My favorite fish in the world is halibut, the king of the marine food chain. I don’t know what makes this fish tastes so mild, sweet & clean. Everything halibut eats (like octopus, crab, salmon, cod & Pollock) is delicious. Perhaps what it eats is what makes it incredibly tasty. Halibut also lives at depths & swims up to find foods. It must burn tons of calories, moving around to feeding in the cold water. How lean, firm and dense its texture is! To me, halibut is like a muscular, sweet, well groomed metro-sexual man.
Since halibut has a mild, clean & lean taste, I added a “not-too-intense” seasoning and some raw sweet almonds in order to make almond-crusted halibut for dinner. First, I mixed 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 cup chopped almonds, 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, juice from an orange, 1 orange zest, 1 teaspoon honey, some sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste. Then, I marinate two 6 oz halibut fillets in the mixture for 10 minutes and baked at 350 F for 15 minutes. The meat came out very moist and juicy with a gentle citrus, herbal flavor and a firm, crunchy texture.
I paired this dish with a white wine, a 2009 Punta Crena Mataossu Colline Savonesi from Liguria in Italy. Liguria is a small, mountainous, sea coastal region near Genoa (south of Piedmont region), where low-yield wines have been made by hands for 2500 years. Its signature white grape varietal is called Vermentino. It is full-bodied, dry, and delicate with a slightly almondy flavor and a touch of earthy, herbal bitterness on the finish.
The wine and the almond-crusted halibut together were like newly weds’. They were exciting, fun, playful, vibrant and lively. A bite of almond-crust halibut and a sip of Vermentino wine reminded me of melodious dancing in a gentle sea breeze at sunset. The orange, almond, herbal flavors of the dish were nicely paired with the citrus and subtle earthy, nutty tone of the wine. The firm, dense texture of the meat was also well-complemented by the moderate weight of the wine. What a great pairing it was! Don’t we all want a harmonious marriage in life? We’re fabulous individuals on our own, but 1+1 gets bigger than two, and each partner’s voice makes the ensemble more pleasant.