There is something magical in the combination of butter, lemon, and capers. It’s hard to explain but if you were the sort of person who enjoys the classic combination of peanut butter and jam sandwiches you will understand. Can I call it the ‘holy trinity’? hmmm maybe not, but very close.
When I found these lovely halibut steaks the other day I knew that I had to try to recreate the flavours that I first discovered mere months ago in New Orleans. I’ve lived my whole life so far not knowing how great the combination is. Butter, Lemon, and Capers…where have you been all my life?
I can honestly say that I didn’t cook this fish. My oldest son has started complaining that dinner is always so late and has developed a most annoying habit of coming into the kitchen to bother me while I am cooking. On the day that the halibut was slated to be cooked he waltzed into the kitchen as per usual. I was busy with a few other elements of dinner (the prawns appetizers and avocado pasta from the previous posts) but I knew the halibut needed to be cooked and that it would need a lot of attention. So, I asked him to cook it. He has a pretty good eye with fish and I had all the ingredients out and ready to go. I walked him through it and he did pretty darn good. Only thing I would change about this recipe would be to add a splash of lemon juice at the end because this important part of the trinity was left out by the recipe developers at Bon Apetit.
Butter Basted Halibut with Capers (Bon Apetit)
- 2 14–16-oz. bone-in halibut steaks (1”–1¼” thick)
- Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 2 cloves garlic peeled, crushed
- 3 tablespoons drained capers
- splash of lemon juice
Season halibut with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat until beginning to smoke. Cook halibut until golden brown, 6–8 minutes. Turn and cook until other side of fish is golden brown, about 4 minutes longer.
Add butter, thyme sprigs, and garlic to pan and cook, tilting pan and spooning butter over fish, until halibut is opaque throughout and butter is brown, about 2 minutes. Add capers; toss in butter to warm through. Squeeze lemon juice over all.
Divide halibut among plates and spoon butter sauce over.