Chef of the Month


Poached Halibut Filet

PEI Mussels, Manila Clams and Shrimp

Vegetable Julienne, Saffron Scented Natural Broth

(Serves 4 guests)




4 x 6 oz Center Cut Halibut Filets


2 oz Minced Shallots

1 Small garlic clove, minced

2 oz Carrot Julienne (peeled of course)

2 oz Leek Julienne (white and green part can be used)

2 oz Celery Stalk Julienne (trimmed of any excess fiber filaments)

2 oz Fennel Julienne (no tops are to be used)

2 oz Tomato Julienne (from plum or Roma tomatoes, blanched, peeled and seeded)

4 each Fingerling potatoes (boiled, peeled and sliced crosswise) (red or white bliss will do as well)


12 each Cleaned PEI Mussels

12 each Cleaned Manila clams (if not available, little necks will do)

12 each 21-25 Shrimp (peeled and deveined)


2 oz Brandy

4 oz White Vermouth

4 oz Rivaner (or Elbling – Gewürztraminer – Rivaner)

2 oz Pernod (or Pastis)

3 cups Fish Stock (freshly made or purchased)


On Hand:

Kosher Salt (or Sel de Mer – Fleur de Sel or Regular Salt)

Finely Ground White Pepper

Pinch of Saffron

First press olive oil

Fresh Lemon


4 deep soup plates (or your preferred china)


Buttered Paper (butter wrapping will do)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit


To proceed:

  • In a shallow poaching pan, loosely sprinkle the minced shallots and garlic
  • Place the Halibut filets on top, season with salt and pepper
  • Cover with all liquid elements (no particular order)
  • Bring to a simmer over medium high heat
  • Cover with buttered paper and transfer to oven
  • Cook until fish becomes firm to the touch (about 7 – 9 minutes pending on the thickness of the Halibut filet)
  • When done, remove fish from pan. Transfer Halibut to holding vessel.

     Keep in a warm place covered with the buttered paper until ready to serve

     (do not overcook fish for it will become very chewy and dry)

  • Transfer poaching pan to stove top and add saffron to the obtained broth
  • Over medium heat, add clams. Cover cooking vessel with lid. Bring to a simmer.
  • Cook for 2 minutes or so. Add mussels. Cook for another 2 minutes or until mussels open.
  • Taste the obtained cooked broth. Look for a balance between salt, pepper and shellfish flavor and of course the distinctive scent of the saffron pistils
  • When cooked, remove clams and mussels from pan. Keep in a warm area until ready to serve.
  • Add fennel, carrots and celery to broth. Cook for two minutes. Add leeks and shrimp
  • Cook until shrimp are no longer translucid (about a minute or so)
  • Remove vegetables (should be fork tender) and shrimp form broth.
  • Taste broth again and rectify seasoning to taste


  • In large serving soup plates, sprinkle the sliced potatoes randomly.
  • Top with the tomato julienne. In center of the plate, top the above with the cooked julienne of vegetables
  • Place each halibut filet in center of plate, on top of vegetables. Transfer plate to oven for a minute or so, right before serving (warm up)
  • Surround halibut filet with cooked mussels (in shell), clams (in shell) and shrimp


  • Strain broth through a fine sieve or cheesecloth in sauce pan. Again taste and rectify seasoning according to you palate. Add a few drops of lemon to taste. Top with a filet of olive oil and the Pernod
  • When ready to serve, top each halibut filet equally with the obtained broth.
  • Perhaps top halibut filet with chervil pluches (the top, stem free part of the chervil herb) or any fresh herb garnish from your garden


     DO NOT use dried rosemary, fresh thyme or any other “hard herb” to top the halibut, for these herbs need time to release their oils and flavor thus making the last moment garnish absolete.


  • Serve right away, piping hot.
  • This halibut dish should be accompanied by toasted croutons (topped with aioli or rouille)



Bon appetit from

Alain V. De Coster CEC, CCA

Belgian Master Chef Ambassador