This dish was inspired by Spain. Daniel and I honeymooned in Barcelona where we had two of the most memorable meals of my life. Both meals shared three ingredients in common: saffron, seafood and olive oil. This dish uses a “saffron tea” to infuse flavor and keep the fish moist and delicious.
saffron (1½ tsp)
4 halibut fillets or white meaty but flaky fish (like sea bass) skin on… about 1.5 inches thick
1 bulb of fennel halved and thinly sliced lengthwise (the thinner the better)
½ cup white wine
8 tsp heavy cream
salt + pepper
8 squares of parchment or aluminum foil
fennel fronds for topping (optional)
Add saffron to white wine and cold steep for at least an hour and up to a day. Preheat oven to 350. Meanwhile, prepare the packets (pieces should be big enough that there is a 2-3 inch border around the fish). Brush the four squares with olive oil. Place them on a baking sheet. Place one fish filet on each piece. Season with flaky sea salt and pepper. Fold all four sides of the parchment paper in and up. Place 2-3 fennel pieces on each piece of fish. Top with 2 tsp of saffron tea, followed by 2 tsp of heavy cream. Top each packet with another piece of parchment and double fold each side. Roast halibut for 12 minutes. Serve the roasted halibut packages torn open with fennel fronds placed on top.