Recipe: Brioche crusted Alaskan Halibut

This recipe from Brix Restaurant and Gardens is an example of the restaurant’s farm-to-table dining. Photo: Linda Mensinga

YOUNTVILLE, Calif., September 5, 2013 — Brix Restaurant and Gardens serves farm to table food in the heart of Napa Valley. Executive Chef Dave Cruz always uses or is inspired by something growing in the restaurant’s garden for his dishes. For this one turnips and leeks are part of the corn succotash.

Executive Chef Dave Cruz selected Godspeed Vineyards Chardonnay to pair with this dish. Brix Wine Director Jeff Creamer explains why:  “The texture of the halibut and the sweetness of the corn call for a Chardonnay with substantial body, but we still want acidity and balance. The Godspeed Chardonnay is barrel-fermented, but only in 25% new barrels and with no malolactic. The barrel fermentation and aging give it a rich texture and fullness while the natural acidity keeps the wine fresh. In addition, it is more mineral than fruit-driven, so it complements the dish rather than competing.”

SEE RELATED: Recipe: Cedar plank salmon with basil aioli

If you can’t find Godspeed Vineyards Chardonnay, another lightly oaked white will suffice.

This dish and wine are the perfect end of summer pairing.

(1 serving) 

Piquillo Pepper Vinaigrette

SEE RELATED: RECIPE: Tokyo style ramen

(makes 1 cup)

4  Piquillo peppers (canned), seeded and small diced

1/2 Tbsp shallots, chopped

1/2 tsp chives, chopped

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1/4 cup sherry vinegar

3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt, to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, except for the salt, until well combined. Season to taste. 


1  halibut (portioned to 6 oz.)

1  brioche, sliced 1/8” to 1/4” thick

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard thinned with water to 1 tsp

safflower oil

salt, to taste

Corn Succotash

1/2 cup yellow corn (off the cob)

1/4 cup cranberry beans, cooked (dried or fresh)

1  Tokyo turnip, peeled, halved and blanched

3 baby leeks, blanched

1 tsp Piquillo pepper vinaigrette

2 tbsp butter

Salt & pepper to taste 

1. Preheat oven to 325°F.

2. Season the fish lightly with salt on all sides, then brush a thin layer of the mustard mixture across the largest surface.

3. Lay the brioche on a cutting board and then top it with the halibut, mustard side down, adhering it to the brioche slice. Trace the perimeter of the fish with a sharp knife and cut away the excess. Reserve the trim for another use.

4. Place an 8” sauté pan over medium heat on the stove and add enough safflower oil to create a thin film.

5. When wisps of smoke just begin to appear, carefully add the crusted halibut, brioche side down and then immediately place in the oven.

6. Meanwhile, in small pot, add the butter and tablespoon of water, and then bring to a boil. Add the corn, the beans, turnips and piquillo vinaigrette to the pot to warm. Season with salt and pepper

7. Add the leeks.

8. If the succotash begins to look oily, add a tsp. of water and stir over heat, then remove.

9. After 6 minutes, check the halibut for doneness. Insert a cake tester into the center of the fish. It should penetrate easily and when pressed against the wrist, should be hot to the touch.

10. Plate the ragu and then the halibut. Garnish with a small spoonful of the vinaigrette around for added flavor.

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Linda Mensinga

Linda Mensinga was editor of Culinary Trends for 15 years, now a contributing writer. Researching restaurants and hotels, she interviews the best and brightest chefs, not necessarily the most famous, to learn their secrets and recipes. Their talent and dedication never cease to inspire her. 

Mrs. Mensinga is happily food obsessed and fortunate enough to be married to a chef. 

Contact Linda Mensinga


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