea bass is frowned upon if not illegal.
Today, after the meaty fests of the last few days, I had the urge for a light supper of fish and so, at lunchtime, sneaked away from the pre-London Book Fair madness up the Essex Rd and into the piscine shangrila that is SH.
I emerged a few moments later, smelling pleasingly of the smoke they were using on their kippers and with a couple of exemplary halibut steaks. Not cheap @ £18, but worth every penny for fish of the very highest order.
My favourite way of cooking halibut, at the moment, is to poach it in olive oil which has been infused with chilli and lemon zest.
I warm the flavourings through in the oil for half an hour and then turn it down so it is barely bubbling. Then I add the fish and poach for 20 mins.
The end result is a beautiful flaky, moist fish which has not had its subtle flavour overwhelmed.
The perfect accompaniments to this are:
Cucumbers marinated in white wine vinegar, lemon zest, a little sugar and some chopped dill
A sauce made of creme fraiche, greek yoghurt, hot horseradish, dijon mustard and some more lemon zest.
Gotsta love Steve Hatt