Set the Net

Recipes and snapshots of life in Bristol Bay, AK

Creamy Tomato, Basil Confit with Seared Halibut

In my opinion tomatoes are a fruit that really should only be eaten fresh while in season, though I am just as guilty as everyone else when it comes to buying them year round. But now is really the time for some serious tomato indulgence.  Straight off the vine, in salads, drizzled with oil and balsamic, and oh so many other ways, I never tire of ripe tomatoes. This recipe really showcases the flavor they bring when slow roasted and while it seems complex trust me this is a slow cooked but simple to make and simply delicious meal.

Cuttle Fish Ink Pasta

For my birthday, I received this very dramatic spaghetti black with cuttle fish ink that I tried out with this dish, I discerned hardly any difference in flavor between the black spaghetti and regular pasta however the presentation was quite fun!

Creamy Tomato Basil Confit with Seared Halibut:

Tomato, Basil and garlic

To make your initial confit, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and liberally drizzle with olive oil, roll on your tomatoes coating them with the oil, sprinkle a generously with fresh basil sliced into ribbons and finally add several cloves of pealed garlic either halved or whole throughout the tomatoes. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees, gently stirring every ten to fifteen minutes, until your tomatoes have softened and wrinkled. Remove from oven and carefully dump your whole parchment paper either into a bowl or jar and set aside. Confit will keep up to four weeks in the fridge if you omit the garlic during initial roasting.

For the pasta with cream sauce you’ll need:

A quart of Tomato, Basil, and Garlic Confit
2 Tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup shredded parmesen cheese
several pinshes of sea salt
a few generous cracks of pepper

For the Halibut you’ll need:

2 lbs halibut, filleted and cut into 1-2 inch wide chunks
2-3 Tablespoons butter
1/4 of a red onion sliced thinly
a few cloves of garlic minced
a few Tablespoons white wine vinegar
a few pinches of salt and cracks of pepper to taste

In a large sauce pan melt the butter for your cream sauce over medium heat, pour in heavy cream and tomato confit, heat till steaming over medium heat, reduce to medium low. Stir in 1 cup of shredded parmesan cheese and allow to reduce, stirring occasionally, while you prepare your pasta water, season your halibut and cook both. Salt and pepper your sauce to taste just before pasta finishes boiling.Creamy Tomato, Basil, Garlic Confit

While your sauce is reducing, boil your pasta water and season your halibut with salt and pepper. Cook pasta to al dente, while you melt butter in a pan over medium heat, toss in onions and garlic and pour the white wine vinegar over top. Stir, then lay your halibut chunks on top of the buttery onion bed, skin side down, and watch for the fillet to slowly turn white from the skin up. Once the sides are white 2/3’s of the way up flip over and sear until lightly browned. This should take depending on your fillet thickness 9-12 minutes.

Halibut

Plate pasta drenched in the creamy confit topped with freshly ribboned basil leaves and shredded parmesan and your seared halibut as you choose, I had mine also topped lightly with the confit!

Creamy Tomato, Basil Confit with Seared Halibut

Initial inspiration for the confit came from this delightful Cup of Jo post .

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