Savor smooth Halibut Bisque
While in Anchorage, Alaska, last week, I tasted several seafood bisques in the most renowned restaurants (especially the Seven Glaciers restaurant at the Alyeska ski resort), which inspired me to develop my own recipe. Since halibut fishing season began March 17, I decided to dedicate a bisque recipe that will use halibut as a base ingredient.
Bisque usually has a silky smooth, creamy texture and is the result of extracting the flavors of lobster, crab or any shellfish. There are various ways of thickening the bisque. The common way is to grind the shells into a paste and adding that to the fish broth. Another other way is to use rice, which may be strained out or pureed at the end of the process.
For this recipe, I use halibut collar, which is the most flavorful part of the fish. It is possible to pre-order it at any seafood market.
At Café Collage, we will be offering fresh, wild Alaskan halibut for the next few days in addition to the bisque.
12 cups water
3 pounds halibut collar
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
Kosher salt and ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons curry
2 cups tomato sauce
1 cup amontillado sherry, semi-sweet
2 cups heavy cream
3 cups cooked plain basmati rice
1⁄2 cup Meyer lemon juice
2 cups croutons
1⁄2 cup chopped parsley
In a large pot, bring the water to a boil. Add the halibut, olive oil, garlic, salt, ground pepper and curry. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove all the fish with a slotted spoon and separate the skin and bone from the fish. Return the skin and bones to the broth and cook for 20 minutes over medium heat. Reserve the fish pieces for later use.
Remove all the fish bones and skin from the broth and discard. Add the tomato sauce and cook for 10 minutes. Add the sherry and cream and cook for another 10 minutes. Add the cooked rice and cook for five minutes.
At this point, it is best to use a Vitamix to gradually puree the broth, and then pass the liquid through a strainer to catch any remaining solids. Discard the leftover solids in the strainer, wash it and repeat the same steps until all the mixture is strained.
What you have now is bisque. Return it to a clean pot, add the lemon juice and cook the bisque for five minutes. If the texture is too thick, add a bit of sherry or water. (The texture needs to be very smooth.) Serve the bisque hot, topped with a few pieces of the halibut, croutons and parsley.